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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:12 AM   #76
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Hi Marj:

Let me clarify. The stunning video work will captivate any type of viewer, and this is an entry that can be brought into every living room and not fail to delight. I was hoping to communicate that you need not worry about everyone getting the math behind it all and thus shouldn't worry about whether or not to lighten that aspect of the video. We all will understand that these geometric shapes and mathematical principles are found everywhere in the natural world for a reason. You will probably have viewers that are so intrigued, they just might dive into the math to understand it better. And this is where artistic video can change lives. I think this is what you are ultimately wanting to do with this piece of work.

So please, no offense be taken. If you craft it well (which you are), it will be a multifaceted film that reaches people on different levels, from the mathematically savvy to a six year old delighted to watch the bees in the hive and the dung beetle rolling that big ball of poop!

Cat
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Old October 21st, 2009, 10:06 AM   #77
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Hey Cat - Absolutely no offence taken - quite the opposite - I'm so grateful for your observations.

What bothered me was how to solve the problem in the very limited time we have left! I see that you agree with Chris - don't bring it down in level. I will help it along though, by adding more introductory and concluding statements as Steve was intimating.

Anyway I hope the stories I have used, as you have said, will be enough to hold interest even if the amazing underpinning maths doesn't.

Thanks Cat.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 04:05 PM   #78
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Marge,

I learned a lot more once again. Look forward to next month!!!! You should be able to market this video i as number of ways if you so desire.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #79
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Marj,
Your work is so delicate and perfectionistic. The animations, macros and colors are superb. In a time where all good films are equipped with an amount of flying skies and fast-moving sunsets, you show up with many personal qualities.
I am impressed.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #80
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Marj, I could not find your link. Bob
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Old October 26th, 2009, 12:11 AM   #81
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Oops sorry Bob - link is

By design #4_ roughcut scene 1 on Vimeo

Best to allow it to download before watching it as it is very stuttery.


Thank you Dale and Finn-Eric for your comments.


Marj
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #82
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Hi Marj.

I love the opening sequence and what a great choice of music, loved it.
On my PC when playing your vimeo video, the rolling text is "jumping" up the screne, (I'm not sure if the propper english word is jerk, jolt or pull on this matter). Better if it was rolling more smoothly, but it can also be it's only on my computer (others?).
If I where you I would have used a technical font in this video. At least I think it will suit the topic very well. The font you are using is fine :)
When you say "exposition will be here", does it mean text or VO? It's hard for me to tell if the opening is too long or suitable when it's not there, if you know what I mean? Also if you intend to use text, beware of the length. Too much text in videos can sometimes be boring. Not so boring with VO, and you have a fine voice - don't be afraid of using it :)
Ok, when it comes to your clips/shots/colours etc, they are all great. Both close ups and wides are all fine. Most of the shots are in a very high standard and thereby gives your video a professional look. The combination between living creatures and, like when you blend the egg white (at around 6.00 I think), is pretty cool. It shows good thinking and planning through out the video, and makes me think of you as an pro film maker.
Many of us fim makers is just filming "stuff" and don't know whats behind it all. Watching your video it gives me a feeling of; that you know what you're talking about :)
I think that way you are able to give the viewer more than a pretty film to watch and that the viewer will feel certain that what is given to him/her is true.

Puh, if I only could give my comments in norwegian, I feel that I now and then is using the wrong english words for my expresions:/
Well, that is what I got by now - a great video this is.

All the best
Geir Inge
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Old October 27th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #83
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Thanks Geir, I really appreciate the time you have taken to give me this input.

I must assume it is the Vimeo compression combined with the animation in its background that has made the text stutter/jerk as I didn’t have any problems with the text scrolling in my compressed files. Will have to double check all these little things though.

Exposition here means VO - just want to see how much of my film I am going to be able to finish before committing myself to the exposition. It may have to change a bit depending on what I can manage to get done in the short amount of time left. It won’t be long.

Even though I have a keen interest in the natural world around me and have a basic understanding of how things work, the only way I could write the stories for this film was to do lots of research. I have learned so much along the way and have become so fascinated with this subject.

You have raised a very important point - making sure that all facts in a documentary are correct. I have been constantly aware of this because I am neither a mathematician nor a biologist. I have relied heavily on the internet for my information but I regard it with a great deal of caution as it is peppered with mistakes. I have found plenty of them while doing my research - which is the reason I won’t rely on information from one site only.

I have also tried to verify every single statement before putting it in my film and where I can’t verify I have left it out. Where possible I have tried to find the originators of the information. It is 95% verified at this stage - one or two things still need to be double checked. I will also ask an expert to check it.

I was very worried I was over-doing the narration again but without it, it is difficult to work out what is being demonstrated.

Thanks once again Geir.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #84
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Marj. very well done, and, educational. Makes one look at the world in a different way. As a former entomologist I really loved the macro. What lens did you use for those extreme close-ups? You did a fantastic job on the narration. Not only pleasingto the ear, but as I said, very educational. Can't wait for the final product. Bob
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Old November 4th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #85
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Thanks for your comments Bob - they mean a lot to me especially coming from an entymologist!

For the close-ups I used a Canon Macro lens EF 100mm 1:2.8 USM on my XL2.

Marj
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Old November 5th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #86
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Hey Marj

Well you look like you've taken some great steps forward and are well on the way to formating your overall film....I hope I get there :-)

Ok then...

As I've said previously I think this concept is very strong and interesting but a tricky story to tell.

I thought the intro needed to be stronger or carry your theme better. These images should be the strongest you have. After all your trying to grab people to keep watching. They should also sing geometry/math which I don't thing some of them did. Maybe there is some section treatment that would make this work.

Narration/Writing. - It seems 'All head and little Heart !' - I hope this descibes what I'm feeling. Firstly it feels like I'm been read too from a text book and while its very interesting its could be more entertaining. I'd say trim it, let it breathe more and let your images tell the story where ever you can.

Story wise. - I like your individual sections, the bees the frogs nest etc. But apart from the obvious connections I felt like I wanted more that was linking these things together. So...something we are trying to find out or looking for the answer too. Maybe it was there and I'd pick it up on a second watch but I just wanted to get that into the critique at this point.

Great stuff Marj and you certainly seem one of the most organised long formers!

Looking forward to you final piece
Mat
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Old November 26th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #87
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As I mentioned in the giant thread I am unfortunately unable to upload my film or download your films until Tuesday next week, so I apologise. It is very frustrating not to be able to view your wonderful films right now.

As you may already have seen, Steve, I answered your question regarding the animation of the florets initiating on the minute sunflower head in the other thread but I did not think it would be a good idea to hog that giant thread with more answers so I moved to here. Incidentally – my sunflower only has 34:21 florets in the first row, so you can imagine just how small they can be when they have 55:89 – even smaller than ours! Just for interest sake - primordia are 40-50 microns wide (1000 microns = 1 mm) 

The nautilus cutaway is simply a radial wipe between the clips of the outside and inside of the nautilus (which is an original graphic of my own with its outline created to match up with the outline of the external view of the shell. )

There was no ways on earth I could get a shot of a Nautilus swimming even if they did inhabit our waters which they don't, so I did a composite (in Premiere Pro) comprising an underwater shot filmed at Ushaka and a single frame of the nautilus shell combined with an original graphic that I created of the head and tentacles.

By reducing the opacity on the nautilus a little, the bright white floaties in the water appeared to be swimming in front of it although they are in fact shining through from behind it in the composite. I got the nautilus to bob along as it does in real life by moving its position between start and end points and by rotating its angle back and forth at regular intervals in the effects control panel.

Last edited by Marj Atkins; November 26th, 2009 at 05:21 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #88
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Hi Marj,

I am so impressed with your work...I've never seen anything like it, and the fact that the presentation and information, too, are new comes as no surprise. I would have assumed that growth begins at the center and works its way out, but thinking back to my embryology, I recall (fuzzily) other examples of inward growth. I didn't think that the animation was from an After Effects plug-in, but neither did I expect you had developed it yourself (even with assistance). Congratulations. I assume that you are in some kind of scientific pursuit as a profession. Correct?

After watching the film, and a little disappointed that you hadn't carried the structures back a little more, (Of course, I didn't know at the time that this was all being done by hand), I tried to think about where these structures and numbers were all coming from. As you get to the molecular level, Fibonacci numbers are not very important. Three, and eight sided molecules are rare. Six is the norm for closed loop molecules, some fives. So the patterns probably aren't set at that fundamental level. Embryos all go through an eight cell stage, but, at least in humans, it is a hexagon with two cells in the middle. Not much help either.
I suppose my question is: what is the smallest structure that displays "Golden Properties".
Do you know? The other feature that just has to hold some answers is the fact that components in one direction of a spiral differ from those in the other direction by just one Fibonacci number. Have you tried to generate a sunflower head with the same number in both directions (like 55 and 55, not 55 and 34). Are there space filling problems that way?
Ultimately, the numbers have to reflect the timing of gene expression for the various structures represented. Timing of gene expression is critical for all development. So does that mean there is a Fibonacci clock? Do you know who does research on this stuff?
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Old November 26th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #89
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Another question Marj,
If each seed was square or circular in cross section, then I suspect (without doing the math, sorry), that a good fit could be made with the same number of spirals in both directions (say 55 and 55). If they are rectangular or ovoid then a lesser number in one direction would be dictated it the whole flower was to be circular, as all Composites are.
Now the question is: Does the shape of each seed approximate a golden rectangle, and is that why they pack in Fibonacci sequences.
If the seeds are golden rectangles in cross section does that reflect the packing of starch granules within? Different kinds of starch is formed by different degrees of branching of the glucose molecules that compose it, and it can pack differently depending on the amount of branching that occurs. On the other hand, aren't all these decisions made while the seeds are still primordia with no starch. Jeez it's complex. I love this stuff!
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Old November 28th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #90
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Thanks Steve.

Okay Dr Siegel lets take these one at a time. There is a long answer and a short answer to all of these questions. Unfortunately, I currently have two clients who have been very patient with me and need their work done so I will have to give you the short answers:

First though, my feet are squarely in the arts. Like you I am just fascinated by this subject – even more so since starting this project. I started out thinking this was going to be a simple fun exercise even if a bit superficial. Nothing could have been further from the truth. This is neither simple nor superficial but at the forefront of a great deal of research. I realized very soon that if I were to do this project I had better know what I am talking about and I spent hours reading and researching this topic. Although I am 99% sure of my facts, my film still needs to be verified by an expert in the field. Dr Palmer has verified this particular section that is based on his research work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post

I suppose my question is: what is the smallest structure that displays "Golden Properties".
Do you know?
I understand where you are coming from Steve but in all the research I did I never saw any reference to anything deeper than this level. (Crystals can produce the same patterns but their molecular constituents diverge widely from those of plants.) I am not so sure though that it’s a matter of dealing with individual structures here, but rather with a system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post

The other feature that just has to hold some answers is the fact that components in one direction of a spiral differ from those in the other direction by just one Fibonacci number. Have you tried to generate a sunflower head with the same number in both directions (like 55 and 55, not 55 and 34). Are there space filling problems that way?
No I haven’t tried, but anything other than 137.5 deg on a circular disc will have gap problems. Sorry - there is one other way - using two changing angles, but no one has found a plant that uses it.

However, it doesn’t work like that. We did not decide to make our pattern using 21 spirals one way and 34 spirals the other way out of choice. In fact we didn’t even make the spirals - only one unit/object and a little program containing some rules.

The two sets of spirals and two Fibonacci numbers were the natural consequence of this set of rules (iteration) incorporating the golden angle: e.g. repeat this object on the other side of the disc 137.5 degrees from this one using the centre point of the disc as the axis. Repeat this 600 times with each new object positioned at a slightly smaller radius from the centre. (Greg calculated the radius so that no new object would overlap a previous one.) In other words the spirals and the Fibonacci numbers just appeared when this rule was applied! The reason for 21:34 spirals as opposed to say 34:55 spirals is due to the size of the disc relative to the size of the object.

However, in addition to this, Greg had to build in the growth factor – growth of the disc and the continual growth of the little bump thingies. He also had to keep the centre third clear almost till the end, even though the bumps were continually emerging. He also had to make this pattern appear on a saucer shape not a flat disc so lots of things were built into his calculations. Complicated mathematics was involved in creating this - and to think that plants do this all the time!

One could possibly, with a push, use hexagons to pack a circular disc if they were very small compared to the head but you wouldn’t get exponential growth with that and you couldn’t apply it to the leaves. Not only does this one angle solve the packing problem on the seed head but is applied to the leaves arranged helically around the stem as well – quite an achievement.

Next year Greg will be doing a couple of examples for my film repeating this little sequence but using slightly different angles for the florets (different rules) just to show how precise this angle needs to be for good packing without gaps. We both ran out of time to do this for this submission but it’s fascinating to see! Just to give you an idea, try this fun pattern-maker here (it uses values not angles but it will give you an idea anyway):

Nature, The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers

Last edited by Marj Atkins; November 28th, 2009 at 06:54 AM.
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