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Blog: #prints-2.9

Projects — Prints 2.9

A new art piece:

Why Weepest Thou? III
Why Weepest Thou? III. Fairly happy with how this turned out.

Process notes: I mocked it up in Figma and exported a PNG, imported that into Procreate and painted it, upscaled it, made a heightfield image from that, used Blender with the heightfield as a displacement map, and then in Affinity Photo composited it with the original painting and added textures.

I’m intrigued by the idea of using Blender to add 3D texture and (hopefully) make things look a little more like a real painting. A couple years ago I first experimented with this on my Within the Walls of Your Own Homes piece.

In rereading that post just now, apparently back then it took two hours to render the image in Blender. Whew. No wonder I didn’t continue down that path. If I remember correctly, I was compositing a bunch of different textures together directly in Blender before doing the displacement. This time round, making the heightfield beforehand using Procreate and Affinity Photo seems to have paid off: render time is a mere one to two minutes.

The material nodes in Blender are pretty simple — image texture for the color, image texture with the heightfield through a multiply node to the displacement input on the final shader node.

(Also, to be clear, I haven’t done a deep dive into whether this is the actual reason the render times are so much faster.)

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Links — Prints 2.9

Tyler Cowen and Russ Roberts on reading. Enjoyed this. I almost always enjoy reading about reading.

Movemap, a map of the U.S. to help people decide which county to move to, based on selectable factors.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Dominion, the new book by Tom Holland. (No, not that Tom Holland.) Appears to be a somewhat unedited draft, and there are parts I don’t agree with, but I found it interesting. I liked Holland’s Rubicon. Looking forward to Dominion.

Bastian Rieck on which Neal Stephenson books to start with. Snow Crash is next for me. Cyberpunk doesn’t appeal to me all that much, but still looking forward to it.

Kara Manke on a new inhaled Covid therapeutic. Hopeful.

Simon Willison on Stable Diffusion.

Integrating Stable Diffusion into Photoshop. Wow.

Alberto Romero on Stable Diffusion.

Stepan Parunashvili on Lisp and parentheses. Gets at the underlying idea behind Lisp.

Wouter Groeneveld on cool things people do with their blogs, via Jim Nielsen.

Antonio Cao on a Figma plugin using Stable Diffusion. Crazy.

Adam Symington on creating river maps with Python.

Aaron Reed at NarraScope 2022 on five lessons from fifty years of text games.

Heydon Pickering on using flex-basis with clamp in CSS. Nice.

Tom Critchlow on generating agency through blogging.

The blue Fugate family. Had no idea this was a thing.

Maggie Appleton on folk interfaces.

Cliff Jerrison on water actually being blue.

Wu Peiyue on Zhemao, who wrote a whole bunch of fake Russian history on Wikipedia over a decade. Fascinating story.

Carlos Fenollosa on no longer self-hosting his email. I wish I could self-host mine but yeah, it doesn’t seem feasible anymore.

Tsung Xu on performance biomaterials.

Artful season 3 has begun.

Fergus McCullough against alcohol.

Smell Dating, a mail odor dating service (har har). Anthropologically interesting.

Austin Gil on the HTML capture attribute.

Dave Rupert on modern alternatives to BEM (in CSS).

Ollie Williams on what’s new with forms on the web. Learned several new things here.

Denis Stebunov on why public chats are better than DMs. Agreed. Trying to do better at this at work.

Use.GPU, a “set of declarative, reactive WebGPU legos.” Interesting.

WASM-4, a WebAssembly fantasy console.

Tom MacWright on Wilderplace, a lovely looking new game by Saman Bemel Benrud. The blog for it is also worth reading through.

BBC News is available in Pidgin English. Had no idea! Love it.

John Regehr on teaching C.

Ben Sparks on why the A4 paper size is a thing of beauty. Had no idea about this, but it does make me happy.

Serge Zaitsev on learning new programming languages by writing Forths.

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Reading — Prints 2.9

As anticipated in issue 2.4, Kobo announced the Clara 2E, with a Carta 1200 screen. I haven’t been reading as much on my Kobo lately, though, so I don’t know if I’ll get one.

Recent nonfiction reads

  • In the Land of Invented Languages, by Akira Okrent. Enjoyed this. Conlangs don’t actually interest me all that much — there are so many natural languages to learn instead — but they’re still fun to read about. The bit about thesaurus organization was fascinating. Quite interesting throughout.
  • The Infiltrator, by Robert Mazur. Whew. This was perhaps a bit more intense than I wanted, though thankfully not really violent at all. So, so glad that I did not a choose a career path that led to going undercover for anything.

Recent fiction reads

  • Foundryside, by Robert Jackson Bennett. While there were some earthy bits I could have done without, in general I liked this. The magic system reminded me of writing software, which I liked, and things definitely got interesting at the end.
  • The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole. A bit silly, and sadly not scary at all. (Which apparently is what I wanted from it.)
  • Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. Delightfully funny at first — loved the satire — but then there wasn’t nearly as much humor in the second half. Or if there was, I missed it. I did, however, come across the word rhodomontade for the first time.

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