I’m So Behind

I’ve been playing around with some iPhone apps that use photogrammetry to create 3D models of whatever random crap you point it at, and I’ve definitely been having a good time playing around with it and seeing what kind of creations I end up with…

And then I run into this in my YouTube “suggested videos” section. ๐Ÿ˜…

Heh… I am so behind when it comes to all of the latest and greatest VFX that are possible if you have a beefy computer. But, I’m also smart enough to know that what this d00d is doing is way beyond my capability. I mean, sure, if I spent hours and hours learning the software I’d be able to start doing the most basic crap… but yeah… for now anyway, I’mma go ahead and let this skill set pass me by. ๐Ÿ˜

Call me when my phone can just “do this” for me.

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. ๐Ÿค“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. ๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ 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… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

(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. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ 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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜Š 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. ๐Ÿ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. ๐Ÿค— 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• 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. ๐Ÿ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Meh…

I think technically it was still a full moon last night, but I couldn’t muster the oomph or the motivation to get back out to try and perfect my exposure, focus, zoom, etc. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So, instead, I decided to stick the camcorder out back and let it run in time-lapse mode until the battery ran out. ๐Ÿค” I was just curious how it holds up against the iPhone 7 Plus, and other than having a tighter field of view, it actually looks pretty darn good. Oh, and while the iPhone can do 4k time-lapse, the camcorder “only” does 1080p. But yeah, it was just kind of a half-assed attempt at capturing some clouds yesterday… and I think it ran for about 5 hours or so.

Sped up and thrown onto YouTube for your viewing pleasure… ๐Ÿ˜

I really need to go out and find somewhere with a better (or at least wider) view into the distance, where I can “plant” this camcorder for an afternoon and then go back to (hopefully) pick it up and see what I got.ย ๐Ÿคจ

Display.Land Tests

I fell asleep around 7p last night, woke up a few times during the night, but didn’t truly wake up until 7a. Twelve hours of sleep… finally. Between that and the nice day, I decided to grab my phone and get to work making some crude 3D models (w/improving results) with this photogrammetry app called Display.Land

(Sorry about the vertical video… it’s the only way it’ll spit ’em out. I suggest going full screen.)

It’s easy to collect the images that are used to build the models, as it works on video rather than photos… I mean, it uses still images from that video, but it’s all done in the cloud so you don’t need to leave your phone open to do all of the calculations. Once the render is done, you do have to go and crop each one in 3D space and create a camera path “trailer” for app users to see. (If you make your scans public.)

If someone sees your preview and thinks it looks interesting, they can click on it and be presented with the actual 3D model that they can pan, scan, zoom, etc at their own whim. I dunno, another totally not-useful thing that I’m trying to get better at. It has been a nice little distraction throughout the day though.

Just Like New

I think I can break self-isolation for this, and people (if they knew) wouldn’t scold me too much. ๐Ÿค”

I’ve had an iPhone 7 Plus for several years now, and she’s finally starting to show her age, battery-wise. And with the new iPhone 9s or SE2s coming out soon, I don’t really want to be tempted by a brand new (albeit “budget”) iPhone when I’ve got one that works just fine for almost everything that I might need it for. ๐Ÿคจ So getting a new battery for my current phone is the best way to squash all of that.

Another thing that’s getting close to needing a new battery is the car. Even though it hasn’t been cold this winter, it’s still turning over with a little more struggle than I’d like. Not struggle struggle, but basically you can tell it’s not new anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s about four years old now, original factory battery, so I don’t know if this is an “expected” time-frame where it would be due or not… but I’ll have the battery d00d test it first and see what he says as well. (Although common and business sense may guide his opinion in an obvious direction. ๐Ÿ˜)

The battery store where I picked up a couple of scooter batteries a few months back… really nice guy running the shop, and he was working on a phone as I was checking out and didn’t seem nervous about it. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So I could get the phone taken care of, the car taken care of, and believe it or not – they even offer windshield wiper blades… which is another thing that I haven’t changed since getting this car years ago. ๐Ÿ˜

Everything looks competitively priced, and all of it has free installation… cuz lord knows I can’t even come close to chucking car batteries around on my own, and wiper blades can be a surprising pain in the ass if you don’t pay attention how you take the old ones off… heh… at least for me. ๐Ÿค“ So anyway, I might end up stopping by that store whenever I have to go out anyway to pick up my meds, so hopefully I’ll also be able to get some of these little concerns taken care of while I’m at it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Total human contact = 1 person. ๐Ÿ˜ท

Depth Perception

I’m not feeling too great, so I’m gonna keep this post short. Today was the day that Jim and his brother were going to the county fair, and he also wanted to drop off the Phil Collins concert ticket that he got me – so I just saved him the extra driving and time and met them at the fair. I wasn’t much fun for the Sweet Corn Festival, and I’m not sure I was a whole lot more fun today, but I did make an appearance. Plus I wanted to get some longer “real-world” footage with the 360 camera and take some “portrait mode” iPhone shots to see what Facebook’s new “3D” algorithm could do with them.

(Wow… vertical video shows up bigger than I expected. Click to make it “screen sized” at bottom of vid.)

It’s a neat little trick that they’ve come up with… something that I wish the phone could do natively… but it’s also something that once everyone and their brother learns how to do it, the motion sickness that it may cause will probably be enough that the peanut gallery starts demanding a button to disable this nerdy new trick entirely. But I’m feeling a little too “off” to fuss with that 360 video right now… not sure when I’ll get around to it, but don’t be surprised if it sits on the back burner for a while.

That’s Just The Way It Is

It looks like I can just count on one week out of every month being horrible thanks to the runaround I get regarding my medication. ๐Ÿ˜’ A full one-quarter of my current existence on this planet, already set aside for fuckery and feeling physically and mentally miserable. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ So, starting this month, I’m gonna have to start rationing – so that way when there are extended delays in getting stuff approved, I won’t be going completely without and feeling the affect of that accordingly.

I don’t even have the energy to get into it. ๐Ÿ˜” I’m just hoping that it doesn’t mean that I lost my court hearing weeks ago. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I still haven’t gotten any paperwork on it, but I’m guessing the magistrate is probably close to making a ruling if he hasn’t already. But yeah, when I’m already having a hard time functioning like a human, knowing that I’ll lose a week each month like this certainly doesn’t help matters.

But anyway… in an attempt to not think about that for a while tonight, I put my phone on airplane mode and set up a short time-lapse shot. I think the elapsed time was actually about two hours, but it plays out in a minute or so. I used an ISO of about 1200, an exposure of 1/3 of a second, with digital light trail enhancement of 3 seconds. ๐Ÿค“ I’m actually fairly pleased with the result, although I’ve already thought of what adjustments I need to make next time so there’s less grain, brighter stars, and longer light trails.

So yeah… this is just another thing I have to adjust for, the same way that I need to adjust the amount of shit that I do when I’m feeling good – since I know that too much moving around will screw me up. ๐Ÿ˜ Meh… it’s almost too hard to explain how complicated it actually is – the stuff that I can actually somewhat control – so when stuff that I can’t control gets added on top of it… yeah, things start to get bad bad. I’ll figure it out. Eventually. But hey, that video is kinda neat, no? ๐Ÿ™‚

(I might try to capture the movement of just the stars next time we have a new moon.)