This week’s installment of my ongoing
tarot-deck project features the fives our all four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and
Coins. As it turns out, three
of the four use the brush tool from Adobe Illustrator, a
relative new addition to the intentionally
limited repertoire I have
allowed myself in this project. (Mostly I use the freehand
tool to draw the heavy outlines, and then colour them in using
coloured shapes made using the pen tool. I use the brush
for coloured shapes in the background like the painting in the Four of Wands, and
backgrounds in the Fives of Wands, Coins and Swords this week.)
Live and learn, eh?
Tonight I discovered that my web site was
full—I have reached my 20 Mbyte quota! As a
stop-gap measure, I have made format changes to my tarot
sections. First, I have removed the
‘simplified’ SVG versions; your choice is now
simply SVG vs.
PNG. If you have
a burning need for the font-free versions (this being the major
difference), let me know and I will see if anything can be
arranged. Second, I have switched to compressed
.svgz). This format is identical to SVG, except that it is
compressed with ZIP (the format used by GNU zip and by PKZIP).
This SVG variant
is understood by Adobe’s viewer plug-in (versions 2.0 and
3.0), Batik, and, I hope,
other viewers as well. Since the reduction in size is typically
from 69 K to 16 K bytes, I don’t think
I can afford to ignore this option. Again, please let me
know if this ruins your enjoyment of the graphics.
The three headline articles on XML.com all concern SVG: The Visual
Display of Quantitative XML (Fabio Arciniegas A.) transforms data
interaction that I have shown can
be done with intrinsic animation); Server-Side
SVG (J. David Eisenberg) describes using Java with Batik to serve SVG
graphics, with fall-back to JPEG or PNG should the user’s browser not support
SVG; Doing that
Drag Thang (Antoine Quint) gives a system for making
draggable objects in SVG (using EcmaScript); this is the second in
his series, which starts with Digging
Animation, where he compares SVG with SWF (Macromedia Flash) and shows how to suplicate
a simple interactive animation.
The latest installment of my on-going project to create a
virtual tarot deck consists of two more trumps:
X. The Wheel of Fortune,
and XI. Strength.
I flirted with using the older name
(Fortitude) for the latter, but in the end Strength is such a
stronger title, even if it is a little misleading.
The Wheel is probably the most complex image to
date—especially in the
which has details that are lost in the raster version (the
Ace of Diamonds card tucked in to Fortune’s hat-band, and
the labels on the Wheel).
Strength was tricky in a different way—it took me a few
tries until I could get the lion to look more or less right.
It turns out that the title of The Wheel of Fortune is a little
long for the way I have designed the cards, annoyingly. On
the other hand it is time for bed, so I shup upload a
corrected version later in the week.
I have redesigned the layout of the cards so that the titles are on the left side
rather than the right—and this way they read up from the
bottom of the card rather than from some point part-way down.
This means I can fit in the Wheel of Fortune without the
rest of them looking lop-sided. Also, I have decided that
the titles will no longer overlap the artwork.
I have also fixed a few bugs—the Ace of Coins had not had its
colours adjusted after the CMYK→RGB translation; Five of Coins had changed the
figure’s hair from pink to white; The Chariot was cropped
To explain the colour issue: I am using an old version of
Adobe Illustrator which does not seem to have an RGB option. To convert to SVG
I use a freeware drawing program called Sketch, which is happy
to translate CMYK to RGB,
but does not take account of the fact that Adobe’s screen
display simulates the printed paper, rather than showing
mathematically correct CMYK colours. My brute-force solution to
this is to cobble together a Python script that takes as inputs
Adobe Illustrator’s Targa image and a screen shot of the
‘bad’ SVG, and examines them pixel-by-pixel to
generate a map from the ‘bad’ colour space to the
correct one. It then generates a new SVG file with the adjusted
colours. Sounds complicated? I’m hoping the new version
of Sketch will make it unnecessary...
This week my
on-line tarot deck reaches the sixes:
Alas! the font I am using for the titles is missing the
letter x, so there is a blank square for now.
I will fix this when I have a free
evening—I spent most of this evening finishing off
the drawings themselves. Far too tired to do it now.
I also need to see if I can
think of a better way to combine the pips with the drawings,
since the pips are now obscuring most of the artwork...
Update: I have added x to my title
font, after covering excessive quantities of paper with
mathematical workings as I try to reconstruct enough of my
geometrical and trigonometrical knowledge to calculate the
intersections of all the lines...
Update: I have added an animation to the pips so that when you
click the button to show the interpretation, the pips shrink and
shuffle out of the way!
The CSIRO in Australia have an
SVG Toolkit for
Yahoo have a Group for SVG
Developers, but so far I have failed to register with
Yahoo (their clever on-line forms fail on Opera/Linux 5).
This leaves me forced to subscribe to the mailing list, which
(given I hardly ever find time to read may email at home)
is likely to flood my inbox to little effect. Oh, well. There
is also the SVG Wiki, where
the distilled wisdom of the mailing list is already emerging.
This is the thirteenth installment of my
tarot project. Naturally this means an
appearance of the famousest tarot card,
XIII. Death, as well as
the card that seems most mysterious to most people:
XII. The Hanged Man.
This installment also represents the appoximate half-way point in
the project—fourteen out of 22 trumps and 24 out of
56 of the minor arcana (38 out of 78 total). By
way of celebration, I have rearranged the descriptive pages
a little and expanded on the
Jeremy’s completed the first year of her Weekly Strip: the first strip
was Monday 2 April 2001,
the 52nd will be Tuesday
2 April 2002 (which she assembled before disppearing to
Amsterdam for Easter).
To mark the occasion I am belatedly overhauling the Tcl
scripts used to generate the HTML pages that form the index for
the strips. Careful readers will have noticed that the old index page had the year 2001
in its URL, despite including all the 2002 strips as well.
Basically my indexing script was all organized around generating
a single index page. I have now refactored the whole
shebang so that not only are there now per-year index pages, all
the ones for years beyond 2001 have their own directories (e.g.,
the index for 2002 is
/jrd/2002/ instead of being
/jrd/tws-2002.html). There was a little jiggery-pokery
required to ensure that existing pages do not move to
different URLs (to avoid breaking any links or bookmarks other
people might have). Thus last week’s strip remains at URL
and this week’s