Sculpting in VR

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My wife sells 3D printed sterling silver jewelry (Nün&Noot). She currently uses a combination of clay and digital sculpting tools to design her very organic pieces.

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We recently had the opportunity to try sculpting on VR, using the Vive and Kodon, which was the only VR sculpting app I could find. Kodon has a lot of promise, but it’s very early stage and lacks some crucial features. I really hope they keep working on it and it matures into a productive tool. Anyway, it was seriously fun.

Here is a video of my wife in action.

 

 

 

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How to digitally produce a long exposure picture without a tripod or ND filters

Lets say you hiking in the Canadian wilderness and come across a fantastic waterfall. Of course you don’t have a tripod with you because they are big, heavy and generally a drag. Long exposure shots of waterfalls are fantastic, while regular shots are mostly boring. What to do? Here is the solution.

Step 1 – Shooting

Set your camera to manual exposure time, aperture and white balance. Select a shooting mode that will allow you to take many sequential pictures. Frame your shot, and take 20 to 30 pictures. The more the better, but no need to go crazy. You can do this freehand. No need for a tripod, a big rock or anything else. Here are six sample pictures, you’ll need more.

 

Step 2 – Layering

Fire up Photoshop, and load all the pictures into a single image with lots of layers. You can do this manually, or using the File > Scripts > Load files into a Stack option.

Select all the layers by clicking on them, or Select > Select all layers, or Ctrl-Alt-A

Go to Edit > Auto Align Layers and Choose Auto as the alignment mode.

Step 3 – Stacking

Make sure all the layers are still selected. Go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object

Now do Layer > Smart Objects > Stack Mode > Mean and you’ll get something like this:

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You can also experiment with different Stack Modes for different (and weird) results (Median also works well).

That’s it! This also works for simulating very long night exposures and star trails, and much more. Have fun.

 

Building a laser engraver, Part 4

I added two cooling fans, and properly focused the laser unit. The major remaining tasks are building an enclosure and figuring out a software tool chain. I suspect the latter will be the hardest part of this project.

Here is a laser cutting torture test, full power at 1000 mm/s. Feel free to jump to the end of the video to preserve your life force.

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