You are here

Aldo's blog

Print gallery updated

Now that I am self employed, I'ld better look busy, right? I have finally updated the panoramic print gallery on with images from the 'van 4 kanten' exhibition, and some others I had not yet published.

Not only are there lots more images to enjoy, there's also the - er... - spiffy lightbox.js-inspired thickbox effect. Irony has it that thickbox is actually lots lighter than lightbox; I really like the lightness jquery as opposed to prototype/ (if only because of the punctuation of the latter). This was the first time I was really 'bitten' by the difference of quirks mode versus standards mode in Internet Explorer though... Oh well, another day well spent.

Soft proxying resources from other domains for Shockwave

If you try to access resources from domains other than the domain a Shockwave movie runs on, you get an ugly and intimidating dialog box. If there are no other options than to use the files off the external domain (eg if you are using a web service, like I am for the SPi-V Flickr interface), you can proxy the contents using php and curl (if your webserver is configured to allow this).

Here's what I use to get and serve an image from a Flickr server and maskerade it as a local file:

function getImage($imageurl) {
 // create a new curl resource
 $curlinst = curl_init();

 // set URL and other appropriate options
 curl_setopt($curlinst, CURLOPT_URL, $imageurl);
 curl_setopt($curlinst, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, true);
 curl_setopt($curlinst, CURLOPT_HEADER, true);
 curl_setopt($curlinst, CURLOPT_NOBODY, true);
 curl_setopt($curlinst, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);


Equirectangular group on Flickr

It's always fun to discover people using the SPi-V engine. When the Flickr blog featured an equirectangular photo by hangglide, I found out that Flickr has a small but loyal following of SPi-V in the equirectangular group. They are using SPi-V to display their panoramas, directly off the fieldOfView site.

Cool as that might be, there's a security limitation in Shockwave that pops up a dialog box when a Shockwave movie (such as SPi-V) tries to access files from a different domain than the one the movie itself is hosted on. To work around this, I have implemented a make-shift php-based proxy, that maskerades images on Flickr servers as a local image on the same server as the SPi-V movie.

REALVIZ VTour and SPi-V3d: step outside the box

REALVIZ and fieldOfView jointly announce the availability of updated versions of VTour and SPi-V 3d.

VTour uses REALVIZ' image based modeling techniques to create 3d scenes from panoramic images. I was asked to write a viewer that displays the resulting scenes. The SPi-V3d viewer is an extension to the core SPi-V engine, which combines the panorama-features of the engine with the exciting capability to step outside the box of a panoramic image.


Update time, in no particular order:

  • After a year I quit my job. I got fed up with the 4 hours a day commute, and decided to take my chance and try to be a fulltime panorama photographer -dash- mad scientist. I thought I'ld have lots of time on my hands now, to do all that I have been wanting to do for so long but couldn't. Alas, I am still too busy to do it all. Dang.
    As an aside, as far as I know, Avinity is still an interactiondesigner short, so if you're a designer with aspirations to influence how people spend a considerable part of their day, give them a lookover. They're a great team to work with.
  • Since my Eolas hack got famous (wow, it's just a silly hack!), jumped from ~400 visitors to around 1500 visits daily. Amazing.
  • is yet on another server, at another host.

IR panoramas

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time is taking IR panoramas


This panorama was taken using a filter that blocks out most visible light. The filter, a Cokin A007 89b, is transparent for IR light, and the CCD sensor on my S2 (like most cameras) is IR sensitive. Normally the IR sensitivity is overblown with visible light, but by blocking most visibe light with the filter you get to see the invisible. I have enhanced the colors in photoshop, switching the red and blue channel, among other things.


Hacking around the Eolas patch the ugly-as-sin way

The Eolas vs Internet Explorer case has been getting a lot of attention lately, since it is almost time the patch is released in the wild. To make a long story short: Internet Explorer 6 and the upcoming version 7 will display plugin content differently from the 'seamless' experience we're used to. Whereas most plugins (Flash, Windows Media) will 'only' require an additional click to enabled interactivity, some plugins such as Quicktime and Shockwave result in an ugly dialog box when they are found on a page. The official workaround has authors rewrite each HTML page containing the 'offending' tags substantially.

How the windmill got its blades

For the second World Wide Panorama event I shot the windmills near Kinderdijk. At the time I whined that the 20 or so windmille Kinderdijk were really nothing special (compared to - say - the Taj Mahal or the piramids of Giseh); looking out of my window I was looking at no less than 4 historic windmills in Schiedam... Since then Tessa and I have moved to a better part of Schiedam, and though I am more than happy with my new view the windmills just fall outside my viewing frustrum on either side of our house.


Green led on Apple's Mac Mini?

When Apple released the Mac Mini last year, I immediately wanted one (and bought one too). Over the past couple of weeks, rumors arose that a new, Intel based mac mini was to be released at yesterday's Apple Special Event. And it was.

Few people may have noticed though, that there are clear signs that the end of the world is upon us. Steve 'I-wear-sneakers-because-I-am-vegan' Jobs presented a leather pouch for the iPod, and the mac mini has a green led! Or has it?


Loading images into Shockwave from PHP or a database

Director has a bit of a bad habbit of ignoring the mime-type, or even the filename in the header of a file when you import it through importFileInto or setting the fileName property of a member in Shockwave. This means that it is not possible to load eg an image through a php script; Shockwave/Director only sees the .php extension it requested, and does not recognise that as an image format. As a result the image will not import. Since php is often used to 'glue' Shockwave movies to a database, this inability can be quite a problem. Personally, I am using PHP scripts to digest complex files into chunks that Shockwave can handle (ie: load embedded jpg frames from quicktime vr files).



Subscribe to RSS - Aldo's blog