Vezzosa

Accepted by UIUC

Posted in Uncategorized by Uni on March 31, 2012

Finally. Going to study engineering in the US. 

 

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Il Finale di Nodame’s Cantabile, Episode I

Posted in Uncategorized by Uni on July 7, 2010

C’mon, is this a Japanese product? I am perfectly sure the answer to the preceding question is definitely positive, but the shabbiness of this blu-ray really puzzles me.

This is the blu-ray bought in BigCamera and sent to me from my little sister yesterday. I’ve been waiting for months because of my laziness and I never try hard to keep myself well informed, I missed the first and the second episodes in cinema. Blu-ray is the first alternative appeared in my mind. When I was looking up the product information and comparing the different versions of this Nodame’s finale on Amazon, I found things were weird: there are three versions: DVD, DVD with specials, and then the blu-ray. So where’s the option blu-ray with specials? Since I am not really an enthusiast of Japanese specials, but am thinking it’s the resolutions that matters, I order her to get the blu-ray version.

Finally I got it. I unwrapped it immediately. When I opened its glossy blue case, you know what, there’s not even a booklet inside. This is normal most of the time, however, most of the time, I am able to discover lots of special features inside the blu-ray discs, director’s talks, trailers, or the makings of the films, for instance, but there seems no feature of this kind inside this blu-ray disc. It’s still acceptable to me but you will undoubtedly consider this absolutely abnormal after you have seen how do Japanese wrap their product ordinarily.

Adobe Photoshop CS5

Posted in Miscellaneous by Uni on May 10, 2010

Just noticed the trial version is already available for a little while, I downloaded and installed the trial version of Photoshop CS5 extended. According to Wikipedia, Photoshop CS5 is released on 30th April. Here’s I list several changes I noticed or new features I tried.

Launching Screen

The launching screen was changed into rhombuses.

Icons are also changed. After opening and exiting the application for several times, I found indeed CS5 launches slightly faster.

New Brushes

Brushes are enhanced: new presets of higher dynamical effects (See the screenshot below, for example. I was using a mouse not a wacom tablet, but the brush size of the track is not fixed) and there seems to be higher compatibilities to tablets.

Content-Aware Fill

There’s a tool called Content-Aware Fill featured in CS5, I tried to cut off part of the picture below, and then used this Content-Aware Fill. Here’s the original picture:

I cut an rectangle of it:

Content-Aware Filled:

Pretty nice, isn’t it? It’s still kind of weird especially comparing to the original file. But this tool might be very useful when quantity is preferred.

Transform Controls

All the versions I used, through Photoshop 7 to Photoshop CS4, you have to check the “Transform control” after selecting the Move Tool, then click the one of the squares on the edge of the object you want to transform by entering a “Editing Mode”. After transforming, on the other hand, you have to click a check button to make the transform applied and exit this “Editing Mode”. This troubles lots of friends of mine when learning to use Photoshop. In CS5, however, you don’t have to click the squares anymore, but you still have to exit the editing mode.

64-bit

This is the second version of 64-bit Photoshop. I installed it on my desktop.

Okay, so now I have 64-bit version CS5 on my destop:

And I timed the time it took for my computer to open this 0.8-GB file.

My result is weird: both 32-bit and 64-bit CS5 yield about 30 sec.. Even though I released more physical memory to Photoshop, there seems no noticeable differences. Perhaps that’s because of my computer specifications, being not powerful enough to make me see the differences. I am using Q8300 with 4.00 GB RAM.

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Aura in Black Lingerie

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on May 9, 2010

Haven’t put the default lingerie from Dollmore on Aura for a long time since her arrival, I washed it with liquid detergent and made it dry, then put the lingerie on. After failing to create a new customized optimization profile in my Nikon D40X, I used PO(portrait) since then. I set white balance to auto because I use desk lamp of fluorescent white light, but the outcome is kind of greenish, and little under exposed. I tried to fix the former by moving the Tint switch making it redder, and latter by boosting the exposure panel and the brightness.

It seems that it’s more easier to fix under exposed photos than over exposed photos. Besides, I found another way to reduce the lights on my black fabrics for the background other than boosting the Black switch in Photoshop RAW: under exposure the photo, then boost the exposure in Photoshop RAW or any other equivalent software after importing.

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New Apple and new wig

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on May 8, 2010

New Apple,

I went to a local mall and saw this 3D jigsaw puzzle of apple. I took one and got it finished. This apple comprises 44 pieces. Were it not for the instructions, I am not able to finish it.

And then here’s the new wig for Aura,

This is the seventh wig for my Aura. Auburn curls looks so great.

So here’s the modified version of the queen’s apple from the preceding post.

There are lots of dust halos.

Box of my Timberland shoes.

And ‘Thus spoke Zarathustra’ by Friedrich Nietzsche,

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Aura Photoshoots 5

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on April 17, 2010

I read an hour and a half, swam 1.5 km and then started to take these photos this morning. I want to try smaller apertures so I use the main lamps of my room, my monitor and a desk lamp as light source, white acrylic sheet as reflecting aid. After photographing my Aura many times, I have not get used to her height yet; her legs are visually appealing but stretch out of the scene so often and so easily. Here’s my first satisfactory result today. The white acrylic sheet reflected my messy desk:

I am not fully satisfied with my second result. I tried to bring my stuffed Pokemon as much as possible this time but I forgot my Steiffs. Besides, the overall color tone are not that pleasing though I have tried to switch the bars of options on lots of panels.

Finally, here’s the last. I am totally exhausted after taking this one. I was trying to focus the words on the book as many as possible, and keeping Aura centered at the same time. It shouldn’t be difficult but it took me more than half an hour to focus manually. Another trouble I met today is the lens I was using, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, slides. Every time after I set my camera downward, the lens lengthens itself owing to the gravity. I used tapes to fix this. I am totally exhausted after taking this one; but this photo is really worthy of my time, I really love this final result. But Mom says that Aura looks ill-posed, with her neck over-twisted, her waist and right limb uncomfortably-bended.

Add 2. This is taken in front of a Byōbu (屏風) as a background, with main light sources  located on the opposite side of the  Byōbu. Yellows almost utterly reduced (I found I forget to reset my white balance too late), eyes reflections slightly boosted.

Why there are so many options when importing Raws! I desaturated yellows,  lowered orange saturation, lightened the oranges, boosted clarity to the max,  raised noise reductions, finally sharpened and auto-leveled after the import screen, yielded this result:

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Aura Photoshoots 4

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on April 12, 2010

Photoshoots no. 4 and I got 4 photos to upload. The first one is taken about a week ago. I placed my large acrylic sheet on the ground and put my Aura lean on it. I applied the Gaussian blur filter in Photoshop to the tiles and the border of acrylic sheet. However, I found there’s a weird sharp rhombus-shaped edges inside the sheet in the photo; but the lasso I used is feathered, which cannot produce edges like this. So, what is it?

Then the following three are taken today. This is the fourth wig for my Aura (there are many 4s in this post). The fringe was so long and kind of messy hence I cut it down. I also used the fabrics I bought last week. It’s dimmer, less glossy. I don’t have to boost the blacks in Raw so much like I did last time. It seems much more colors are conserved.

I dress her with the black top and panty from Dollmore. I washed this black set twice last week. It was truly over dyed a little bit and made the water scarcely black the first time I washed them. This got on my nerves and that’s the reason why I washed them for the second time. I used vinegar, shower gel and then liquid detergen.

Here’s my favorite:

Photoshoots number four and I got four photos to upload. The first one is taken about a week ago. I placed my large acrylic sheet on the ground and put my Aura lean on it. I applied the Gaussian blur filter in Photoshop to the tiles and the border of acrylic sheet. However, I found there’s a weird sharp rhombus shaped edges inside the sheet in the photo; but I the lasso I used is feathered, which cannot produce edges like this.

Then the following three are taken today. This is the fourth wig for my Aura (there are many four in this post). The fringe was so long and kind of messy hence I cut it down. I also used the fabrics I bought last week. It’s dimmer, less glossy. I don’t have to boost the blacks in Raw so much like I did last time. It seems much more colors are conserved.

I dress her with the black top and panty from Dollmore. I washed this black set twice last week. It was truly over dyed a little bit and made the water scarcely black the first time I washed them. This got on my nerves and that’s the reason why I washed them for the second time. I used vinegar, shower gel and then liquid detergen

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Patternmaking I: Upper Body

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on April 10, 2010

Measures of Aura (Ipsae Monahan, Dollmore): B: 26.4 cm (Official: 26.5 cm) W: 19.0 cm (18.0 cm) H: 28.3 cm (28.5 cm)

今天把之前畫到一半的上身原型Pattern = 型紙(かたがみ) 畫完了,也套在娃Aura身上試了幾次。腰部摺子的大小都是憑感覺亂剪,因為原本就沒有預期結果會多合身的、打定要從trial and error修改了。每修一次就有多影印備份一份型紙,最後結果好像還算合身,可是有些部分就是稍微鼓鼓的,我也不知道要修哪裡才好。下圖左邊是第一版,右邊是第二版。

其它還有剪領口也剪地很豪邁,真虧我原本還在那邊斤斤計較那零點幾公厘,結果最後剪刀一剪下去都剪掉了。下面是完成品圖。

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Aura Photoshoots 3

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on April 2, 2010

Raw format gives me wonder. After reading the latest issue of Digital Camera, I tried to take photos in RAW format this time. Unlike ordinary jpegs, I need software like Photoshop to open it. And the moment the RAW file is input into the stage, a large panel full of switch bars pops up. It is said that optimizing one’s photos through these panels is less destructive to the input photo than through normal image editing functions. There are lots of functions on RAW panels seeming really useful, “black”, for example. By dragging this “black” switch bar, this time, I reduced most reflections on my glossy background fabric.

The other thing I tried today is acrylic sheets. I got two large acrylic sheets today, a black one and a white one. The dimensions of both of these two sheets are 100 centimeters by 60 centimeters. It took me such efforts to move them home. However, 100 cm by 60 cm seems not large enough for my Aura for she is relatively tall. Her legs may stretch out of the acrylic sheet easily.

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Aura Photoshoots 2

Posted in Ball Joint Doll by Uni on March 31, 2010

It took me almost a hour to take these two photos. Being surprised by the difference the time of exposure gave me last time, today I decide to try under the same condition: dimmed room with monitors as the only light sources, relatively long exposure time, and intermediate aperture. I used my desktop PC and my laptop as light sources this time. I also displayed blank white photos on both of them to maximize their screen brightness. By the way, this might be my first time using manual focusing in my life.

I am really satisfied with these two photos; this is my first time I capture the glistens of her eyes successfully.

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