Tag Archives: virtual-reality

#Corel X8 vector graphics vs photos

In my last post about the new Innerscape cover, I vented about the trouble I was having getting the silver effect I wanted. Your suggestions were brilliant so I thought I’d do a quick update of my progress. The pic below is a test graphic to illustrate the difference between the two methods and how they might look in the finished product:

The silver ‘wire’ was created using Corel X8’s fountain fill. It is clearly silver, even when I reduce the size down, i.e. it scales well. Unfortunately it is absolutely uniform, something a real ‘wire’ would never be.

By contrast, the gold ‘wire’ is a photo taken of a thin needle shape covered in foil. The foil was silver, but the lighting created this decidedly golden effect [evening, overhead light and table lamp, both with bulbs of ‘warm white’]. I only know this with the wisdom of hindsight. 😦 If you look closely at the column on the right, you will see that when I increase the size of the gold wire, it becomes more and more pixelated, i.e. it doesn’t scale well. [Clicking on the image should display a larger version]

Finally, I created two, identical slices of the circuit board. Both were made by creating the individual components and ‘grouping’ them together. The silver, vectored one is shown below:

Although each of the tubular components comes from the one, basic shape, I fiddled with the fountain fill to a) make the image more realistic, and b) to reduce the uniformity. The golden slice is also made up of individual components, but essentially I just cut them out and stuck them together. I really like the way the image turned out, and I like the golden colour, but it’s not what I was after.

Which will I use?

This question is not as either/or as it looks. In designing the covers for the Innerscape print version, I wanted each one to:

  • have a unifying ‘theme’
  • be different
  • tell a subtle visual ‘story’

Thus, as book 1 is about Miira leaving the real world and entering a virtual one, I want her facing towards the stark, artificial image of the circuit board. That’s why the image has to be instantly recognizable as part of a computer. Books 2 and 3, however, will show a gradual blurring of the lines between real and virtual, with the changing circuit board being the unifying ‘theme’ that binds each image of the series.

At least, that’s the idea. Whether I can actually pull off this ambitious idea is moot. To make it work I’ll have to create two, completely different images of the circuit board – one with the silver wires and one with the gold. As each small wire will be made up of at least 3 components, it’s going to be a huge job. Not impossible, but it will test my patience as the original circuit board image has very few wires that are exactly the same.

To be honest I think I’m crazy to even think about doing this, and yet…how often do you get to create your first print book? Sitting here, calmly typing about my options, I know I’d hate myself if I gave this project anything less than my best, and fudging the graphics would definitely be a cop out. So…I’m going to be a busy girl. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Boomers and #VR [virtual reality]

One of the first friends I ever made online is George, of Ready, Aim Click. George is also my go-to person for info on graphics, gaming and the tech that drives both. This is the eye-popping youtube video he just sent me:

If you’re getting a bit long in the tooth, like me, and wondering what all this VR bunk is all about, this video may change your mind about the value of the technology. I know, because it’s changed mine. I WANT IT NOW! -cough- Sorry.

The VR equipment you see in the video clip is probably top of the line and so expensive I can’t see me buying it any time soon. But…prices will drop, eventually, and when they do, this little old lady is going to be at the head of the queue. 😀

cheers

Meeks


Innerscape, Episode 3 – late but live. :)

At last! The price on Innerscape, Episode 3 has finally dropped to $0.00. It will stay free for the next 5 days [November 29, 2016 to December 3, 2016], so please grab your copy while you can. I know I shouldn’t say this but…Episode 3 will shock you. And that’s all I’m saying. 😀

You can download a free copy of Episode 3 from Amazon at the following URL:

https://www.amazon.com/Innerscape-Episode-3-C-Flory-ebook/dp/B01N69SI93/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1480406798&sr=8-4&keywords=kindle+Innerscape

And now for the competition.

Duration: 5 days from November 29, 2016 to December 3, 2016

The prize = a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift voucher.

The rules = read the Look Inside below, find the answer to the multiple choice question, also below, and write the answer in comments [either as a name or the number of the option]. Only 1 entry per person.

The question = Who was Alex Tang’s husband?

  1. Mei Lin?
  2. Barry Majors?
  3. Peter Ngugen?

You will need to use the back button on your browser to come back from the Look Inside.

And now that the official business is taken care of…LOOK!

innerscape-recommended

-blush- Sorry, I have never had one of my novels in the ‘Also Viewed’ list before. You guys must be doing something right. Thank you. 😀

-hugs-

Meeks


#VR – Virtual reality – ‘suit’

In Innerscape, I imagined an immersion ‘tank’ as the the technology for the top end of virtual reality gaming, but this suit is miles better. And its technology is perhaps five years away, not 80 plus.

If you don’t want to watch the video, have a look at this article from Gizmag:

http://www.gizmag.com/axonvr-virtual-reality-suit/43179/

More and more, I’m realising that the future is now. Heaven only knows what the real future will bring!

cheers

Meeks


Is the #metaverse just around the corner?

quartz metaverse

‘SEATTLE — Philip Rosedale wants to build the Metaverse, the virtual reality experience depicted in the Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash so many years ago. His first-generation attempt to do so was Second Life, the virtual world created by his former company Linden Lab…’

This article in Quartz sparked my interest because I actually tried Second Life, twice. The first time was some years ago when it was at the peak of its ‘buzz’. The second time was only last year. Both times were a disappointment, but perhaps that’s because I was evaluating the experience from the viewpoint of a gamer. To me, the Second Life graphics were ugly and clunky, the movement was clunky, the ‘crafting’ was ‘too hard’, and the whole thing just felt second best instead of immersive. But I did like the idea behind the experience – i.e. to be able to do in a virtual world everything you could do in the real one [shades of Innerscape, anyone?].

Sadly, I suspect Rosedale’s implementation of a metaverse will be just as clunky as the implementation of Second Life. But again, that’s not to say that someone won’t get it right.

Will that be within the next 20 years?

Honestly, I don’t think so. Technology takes leaps and bounds, and breaks out in unexpected areas – think mobile phone vs computer – but there is a world of difference between being able to produce an alpha grade prototype and creating the kind of technology that is as commonplace as the light switch. Yet that is what we will need if we are to stitch together the whole digital world into a metaverse.

Negatives aside, however, good on Rosedale for thinking big. You can find the complete Quartz article here:

https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/26908997/847472368

cheers

Meeks


‘Real’ Virtual Reality one step closer

As the pace of writing Innerscape accelerates, I’m finding echoes all over the place, and today was no exception. I found the following excerpt in a Venturebeat article – one of my favourite tech news sources :

“The VR experience is set in the Lord of the Rings universe, with viewers taking on the role of a hobbit thief. It began in a massive treasure chamber, one so large that I had to crane my neck fully to see it all. Dimly lit piles of coins shimmered under my feet. I could see even dimmer caves in the distance, set off by massive statues on either side. I had to physically turn around to take it all in.

Some of the coin piles began to move, with gold sliding down toward my virtual feet. Smaug, an enormous dragon, pushed his face out of a large pile and began to swim around the coins, Scrooge McDuck style. He began to speak in a thunderous voice, claiming that he could smell a thief among his treasures. Smaug circled me, forcing me to turn around in circles to keep track of his motion. His movements and voice became increasingly aggressive — so much so that I caught myself stepping back as he moved nearby….”

You can find the complete article at the following link, including a great photo of Smaug :

http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/04/weta-digital-partners-with-oculus-rift-and-epic-games-for-a-new-vr-experience/

[Translator’s note : Nvidia make graphic chips, Weta created Gollum et al., for the Lord of the Rings, and I assume Oculus created the VR device used in the virtual reality experience.]

I’m definitely not the first to imagine a virtual reality world, but at this rate I may become the first writer to publish a VR story just as virtual reality morphs from science fiction wish list to real reality.

Ouch. I think I twisted my brain with that last sentence. Anyway, enjoy the article while I get back to Miira and co. 🙂

Meeks


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