Monday, December 26, 2011

me, mulan and my friend's lab tuffy

babysitting my friend's lab till the 10th. the giant dog is just9-10months old :D
when he's not sleeping, he drives us nuts






Friday, December 23, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Just read Suzanne Collin's book- The Hunger Games

Been a while since i read something i just couldn't put down. the story is rivetting from the get go. you get some tid bits about the world while the protagonist takes you through in first person narrative...while hunting and going about her daily illegal regimen ;) and then you learn about the annual deathmatch reality show that the book is named after.

Collins says that the idea for The Hunger Games came to her one day when she was switching between multiple television channels. The lines between a reality show competition and war coverage "began to blur in this very unsettling way." [6] She also cites the Greek myth of Theseus, in which the city of Athens was forced to send young men and women to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, as inspiration for the nation of Panem; she explains, "Crete was sending a very clear message: 'Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.'" [6] Collins also said that similar stories hit her hard when she was young, since her father fought in the Vietnam War and she was frightened knowing that he was there.-wikipedia

this was the first book i read on my tab using the Kindle app. Read the whole book in under 12hrs.. pretty much my speed with a printed copy.. so looks like this Kindle/ebook reading mania has something to it! have already picked up the 2 sequels... looking forward to some good holiday reading now ;)

infact am also looking forward to the movie now

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batman Arkham City

Was a bit anxious after reading terrible reviews of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum.. but i had no choice, i'd already preorderred it months back.. so just had to wait and see what i got.(all screenshots were taken from my machine using Steam's Screenshot feature)

The technology:
Was a bit painful to begin the game.. Mainly because of the DRM.. Games for Windows Live had to do a few updates before i could actually start the game!..

the menu is fantastic..its made up of freeze frames from a shot of batman leaping off a roof.. when you click a button it plays through a few seconds and freezes at the next screen

i quite enjoyed going back and forth.

i played a few minutes in the default settings.. which looked pretty decent.. but there was a terrible audio stuttering issue. Not to mention some jerkyness during the fight parts. So i restarted the game.. but with a reduced resolution.. left all other settings switched on default. That did the trick.

The Storytelling
the story blew me away from the start. You start with catwoman fighting some thugs near a vault somewhere in Arkham City.. and then she gets captured by Two Face. The story then shifts to the entrance of the prison city, where Bruce Wayne is holding a press conference and protesting the existence of the controversial prison.

He gets captured by some stormtrooper/commando types(working for Hugo Strange) and is taken to Hugo.


the following screenshots will be enough to prove that all batman fans need to play this game! The game looks great on my 2-3yr old dell! ...

Batman Arkham City

Was a bit anxious after reading terrible reviews of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum.. but i had no choice, i'd already preorderred it months back.. so just had to wait and see what i got.(all screenshots were taken from my machine using Steam's Screenshot feature)

The technology:
Was a bit painful to begin the game.. Mainly because of the DRM.. Games for Windows Live had to do a few updates before i could actually start the game!..

the menu is fantastic..its made up of freeze frames from a shot of batman leaping off a roof.. when you click a button it plays through a few seconds and freezes at the next screen

i quite enjoyed going back and forth.

i played a few minutes in the default settings.. which looked pretty decent.. but there was a terrible audio stuttering issue. Not to mention some jerkyness during the fight parts. So i restarted the game.. but with a reduced resolution.. left all other settings switched on default. That did the trick.

The Storytelling
the story blew me away from the start. You start with catwoman fighting some thugs near a vault somewhere in Arkham City.. and then she gets captured by Two Face. The story then shifts to the entrance of the prison city, where Bruce Wayne is holding a press conference and protesting the existence of the controversial prison.

He gets captured by some stormtrooper/commando types(working for Hugo Strange) and is taken to Hugo.


the following screenshots will be enough to prove that all batman fans need to play this game! The game looks great on my 2-3yr old dell! ...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Acer iconia tab - verdict


After more than a month of use heres my verdict:

the Acer Tab A500 can do the usual stuff that other tabs can, like:

general use - great for reading webpages, twitter feeds, cbr(comic books), pdf etc
video playback - is fair.. depending on what app your using(players with gpu support can take advantage of the tegra)
gaming - until the tegra 3 only games come along.. this is pretty much as good as the best.
hdmi out - self explainatory
(havn't tried coz i have no tv or monitor to try it with :P )
art - as a designer/illustrator this is a major boon for me. coupled with Autodesk Sketchbook pro and Adobe Ideas.. i've already started using it in my actual art workflow.

cameras - have only used them(front and rear) for skype and putting a photograph into one of the art apps(ideas and sketchbook) for tracing. worked well for that.

stuff it can do that other tabs can't:

standard usb port: with the honeycomb 3.2 update it can play videos and other media from an external hdd or pen drive.

potentially unlimited storage: i keep almost all my movies on a pen drive or my 1tb portable.. and can play them on the tab via the standard usb port.. no need for cumbersome adapters(see this if you don't believe me)


Acer gives you 3 games (preloaded). when you go to the gameloft site you get 3 more premium(thd grade) games free.

so if your a gamer(like me).. this is a smarter choice than even the transformer(based on a few gripes i heard firsthand about this from transformer and xoom owners)..

lots of hacks and roms and support on XDA forums.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photos to 3d models with FOSS

Decided to do a tutorial on how to turn photos of objects into 3d models free and opensource software(just figured out this stuff last night)

In this example i took pictures of my coworker Anoop and turned that into a 3d model.


.
I used the following software:

Pix resizer(for batch optimising the camera images.. . you can skip this if you like): http://pixresizer.en.softonic.com/

Autodesk 123D Catch (for using Autodesk's free cloud service):
http://www.123dapp.com/catch

Blender (for further editing of the 3d model):
http://www.blender.org/

The Social Radio

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Social Radio

Found this today..
its an app that reads out your tweets for you. Had been looking for it a while back, but never found an app that did it till now.

the added feature is that it can play your music in the background.

good idea, been waiting for this app for a while.. but it wasn't logging in to twitter on my acer a500 tab :( reinstalled again but no use.

works on my gt i5801 though..

get it here (market)

SIZE: 2.8M
PRICE: Free
average rating: ?????
my rating: ????? (-1 because it won't run on my tab)

UPDATE:
Been it touch(several mails and tips exchanged) with Roberto Gluck at www.thesocialradio.com he's been trying to solve my tablet issue. really appreciate the effort on their part.

update: they sent me a .apk to try out on my tab.. it worked! my revised rating: : ?????

random interesting stuff at the Sunday Soul Santhe

Sunday, December 11, 2011

random interesting stuff at the Sunday Soul Santhe

Fire dancers at sunday soul santhe
[flickr video=6497807977 secret=753b4ac601 w=600 h=338]

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soul Sante this weekend!

Soul Sante this weekend!

its Kingfisher soul sante time this sunday .... 11 dec .. palace grounds.
this time we have atleast 100 lamps, eco friendly tshirts and bags available..


to see what it looked like last time click here and here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Bypass online censorship

spending the day phone free

How to Bypass online censorship

So theres a lot of chatter online about certain people in the govt. who want to censor facebook, twitter and other online social platforms/sites/networks.

Obviously the parties proposing this have no clue about how technology works..
so this post will either
a) go over their heads
b) make them thank me for giving them pointers on more effective ways to block content(best of luck with that)
c) make them say even more ridiculous stuff (like "ban all web enabled devices")

in any case, for those of you panicking that FB or Twitter will get blocked in india or something like that, heres how you can access them through any firewall(even your office one).

So here are a few Ways To Access Blocked Sites(whichever part of the world you may be in)on your desktop(for android tablets and other devices click here).

1) Redirection using a URL shrinker
Sometimes its just the URL thats been banned. Converting it to another shorter URL with short URL services like bit.ly , MooURL, SnipURL etc.. might work..

2) The Wayback Machine Archives
The Wayback Machine is an online service that periodically keeps a copy of almost all websites on the Internet.. in some cases from the date they first went live! Clicking on the latest copy of what Wayback Machine has should give you access to a slightly older version of the blocked site.

3) Use a Proxy website
these sites let you to take advantage of their proxy or domain to surf other sites as anonymous. The drawbacks are speed.. and in most cases flash content won't work.
Just google the word "proxy" and try any of the resulting sites.

4) Use a translation service like AltaVista BabelFish, Google Translate to view a translated version of the blocked site.(basically the translated version will be coming to you via their site rather than the blocked domain). You can even use the same site to retranslate back to english.

5) If it a news site or blog, then all you need to do is Subscribe To its RSS Feed
and read it with an RSS reader, or have it send the new posts directly to your email.

6) Use Tor - www.torproject.org

or one of the browser bundles they provide.
(i prefer the older OperaTor(uses opera) as it requires no configuration at all)

for more ways to access blocked site, google "ways to access blocked sites" or go here

for android tablets and other devices try orbot

to learn more click here

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

spending the day phone free


forgot to put my phone in my pocket before leaving home today!
..been years since i did that :P
now i get to spend the day phone free..


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

why so tedious adobe?

Adobe's flash player for mobiles has lost the support of the industry, Adobe themselves have decided to abandon development after the next version.

Thankfully for me that doesn't make much of a difference because the flash games i work on get exported as AIR apps (for android atleast) am not too concerned about the other platforms right now.

Flash on the desktop however is here to stay.. for a while anyway. There are fringe groups and various anti flash movements that keep cropping up now and again.. extolling the virtues of HTML5 and how it can replace flash .. but most serious rich media web creatives know that flash is not going to go out without a fight on this platform.

It doesn't help that after all these years Adobe still hasn't simplified the flash plugin update procedure.. infact its actually gotten even more tedious since they switched to the AIR based installer. note the screenshots below:

when an update is available, this is what pops up first:

then when you click "install" you go to this

most people assume that its installing now.. especially since it usually takes a good 3-4minutes on even the fastest machines. whats actually happening is that its downloading and extracting installation files.. after which you get this

unfortunately most people like me arnt going to sit and watch one progress bar crawl by, so we start working in another app or browser or something.. and when we do notice this screen we.. or atleast i absentmindedly almost click the "quit" button, assuming theat the process has finished. of course its not even started yet. You have to tick off that License Agreement to enable the real "install" button.. and then you get this

takes another few minutes to get done.

heres what i propose Adobe, just give us one screen that looks like this

and clicking the "install" button - downloads, extracts and installs all in one go..
and you see this

please, please, please.


off topic note: for those web designers like me who need a WYSIWYG editor to design anything.. and would like to try their hand at HTML5, try Adobe Edge its quite good(and free for now). Its a lot like working with flash when we used to do stuff in AS2 with timeline based events and actions..


am currently using it to build a html5 version of the Flip Site

head on legs color

head on legs color

The Original vector sketch on android tablet.. head was traced from a pic of myself taken with the devices camera.. used Illustrator for colouring


hi rez version here:

head on legs color by ~chaitanyak on deviantART

Friday, November 4, 2011

Abomination WIP

Havn't done an sculpting in a while.. bit rusty :)
Sculpt for the day

(high rez versions below)

abomination WIP1 by ~chaitanyak on deviantART



    abomination_uv
    by Chaitanya Krishnan
    on Sketchfab


done in sculptris.. Work in progress(WIP)..
still have to do the back part


loving the new material library in Sculptris


Abomination WIP1 m2 by ~chaitanyak on deviantART



Abomination WIP1 m3 by ~chaitanyak on deviantART



    Abomination
    by Chaitanya Krishnan
    on Sketchfab


Friday, October 14, 2011

Blender Project: Verticopter-II


Just got permission to share a project i'd worked on in April 2011.
All the work was done with Blender (minimal use of Photoshop and Illustrator for the decals).

Read on for the full story ...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mulan

Mulan's first day with us. Her previous owners had left a few minutes ago. She's 2yrs old, part cocker spaniel and part mystery.. :happy:


She's named after the legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan.. who also has a disney movie based on the legend


"In Chinese, the compound word mulan (木蘭) refers to the "Magnolia liliiflora" (mù by itself means "wood" and lán means "orchid")." -wikipedia

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zorro RIP

Zorro (1997-2011)






"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's."
~Mark Twain
(thanks to Nitya for digging up that wonderful quote)

BumbleBee at Route04 Delhi

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Biplane with Blender and Cycles

Did this yesterday in a few hrs using Blender and the new realtime renderer Cycles.
Having the renderer working while i modelled was amazing.. i could see what i'd just modelled displayed in full GI(global Illumination) within seconds of having modelled it! final render was done with 200passes.

click below for the hirez images

Biplane back by ~chaitanyak on deviantART


for more on Cycles and how to get it, see my last post about Blender http://chaitanyakrishnan.blogspot.in/2011/05/helicopter-gunship-with-blender-and.html you'll find a quick "how to" on setting it up and using it.

and heres a hi-speed partial recording of how i built the model, and what fun it is to watch it rendered in the viewport as you model.


UPDATE 2015
Cycles has been a part of Blender for a while now, just download the regular Blender build and start using it :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Renderfarm.fi

Discovered this grid computing project that i can finally use in my Blender work. It uses the same Boinc platform that i've blogged about before(here).
This one is for distributing your cg render load across the massive worldwide user base


"Our volunteer computing network gives 3D artists access to near limitless free rendering power from anywhere, anytime. We enable people to create higher quality 3D art and encourage them to share it. By volunteering your computer today, you can be a part of the revolution and help make the next Sintel, Shrek or Toy Story!" - renderfarm.fi


to know about the "licensing" of the rendered footage go here - http://www.renderfarm.fi/licensing
in brief:
The output of rendered sessions is covered by copyright. All rights are by default reserved to the author of the session; this includes the right to redistribute and use the output commercially.

However, people wanting to use the rendering power offered by Renderfarm.fi need to choose an output license from the ones offered by the service. We base our licensing on the alternatives of Creative Commons listed below. The selected license will govern how the community and the public may use the output.
- renderfarm.fi




more info at their site - http://www.renderfarm.fi/


NOTE: as of now it only supports Blender. for distributed computing options for other 3d softwares checkout - DrQueue which is another FOSS alternative.. although its not a Grid-computing project.. so you have to have a bunch of machines or a farm of your own.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pocket Legends on GT i5801

Now that i've been running froyo for a few months i've managed to maintain enough of free space on the phone's internal memory. So i've been trying out all the games that have large memory requirements and don't support app2sd.

Heres one such app. Pocket Legends.
Its actually a fully functional 3D MMO that runs on mobiles!

for better screenshots and videos go to the app market page here

so anyway, it requires 26Mb of internal memory and a decent net connection.. actually i havn't tried it on gprs yet, will post an update once i do. have also shot a video of it running on my Samsung Galaxy 3 (GT I5801) running the froyo rom of the European I5800. Will post the video as soon as its done uploading to Youtube, for now heres some stills ...

Playing Portal2

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sunsun HW-303A OUT SIDE FILTER

It arrived! on sunday I'd spoken to my aquarium guy about getting a heavy duty external filter for my Cichlid tank. He told me about the different brands available, and me being on a tight budget..all the time, decided to go with the more economical yet robust option of a Chinese model.

installation pics and details below: ...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wifi Hotspot with Samsung Galaxy3

Was looking for a way to access my phones sd card from the pc without having to use the cumbersome USB cable all the time.. in the process i also figured out how to turn the phone into a wifi hotspot :P
heres the 3 cool apps i found

before i go on, i need to mention that most of these solutions are for rooted androids and will not work if you havn't rooted yet. to know how i rooted mine read this earlier post.

First the cable-free sd card access:
this was important for me coz i occasionally develop stuff that i need to try out on my device.. also helps when i need to transfer large files like videos etc.. having a wifi tether works for most people when using syncing apps.. but those are mostly for media.

(continue below for more ..including pics) ...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

More pics from Goa

Heres some touristy pics from our visits to a few historical spots

like Fort Aguada and lighthouse


(continue below for more pics) ...

Pics from Goa

For Christmas we usually just go to church here in bangalore and then have lunch/dinner with family n friends. This year we made a snap decision to drive down to Goa.. with the dog :)

We stayed in the army campus with my uncle and his family. We all had a blast.
Here are some pics from our time there

Following are the pics from the camera.. whose batteries ran out after 5 minutes :P
Had my cousin Shane handling the camera, coz i had my hands full with Zorro
Zorro loved the water, but he kept coming back out to see what everyone else was upto :P



(click below for the full post and all pics and videos) ...