Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Comic Book Program

Two Hundred Seventy Fourth Post: Comic Book Program

I got an email from Amazon today. It seems that there is a new program for comic book artist. It is called “Manga Studio.” Don’t let the name fool you it does any types of comics. The site is at: http://www.e-frontier.com/article/articleview/1716/1/722?sbss=722 . I have wanted a comic book maker for some time. I just had to wait until there was something affordable for the PC. I know professionals have all the software, but I thought the average user had to import from Photoshop to a publishing software. The software ranges from $50 to $300 dollars so the price is affordable. I am waiting for my copy to ship. The specs seem promising.

I read how to make templates and use CSS in Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver makes it pretty simple as long as you have the instructions. I still have some math problems for you to try, but it takes a long time to write everything up.

Well I was working on everything until I got the email from Amazon then I went shopping. That took about an hour. I saw a 2 gig Flash card at Tiger Direct. Those things have really come down in price. Does anyone out there still use floppies? That was a problem when I got my first computer you could only save documents such as word. You couldn’t save anything larger than 1.4 meg. It wasn’t long ago, about 1998, that cd burners were expensive.

Well I’m back to working on math problems... But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, February 27, 2006

AutoCad / 3DS Max Integration

Two Hundred Seventy Third Post: AutoCad / 3DS Max Integration

I recently saw a post on 3dbuzz.com about starting an AutoCad forum. That would be nice. It isn’t easy to bring drawings from AutoCad to Max. I wish they would integrate a cad into the Max interface. I suppose they have with Viz. But when you talk about AutoCad, Mechanical Desktop, and Inventor, the price isn’t right. It is just too expensive even for small businesses. My instructors in school use to say that were they worked was 2 or 3 versions behind the current version the school was using because of the cost.

I think in the future cad and 3D will become more integrated at a cheaper price. Maybe someone will come up with an open source add on. But while we are still doing it the hard way, let’s not forget the nice 2d graphics from AutoCad to Flash. Remember that Flash was originally designed to do vector images. I use it all the time for math problems and diagrams.

I also found a free book on cryptography at: http://www.cacr.math.uwaterloo.ca/hac/ . As I stated before, I think my latest problem: “parabola key to circle” has possible applications in cryptography. However, I never studied the subject.

As for spraying cheese, I brought up the subject because this is the season that high school seniors get the “senior blues.” They slack off of their work, while they should be preparing for life after high school. I had the senior blues. Mine started in 11th grade. I would see how little work I could do and still get decent grades. Don’t do it. It just makes the adjustment to college that much harder. I had to catch up in math. In math especially, you see how much easier it is when you learned the fundamentals in high school. Of course there is plenty of time to catch up, it is just more than twice the work.

I also have done a little reading on Wiki’s. However I am not installing anything until I have decent instructions. It may not be hard, but there is a lot of work to find out how these things work. I also have another math problem beginning development, but it is classified. Actually it is just an idea that will probably be solved faster if I share it. But I want to add a new section on little problems. I have one problem that is ready. The only thing left to do is make a template. I am going to experiment with CSS and templates. I want the format simple so that the problems can be printed out on a printer. It is definitely something to watch the site for.

But until I post the problem for you to solve... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spraying Cheese

Two Hundred Seventy Second Post: Spraying Cheese

We all start out working somewhere when were young around 16 for some extra cash. It could be fast food, stocking shelves, or other, but the chances are whatever it is it is something hard for the amount of money it pays. We know starting or should have did the math, we aren’t going to make a lot of money for the work we do. Plus this job takes place after school when we had a long day. We’ll have to do twice as much work. Of course that wasn’t figured. The only thing thought about was getting some extra cash.

First let me start out by saying. I am against working after school. The reason I’ve been there and found out the hard way that extra curricular activities are more important. It just seems that with a job, school work gets neglected either due to time or schedule.

Let me tell my experience of working after school to explain further. I had gotten a job in the summer a month before school. The first day I found out what I had to do. The job was to spray clean machines that were used to make frozen pizzas. The area was about a 100 ft both directions both ways on a concrete floor. I would spray cheese, sauce, and pepperoni grease from the machines. It could take anywhere from an hour to 3 hours to spray, depending on how much work the factory workers put out.

I know I shouldn’t complain. A little hard work is good for you, but I hated it. I would take the steam jenny after sweeping up cheese and start with the pepperoni machine. Then it was onto the cheese conveyers to the sauce machine, to the cheese machine and then onto the oven. It just wore you out and covered you with stinky cheese.

Why I am telling you this story? The moral of the story is that school work is more important than any job you work to get spending cash. I was working all 5 school nights a week and got home usually 9:30 and because of this my school work suffered. I began to work a hard day at work and come home and leave my homework until next day’s study hall.

I will explain more in future posts. But until you clean the cheese from your boots... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Two Hundred Seventy First Post: Clog

We all know about blogs, message boards, Flash, and web pages. So the latest trend is the Wiki. It is everywhere. Amazon even has a product Wiki. So when I start my math Wiki it is going to be an editable journal or log. I like to think of it as the Constructor’s Log or Clog. We’ll see how it progresses. I have to get it installed first.

Well my sister was typing her research paper on my computer all day. She writes it on paper first then types it. I think that is double the work. I used to do the same thing but have found it is much easier to organize thoughts on the computer. I still take notes, but I write directly from thought to the screen.

Speaking of term papers, I lost one that I wrote in high school. It was on floppy and was erased. I have a program that restores floppies but not if it is written over with another file. It seems that my research paper that took hours to write was erased so that I could save some girly pictures. Now the girly pictures are erased too. It seems once you stop viewing girly pictures you have a lot of free time. Free time that can be used very creatively. Even enough time to build your own website.

So until you build your own site... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, February 24, 2006


Two Hundred Seventieth Post: Contests

I recently made honorable mention in MakeZine 04. I had hoped to get most creative, but I bet the competition was good. I haven’t seen the other entries yet. But thinking of contest. I may hold my own at Constructor’s Corner. The one problem is prizes. My prizes will be small, but worth competing in the contest. With the MakeZine contest I was competing for a shirt and a flash memory Swiss Army knife. Not the biggest prize. However sometimes a contest is more about fun and seeing what you can make other than a prize.

But contests are just one area. We need participation in the message board, voting, and a math journal if one is made. Again I thank everyone who has sent me a little message or posted on the boards. But, we need more participation if we are going to do any projects over the Net. If my statistics are correct we are getting the visits. So at the very least vote and let me know if the math problem makes sense or if math isn’t your area of expertise.

Well I am still using dial-up, but the cable contract expires next month and our township should get cable modem within a year. If not maybe satellite will have come down in price. I need broadband now! Now!

So if you get any ideas about the contest email me or post on the boards. But until I get broadband... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Serious Math Rule

Two Hundred Sixty Ninth Post: Serious Math Rule

There is an unwritten rule when attempting to do some serious math. This rule is that the mathematician (the one doing the math) must take a break from math for at least one day. On this day the mathematician is supposed to pursue other disciplines such as art or music. To break away from the nerdy-ness of math the mathematician may want to try a sport such as basketball or running.

Why should they do this? It is because when working on a problem you will probably see one key part of an equation or graph over and over again. This isn’t the best way to get a new look or new idea. So you complement the math with something that is creative.

I am going to take a break from math problems so that I can learn some new technical techniques for my web sites. Although I have cheated already trying to find a significance in the area of a parabola.

Some people think that math and drawing are different disciplines. Math being technical and drawing being artistic. The fact is they are opposites and that is why they attract and complement each other. Sometimes using other talents and skills are what you need to hone your creativity. So until you find that answer to the unsolved equation, hidden within your subconscious as you paint some happy trees... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Area of a Circle

Two Hundred Sixty Eighth Post: Area of a Circle

This is sort of how the math journal would be formatted. A little math and then some unproven theories to work on. Well we know that we have the radius of the circle and it is in the form of a parabola we can know use the area of the parabola to find a new way of finding the area of the circle. I do not guarantee we will find one, simple, useful equation, but if we use the definite integral using calculus, we should have another way to see pi*R^2 . Simply put another way to see the area.

The beauty of this all is that it may not work. I’m not exactly sure what the area of the parabola would yield. That is going to take some work. I just have a hunch there is a meaning to this area even though I’m not sure what exactly that is yet. So try for yourself and see where the question leads.

I’m working on little ideas like this now. But if me and you, my fellow constructors, could put together a journal we’d have hundreds of little problems and theories. The idea this is based on is that more good ideas shared within a community will lead to exponentially more good ideas. And maybe we will even find some great ones.

The only technical considerations are installing the Wiki and finding a way to write in math symbols. I have also seen a program called LaTeX that puts equations into graphical form. It may take some time building this from scratch, but even if we started with 3 people we could have a great project. But until I see you at the message board... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Area of a Circle vs. Square

Two Hundred Sixty Seventh Post: Area of a Circle vs. Square

Here at the math factory on Constructor’s Corner we are expanding our business and looking for more employees. Recently posted on the site was a parabola that explained the properties of a circle. We found the radius with only knowing the segment length. Now the work doesn’t stop there. If we find the area under the graph of the parabola we have the area of the circle and because we found the radius we know the area of the square. This square has a larger area than the circle, but from the data we should be able to find the square that has the same area as the circle. Some of the information I typed here could be wrong since I did not do any calculations on the area yet, but it is the idea that is important.

In the book “Old and New Unsolved Problems in Plane Geometry and Number Theory,” there is a problem called “Squaring the Circle.” It states “Can a circle be decomposed into finitely many sets that can be rearranged to form a square?” Although its hints on how to solve it do not relate directly to my solution of the parabola, I believe that there may be something there.

Something like, take the square that has the length and width of the radius of the circle and subtract its area by the area of the circle. Then take the left over area and solve the size... Ok so maybe there is more to it than I thought, but the idea is presented. We are looking not only looking for a solution, but need a solution that is simple enough to be useful when applied to common problems.

Also of note is the site: http://www.ngine.de/ is back up. This is the place to download “HAM” for the Game Boy programming. So until you program your Game Boy to cheat during your math exam... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, February 20, 2006

At the Polls

Two Hundred Sixty Sixth Post: At the Polls

Well the math journal question is up and only has 1 vote as of 02-20-06. These polls should really help me form content on the website, because without feedback I do not know who is viewing what information. The answer is yes or no and is simpler than voting in a Presidential Election. So please vote.

Well things change with the times. I have gotten a couple of old books from a library. Often older books are given away or sold at a small price when new books arrive. The thing about these books is that they have been used for 20 or 30 so years and a little worn, but the content is just awesome. I look at the books and they have hand drawn technical drawings. These drawings look like they took hours or even days to complete. Sometimes they are just simple, but making these detailed drawings without a computer is so much skill and work.

I recently came across the book “How to Make and Use a Microlab” by Al G. Renner. The drawings are not the most impressive, but are enough to capture the imagination and explain the message. This is a children’s book so the reading is simple. Imagine wanting to learn some new topic and there was no Internet, the library is the only place to do this.

When I was a kid, I went to the local library and took out every book I could on insects. The library wasn’t big, but it had an excellent children’s section. The Net is invaluable, but there is something about browsing for your book on the shelf of a library. I know the libraries have to get rid of books, but some great books are lost that way. But just think if that 30 year old science book on experiments (or any other book of interested) is found by a youngster who then reads it cover to cover and adds it to their personal collection. So until you find that discarded book on Einstein or Hawking... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Two Hundred Sixty Fifth Post: Wiki

I am still thinking about starting a Wiki. A Wiki is a place for owners and users alike to create and change new web pages to form one interactive site. You may be familiar with Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia created by its users. There is free software out there if you can figure out how to install and use it. I have tried to install the web Blog software, “Movable Type,” without success. I uploaded the files but there was a problem in the setup. I am hopping the Wiki software is a little easier to install.

I am also studying CSS. These are templates for the web pages on a site. So far I have seen how text and backgrounds are formatted, but I need to learn how to make one, standard menu with links and everything the same on all the new pages. This way I would be able to change on menu on dozens of pages.

The one problem with web pages is the formatting standards vs. web browsers. There are standards, but in order to make technological improvements there is going to be a varying compliance to the standards. This forces the webmaster to learn new techniques and when you are starting out there is just so much to learn. But sometimes having a little know how is cool when you can use it to create some great pages. Until I figure out the Wiki software and how to make a CSS template... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What will be on the math journal?

Two Hundred Sixty Fourth Post: What will be on the math journal?

I have placed a poll for the visitors of Constructor’s Corner to vote if they would participate in a math journal. What would be on this math journal? It would basically be an ongoing journal of little math ideas and problems to think about. It would be different from the regular math posts because the problems would be more unfinished ideas than a solution to a problem.

The idea would be for people to post on the message board or email me and I would add to the journal. I wish it was as cool as adding to Wikipedia but it is not that advanced. But it would be interesting to have a problem that requires a little tinkering. We might even make some little discoveries.

I put on the poll on 02-17-06, yesterday respectively, and not many have voted. I understand this will take some time, but the goal is to get some participation. My stats say I get anywhere from 45 to 70 visits a day. That is large enough to have some great discussions.

I do thank those that have contacted me already. I am glad to see you like the site. All it takes is one good discussion to get some ideas flowing. So until you vote... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, February 17, 2006

Meaning of Circle Key Problem

Two Hundred Sixty Third Post: Meaning of Circle Key Problem

Ok the Parabola Circle Key problem has been up on Constructor’s Corner for 3 days now. So what exactly does it mean? It means we can describe the change of a circle that changes at a constant rate by using a parabola. Any fixed change in a circle can be describe by a parabola. The only question that remains is: Is it to any advantage to do so? In the arch door problem it was. We now have a powerful tool that when the length of segment is plugged in will give the radius of the circle that encompasses that segment. That is will a little effort in calculating the quadratic formula.

It is important to note that this problem opens up more possibilities to explore. But that is what I want to discuss. I hope the formula is reaching those who will find it interesting or learn something, but the only way for me to know that is by feedback on the message board or emailing me. I have stats that say how many people have viewed the website, but no statistics will substitute for feedback.

I am thinking about starting a math journal of unsolved and interesting problems. I have put up a poll on the home page to see if anyone is interesting. So if you read the content and enjoyed it please take the time to vote. You can even leave comments.

This site has covered some interesting math problems and other topics. However, this is only a fraction of the potential it could reach with feedback. So until you vote about the math journal... May the Creative Force be with You @ www.constructorscorner.com

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Attracting Clients

Two Hundred Sixty Second Post: Attracting Clients

The math, graphic, and idea factory at Constructor’s Corner has already planed the price, and structure. It just needs clients and employees. Computer Graphics World recently had a 2 part article on starting a graphics business. The article was mainly just common sense but it did have some key points that made it worth the read.

The hardest part of the business plan, as it claims, is setting the price of the product. The trouble comes because no one wants to share there secrets of success in the valuable knowledge of competing and earning money by setting the right price. Here at Constructor’s Corner the price is free so theoretically, we should be able to out due our competitors and capture a large audience.

To achieve a larger, active audience is Constructor’s Corner’s long term goal. But achieving this goal is difficult amongst millions of web sites. So when you visit take the time to read the content and if you know someone how is interested in the topic, be it math or other, tell them about it and help promote the website. But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Math Business

Two Hundred Sixty First Post: Math Business

Ok so it is the first day of the math factory or at least the quadratic production. Most of my work was the preparation. I spent all day yesterday writing up the math problems description and it still needs tweaked. I hope the equation proves useful and sells well. I tried to get out as many bugs as I could before it went to production.

The research and design of this problem has also been extensive. I tried literally hundreds of elementary methods before something worked. But the research has only begun. I have many mathematical hunches on different ways to represent the radius using geometric graphics. There are more. The trouble is the research it takes to find them.

If you have any questions, ideas, or comments on the Circle Key beta v. 01 feel free to contact customer service at: trurlthe_constructor@hotmail.com . This is a new business and will hopefully bring a lot of virtual jobs to web. A virtual job that is where you do work and simulate the experience of work but there is no pay. No pay except the enjoyment of tinkering with ideas and math problems.

Most business take a few years before earning a profit. Here at Constructors Corner we deal with math and can easily calculate and give an analysis of all profits. The equations are simplified with profit = imaginary number, since we create no substantial income. But we have the skills to calculate it as if it were a real number.

Also it is going to take time to educate people about our products. With an average of 45 visits a day, Constructors Corner is seen by a relatively large size demographic for its message. But it must be stressed that in order for the company to succeed we need participation. So please take the time to read the math problem and share you thoughts. You just might be one of the future employees of Constructor’s Corner. http://www.constructorscorner.com/ideas_and_gadgets/math/math_home.htm But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Making Money with Math

Two Hundred Sixtieth Post: Making Money with Math

Well there are a lot of trades out there. A lot of America’s work including the factories have been outsourced to different countries throughout the world. But left is the business of ideas. Some of the math factories in the U.S. are still operating. (See post 239)

Some of the factories based on Therio Quadratica’s assembly lines are still hiring. One thing the look for in an employee is a strong foundation in elementary mathematics. With basic knowledge of the fundamentals the grunt work is done. It is hard to get the position of researcher. That is the most prestigious mathematical position. Of course were all researchers at heart.

I am going to be starting a mathematical factory and it will start here at Constructor’s Corner. I am hiring so if you interested you may apply. This leads to the question how much does a mathematician make? How do you make money selling math?

Did I mention you weren’t getting paid? Making equations is just like other research in time spent and effort, but the truth is once you have found an equation you can’t exactly sell it. Did I mention I wasn’t getting paid either?

In all seriousness, I have a little math discovery which has taken me months to find a simple solution. It may not seem like much but it is useful. It has to do with finding circles and the quadratic equation. If you like math or just want to solve a puzzle then you will want to check it out. It will be posted on 02-15-06 definitely on www.constructorscorner.com . Just follow the link. It is under “Ideas and Gadgets”– “Math”. But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, February 13, 2006

Landing a Job

Two Hundred Fifty Ninth Post: Landing a Job

Wild Storm Comics has some sort of contest. I don’t know the specifics. But that is how artist J. Scott Campbell was discovered. He saw an ad in Wild Storm #2 asking to applicants to send in a sample of their work. He did and started his career in professional comics.

I still want to know how to land a art or designing job. I don’t have the talent to be a comic artist, but maybe something small like designing small web sites. I have been searching through the numerous contest trying to find one that will fit my skills and that I want to spend the required hard work to complete.

A lot of time is spent just learning a skill either through school or self study it isn’t until you find a contest or job that you have the fun of using your skills. The right contest is harder to find than first thought. Finding it before the deadline or when there is time to work on it is also a problem. But the same question remains: How do you get that dream job? How?

I have no clue. Although working on your skills building a portfolio is a good start. Being an amateur has some benefits. And being an amateur is how everyone starts. Einstein worked at a patent office in Germany. He was still working on his theories, however it took him some time to earn that reputation of a brilliant, theoretical physicist. So until you too are discovered as one of the great talents in your field... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Benefits of being an Amateur

Two Hundred Fifty Eighth Post: Benefits of being an Amateur

There are tons of people studying in the art, engineering, and design fields. The art field is vast in itself with careers ranging from comics to animation to 3D design, game art, and film. Everything from toys, products, magazine formats, advertisements need designed. The engineer is lucky because their field lets them get into the ideas to something tangible. The fields are interesting and there are many of who want to get into the field the question is: How?

I admit I have no idea how to get into any of these industries. I know the best and traditional way to start is to get an education. But once you are proficient and feel your skills are valuable, how do you get that dream job. That is a job which you get paid to do your passion.

From my reading and a little web surfing, I know that most of the pros weren’t discovered overnight. But they have on thing in common. Most of them started as amateurs doing what their “passion” and waited to that day they got discovered. So all the work that is done as a hobby or in free time is as valuable as those days spent in classes. You need work to show.

I admit I don’t know how to get into the industries. But it is something I am going to research. If anyone out there works in any fields or any other type of work, you can email me at trurlthe_constructor@hotmail.com

I use Google Local to find jobs that I may not know existed in my area. Simple but it is effective. I will research these dream jobs and try to have some interesting information in a future Blog post. But until your portfolio is discovered and you land that dream job... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Free TV

Two Hundred Fifty Seventh Post: Free TV

In Make vol. 05 there is an article on how to receive free stations from an old satellite dish. The only problem is aiming the dish. There are different satellites with different stations. One European satellite has free Playboy One station. Of course other satellites have PBS and learning stations. So when a teenager is out searching for stations claiming it is a good application of the math and technology they learned in school, make sure they are not aiming the satellite 28.5 degrees east.

It is winter and a lot of energy is being used to heat homes. To conserve energy home owners are often told to turn down the thermostat. However if one were to put it into a math problem would it actually prove to save energy? Is it more efficient for the house to get cooler before heating it or is it better to maintain a certain comfortable temperature? Common sense would say the lower the thermostat the less the furnace runs so it is saving energy. But does this hold true in all cases?

I don’t know the answer to the math question. It is similar to one of those calculus problems where the goal is to find the ideal price to sell an item. In this type of problem the fact of how many can be sold vs. price range is calculated and somehow the best price is picked. It is really complicated and seems that there should be a simpler way to determine such things. It is a problem just to think about when you have some extra time.

The same problem applies to everything from refrigerators, air conditioners, and hot water tanks. I’m sure there has been a lot of work done on this. However this problem is not at all easy to figure out. There is a lot of variables. But until you point your satellite at Eurobird 1... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, February 10, 2006


Two Hundred Fifty Sixth Post: Illustrators

When I finished my Army School in graphics, I had learned a lot but unfortunately lacked the computer equipment that I had learned on. I had to rely on my Window 95 486 66Mhz to do my work with Corel Draw 4. It wasn’t so bad because there wasn’t much demand for me at the time to make graphics. At my reserve unit I found out that there was an illustrators box. This was a green box loaded with art supplies. Though the problem was my tools weren’t in the greatest condition.

But think about the box. It makes me imagine a time before computers and portable cameras back to a time where an illustrators job was to sketch the battle and log the squads activity. I pictured a young artist keeping a journal and reflecting on the impact of the war. Maybe he had been in charge of the maps. Maybe he had even been a fighter in times of need.

Back to the future, illustrations make more presentations and leaflets than journals. However, I wish there was some way of following the history of the illustrators before me. After all they helped recorded the history of previous wars. There has got to be some great stories around there lying undiscovered in some warehouse of records or in an attic with old uniforms preserved by an old Veteran’s memories.

Too make much explaining simple, sometimes you don’t have the proper tools to work with. And it is nice to now how your job was handled by others before you. That is why you learn traditional art as an illustrator. Not just because computers are available, but because it is what the whole concept of the duty is based on.

Oh, I finally did get a portable laptop graphics station. But there was still the mystery of the green box that folded into a drafting table that intrigued me. But until your green box is replaced by a laptop... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Musings on Drawing

Two Hundred Fifty Fifth Post: More Musings on Drawing

When I sent my drawing in to be critic through the Joe Kubert Correspondence Course, the main thing on my drawing anatomy was the proportions. His recommendation is to trace the figures in magazines or art of my favorite artist.

Simple but solid advice that when practiced leads to good results. I admit I am not that good at drawing. But as I trace I learn the descriptions of the face that I always draw wrong. The problem is when I draw a face it always ends up looking the same. Simply put it is the placement and proportions of the eyes, nose, and mouth that have to be mastered to draw a proper face. Eyes are hard to draw. The nose is usually a distinct feature (everybody has a different shape) and its placement along the face is crucial.

I always draw the nose wrong. (Of course if the eyes are placed correctly only an indication of the nose is sometimes needed.) The nose is quite large in size (relative to the eyes), but most be kept subtle.

When I took my Basic Graphics Course, we learned traditional art such as drawing, painting, and shading. Everyone wondered why we just didn’t start on the computer. The answer that was reiterated again and again is that the computer doesn’t do art the artist does. Also the time must be considered. It was 1997 when computer graphics was just becoming standard. We were using Macintosh computers and the software that fueled them was expensive and not as common as it was today. In fact I don’t think Photoshop was available for the PC yet. PCs were for programming, word processing, and playing games. For years PC users were forced to use Corel Draw which was ok at best and mostly geared towards clip art.

This leads to the second reason we learned the basics. That is because at the time not everyone had access to all the computer software, printers, scanners, cameras, and even computers. I have seen the world of computer graphics evolve some in the last 10 years. Of course the machines are faster. It used to take Photoshop 5 minutes to load. The faster systems have brought video and 3d creation and editing.

But the single most important factor in graphic design in the last 10 years is that it has become common and readily available. Also important is the fact is has gotten easier to get the information you need to learn. The web is filed with tutorials and files.

So when you think of computer art don’t think of it as taking something away from traditional art. In fact it is based on traditional art. And because of the medium, it has the ability to bring art to everybody. So in the meantime... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Drawing from the Imagination

Two Hundred Fifty Fourth Post: Drawing from the Imagination

Many drawing books state that in order to make realistic and detailed drawings the artist must use reference of either live models or photographs. But what if the artist or designer were just going to try and draw a drawing from the imagination?

I have found the following technique helpful to me even though it is just plain common sense. First sketch out the view and objects. Concentrate on the object you wish to describe in the drawing. Start a new drawing using the first drawing as reference. This time concentrate on the correct proportions of the objects. Proportions meaning how large each part of the object is in size compared to its other pieces that make the whole object. Draw this second view from the correct perspective. Draw the objects as they appear from this angle.

Simple advice but it works. Sometimes drawing without reference lets the artist see what they should be looking for when they are using reference. The questions that should be ask when drawing from the imagination is what information do I need to draw this object and what visual aids do I need when I do use reference?

This takes a lot of time to draw this way, but it is good practice. It won’t replace the need for reference, but adds a new dimension to drawing.

So until you express your memories and imagination in one awesome drawing... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fixing Cars

Two Hundred Fifty Third Post: Fixing Cars

When he was young, my dad could take apart his car and fix it without any training on what to do. He would go through what he thought was wrong. He would then take it apart and pay close attention to how it went together. He remember the placement of the parts, replace what was wrong, and then reassemble the engine.

This is a talent to take apart a machine and fix it without knowledge of the machine other than how it came apart. Unfortunately it is a talent that is rare today especially with the new cars electronic systems. You have to know the electronic system before you can repair almost anything in the car.

I have read some fan fiction of Macgyver and noted that Macgyver needs modernized. I don’t mean to start a new show. I mean to start more fan fiction or a comic book. On the last Macgyver show he met his son. There was just so much more possibilities for the show once his son was added. This is why there has been some fan fiction.

There is only one problem that is hard to create in new shows and that is the “Macgyver scenarios.” The technical aspects of Macyver solving problems or escaping a situation take some knowledge and a lot of research to describe. For example if in a modern episode Macgyver had to hack a computer, Macgyvers audience wants the details of how it was done. All the details don’t have to be explained, but the explanation must be more than: “Macgyver types the password.” Macgyver fans want to know how he figured the password and why the computer was so easy to hack.

The Macgyver show did feature advanced technology for the 1980s and it also featured Macgyver using electronics. But compared to today when everything is electronic, new puzzles and problems are waiting to be explored. This does open a lot of creative opportunity for writes and comic artists. The old episodes of Macgyver are now on DVD for research and reference. The characteristic that I noticed on the fan fiction was lack of technical detail. If you, the writer, could make interesting enough puzzles and problems to solve and write a story around that, your story would stand out amongst the others.

But until Murdoc comes back to challenge Macgyver... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, February 06, 2006

What Came First?

Two Hundred Fifty Second Post: What Came First?

There are two things that go together and are related but usually broken into two different specialized areas. The question is: What comes first the building (meaning construction) or the design?

When we are children we start out building and designing as we build are little sets of blocks or Legos. So maybe building does come first. Or maybe not, they might be so closely related that they occur at the same time. Someone cannot build without a plan, but without the act of building there wouldn’t be anything to design.

Some people actually prefer the design to the building. Building is an art in itself. It takes patience and working at a consistent, steady pace to finish. Although how much enjoyment design brings, it can be nice to get your hands dirty and build or fix something with your hands.

If you ask a child how they plan their Lego designs, they would probably say “like this” and start building. Even though it seems like they go without plan they are actually designing as they build. At that time, they are probably thinking in patterns only able to be decoded by their own mind. They are building and designing simultaneously. Their design and construction is a single mixture of art and expression. Not many adult designers build at that level. So if we want to learn how to become better designers we should study how children design. That way when we are older and more knowledgeable we can use that knowledge as if we were children once again.

But until you access your inner child and start designing and building engineering marvels... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Steelers Win Super Bowl XL

Two Hundred Fifty First Post: Steelers Win Super Bowl XL

Everyone in Pittsburgh believed that the Steelers could do it and now they have won the Super Bowl. I got to admit I thought the Steelers might lose the lead after the second interception. They clearly should have scored there. But afterwards, the “gadget” play worked and was enough of a lead to seal the victory.

Of course you can still get Big Ben and Polamalu rookie cards online at Amazon. I don’t think collecting cards is as popular as it once was in the early 90's, but those are 2 cards definitely worth collecting.

The news covered this Super Bowl without much mention of the time the Steelers went in 1996. That Super Bowl is the one that could have been the fifth, one for the thumb. There was some rumors that Neil O’ Donald threw the game. He had thrown 2 interceptions to the same guy. But enough of 96, let’s celebrate 2006.

You know in physics there is said to be no existence of perpetual motion. Yet, everything in the world is in motion. They explain this by the fact that there is some sort of force that creates the motion. I guess this is true. The players of the Pittsburgh Steelers were a team that seemed to be slowing down. They had to win the rest of their games to make it to a wild card slot. But the team had a “players only” meeting that got their bodies in motion. That combined with Bill Cower and the rest of the coaches and having the support of all the fans behind them, the Steelers proved that a body in motion will remain in motion.

So until you are done celebrating the Super Bowl win... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Super Bowl

Two Hundred Fiftieth Post: Super Bowl

Well the Schwan man never came to my house last week, so I don’t have any wings for the big game. I just might stop at Subway and get some subs instead. As far as the Steelers go they are going to win. I just don’t have anymore creative ways to put it. They have Passion. I might make a graphic or something special after they win. That is Passion... abbreviation for Pittsburgh Assassin. Pittsburgh is going crush the Sea Hawks.

It may be of interest that Macgyver is going to do a Super Bowl commercial. I haven’t seen it, but look for it Sunday. Speaking of Macgyver like things, my copy of Make vol. 05 finally came in the mail today. I have only briefly thumb through it. One interesting topic was how to sculp and model your own models. Sounds cool, but would require some skills.

I like Make because of the projects. Sometimes being an amateur science enthusiast, you are left without projects. I mean you have your own little projects and things that you tinker with, but you lack resources and knowledge of involved, professional work. Imagine the “Manhattan Project” with the scientists not knowing about uranium or E = MC2. You need some knowledge and a problem to work towards. Make isn’t the most advanced scientific publication, but it has projects for everyone. It is these projects that get the “maker” working on a meaningful project. It is a great place to start.

I will talk about resources for amateurs in a future post. But until Pittsburgh “assassinates” Seattle... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, February 03, 2006


Two Hundred Forty Ninth Post: 3Ps PPP

The first P is for Pittsburgh the city and the fans. The fans are a big part of the Steelers winning. And they are the best fans in the world. So no matter what happens during the game the fans will be there cheering loud as ever.

The second P is for the Players of the Steelers. They are the world’s finest. They are talented and work as a team. They are the reason the fans celebrate. With the fans behind them they have gotten to the Super Bowl.

The third P which is unquestionably the most important is what Polamalu said is one of the most important things in life when living life. It is the reason the Steelers are going to win the Super Bowl on 02-05-2006. It is what drives the players and is what football is all about. The third P is... Passion. That’s right Passion. Polamalu said he plays football the same way his lives life. That is with Passion. The third P is why the Steelers are going to win.

We should all take Polamalu’s advice and live our lives with passion. So until the Steelers crush the Sea Hawks... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Super Bowl Preparation

Two Hundred Forty Eight Post: Super Bowl Preparation

So the only thing the news talks about is the Super Bowl. That isn’t a bad thing. This is the time when the city gets some recognition and national attention. The media is covering the event so much that the players have admitted they have spent more time with interviews than they have practicing.

So what are you doing on Super Bowl Sunday? Have you gotten the food ready, cleaned the house, and prepared for the guests? The main theme is “prepare.” You know for everything we do in life we spend hours preparing. I mean for the main event. You know the main event or most important part that we wait for.

This is true especially with sports. The game only lasts an hour and the player isn’t on the field for the entire hour. More importantly the game may come down to one play. A play that the player either catches the ball or doesn’t. He has practiced catching since midget football. This practice continuing through highschool and college has been elevated to the professional level in practice in the past season. Now it comes to one task that is do or die.

Of course we all have these situation in what ever we do. So when it comes time to perform just remember, I’ve done this before and just forget about not making it or anticipate success. Just for that one moment concentrate and the situation will take care of itself.

So until the Steelers crush the Sea Hawks... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Two Hundred Forty Seventh Post: Layers

I have used the “layers” option in HTML for my website, Constructor’s Corner, once. I don’t know if it is a standard convention. With most sites using tables to align graphics for a simple and fast way of creating a graphic site. The thing about using layers is that you don’t have to use tables can place the graphics anywhere. I am wondering how many sites use layers. It is not a subject that is written on the design techniques I read.

I’m still thinking about the eye glass idea. The lense would probably have to be in the shape of the eye’s lense (corrected), instead of just bending light to the fit the eye’s focus point. Unfortunately shaping the eye glass lense into such shape, you couldn’t move your eye to see you would have to move your entire head. It still may work for a contact lense however. Similar to how they shape the lense of the eye in laser surgery.

I believe that with regular eye glasses the lense is over compensating for the eyes magnification level. If the light including ambient light didn’t interfere with the retinas image, the user wouldn't need as strong of prescription. However other than a contact I don’t know of a way to do this.

Speaking of contacts, instead of laser surgery, wouldn’t it be easier to stamp out custom fitted lenses out of plastic than to change the shape of the eye’s lense. Contacts have their limitations also, but there are much easier to be shaped to the eye than glasses.

Well everyone should be getting ready for the Super Bowl. I bet it is going to be hard to order pizza with the big demand. I probably just stay home and watch the game. Maybe play Madden06 before the game. It is a good day for a football tournament. Well until the Steelers crush the Sea Hawks... May the Creative Force be with You