Three Ghost Sabers

•January 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Well, I had stabled my newly-tamed Ghost Saber so I could try taming a wolf, but I happened to pass by the Ruins of Mathystra and decided to do a little farming since the mobs there drop clams and I needed a Small Lustrous Pearl.

After getting about 12 clams to drop (and my pearl) I thought it would be fun to try for the Glowing Cat Figurine.  Since I had already made the rounds before, it was easier to spot the Cat Figurines.  Actually, now that I knew what to look for Cat Figurines seemed to be everywhere!

The second figurine I opened had a Ghost Saber.  Since I didn’t have my pet with me, I decided to tame it instead of trying for the Glowing Cat Figurine – now I have Ghost Saber “twins”, except of course, you can’t have two pets out at the same time.

I opened up a few more figurines and got two more Ghost Sabers but these didn’t drop the Glowing Cat Figurine.

I noticed another Hunter running around the area probably looking for Ghost Sabers – hope they got one because it seemed to be a lucky time to find them!

Taming the Ghost Saber

•January 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If you’ve never played World of Warcraft, this won’t mean much to you but since it relates to ghosts I thought it deserved a mention.

I’ve only been play WoW for a few weeks as a Hunter and one of the “perks” of the class is the ability to tame pets.  I was looking for an interesting pet at the Petopia site and found the unusual “Ghost Saber” cat.

Ghost Sabers are spawned from the little cat statues scattered around the Ruins of Mathystra in northern area of Darkshore.  The statues are a little difficult to find, and usually drop a cat statue.  If you’re lucky, one will spawn a Ghost Saber you can tame.

The first time I went hunting for a Ghost Saber all I got were the statues (about 6).  I also had a problem keeping the mobs away as their respawn rate is fairly fast, and of course you can’t take your current pet along if you want to tame a new pet.

So the second time I tried, I stabled my current cat and recruited a Warrior to come along to keep the mobs away. I just followed the advice from other sites on taming the Ghost Saber – find a cat statue, set a Freeze Trap, open the statue, rinse and repeat.

Finding a Cat Statue

Finding a Cat Statue

We only managed to find two statues, but I got lucky and the second statue spawned the Ghost Saber.  I had set the Freeze Trap and the Ghost Saber spawned in my trap so I was able to tame it with no problems.

Ghost Saber Tamed

Ghost Saber Tamed

After it was tamed, it did die for no reason (this was mentioned on other sites) but using Revive Pet brings it right back – just make sure you have some pet food along!

What is so special about the Ghost Saber?  It has the same abilities as any other Cat class pet, but it is always semi-transparent (similar to Stealth mode) and a definite “must-have” if you enjoy pets that are unusual and unique!

Ghost Saber

Ghost Saber

Anaglyph Gallery Page

•August 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve added an Anaglyph Gallery page that will contain examples of anaglyphs created with a variety different methods:

  • Photographs only
  • 3D construction/stereo photograph combination
  • 3D construction/2D photograph combination
  • 3D construction/2D photo conversion to 3D
  • 2D photos and drawings converted to 3D

All images require red/cyan glasses with the red lens over the left eye.

The 3D constructions were made in Lightwave 3D and rendered using the stereo camera option.

Stereo photographs are taken by me using a tripod and slide bar, or just the old “two step shuffle.”

Antique CDVs, tintypes and my own drawings are scanned then converted to 3D using a variety of software – most recently ANNA.

Once the 3D and 2D images are complete, the final image is composited in Photoshop.

Creating Anaglyphs from Drawings

•August 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ah, the eternal search for converting 2D images to 3D….

I’ve always been interested in creating 3D drawings for red/cyan anaglyphs but never really found a simple method or software for the task.

There is always the direct drawing method using cyan/red color pencils but I never did find a decent cyan color that wouldn’t produce ghosting.

Since I do most of my art on the computer, I’ve played with a few different anaglyph software programs for drawings.  Although they were interesting and fun to play with, there were always a few “issues” that made them unsuitable for any serious art work:

  • Tools and controls were not precise.  I like to work with detail rather than just broad shapes so I was disappointed with lack of control over brush size options, depth, etc.
  • Limited import/export options.  I do most of my work in Photoshop and prefer larger resolution images for the final copy.  Most of the software only would export in .jpeg format which pretty much ruins any detail work.
  • Cost.  A lot of the software was free but if it doesn’t do the job then free doesn’t matter.  I haven’t tried any of the higher-priced options because I usually don’t need all the extra bells and whistles.

I found one program that worked fairly well – StereoPaint ESP 3 – although it wasn’t as precise as I would prefer I was able to produce some decent images.  Unfortunately, it won’t run on a Vista 64-bit computer as it requires an older version Microsoft .NET Framework that doesn’t want to install correctly.

So…I had abandoned that little adventure until I came across this little gem: ANNA from Photo Illusion.

I remember trying the demo version a while ago and was quite impressed but didn’t want to spend the money at the time.  Fortunately, it’s on a “Summer Sale” for $25.00 USD so I snatched one up yesterday.

I tried just a quick and simple conversion from a drawing (in .psd format – it will import layers) using a graphics tablet and it works great!  It can also save a working file in it’s own format or can render a full version to .tif format – perfect.

"Fool" Drawing from Dead Ballerinas Tarot

"Fool" Drawing from Dead Ballerinas Tarot (C) A. Lucas

ANNA has a nice, clean interface and is very intuitive and simple to use with enough precision to make me happy.  Although it’s listed for Windows XP it runs great on my Vista 64-bit laptop.

Of course, now that I have something that works great for me, that means I have a lot of drawing to do….

Anaglyph Glasses – a Shipping Surprise!

•June 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, I needed to order more red/cyan paper anaglyph glasses and since there are no suppliers in Canada (that I’ve found yet), I thought I’d try an order from Rainbow Symphony.

Now the glasses are relatively inexpensive – about $25.00 USD for 100, and would be enough for the classes I’m teaching this summer.

Two shipping options to Canada were available: UPS and USPS International.  Every Canadian knows you would either have to be very wealthy or a complete idiot to chose the UPS option (they tend to nickle and dime Canadians into bankruptcy with their “fees” and “costs”) so I selected the second option.

The shipping cost popped up as $43.00 – yes, that is correct – $43.00.  Apparently a $25.00 order of paper anaglyph glasses needs to be flown to Canada in a First Class seat on a private jet.  Unless they are packed in a 50 lb steel case, I doubt they weight more than a pound or two so I have no idea why the shipping would be so outrageous.

Tip: If you want to sell your goods to Canadians, never, EVER give the only option as UPS.  Always give an option for ground service with the USPS.  Very reliable, reasonable cost and I have never had an order go missing yet.  Sure, it takes 2-3 weeks (most of which is spent in Canada Customs, and then getting from Customs to its destination.  Everything in Canada travels by Ox Cart, so make sure your customers are not in a hurry.

I had ordered 10 anaglyph plastic “aviator” style glasses from a company in Tennessee last year.  The 10 glasses cost $50.00 USD with $53.00 shipping.  This was for an art exhibition so I was paid an artist’s fee and the cost was covered.  Unfortunately, these classes are volunteer and do not have a budget.

I’m already resigned to paying GST (Goods and Services Tax) for most purchases from the USA (this is where American companies are encouraged to charge Canadian customers a Canadian Federal Tax).  I suppose this is a good idea especially if the Liberals win the next election (Liberals like to raise taxes or make up new taxes like the “Carbon Tax” and spend the money on Sponsorship programs payable to their buddies and give speeches about “proofs”.)

I would be perfectly happy to buy Canadian – if there was a supplier in Canada, but I suspect that even if I could find a supplier, the end costs would be about the same.  I’ve had this experience with art supplies.  I can buy items locally or order from a Canadian art supply store, but the price per item, taxes and shipping cost is sometimes more than ordering from the USA, even with added GST, shipping and duty.

So I’m not sure what to do – pay over $70.00 USD for 100 paper anaglyph glasses or try to find a Canadian supplier who would probably charge the same?

I’m thinking I just might have to cancel the classes….

3D Anaglyph Gallery

•April 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A little test project I’ve been working on – a walk through gallery with anaglyph images, so put on your red/cyan glasses (red on the left) and watch in HQ.

This was made with 3DRad, a wonderful game engine editor very easy to use for non-programming types who would rather concentrate on the art instead of coding.

A more interesting way of presenting a portfolio than the usual DVD slideshow images.  The program can be complied as a stand-alone executable file (Windows only) so the viewer can “walk through” the gallery.

With some recent updates to the 3DRad, it is now possible to create a multi-user network gallery, and dynamically update the images.  This will require some programming but it will be interesting once I get it working.

Theoretically, an artist (or gallery) could send only the base program, the users would be able to see all the works in the virtual gallery (and interact with each other) and the artist would be able to update the images with current works – a wonderful way to keep your patrons informed about your latest art!

Anaglyph with virtualPhotographer

•February 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

All 3D objects rendered in Lightwave.  Only the left and right views were rendered, then the images were put through a virtualPhotographer filter from optikVerve Labs in Photoshop.

A. Lucas




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