Computer Graphics Samples
This is a collection of various graphics that were particularly complex to produce, complete with explanations of
the processes used in their creation.
Radio Shack Logo (1980 / 2001)|
Sometime around 1980, I created this image as part of an exercise in representing logos on the chunky display of
the TRS-80 computer. In 2001, with no easy way of transferring it directly to my IBM PC, I simply recreated it
using the template from which it was originally drawn. Imagine how chunky this would look today viewed full-screen!
Spinning 3-D Ian logo (1980 / 1990 / 2001)|
I designed my personal logo circa 1980 while experimenting with 3-D images on my TRS-80 computer, using my own
custom programs and 3-D rotation formulae. In 1990 I used the same data and formulae to demonstrate the powerful
graphing capabilities of spreadsheets. In 2001, I captured 36 images of the logo at different rotation angles,
from which I created this spinning version in animated GIF format.
Chain Image (1993)|
This chain image came about while experimenting with "Ray Tracing", a process for creating photo-realistic looking
computer generated images. I wrote a small computer program to perform the mathematics required to generate a
single chain link, then fed its output into the ray tracing software "Vivid", with that one link duplicated to
create the alternating gold & silver links of the chain.
Spinning Ian's head (1993 / 2001)|
In 1993, I filmed myself rotating on a swivel chair and captured some footage to my computer. From this I took
54 frames (the maximum I could fit into 600Kb of memory) and wrote a tiny program to continuously display
my spinning head.
In 2001, I converted 1/2 of that data (27 frames) into animated GIF format suitable for displaying on web
pages without needing the additional program. I'll have to do an updated version now that I have a beard!
NEON Productions documentary videos (2000 / 2001)|
These documentary videos were a collaboration between myself and my good friend Neil Winstone, in which we
interviewed some friends from high school with whom we still keep in close contact more than 25 years later.
Besides the logistics of filming, the real fun came afterwards as we built a desktop computer video editing system
(which was rare in those days!) and were thus able to perform extremely complex and accurate editing.
Bonbeach High School logo scan (2001)|
This is an example of an unorthodox method of obtaining an image. With Bonbeach High School having closed years
ago, I was hard pressed to find a suitably hi-res copy of the school logo. The best example that I had was on a
commemorative beer glass, presenting me with the interesting topographical dilemma of scanning from the curved
surface of the glass.
My best result came from placing the glass on my flat bed scanner and rolling it just fast enough to stay above the
scan head as it moved along underneath. It took a couple of test runs before I had my rolling motion synchronised
well enough, followed by a little cleanup to produce a reasonable finished result.
World Zoom animation (2001)|
To download this movie to your PC,
Right-Click Here and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As". Filesize is about 3.5Mb.
This little movie zooms all the way from outer space to Australia > Victoria > Port Phillip Bay > Chelsea
> Our house. It was considered quite impressive before "Google Earth" came along and made such things more
common. I created it for part of a documentary video I made with my friend Neil. It took over a week to create,
yet runs for just over 15 seconds.
The data from outer space down to about the level of Port Phillip Bay came from the
"Encarta World Atlas" (that was easy). After that I scanned dozens of pages from the
"Melways Street Directory" plus council street plans and used them as the source material for drawing 13 of
my own maps with increasing levels of detail and with the same color scheme as the Encarta maps. I already had
our house plan drawn up, which only needed to be rotated to the correct angle and overlaid onto those maps.
Now that I had the source material, I created a spreadsheet that performed all of the calculations needed to turn
them into a smooth series of almost 400 frames. I wrote several custom programs to extract the computed
images, then assembled the resultant frames with some video editing software to compile the finished video.
Ian's Shoelace Site Diagrams (2000 / 2004)|
When I first drew the diagrams for my
Ian's Shoelace Site, I took care to
optimize them. I experimented with color reduction, the process of reducing the colors in an image in order
to reduce file size. I tried 256, 128, 64, 32 and even 16 colors, eventually settling on 64 colors as
the best balance of reasonable image quality & compact filesize.
By 2004, the sheer volume of shoelace diagrams downloaded daily from my web site made them worth optimizing
further. I therefore created a custom palette of 16 carefully chosen colors: 8 × Greyscale,
4 × Blue, 4 × Yellow. The resultant images were almost indistinguishable,
while the files ended up about 40% smaller!