Pretty Polish


As part of a continuing effort to make visophyte’s byproducts look attractive, I implemented a bit more shiny today. Using this aqua sphere effect photoshop tutorial at as a basis, I have made the simple circle renderer support a ‘pretty’ option.

Unfortunately, this took a lot longer than I was hoping. Cairo lacks a Gaussian blur mechanism, PIL only supports 5×5 image kernels (iterative application is too slow), and using SciPy was absurdly slow and didn’t even work right before I gave up on it. Thankfully, in my googling it turned out that box blurs can be used to approximate a Gaussian blur. So visophyte’s cairo renderer now has a home-grown “box blur” filter using a boxcar average to keep the iterations and redundant calculations down.  (And only using the array module, so no new dependencies.)


The latter vis is just the same vis as in my post about pretty pie charts, but with the pie visualizations replaced with circles. A net loss in information, but perhaps a net gain in prettiness? (Utility probably stays about the same…)

2 thoughts on “Pretty Polish

  1. Eyecandy+1

    Looking good. Congrats!

    Regarding speed though, I don’t have reference basis since we’re looking at pngs here (unless they’re generated on the fly?). I’m not sure what the best way to convey/define such a performance metric is, although I know convolution is typically one of the more expensive operations.

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