Alone Together

I like when people make weird things like this, since I, myself, am a weird thing. 😏

I’ve been coming across more and more articles that talk about taking care of your brain during this stressful phase of “locking ourselves away” but this is the first animation that I’ve come across – and it’s made in a way that speaks to me probably more than it would most folks. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Now, whether or not I’ll follow any of its advice, that’s another story. (Although, I gotta do something… the past couple days have been particularly bleh.)

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. 🤓 I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. 😅 I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. 🤷🏻‍♂️

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. 😒 But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. 🤔😐 Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… 🤷🏻‍♂️🙂

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. 🙄😏 Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. 😃 Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. 🤓👨🏻‍⚕️

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. 😊 Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. 😅

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. 🤗 I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. 🤷🏻‍♂️😕 Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. 😒

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. 😋

Why Do I Do These?

I think the sequence that I came up with was too long, because my laptop chokes and pukes every time I try to render this animation in 4k UHD resolution. And even at what should be a decent looking 1080p resolution, for some reason it still looks glitchy as shit. But if you wanna bounce around locations in Columbus, Ohio for over ten minutes… here ya go. (I’m probably done with this app for a while…)

Click the bottom right corner box for full screen and set to 1080 HD for best experience…

Wan

Before I got sick I had been playing around with the latest version of Google Earth Pro desktop, and had a camera path / animation plotted out… so even though I was pretty useless, my laptop spent that same time rendering out this animation. A few glitches here and there, and I didn’t mean the royalty-free music to be so loud and boring… but this actually looks really good on a 4K television. I signed up for access to Google Earth Studio, which will apparently have much better animation and camera options, so hopefully they’ll let me in and I can make a similar-but-better version of this test run.

Wanimation

Playing around with Google Earth again, the desktop application, trying to make a visually interesting animation using Atlantic City, NJ as my source material. This file is rendered at 720p, 60fps, using OpenGL rather than DirectX… I also used the experimental atmosphere projection, although I can’t remember how much interpolation or anti-aliasing I used. I was continually experimenting with settings and resolutions, because I’ve still been unable to get a 1080p/60fps render to complete without glitches.

I didn’t really do much. I just selected the camera angles, altitudes, shot composure… the software generates the flight path between each one. However, depending on how the user lines up each static shot, it will definitely have an affect on the transition between the prior one and the one that follows.

It looks pretty good on the laptop, but for some reason when I use the YouTube app on my XBOX One it looks so much better on the TV. But yeah, I was just feeling a bit nostalgic for the place again, which eventually prompted me to start dicking around to come up with the resulting animation.