showFoto 0.5.0: Doorway to the 6th Dimension!

Made from the original, below, using Block Wave with default settings on a resized (enlarged) version

I wonder how many of us, capable of doing so many things, would be reduced to only one single, useful, function if the people we live or work with could custom configure us? That’s the way I’ve come to look at the digital camera program, showFoto. Sure, it’s probably useful for handling digital photos (I think that’s where the name comes from) but it’s distortion filter, “Block Wave”, is all I think of when I use the program.

Actually, I guess it’s not really a feature of showFoto but the digiKam filter plugin that installs the incredible block wave filter. These are both Linux programs, but I don’t think it matters much since these are fairly plain and generic functions that can be found on any operating system. Although I’m not a programmer or math person, I suspect the block wave filter I’ve used, while not as common as the circular wave, implements algorithms that are relatively simple and have been in use for some time.

That’s where I, the digital coach comes in; paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, and directing the efforts of the passed-over, and laughed-at, filter effect and guiding it onward to Olympic, NBA, and World Cup glory. Another digital Cinderella story.

Original, India Inked fractal from Inkblot Kaos

A few notes:
-I don’t know why anyone would ever want to apply this filter to a digital photo, not even me, but that’s where I found it.

-The image needs to have some fine texture or outlining in it (such as the patterns produced by the India Ink photoshop plugin) in order to produce freaky details, otherwise it just makes globby stuff, which is what most distortions usually do.

-a simple recipe is this: take any image, apply the India Ink plugin (unless it already has clearly defined details), then let ‘er rip!(apply filter).

Block Waved in showFoto using default settings

It’s the most creative graphics filter I have ever found; good example of what I like to call “click-art”, simple transforming effects. Better than multicrystal.8bf or uscomic.8bf (and that’s saying a lot). Most distortions filters produce predictable, distorted (ie. ugly) effects, but the effect of this one can be quite creative, although it’s probably a very simple, mechanical process. The “reaction”, or combined effect of the image and the filter, produces something neither of them can really take credit for. (The “Dick and Perry” effect.)

“Block Wave” doesn’t really describe the effect very well, although it may be a good description of its function. Here are some better labels I hope the developers will consider for the next update:

Melting Fog-Cloud Bejeweller

Martian Hieroglyphic Dither

Mayan Secret Script Revealer

Onion Dome Crystal Freeze Pillarizer

Amoeboid Diode Circuit-Board Generator

Alphabet Dissolving Ray

Secret Snail Machine

Alien Fingerprint Spray

Micro-Circuit City Shaper

Martian Undersea Resort Builder

Bubble Pillar Ghost Cloud

Aztec Schematic

Ant World

Liquid Light/Dripping Mind

Tim Hodkinson

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