Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Deja vu!

I was checking out (a community to share map locations and points of interest using the Google Maps application), and I decided to check out the location for Pentura Solutions where I started working this week. To my surprise I found a black car parked right behind the office in an almost empty section of the lot and I thought "Deja vu!" This was the exact same view I saw today when I left the office at 6pm today, but from the top. Check it out, you never know what you might find other than the gazillion Tim Horton's and Starbucks locations already posted!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shakira ver 2.0 : )

Over a year ago I drew Shakira using lines only, so today I thought I could do a better job at this and made another Photoshop drawing of Shakira. [Note: this drawing is property of Nael El Shawwa]
Like the drawing of Ali you can follow the same pointers given there to produce a similar effect. Ali's hair is not as fancy as Shakira's so this part is the trickiest to do. My advice is to divide the hair into several layers: (1) a solid color for the hair, pick a colour that is common in the hair. (2) draw some thick highlights on another layer on top of the first. (3) draw thinner highlights on top of the thick ones. (4) Using the blurring tool, blur the highlights on both layers to create a more hairlike effect. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the "hairy" layers.
The second trickiest part were the "boobs". My only advice is trial and error until you produce the boobilicious effect!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Photoshop Vector Cartoons

I first started drawing these cartoons around two years ago [see the Photoshop labels for other posts like this]. Today I started a new type of Photoshop art called vector drawings. Its not really difficult to do, just needs an eye for colors. For example, I did this cartoon of my cousin Ali - he does not wear a rose on his ear, but I thought it would be hilarious if he did.
So here is a simple tutorial how to do this:
  1. Pick a photo you wish to vectorize
  2. Plan which parts will go on what layer. A good vector cartoon needs to be organized
  3. Use the brush, or the pen tool (I like the pen tool) trace out all the skin layer and give it one solid color for the skin. This will look like a blob at first.
  4. Do the same for the hair on another layer, on top of the skin layer
  5. And again the same for any other props like the glasses or the rose or the cup - each on a separate layer so you can control what goes on top of what in the image
  6. When dividing the layers, you can also use multiple layers for the same item. For example, in the drawing above, the frame of the glasses, and the lens are on separate layers. This allows me to add transparency to the lens so we can see the layer underneath it
  7. Add some shadows and lighting on different layers to make it more realistic. Keep them separate.
  8. One thing I did not do in the image above, is add facial lines. These are important to capture the person's expression
  9. Practice
  10. Be creative!
Hope that was useful!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rethinking time

Adam Schwabe blogs:
The Polar Clock has circular bars that move to complete the day of week, date, hour, minute and second in what first appears to be a confusing arrangement, but is surprisingly logical.
This is a pretty neat perception of time, and it makes a lot of sense, probably even more sense than the confidential method. Other than having a really cool looking "clock", the interface is also more intuitive. Rather than just being able to tell what the time is, I believe with this you can easily tell how much time is left until a certain time. The other good point although not really applicable today, is the fact that if the conventional time system of 24hrs a day does ever change, it would be easier to change using this method by just changing how much the circular bars increment. Since time is read relative to the complete size of the circular bar, it would be easier for people to "get used" to the new method.

This was quite an interesting read, perhaps I should try to rethink the ordinary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sweet last

Today was the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool. After the defeat in 2005, Milan was back with a vengeance this year breaking Man Utd in the home game by 3-0 and now defeating Liverpool 2-1. The game did not start well for Milan in the first half. It was obvious Liverpool dominated that half by cutting the majority of the balls. I have to say Pennant from Liverpool closed off his side of the pitch; out manneuvring the Milan defence and creating major opportunities for Gerrard and Zenden, but without any results.
Milan finally scores after a fluke deflection by Inzaghi close to the end of the first half. The second half was completely different though, Milan patched up their defence, and started taking more control of the game as they reduced the errors in the defense - the horrible passes were a big problem in the first half. Inzaghi finally scores a real goal in the second half making a fool out of Reina as he danced around him. Towards the end of the match, Liverpool scores their first - but who cares, AC came out victorious and clearly the champs of Europe.
For all Liverpool's huffing and puffing there was no end product

Saturday, May 19, 2007

28 Weeks Later

I watched 28 Weeks Later last night at the moviers, after watching 28 Days Later last week on TV. The first part was really good, and I was waiting to watch the second part all week. The story is about a disease that spreads in the UK which causes people to turn into some sort of man eating zombie - very similar to the idea of Resident Evil. Both movies tell about the story of survival and how one will do horrible things to guarantee their survival. For example, in the second part, a father had to ditch his wife whom he just told her "not to worry" after these infected humans break into their shelter, he left her at the window screaming. I guess your actions will depend on how scared you are, the more you panic the more distorted your thinking becomes, but again survival is the ultimate motivation.

Both parts were awesome, the second was tons more gory.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

kicking off the summer

Its been quite warm laterly - not as warm as where I used to live, but warm in Canadian standards. This is a good thing, since I am sick of the cold. At least the heat cannot get painful, while the winter can with your ears and fingers feeling like they will fall off or break. In the summer, no matter how hot it may get, I have never had that feeling.

Im done all six courses in my Masters program now, and just have the project to finnish. Now I need to continue what I put hold last summer, finding a job! Its not easy I tell you, especially for an international student. So far my plan is to find a job first for September and work on my research project while working full-time for technology services on campus.

I'll be developing a web portal in PHP and MySQL for student computing on campus. These are the people that manage the computer labs. This is now my fourth year with them, which gives me plenty of experience of what the web portal should be capable of doing. As a software engineering graduate and the lead developer, I plan on following software development guidelines to allow future teams to easily improve upon the portal - something the current portal lacks big time! It is going well so far, and the project is underway.

As for the research project, I am working on an OpenGL visualizer for my supervisor. He needs it to debug and check whether his algorithm is doing what it is supposed to do. This too will be an interesting project.

It looks like a very busy summer with these projects, and the fact that I need to find a job as well. By the way, if you are aware of someone looking for someone with a masters in computational engineering, and a bachelors in software engineering and management, please let me know!


Saturday, May 05, 2007

MR Velocity Imaging talk

On Monday May 7th, I present the results I obtained during one project I took on during my second semester of my Masters program. The topic is on MR velocity imaging and regularization of images. Basically the goal is to acquire noisy images while sampling less data. The reasoning behind this is that it is less expensive to sample less data that is noisy than to acquire complete noiseless data which would require more time and higher costs. Given a sampling strategy, the algorithm reconstructs the image in Matlab and attempts to filter out the noise from this partial data. I also investigated several sampling strategies and the results were quite interesting. Hopefully a paper can be published from this, but it still requires that the model be extended by another dimension - time for example. The paper and slides can be obtained from:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Blog !

A new control panel was made for this blog site, and I was playing around with it and realized I just lost my blog style which I customized in their site. Sadly they do not save the html code of your previous styles, but only the actual template so I lost a lot of the customizaton. Anyway, I chose a new style and re-added the CBC news feed, but for some reason my Adsense advertisements failed to load which sucks, but I only made 15 cents from them since I started the blog!

Its been a long time since I posted here, was busy with masters and all. Now I am done my masters courses and just have the thesis left so I will be blogging more often about more random shit than ever before.

Keep an eye out and feel free to comment about anything!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Absolutely beaut-ti-ful!

Kaka's second goal in the AC Milan - Manchester game yesterday that unfortunately ended 3-2 for Man Utd. was without any doubt the best goal of the game. Man Utd suffering from numerous injuries in their main ranks was left with a horrible defense line, which Kaka easily took advantage off -twice- . I do not remember laughing so hard when a goal was scored in a soccer game before. Watch for yourselves and laugh it off.

It was bad move from AC to attack during the extra time at the end of the match, should have just settled for the draw, and left the thrashing of Man Utd till another day (May 2nd). Man Utd took advantage of the attack, and struck back with a disappointing goal in the extra time to lead the game 3-2.