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One of the coolest videos I’ve seen in a while – this entire video is essentially a walk cycle of an anime girl running through all kinds of art-styles. It’s actually quite hypnotizing. Music by Livetune, directed by Fantasista Utamaro and Kubotabee.

(Thanks, Vivian Lee)

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ascii art (ONETRUEFAN.COM)

Adding ASCII signatures in a site's HTML is a way to leave a personal stamp while also giving a nod to one of the most basic ways to create visuals on a computer. A practitioner himself, developer Victor Widell wanted to take a peek at what kind of text-based art other websites might be carrying. The solution? Widell created a script that would download sites from the Alexa one-million top domains list, intelligently search for ASCII art, and present the results. Widell has put together his favorite examples, and even made the code to perform the task itself available on GitHub. If you'd like to take a look, you can find the hidden gems here.

Continue reading…

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iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad.

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About

Flipping Table emoticon (written as: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) is a text-based emoticon depicting a person flipping a table out of rage. Primarily used by East Asian internet users to express rage, the emoticon became popular among Western internet users following its introduction through internationally popular online games.

Origin

The act of flipping a table out of anger has been typically associated with portrayal of frustrated fathers and husbands in fiction, TV shows as well as manga and anime series. In Japan, the trope is known as Flipping Tables or Return Tea Table (ちゃぶ台返し, Chabudai Gaeshi) which has been illustrated through characters like Ittetsu Hoshi in the 1968 manga/anime series “Star of the Giants” and Kantaro Terauchi from the 1975 sitcom series “Terauchi Kantaro’s Family."

The original instance and its first appearance on the web remains unknown, but the text-based emoticon most likely emerged in the early 1990s, along with the general style now we know as Japanese emoticons.

Spread

While the emoticon has been used by East Asian internet users for awhile, the Western adoption of the expression did not begin until the early 2000s during the expansion of Japanese media franchises and the rise of internationally popular multiplayer online games like Starcraft and World of Warcraft.

Usage in Starcraft

With the release of Starcraft II in 2010, the “table-flipping” emoticon continued to spread among Western players as it became frequently used to express anger or indicate that Ragequitting is imminent.

On Reddit

The emoticon became particularly notable among the English-speaking players in early July 2011, when several major video-streaming services for the popular e-Sport experienced downtime due to the waves of heavy distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Eventually, a Starcraft player and Reddit user johnelwaysteeth[1] channeled his frustration by posting the emoticon in the comments thread, which was met by positive reaction and upvotes on the link-sharing community. It also led to a number of duplicate posts containing the emoticon on Reddit.

Variations

There are several known variations stemming from the original emoticon:

  • (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ ┻━┻
  • ┬──┬ ¯\_(ツ)
  • ┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻
  • ┻━┻ ︵ ¯\(ツ)/¯ ︵ ┻━┻
  • ┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ)

*

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

Image Macros

The “table-flipping” action can be also conveyed in the format of photographs and cartoons:


IRL Organized Table Flipping

On November 11th, 2011, the Society of Software Engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology organized a real life table-flipping event[3] for students to “relieve stress” from finals week. They advertised the event on the RIT subreddit[4], stating that an empty table would be free to flip, one place setting would cost $1, and two place settings would cost $2.

Google insights

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Emoticons

[2] Reddit – Starcraft -(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

[3]RIT Events Calendar – SSE Flips Tables

[4] Reddit – (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Next to the Tiger Statue Friday (11/11/11)

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Working with text in Flash can be a painstaking procedure, especially if you just want to quickly draw and animate some simple characters on screen using ActionScript. It usually takes many lines of codes to setup and adjust the appearance and alignment of text fields and you need to take care of other little annoying details like the whole font embedding procedure.

Lately I was working on a new interactive testbed for the motor physics engine where I’m solely using the new flash player 10 vector drawing API, but I needed to add some text. I was curious about how hard it would be to add text rendering capabilities to the drawing API and after some investigation I found an easy way using an old copy of Fontographer to extract the necessary data from a true type font file (much easier than trying to parse a .ttf file directly):

  1. Export the font data as an EPS postscript file.
  2. Write a parser to transform each glyph into a bunch of lineTo, moveTo and curveTo commands.
  3. Export and parse the spacing and kerning table (proportional fonts only).
  4. Write a method for drawing cubic bézier curves.

Following these steps I ended up with a simple text rendering engine. Here my result:

Monospace/Proportional font rendering (Consolas/Arial)

As you see small font sizes won’t be that sharp and readable as a TextField set to “Anti-alias for readability” but on the other hand the results are very smooth and perfect for animation. Placing and aligning text blocks is also much easier since it’s straightforward to compute bounding boxes for glyphs and text blocks.

So now drawing a text is a matter of writing:

...
graphics.beginFill(0, 1);
new Arial(10.0).print("Hello World", 100, 100);
graphics.endFill();
...

This will draw “Hello World” at x,y=100,100 and a font size of 10 points. KISS!
An exciting thing is that the FP10 drawing API is actually very fast; the following demo scrolls all ASCII characters back and forth. Press space to toggle between regular text field and vector rendering. In the first case a TextField object is created once and then moved by adjusting its position, whereas in the second case the whole text is redrawn in every frame at a new position:

TextField vs. Graphics

If (hopefully) more people besides me find this useful I would invest some extra time to polish the code and publish it as open source. It made my coding life simpler :-)

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