| Computer Graphics, Photography, Video Games, Semantic Web, Mac… among other things | Page 2

'CG Tricks and Treats' section is open

Since I took on the role of Moderator of the Vue Forum at Renderosity about a year ago, I have come to accumulate a small collection of tips, resources and tutorials either as answers to questions on the forum, requests for articles or just personal discoveries.

Since I am in the middle of adding more flexibility to, this is a good occasion to organize these notes into something more coherent.

I hope you will find it eventually helpful…

05. May 2005 by laurent
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Spring cleaning

 The amount of spam left in the logs of this site is reaching unmanageable levels. I already had to shut down comments in both galleries and blogs, now I find that several bandwith leeches simply link from my graphics out of sheer laziness and that I registered 5000 spam related pings in my Trackbacks for the past 2 weeks only.

Time to do some cleaning.

I upgraded Movable Type to version 3.16 and will spend  the next few days looking into strategies to claim back both my site and my bandwith from that plague.

While I am in the middle of changes, I started moving most of my pages from Template based Static Dreamweaver pages to dynamic pages using Moveable Type as a base and PHP/Coldfusion for automation.

First round of updates was a redesign of the Gallery section.

02. May 2005 by laurent
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New interview online

Forum Image-in-air3D, a french community of 3D graphists, made me the honor to request an online interview.
Thanks Vincent for the great editing job !

24. March 2005 by laurent
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Web Spam

A recent increase in the amount of web based Spam is forcing me to shut down comments areas in the gallery and blog section of my site. The blog comments are now restricted to registered users only. Gallery comments are simply disabled for now… until I figure out a way to allow registered users as well.

Ads are already a cancer to every published medium. Spam is the nastiest form of this cancer. Unfortunately, as long as nobody’s copyrights are threatened, chances to see a real criminalization of this practice will remain remote. Kids sharing music are a much easier target than people paid to write automated junk mail generators.

23. November 2004 by laurent
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Website cleanup

This website is almost a year old. After a year of playing with the idea of a blog, I have to recognize I do not have the rythm or the mindset to keep up with a day to day account of what I feel, think or dislike. That kind of blog just won’t be happening.
What I can do however, is to focus on a subject that does interest (images, photos, graphism) me and keep updating this log as I come across anything interesting.
This is the reason behind the change of colors and the change of name for this log – Pictosynthesis. All of the idea for a name I could think of where already used by a website somewhere, somehow, except this one.
I know it is not really a word, but it does reflect my main interest and the subject of this site – pictures, the way they are created, their effect on who is looking at them.

01. September 2004 by laurent
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Upgrade to MT 3.0D

Welll… the Zipped file for MT 3.0 Developer edition has been sitting on my desktop for a few weeks now. A recent wave of spam comments convinced me to make the jump.
So here it is… freshly installed. So far, no error to report. I love the more professional look of the admin interface. Very sleek !
Now I just have to add my little personal customization to allow HTML editing with fckEditor and I will be all set !

29. July 2004 by laurent
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The Necronomicon Project is back

It took 6 years and a few reminders from people who were looking for these old pages. I am glad to announce that I finally revived my Necronomicon Project pages.

A little history for those who would not know what the Necronomicon Project was.

About 10 years ago (already ?!), I found myself in the lucky position of being the webmaster of my graduate school (EERIE, in Nimes, France). It was the beginning of the web, an ancient time where HTML editors were called VI and EMACS, and where Spyware were just gadgets out of a Bond movie.

The website of the school gave me the opportunity to build a few personal sites which had their time of popularity : an encyclopedia about the X-Files (Aux Frontieres d’URL), a guide to cyber culture (Net Tribes), a list of links about horror writer H.P.Lovecraft (De Web Mysteriis), an altar dedicated to his trademark creature Cthulhu (The Cthulhu Gallery) and finally, The Necronomicon Project.

The Necronomicon Project is an attempt at compiling different texts related to the occult book created by H.P.Lovecraft as one of the backbones to his Mythos, and put them together in some re-creation of what the book might have looked like. It is of course a very modest creation, very far from the actual horror described by the author.

One of the interesting aspects of this project was the endless source of amazement caused by the blurred lines between the book and reality. People actually thought this was the real text. Others warned me about the evil of this enterprise. I even received condescending emails telling me that the book does not exist and that I was misleading myself. We will see how things happen almost 10 years later :)

Most of these pages died when I left the school in 1998 … I mean, they disappeared from the web but they remained in personal archives. The Necronomicon Project is the first one I am attemptin gto revive. Time permiting, I will give the other sites their chance to return to the web.

22. July 2004 by laurent
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eerie mood

I�m afraid I won�t have much to show on these pages for a while.

Too much work during the week, too many issues to keep track of and not much time in the evening to do anything else than chat around a cup of coffee and blow some steam off in the tropical battlefield of Far Cry. This is the longest �low� phase I had to go through for a long time.

Usually, creativity cycles go up and down every other month. High phases are spent cranking one image after the other, until I run out of steam. Low phases are usually the occasion to catch up on video games I set aside for rainy days, and work on the website if I have time. I have enough games to keep on like this for a while, although I can already feel the itch of creating new 3D scenes.

Maybe it is the influence of spending some time every night on keeping an eye on the Vue forum at Renderosity… although things have been running smoothly over there for a while. Hopefully, being a moderator won�t turn out to be such a distraction I can�t find the time to work on more images.

In the meantime, working on the EERIE alumni website has been an interesting experience. First exposure to PHP and MS SQL, blended together with a touch of Cold Fusion. The development of that site is going smoothly so far. I may even go on reviving some of my old pages soon. The next site in line will be the Cthulhu gallery.

Working on the EERIE website showed me how disconnected from my friends in France I have become. It is a great occasion to reconnect however. I didn�t realise how much I missed that until I started catching up with what everybody has been doing for the past few years. I feel like I just came out of a long period of blur once again. Seeing what everybody I used to know have become makes me appreciate even more what I have now. Things are not so bad after all.

09. May 2004 by laurent
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Official opening of the @-EERIE website

@-EERIE, the website of alumni from the School for Research and Study in Electronic and Computer Science of Nimes, is finally officially open for business.

I don’t expect a flood of visits however. The goal of the site is to provide a place on the web to meet, reconnect and celebrate what our school used to be for the 10 years of its existence. There is still a site called EERIE in Nimes, but the academic and research program has changed since the takeover from another nearby school called EMA.

The website is currently made of two pieces – a PHP forum based on PHPBB, and a database of alumni based on Cold Fusion. Both sides have their own database for now. Future improvements will be about merging the two databases and turning the two pieces into a single site.

02. May 2004 by laurent
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EERIE site

Coincidences are really odd sometimes….

After months of silence, I received within a couple of days, news from three different people going back to the time I was in college in Nimes.

That was a good reminder that my plans to revive some of my past websites have not gone very far. So here it is, after a week-end and a couple of evenings of work, the website of the alumni of the EERIE school is about to open.

This site provides a forum to alumni to reconnect and share experiences, a directory of graduates and some old pages about Nimes and the school itself. It was a shock to find out that since the school has been transformed by a take-over from a nearby institution, there is nothing left on the web, of what used to be our school.

Hopefully, we will change that in time…

Quelques mots en francais pour les visiteurs francophones eventuels : le site des anciens de l’EERIE, Nimes, est enfin disponible. Vous y trouverez un forum de discussion pour reprendre contact avec d’anciennes connaissances, un annuaire electronique que vous pourrez mettre a jour, et quelques pages nostalgiques sur ce que fut l’Ecole pour les Etudes et la Recherche en Informatique et Electronique de Nimes.

Si vous etes un ancien… rendez nous visite !

27. April 2004 by laurent
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