Month: August 2019

Software transforms digital photos into oldfashioned paintings

first_img Explore further Brooks is a computer scientist at Dalhousie University, and also has a background in traditional drawing. The method he recently developed can transform digital photos taken with an ordinary camera into mixed-media paintings and portraits, making him a pioneer in a subject area that is largely unexplored. While the system requires very little input from the user, the results can be tweaked if desired, and produce realistic compositions of “nonphotorealistic renderings” (NPR).“Mixed media compositions incorporate two or more traditional visual media such as oil, watercolor, tempera, ink, or pencil,” Brooks explained. “By mixing materials, the artist is able to explore new channels of artistic expression or rejuvenate existing ones.”As Brooks explains, mixed media is often used by artists when a single medium is insufficient to fully develop an artistic idea. From ancient Egyptians to Rembrandt and Picasso, and even contemporary cartoonists such as Dave McKean, mixed media has been used to give variety to work and emphasize certain details.To give the appearance of mixed media to photos, Brooks’ system analyzes the input image and computes a measure of detail at each pixel. The areas of the image with different levels of detail are separated into distinct regions, and then each region is processed independently with a different NPR filter chosen by the user. Examples of filters can be “paint daubs,” “soft glow,” “crystallize,” “ink outlines,” “cartoon,” etc. Choosing the filters is the only step that requires user input.Finally, the different areas of the image are smoothly fused. Here, the user has the option of determining the gradient level of blended areas, but Brooks notes that all the samples he presents in his research are created automatically by the system. The system performs the blending process in separate stages to allow the user to see the intermediate processing. Brooks explains that this step-by-step process resembles how an artist produces a mixed media work in stages.One of the most challenging types of images to transform is facial portraits, as people are highly sensitive to the treatment of faces. Using Brooks’ standard technique, the facial areas around the cheeks and forehead are perceived as low detail areas, while the eyes and mouth have more detail, which produces undesirable results. Brooks approached this special case by developing systems for skin filtering, face point detection, and face point clustering to create a more satisfactory mixed media portrait.“The most advanced component of my system is the module that handles portraits,” Brooks said. “Automatic face detection and processing is quite tricky if one wants to make the system robust. I use a combination of skin detection, cascaded weak detectors, and Gaussian mixture model clustering.”Brooks is currently exploring more advanced features and improvements, including integrating 2.5-dimensional physical materials such as felts and cardboards, as well as the possibility of adapting the technique to video. “We have recently begun collaborating with the film school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design,” he said. “We are looking at developing a new kind of digital film production system which could involve extending mixed media processing to video. So, it may be released as part of a larger film processing package.”Citation: Brooks, Stephen. “Mixed-Media Painting and Portraiture.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 13, no. 5, September/October 2007. While today’s most cutting-edge digital imaging technology strives for high-res and high focus, Stephen Brooks is interested in distorting photos and deliberately making them unfocused. His system can produce a unique piece of artwork that looks hand-made, whether by oil painting, watercolors, ink drawing, or a mixture of many media types. (1) (Left) Picture of lion. (Right) Mixed media rendering using a composite of paint daubs, watercolor, and colored pencil. (2) (Left) Picture of a face. (Right) Mixed media portrait. Credit: Stephen Brooks. Copyright 2007 IEEE. Small indoor greenhouses let apartment dwellers grow veggies Citation: Software transforms digital photos into old-fashioned paintings (2007, September 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-09-software-digital-photos-old-fashioned.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Llama dung contributed to Inca success in the Andes

first_imgImage: Johann Dréo/Wikipedia Ancient Peruvian site forces experts to re-think past Alex Chepstow-Lusty from the French Institute of Andean Studies in Lima has spent the last few years analyzing mud samples from a small lake located between the jungle and Machu Picchu. By analyzing a 6.3 meter long core sample taken from the lake bottom, Chepstow-Lusty and his team discovered a correlation between a spike in the number of mites and maize pollen 2700 years ago. These mites feed on animal excrement and the researchers believe that the use of llama dung as a fertilizer was what enabled the Incas to grow corn in their high altitude location.Llamas were used as a source of meat and wool, as well as used to carry items. Llamas defecate communally, so it was an easily collectable source of natural fertilizer. This use of natural fertilizer aided in the maize crops thriving and allowed the Incas to move away from their dependence on wild quinoa and increase their caloric intake with maize.Other researchers, such as Christine Hastorf from the University of California, Berkeley argue that the argument for fertilization has not yet been proven. While this new research does show an increase in mites and llama dung, there is no evidence to show it was used as a fertilizer. She points out that plants that are fertilized with animal manure have a higher nitrogen isotopic signature. In order to show a connection between the two, she believes there needs to be studies done on ancient plant remains and the bones from the ancient Inca people in the area. (PhysOrg.com) — The famous Inca city of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in July 1911 and the area plans to hold a special 100 year celebration this year. However, the famous city and the Inca civilization have already hit the spotlight in a new study published in Antiquity that links the use of llama dung to the Inca success in high altitude agriculture. Citation: Llama dung contributed to Inca success in the Andes (2011, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-llama-dung-contributed-inca-success.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Agro-pastoralism and social change in the Cuzco heartland of Peru: a brief history using environmental proxies, by Alex Chepstow‑Lusty, Volume: 85  Number: 328  Page: 570–582. antiquity.ac.uk/ant/085/ant0850570.htm © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Once thought impossible scientists demonstrate that liquid water can generate THz waves

first_img Citation: Once thought impossible, scientists demonstrate that liquid water can generate THz waves (2017, August 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-thought-impossible-scientists-liquid-thz.html © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Applied Physics Letters More information: Qi Jin et al. “Observation of broadband terahertz wave generation from liquid water.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4990824 First ‘water-wave’ laser created The researchers, led by Xi-Cheng Zhang, the M. Parker Givens Professor at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics in New York, as well as at Capital Normal University in Beijing and ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, have published a paper on the generation of THz waves from water in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.The result is surprising because bulk water is a strong absorber of light in the THz frequency range, and so for a long time it seemed very unlikely that liquid water could serve as a source of THz radiation. Researchers have previously shown, however, that water can emit light at other frequencies, including white light, and that water vapor can emit THz waves. The key to getting liquid water to generate THz waves, as the scientists show in the new study, is to use a very thin (less than 200 μm-thick) free-flowing film of water. “Although it might be too early to predict any industrial or commercial applications for our work at this moment, I think it provides the last piece of the puzzle,” Zhang told Phys.org. “Solid, gas, and plasma have been used to generate THz waves already, but not liquid. With liquid, especially water, four states of matter have now been used as THz sources.”In their experiments, the researchers focused femtosecond laser pulses (which have a duration on the order of one picosecond, or 10-12 seconds) inside the water film. The laser pulses create a plasma in the water film, which ionizes the water molecules, generating free electrons, and eventually emitting THz radiation.Previous research has shown that THz waves can be generated from several other sources, including air plasma. However, the scientists in the new study found that the THz radiation from water exhibits very different characteristics compared to the THz radiation from air plasma. For example, a longer laser pulse duration increases the amount of THz radiation energy generated from water, but for air plasma the opposite is true: a shorter pulse increases the THz radiation. The scientists also found that, when positioned away from the normal incident angle of optical excitation, the strength of the THz radiation from water depends on the polarization of the laser beam, whereas the THz radiation from the air plasma is polarization-independent.The researchers explain that these observations cannot be fully explained by physicists’ current understanding of the mechanisms involved in THz wave generation. They expect that further investigation of laser-water interactions will lead to a better understanding of the physics behind the new observations, and possibly to new applications.”Water is the most important element in the human body and on our earth,” Zhang said. “Using water to generate THz waves is one step toward understanding the role of water in this frequency range. Previously, we tried to avoid water in most THz applications. Now we will likely use water for the generation of intense THz waves.”center_img (Phys.org)—By illuminating a thin film of water with ultrashort laser pulses, physicists have demonstrated that liquid water can generate terahertz (THz) waves, which are currently being researched for applications such as wireless data transmission, industrial quality control, and high-resolution imaging with the capability for penetration. Explore further Experimental setup for generating THz waves by focusing a laser beam onto a free-flowing water film. Credit: Jin et al. ©2017 American Institute of Physics This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Material made from single molecule selfforms into a lattice that can selfheal

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 Phys.org The researchers note that most porous materials are made from linkers and connecting units—metal organic frameworks are one example. Such frameworks are often custom-developed to allow for storing other material, such as hydrogen, in the pores. The downside to such an approach is the multitude of options available, which requires researchers to spend time screening for the optimal structure. In this new effort, the researchers report on the development of a new porous material made from a single synthesized molecule. They claim it is possible to create a complex, useful type of material without a complex set of building blocks.The molecule the team made had a symmetrical outer shell, giving it a shape akin to a propeller. It consisted of three polar dipyridylphenyl parts hooked to a middle non-polar mesitylene. In the presence of isopropanol or acetonitrile, it assembled automatically into a network that was held together by hydrogen bonds (non-classical). The researchers note that the bonds were weaker than normal hydrogen bonds but were stable up to 202°C. They further note that other similar-purpose crystals begin to degrade at temperatures of 130°C. Above the stable point, the pores in the crystal started to collapse causing the material to become non-porous—suggesting a means for delivering a material that it has been holding. Interestingly, the researchers found that the pores could be regenerated by cooling the material and treating it with acetonitrile vapor—a form of self-healing.The researchers note that the oddly shaped molecule serves as a linker and connector allowing for the creation of a simple porous network in a material. They note also that the arms of the propeller serve different functions—from walls, to roof to floor—all around 6Å wide pores that offer a size capable of harboring nitrogen gas or solvents. Explore further Porous salts for fuel cells More information: Hiroshi Yamagishi et al. Self-assembly of lattices with high structural complexity from a geometrically simple molecule, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6394center_img Citation: Material made from single molecule self-forms into a lattice that can self-heal, store gases (2018, September 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-material-molecule-self-forms-lattice-self-heal.html Modes of C–H···N bonds in Pyopen⊃MeCN and crystal-packing diagrams of Pyopen⊃MeCN. (A) Drawings representing the modes of C–H···N bonds in Pyopen⊃MeCN. (B to E) CPK representations of the crystal-packing diagrams of Pyopen⊃MeCN. Orange outlines indicate the C–H···N-bonded roofs and floors in Pyopen⊃MeCN [(B) and (C)], and dashed purple outlines indicate the wall connected to the roof and floor [(B), (C), and (E)]. Credit: (c) Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6394 A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan has developed a material made from just a single molecule that self-forms into a lattice that can self-heal and store gases. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes synthesizing the aromatic molecule, which bears a symmetrical outer shell. Journal information: Sciencelast_img read more

Petrol price cut by Rs 1 per litre

first_imgPetrol price was cut on Tuesday by Re 1 a litre, but the first reduction in diesel rates in over five years will have to wait till completion of assembly polls. State-owned oil firms, which cut petrol price by 54 paisa on October 1, reduced rates by another Re 1 per litre, excluding local sales tax or VAT, with effect from midnight tonight, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) announced. After accounting for the incidence of local sales tax, petrol rate in Delhi was reduced by Rs 1.21 a litre to Rs 66.65 per litre, according to IOC.last_img

Youth shot dead in broad daylight

first_imgKolkata: A middle-aged man was shot dead by some unidentified miscreants. The incident occurred near Mollapara area of Chakdah in Nadia in broad daylight when the deceased was going to work.The victim, Pradip Kumar Sikdar, a resident of Sri Krishnapur area of Chakdah, was a local businessman. He was riding his motor cycle when some miscreants on another bike stopped his way near Mollapara. The incident sparked tension in the area.According to the preliminary investigation, police came to know that there were three miscreants on the other motorcycle. One of the miscreants took out a gun and shot at the victim from the close quarter. The victim received a bullet in his head. The miscreants fled the spot before locals could arrive. Locals rushed to the spot after hearing the sound of a gun shot. The victim was found lying in a pool of blood. He was then rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared pronounced him brought dead. Police rushed the spot and started a detailed probe in this regard.last_img read more

Halls plexes must show at least one Bengali film WB govt

first_imgKolkata: Cinema halls and multiplexes in West Bengal will now have to mandatorily screen one Bengali film for a minimum of 120 days in a year, a state government notification said on Saturday. The notification, issued by order of Governor K N Tripathi, said, “In every cinema hall and in at least one screen of every multiplex situated in the state, 120 prime time show/screenings of Bengali films shall mandatorily be held throughout the year… with at least one show per day for minumum of 120 days in aggregate during the year.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “… The Governor is hereby pleased to issue the following directive to all licensees of the State, except the licensees of the GTA areas, with immediate effect…” the notification signed by Principal Secretary, Information and Cultural Affairs Department, said. Kumar told PTI the notification was issued on Friday and will be applicable on immediate basis and aimed at encouraging the Bengali film industry. He said prime-time shows are those held between 12 noon to 9 pm. Necessary amendments to the West Bengal Cinema (Regulation of Public Exhibitions) Rules, 1956 will be made in due course, Kumar said. Welcoming the decision, director Aniket Chattopadhyay wrote on Facebook, “It is big news. In every multiplex of West Bengal, a Bengali film has to be screened from 12 noon to 9 pm in minimum one screen… Thank you Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”last_img read more

Acknowledging future art icons

first_imgLalit Kala Akademi, India’s National Academy of Art recently announced its 58th National Exhibition of Art, which is being held at National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru from February 24 and will continue for a month. The current exhibition has 111 exhibits chosen from 6000 works through a competitive process, of these 15 have been conferred the Academy’s National Award. The award is much coveted among artists as it earmarks the future potential of an individual artist in the art community. Many of the earlier awardees, such as MF Husain and SH Raza, are today’s icons of Indian art. Aisharjya Paramita Konar, Akhil Mohan, Ananya Dalal, Anil Kumar Bodwal, D.Saravana Deivasegamani, Gukanraj Kothandaraman, Harish Kumar Ojha, Kavita Mehrotra, Lakshman Prasad, Madan Lal, Nilmoni Raha, Sajeesh PA, Satish Hanumanthappa, Suresh K and Vijay Bhagat are the 15 artists who were conferred with the Academy awards. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe award presentation held at Hotel Shangri La, Bengaluru had Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala conferring the National Academy Award to the 15 Awardees. To reflect its truly national character the National Exhibition of Art is customarily held in various cities of the country so as to give the interested people in these cities a chance to savor quality production. It has returned to Bengaluru after a lapse of 16 years, as the last time it was held here was in 2001, at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru. The works for the 58th National Exhibition of Art have been chosen on grounds of their artistic merit. They reflect innovative use of mediums, diversity and relevance of subject matter as also a high level of creativity. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveCS Krishna Setty, Administrator, Lalit Kala Akademi remarked, “Besides upholding and steering forth a great tradition of giving Indian art its due importance, the National Exhibition of Art is also a window view into future trends in Indian art. The works of the awardees have expressed a spectacular range of subjects to express their creative abilities and carry in them an unwritten history of development, emerging trends and even influences that have pivoted the art movement of the country.” The Award ceremony coincides with the opening of a month-long National Exhibition of Art being held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru. The display is open to the public on all working days, except Mondays. The Awardees have been chosen by a two tier Jury system of eminent artists and art personalities who in the first stage had selected 111 artworks which are now on display at the 58th National Exhibition of Art. Each of the Awardees will receive a plaque and a cash award of Rs one lakh.last_img read more

Matua matriarch Boro Mas last rites to be held on Wednesday

first_imgKolkata: The last rites of Matua community matriarch Binapani Devi, popularly known as ‘Boro Ma’, will be held on Wednesday at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, where her body would shortly arrive from Kolkata. Boro Ma, 100, passed away at a state-run hospital here on Tuesday evening after prolonged illness. The body was taken in a flower-bedecked hearse from S S K M Hospital in presence of West Bengal minister Jyotipriyo Mallick and Trinamool Congress MP Mamata Bala Thakur, a family member of Boro Ma. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose Thakurnagar is the headquarters of the Matua Mahasangh, an organisation of the community. Many members of the scheduled caste community visited the hospital throughout the night to pay their last respects to Boro Ma, who breathed her last at 8.52 pm, after being on ventilator support at the hospital since Sunday. Her body is expected to reach Thakurnagar by 11 am, as thousands of followers await to catch a last glimpse of their beloved Boro Ma. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday condoled the death of Binapani Devi, considered a significant political force in the state. Modi had met Boro Ma this February during his visit to Thakurnagar, where he had addressed a rally. Banerjee has announced that Boro Ma will be accorded a state-funeral with gun salute. The Matuas originally hail from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and began migrating to West Bengal at the beginning of the 1950s, mostly due to religious persecution. With an estimated population of 30 lakh in the state, Matuas can influence results in at least five Lok Sabha seats in North and South 24 Parganas districts.last_img read more

Bengal number 1 in credit linkage of selfhelp groups says Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that in the year 2018-2019, the state’s performance of credit linkage of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the Cooperative Sector is the highest in India.”I am very happy to share with all of you that during 2018-2019, West Bengal’s performance of credit linkage of Self-Help Groups in the Cooperative Sector is highest in the country. “As per report of NABARD, West Bengal provided credit to 97, 535 Self Help Groups in the Cooperative Sector, leading to huge creation of employment and income generation, mostly among women,” Banerjee posted on her Facebook page. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Chief Minister has recently announced a yearly aid of Rs 5,000 for the empowerment of the SHGs in the state. The SHGs registered for a period of one year or more will be entitled to the benefit. The government will spend Rs 500 crore for this purpose. “We are committed to empower and make the poor womenfolk self-reliant both in the urban and rural areas,” a senior official of the SHG department said. It may be mentioned that the bank loan disbursed for the SHGs in the state have gone up noticeably during the Trinamool Congress government. The loan amount that was Rs 553 crore in 2010-11 that went up to Rs 7,000 crore in 2018-19. The state government is also providing a subsidy so that the SHGs have to pay only 2 percent of their bank loan. The number of SHGs which was 4.72 lakh in 2010-11 has more than doubled with an emphasis from the Mamata Banerjee government.last_img read more