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Anti Aliasing with LEGO – Part 2

May 5th, 2010

In Part 1 of this series, I provided some simple examples of Anti-Aliasing (AA) with LEGO.  Today I will look at how the proper shade for each brick can be determined, for both standard and AA mosaics.  I will use the letter ‘A’ mosaic to demonstrate these processes.

In the image above, the red outline is the shape of the letter ‘A’ to be built as a LEGO mosaic.  The first step is to superimpose the outline over a grid of the desired size.  The smaller the pitch on the grid, the more accurately the ‘A’ can be represented, but the more bricks and effort it will take to complete the project.  For this example the ‘A’ will be positioned inside a 9 high by 11 wide grid.

Article Continues… READ FULL ARTICLE »

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Anti Aliasing With LEGO – Part 1

May 3rd, 2010

All my previous LEGO Mosaics fit neatly into two categories. First, there is the photo realistic type like the mosaics of my older kids, or my younger kids. Second, there is the solid area type like the Danny Phantom mosaic, or Starbucks logo mosaic.

Starting today, there is another category, which is solid area, anti-aliased mosaics.

In real life I am a business software developer. However, for fun I’ve recently started playing around with iPhone development. This hobby has introduced me to the concept of anti-aliased graphics. Generally speaking, anti-aliasing (AA) is the use of lighter (or darker) colors at region transitions to smooth out jagged transitions. LEGO bricks are a great way to demonstrate this technique.

lego mosaic anti alias example 1 lego mosaic anti alias example 2

Shown above are a couple LEGO mosaic examples with and without AA.  Hopefully the middle blue line seems less jaggedy and the right green circle and letter ‘A’ also appear smoother than those to the left.  I’ve purposely shown these images small, because in order for the advantage of AA to be realized visual blending of the pixels must occur.

Article Continues… READ FULL ARTICLE »

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Cutting LEGO Base Plates

May 27th, 2008

Generally I’m a purist when it comes to my LEGO projects. Specifically, I don’t usually modify LEGO elements in any way, including bending, cutting, painting or otherwise destroying them. However, I have made one exception to this rule, which is that I sometimes cut LEGO base plates when I use them as mosaic backing.

Shown below is my Packer Logo Mosaic in both its original rectangular form, and newly modified form with cut base plate.

packer_logo_uncut_1.JPG

packer_logo_cut_1.JPG

I very happy with the cut base plate result, and prefer it to the original design. This change also has an added bonus – it frees up the white border bricks for other projects.

Read on for more information on the techniques I use to cut base plates including additional pictures… READ FULL ARTICLE »

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LEGO SNOT Building Tips

March 27th, 2008

Many of the LEGO building projects I’ve written about over the past several months include the use of SNOT.  For those of you not familiar with the term, SNOT is an acronym for Studs-Not-On-Top, which is a common building technique in LEGO brick sculpting.

In the simplest form of brick sculpting, the studs on all bricks face the same direction (usually up).  However, at times it is desirable to face bricks in multiple directions.  Fortunately, LEGO has provided many different building elements to accomplish this.  In addition, LEGO geometry also allows elements to fill brick voids left in one direction, with bricks facing another direction, with some careful planning.

lego_snot_3.JPG

I used SNOT building technique above to create a 10X Minifig Sunglasses Face design.  Detailed construction pictures follow with more information and additional examples of SNOT. READ FULL ARTICLE »

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