A Sexy Pirate, Vectors, and Entropy (artwork)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on August 11th, 2005

Current mood: My Pirate Name is Long-Jimmy Short-Beard

Aye, I fine firey lass was she! Hair as red as the devil’s coals, a face that broke a thousand hearts, and a waggle in her hips that sank a thousand ships!

At the behest of my cousin Brian, who loves scalable vector art for games, I have been making an effort to practice vector artwork lately, so rather than coloring her in The Gimp as is my usual practice, I traced and colored her in Inkscape. I am pleased with the results. Creating vectors vertex-by-vertex is painful for me, but traced from a hand-drawn source, I am happy with it.

My vector-art-idol, whom I seek to emulate is the talented John Allison of Scarygoround. His work is well worth checking out, not just for the artwork, but also for the humor.

Look! There in the sky! It’s Abrupt Change of Subject Man!

The entropy of the Sexy Pirate picture is really high. (Some people sometimes yell at me for using the word “entropy” in a non-thermodynamic sense, so I will clarify that I am talking about Infotropy) I began with a really large amount of information in the form of a scan, dividing 2D space into a grid and recording a color value for each pixel. When I reduced that to 1-bit and reduced the resolution, a huge amount of information was lost in the pixelation process. The original scan contained almost ten thousand times as much information… at least measured in bytes. In terms of visual recognition, it only lost a little. You can still tell it is supposed to be a Sexy Pirate. All the information on what make something “Sexy” and what make something a “Pirate” are already present in the mind of the observer. Most of the 99.99 percent of the information that was lost wasn’t important information. In the tracing process, even more information is lost, but now since we are working with curves in vector space rather than describing black and white boxes in a grid, the remaining information is oddly enough even more meaningful than it was before. That is what makes information interesting to me. That is what makes it so difficult to think of in simple terms like you can with math or logic. Some information is more important than other information…. and the only way to tell the difference between meaningful information and meaningless information is– More information!

And in conclusion… *wolf whistle* … um… yeah… ;)

EDIT: added shaded version in place of flat-colored version (less entropic I suppose, but oh-well)

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