Thursday, October 12, 2006

Like shooting fish in a barell

One of my projects at work is to learn how to color terrain in the presence of time-varying lighting conditions. This includes things like lighting effects caused by the weather and the time-of-day. The current approach, which is working great until I have more time to spend on this, is to aim a camera out my office window and record images of the mountains during the day. After an image is recorded, a program visits several weather stations on the web and records the weather. Since the images record objects with known colors (like the orange brick building in the lower right corner) we can take the difference between the actual color and the recorded color and compute a function which describes the effect of light under those conditions.

And so this image was captured last night at around 6:45 pm. It is one of our better images and the goal is to lift the lighting function from this image and use it to relight synthetic terrain images as if it were 6:45 pm.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My first collision on Provo River Parkway

It's the 11th of the month, must be time for a blog post...

I was riding the Provo River Parkway in Provo Canyon this afternoon on my sweet road bike (my next road bike will be a sweet, sweet road bike I hope) when I hit a pedestrian for the first time. There was a group of small boys playing in the woods off the trail and their parents were on the other side of the trail walking away while calling to their sons/friends. Being moderately observant, I quickly surmised that young boys were about to run across the trail in front of me without looking. Which they did. No problem, I was going way slow we didn't even come close.

The problem was that a third boy, deeper in the trees whom I did not see, also came out onto the trail. And that would have been ok if he had been facing forward while he was walking down the trail. Which he wasn't. I weaved a couple times trying to guess where he was going to go. I guessed wrong and hit him at a very slow speed. Well, actually, it was more like he walked into me just as I came to a stop. Fortunately, I de-clipped my pedal just in time to avoid a turtle. Nobody got hurt, he barely came to a stop and all was well.

What does the careful cyclist learn from this experience? Well, I learned three things. First, be very careful when small children are present on the trail. Very very careful. Excessively careful. Second, teach my small children to be careful when walking on the Provo River Parkway Trail. Third, ride somewhere else. The parkway trail is a pedestrian path. It's sad but true. I was talking to one of my neighbors about it tonight and he said he doesn't even ride the parkway trail anymore and suggested a nice 18 mile loop near our houses. Now that's a good neighbor and he's even in my LDS Stake Presidency. That's enough for me, Church leaders must be inspired after all ;).