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About UFAlien

  • Birthday 07/05/1993

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  1. So I just installed Wild on top of my previous Soaked installation. It runs fine, all my old stuff is still there - but when I load a saved game I'd made in Soaked, none of the new rides from Wild are available. I find this especially odd since the buttons for adding animals are there. Is there any way to use the new rides in this save?
  2. Well the camera I did the first 3D trip report with was an Aiptek, which is really cheap but also quite awful - lenses out of alignment (probably the source for some of the headaches you got), no manual control whatsoever, just not worth it. The one I use now is a Fujifilm Finepix W3, which can be had for $225 (a bit less than what I got it for last year). It's primarily a still camera, though - the shape is that of a point-and shoot, and the video recording is "only" 720p instead of 1080p. The good thing about it is that it shoots at full 720p per eye - some cameras (like Aiptek) shoot each of the two images at 640x720, or half-width, each, so the resolution is cut in half. There are more traditionally-shaped video cameras that will do full 1080p per eye, but they're more expensive; the Sony HDR-TD10 is one I've heard good things about, but the price is about $900-$1,000 depending on where you go. They also have a newer model, the HDR-TD20V, which has a higher megapixel count. Both also come with night vision modes. The TD20V is about $1,300. On the viewing side, it depends how big you want to go and which format you want to use. Some screens use "Passive" technology, the same kind that's used in movie theatres. These are generally the more popular ones at the moment, and also cheaper. Plus, you can use RealD glasses you save from the cinema. The tradeoff is that they technically show half horizontal resolution per eye. Some people claim to see a loss of detail, but the consensus among most people seems to be that the brain combines the images well enough for there to be little to no noticeable difference. Vizio has a 32" 3D Passive TV for $500 on their site, which can be had from Wal-Mart for about $100 less or Amazon for $50 less. They also have 42", 47", 55", and 65" models. Their cheapest 2D LED TV is about $120 less on their site, but it's also lacking a bunch of other features. Active 3D uses shutter glasses - heavier, battery-operated ones with little screens for lenses. They flash on (making them opaque) and off in rapid succession in conjunction with the image on the screen to "filter" the images. It's too fast for human eyes to notice except under certain specific lighting conditions. This allows for full resolution 3D, but they're usually more expensive and have proprietary glasses. This is what I have - but mine's on a laptop, actually, a 17" Dell XPS 17. It was pretty expensive, about $1,300 or so, but a lot of that has to do with the other bells and whistles I had thrown in. You can customize a model on their site. Basically, the price gap for 3D over a 2D TV is still there most of the time, but much, much smaller than it used to be. And if someone is buying a new HDTV on the high or upper-middle end, chances are it will have 3D as an option anyway. It'd be an uptick in cost, at least initially, but not a huge one. And the cameras use normal memory cards and everything, so it doesn't cost more to shoot. Also, in case you didn't know: the Youtube 3D player lets you select how to view it - colored lenses, side-by-side, or if your display supports it, fancy new "real" 3D. So posting them there wouldn't mean making them ugly anaglyphs, as people who have the correct equipment can still watch them correctly. Sorry for the late reply - after your initial response I stopped checking the thread
  3. Part 2 of 2! The park has a new self-serve slush drink shop. You buy a cup or a weirdly-shaped souvenir bottle and fill it with whatever you like. Then it was time for the park's main attraction - Bizarro! This ride doubles as a museum exhibit. Insert innuendo here. I always love it when they leave the mist on... it's quite refreshing. Sometimes I think it would be cool if coaster tracks were invisible. Sometimes I think it would be absolutely terrifying. Like now. Here's something for the lift hill and pine tree enthusiasts. I'm always surprised how there's actually airtime on this banked hill. I didn't ride GCGEFAA - it's no fun unless you're holding a cup of water. It photographs surprisingly well, though. I caught this kid stuffing a body in the Batmobile's trunk. The Joker recruits young nowadays. This photo is depressing to me - everyone looks either tired or lost. But hey, Bizarro! Scream makes trees feel inadequate. Well that doesn't look so big from over here- -never mind. The ride did look quite pretty in the twilight. As is personal tradition, I finished the day with a ride on the Cyclone. Stupid old first drop... mocking me. Bye bye Six Flags! Over all I had a pretty good day. Anaglyphs.zip Anaglyph 3D versions. Includes about 40 extra pictures.
  4. Yesterday I decided to head in to Six Flags New England for the first day of Goliath being open to the public (well, some of the public). I got in at about 1:30 PM, and the park was PACKED, but I managed to have a good time anyhow (thank goodness for the Flash Pass!) This TR will be divided into two posts of 25 and 19 photos each. For those of you who liked my last TR, know that all these photos were also composed for and shot in 3D. You can download a .zip of the anaglyphs (for red/cyan glasses, just like the last report) at the end of the second post. If anyone has a 3DTV or similar device and wants the hi-res side by side versions, send me a PM. Onward ho! As I mentioned, the park was quite busy - not a surprise considering it was a Saturday in late May. After processing my Season Pass and getting my Flash Pass, I made a beeline for Goliath. The entrance to the ride is in Crackaxle Canyon, across from the bumper cars. In case you've forgotten what you're looking at, the towers are helpfully labeled. The ride was open only to Season Pass holders and those who bought Platinum Flash Passes. The Platinum people were allowed to skip the line. The line may not look like much, but thanks to slow operations and unreliability, it took a pretty long time to get on. The ride broke down three times while I was waiting in line, including one point when the riders were stuck like this on the tower for a few minutes. They also had to run the train empty once after a rider peed themselves. Good way to dry off the Lysol, I guess. (Obviously, this is not that train) The ride was pretty fun, but it looks REALLY out of place in its setting. And yes, Flashback is still there. I guess now it's a "kiddie Goliath"? After that, I scaled things down on the Thunderbolt. There's really nothing terribly special about this ride, but I've always liked it. Then I decided to take the Sky Line for some photo ops. I guess it's kind of nice they planted grass under Goliath, but it would've been awesome over water. The park's slogan for Goliath is "the taller you go, the faster you fall", which... I guess is supposed to be a joke? I really like the way Cyclone looks. The actual ride experience is... up for debate. A closer shot of the main lift. Here's the perplexingly popular Pandemonium. It's a decent little ride, but the line always seems to be way too long. It was a hot day, so Blizzard River was busy, but all the water jets and sprinklers were off. (And yes, this photo was taken much later!) Next I went on Batman, which is TECHNICALLY newer then Goliath... don't tell the patrons! I'd forgotten how forceful parts of this ride are. "Masochist" isn't politically correct anymore. Now the proper term is "Vekoma fan". Every time I ride this it finds a new way to hurt me. This time it beat up my arms. Because of its size and location, Goliath is highly visible from all over the park.
  5. What I wanted to hear was advice and opinions, which is what I got. No need to be sorry I think I'll take your suggestion and link off to the 3D ones, so they're at least available for the handful of people who liked the first one and asked for more. And for the record, I agree that anaglyph (colored lenses) is kind of annoying. That's not how they're taken, or I wouldn't bother either. There are TVs, monitors, etc, that use the same polarized and active-shutter technology for 3D as the movie theatres, which is how I view them and why I also link to the side-by-side files (my laptop actually has better 3D than the local cineplex - theatrical exhibition is kind of a crapshoot). Not many people have those right now though, which is why I never even considered posting those ones. So yeah, that's what I'll go with. Direct posted 2D pics and a zip or off-site link for the 3D ones. Sorry if I got to long-winded in the technical bit, I'm a film student
  6. I suppose this is a question for pretty much any mods. A while back I did a photo trip report in 3D, with the anaglyphs posted to directly in the thread and the 2D versions in a .zip for download. Some people couldn't find it, though, and it was kind of a roundabout way of doing things. That's done and over now, but I'm working on another at the moment. I definitely want the 3D ones up in the thread, since that's how they were composed, shot, and meant to be seen. But I also realize the majority of people won't be able to view them that way, so it also makes sense to include the 2D ones. I was wondering what site staff would recommend - two threads with one for each version, one thread with duplicate posts of the different versions, or the old strategy? Thanks
  7. Ah, thanks for the explanation! Shame... that was my favorite effect!
  8. I'm sure that everyone here has heard of stereoscopic 3D, also known as S3D, 3-D, or just 3D. Lots of movies, games, and theme park rides are available in this format. This handy dandy guide will offer you some insight into the world of 3D. WHAT IS IT? A native 3D image in anaglyph format. Taken by me. Stereoscopic 3D is a format that simulates human vision by providing two different viewpoints of a photographed or illustrated visual - one for each eye. Depth perception works in the real world because each of our eyes sees a slightly different view of whatever's in front of us. Our brain merges these images together so that we can perceive the third dimension. Traditional cameras and screens offer only one viewpoint, meaning that the image appears flat - our brain is aware everything in the image is the same distance from the eyes. Stereoscopic 3D material provides a different view for each eye, which fools the brain into perceiving depth. HOW DOES IT WORK? First, 3D content is created, whether it's drawn, rendered, or photographed from two angles, or captured in 2D and then converted. To display stereoscopic 3D, each eye needs to see only the image intended for it. That's where the glasses (or other techniques) come in. HOW DO I VIEW 3D? There are many ways to view 3D. One of the more common is called the Anaglyph format. This is how most 3D DVD releases are encoded, as well as some Blu-ray Discs and TV showings of 3D films. The video or image is encoded so that the differences between the two views are represented as two different colors - usually complementary colors. Some common color combinations are red & cyan, red & green, magenta & green, or blue & yellow (which is called "ColorCode"). By wearing glasses with lenses of corresponding colors, the correct image is presented to each eye. Anaglyph can be shown on any color screen, but can distort the original colors of an image. The way most movie theaters show 3D - whether today or in the previous 3D booms of the 1950s and 1980s - is in a polarized format. Some common brand names for this are Real D and Dolby 3D. This preserves the original colors much better than anaglyph formats. Two images are projected onto a specially-coated screen, each with light that has a different polarization. The glasses you wear have polarized lenses which, just like the colored lenses in anaglyph glasses, ensure only one image is displayed to each eye. There are also 3D polarized televisions, typically referred to as "Passive 3D" TVs. These use the same technology as the movie theaters, and are often actually compatible with the 3D glasses from cinemas. However, current polarized television screens aren't full HD - each eye's image uses half of the screen's resolution, which can lead to a noticeable loss of detail when viewing 3D content. Although rare in cinemas, active shutter 3D is common on 3D televisions and can also be used on older CRT televisions with special equipment. This system doesn't display both images at once; instead the left and right eye images are switched back and forth rapidly. Special battery-powered glasses are used to view this content. The lenses are actually little transparent LCD screens that can turn black and block your view, like closing the shutter on a window. These electronic shutters open and close in sync with the images on screen, meaning each eye only sees the image intended for it. The switch happens so fast that it's imperceptible. The rarest form is parallax barrier technology. Think of lenticular cards - those shiny surfaces that change a picture depending on the angle at which you view them. The concept is nearly identical - physical mirrored barriers direct light into a specific eye, "projecting" the correct image into each. This method is used almost exclusively in small devices like phones, cameras, and Nintendo's 3DS. This is because there are VERY limited angles from which you can actually view the 3D content. If you scooch over, tilt your head too much, or move the device, the illusion of depth is ruined. The upside, of course, is that no glasses are required. HOW DO I GET 3D CONTENT? The simplest method is probably just to find a theater near you! 3D movies are still quite popular, and at the time of this writing, 3 of the top 10 American box office movies are in 3D, with another one opening this weekend. Many theme parks also have 3D rides and attractions. For home viewing, many 3D movies are available on DVD in anaglyph format. There are also some you can buy in active shutter formats, but these require special conversion boxes. 3D televisions are becoming more and more affordable. If you have one and the glasses that go with it, many digital cable or satellite providers offer 3D content both in the form of special channels and on demand. If you have a PS3 or a Blu-ray 3D player, you can also watch those releases in either polarized or active shutter 3D. Some PC games are playable in 3D with special equipment and software from Nvidia. There are also some PS3 and Xbox 360 games that work with 3D TVs. Finally, all 3DS games are in 3D on the glasses-free screen. SO YOU SAID SOMETHING ABOUT CONVERSION... Yes. Many movies and images originate in 2D and are later converted to 3D. There are varying methods with which to accomplish this. "Automatic" 2D to 3D conversion does exist and is built into many TVs, but at the moment it is of a very low quality and reliability. 3D conversion is best accomplished manually. This involves creating depth maps, rotoscoping ("cutting out" objects in the image), painting in missing information, and many more techniques and steps. It's very time-intensive and takes effort and experience. 3D conversion is very difficult and can almost never perfectly match "native" content that's created or captured in 3D. However, the vast majority of modern 3D movies use conversion to some extent - yes, even Avatar. A 2D to 3D anaglyph conversion of a screenshot from "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers". Converted by William3D. DON'T CONVERTED 3D MOVIES SUCK? 3D conversion got a terrible reputation when the Clash of the Titans remake was released in April of 2010. Director Louis Leterrier had originally wanted to shoot the movie in native 3D, but this idea was shot down by the studio. After the huge success of Avatar, the studio decided to convert the finished 2D film to 3D. Leterrier had minimal involvement with the conversion and had not planned for 3D while shooting the movie. Additionally, the conversion team at Prime Focus, a company specializing in 2D to 3D conversion, was given only 10 weeks to complete the project. By all accounts, the final project was a mess; most scenes had little to no noticeable depth, nothing came out of the screen, and everyone felt cheated. Leterrier publicly decried the conversion. The reputation of conversion wasn't helped by the July release of M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender. Once again, the movie had been shot without any consideration for 3D, and the conversion was tacked on to the end of post-production. Shyamalan was more involved in the process than Leterrier, and more time was given to the conversion team (this time a company called Stereo D). When the project was completed, Shyamalan claimed he preferred the 3D version to the original 2D film. Still, audiences were not so enthusiastic. The marketing played up the idea that special effects would fly out of the screen at the audience, but because there had been no real planning for 3D during the shoot, this did not happen. Additionally, many viewers noted that while the backgrounds and settings were given decent depth in most scenes, the characters themselves often looked flat - like cardboard cutouts - lacking natural curvature to their bodies. A converted screenshot from "The Last Airbender". Converted by me. Other (but better-received and usually better scheduled) unplanned conversions of this type include Priest, The Green Hornet, Green Lantern, My Soul to Take, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Thor. The upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was also converted in this manner, though it is important to note dedication to quality seems very important to the producers, as the planned conversion of the previous film in the series was cancelled when they realized they could not produce a quality result with the given schedule. However, many moviegoers were unaware that Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland - released before Clash - was also a conversion. The effect worked much better in this case because the conversion was planned from the beginning. Burton had decided to shoot the movie with 2D cameras for budgetary and convenience reasons, but was thinking of and composing his shots for 3D. The actual conversion was also given much more thought and time than those of Airbender or Clash. The end result was a film with much more natural depth and effects that seemed to leave the screen - although some viewers did note anomalies and glitches in the conversion, most were very pleased with the experience. Another movie that was shot in 2D but planned the 3D conversion in advance and took advantage of the opportunities this presented was Alexandre Aja's Piranha from August of 2010. The upcoming release of Captain America: The First Avenger is also a pre-planned conversion. HOW CAN I MAKE 3D CONTENT MYSELF? Get a 3D camera or learn how to make 3D conversions! If you'd like some simple help with conversions, PM me and I can let you in on the basics, plus a few tips and tricks. There are also plenty of tutorials on sites like Deviantart and stereoscopic specialty sites. As for 3D cameras, there are several options. Sony's Bloggie 3D camera records in 1080p but has very, very little lens separation, meaning the 3D depth is minimal. You can get it for about $250 at retail or $220 on Amazon. There's also the HTC Evo 3D, which is a smartphone with 3D capabilities but the same lens separation issue. Prices will vary based on wireless plans and contracts. My 3D camera is the Aiptek i2, which only records in 720p but has more lens separation than the HTC or Bloggie, and can be had for just $200 on Amazon. ViewSonic offers a camera that appears near-identical but costs only $97 on Amazon. I can't vouch for its quality. The best 3D camera I've had hands-on time with is the Fujifilm W3. It has great lens separation, records 1080p, is easy to operate, and costs $325 on Amazon. There are also more expensive options out there, many over $1,000. Look around and see what you like! This guide is a work-in-progress and may be updated without notice!
  9. ...your IMAX shows 3D movies in anaglyph instead of polarized or active shutter? Weird. Unless you mean you have one of those screens and you downloaded the stereo pairs.
  10. Just a quick update - firstly, I've redone this TR so the photos are hosted on TPR itself. Secondly, I've reserved my ticket to Bizarro Bash and I'll be sure to bring my camera again! Can your mind handle the thought of crazy TPR member antics in 3D? (If not, EMAIL DAN! Except don't.)
  11. I'm prolly a 5 on the Kinsey - enough to feel comfortable identifying as gay, but I won't deny the VERY rare instances where something else interests me XD
  12. It's the middle of July, the sun is burning, the air is hot and heavy, and the tunes are a-pumpin'! This is a thread to share and discuss the songs that, to you, exemplify summer! They don't even need to be about the season - they can just put you in that "summer mood" too! Here are some of mine: "Suddenly Last Summer" by The Motels - 1983 Yes, this one is actually about summer. Beyond that - beats me. Some people think it's about the end of childhood, losing your virginity, the death of a lover, and all sorts of other things. All I know is it's got a haunting melody and an awesomely bizarre music video. Creepy ice cream truck, random men in suits, old people watching a Linda Hamilton lookalike sleep, trashy romance novels - it's got it all! This, for me, evokes the oppressive heat of a midday summer sun on the beach. "Baby Don't Forget My Number" by Milli Vanilli - 1988 For the uninitiated, the two dreadlocked men in the video aren't the singers, they're European models/breakdancers a German music producer paid to lipsynch to songs recorded by less-attractive, older, American-born vocalists. They got credit for the music in public until 1990 when they asked to sing for real and the producer fired them (it goes much deeper than that, I might post an article of mine eventually). The video isn't very summery - everyone's in heavy jackets - but the sound always makes me think of bright days out at the beach. And some of the dance moves in this thing are just 80s-fabulous! This, for me, evokes a party on the beach or at a park in the middle of a hot summer day. (As a final note: the original European mix sounds more summery, but there's no video for it.) "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley - 1984 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsqcDXizFmE An obvious choice, so I'll get it out of the way. Like "Suddenly Last Summer", it's a haunting song with strong vibes of the season. The video and lyrics are much easier to understand, though! I don't really have as much to say about this one as the others... pretty much everyone knows it anyway! For me, this evokes a summer sunset as you realize the day's just passed you by. "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)" by Meat Loaf - 1977 Another obvious choice, but whatever! I love most of Meat Loaf's stuff, especially his collaborations with Jim Steinman, and this is no different. As a fun bit of trivia... Meat and Jim shopped this album around to many labels and got turned down by all of them. When Cleveland International finally agreed to release it, their representative hadn't heard a note of music - just the spoken word opening to this song. This song, of course, evokes a hot summer night. What else? And no, I'm not posting "Summer Nights" from Grease. That's too obvious even for me.
  13. Agreed. The brakes on the latter half are an affront to the SPIRIT OF THRILL. Who is very nice and hangs out at my place on Tuesdays. Also, a much less significant change: I for one don't like how they rearranged the line a couple years back. I really liked that little tunnel under the ride that let out by the Scrambler for some reason. Probably the photo booth.
  14. As an advisory... you know the big jolt of air on the drop next to the station after the high turnaround? It's gone. The new Topper Track smoothed out the transition so that doesn't happen anymore. I was sad. The first drop is still the same though.
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