www.TedDillard.com: Index

January 11, 2015

Welcome! 
The common thread throughout all of my interests is the melding of technology and personal expression.  This is an index of the work I have online, both past and present.  For detailed samples, please visit my CV, Resume page: Case Studies, Sample Pieces and Portfolio
Current work:

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Writing

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Fine Art Reproduction

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Fine Art
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Color Management Consulting
  • ColorV2: Second Generation Color Management

Projects, Builds, Inventions and Solutions
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  • The X-Y Easel: A tool to redefine digital Fine Art Reproduction

  Drag Racing Belt Sander: World Record Attempt

wait.  wuuut?
The Archives:

CV, Resume: Case Studies, Sample Pieces and Portfolio

View Ted Dillard's profile on LinkedIn

And now, may we present, the rest of the blog!  Thanks for your interest.

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We made it!  With 4 days to go, Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles got 100% funding at $10,000, and is still going strong.

Why do I love this?  Well, for a number of reasons, beyond the obvious.  First, it shows me that it’s not my personal grail or indulgence, and that there’s interest and demand for this kind of work in the EV community.  While I’m talking about community, it’s been really amazing how many people have spoken  up and reached out to help – with resources, information, some gossip, and lots of details.  I also can see where the support comes from, and that there’s interest outside of just the electric motorcycle community, the EV world, even the world of gasoline motorsports.  The goal has been to write a book that reaches beyond the niche of the niche that electric motorcycles is, and it seems like there’s interest out there.

A HUGE thanks to the backers and everyone who’s helped.  …and if you still want in, there’s still time.  Order your book here.

Now the work begins!

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 5.58.48 AMFor the last 8 years or so, I’ve been keeping track of resources and news about electric motorcycles over on my The Electric Chronicles blog.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized that what I had was a pretty complete history of not only recent electric motorcycle development, but not-so-recent history as well…  such is the nature of obsession.  I also realized that it was a fascinating story of how science, technology, research and the market come together to make a revolution happen.

So I started a book.

What I find most interesting is about how the timeline of electric motorcycle illustrates bigger subjects of technology and innovation.  We always hear about “Think Different”, but one of the key patterns in innovation is watching how individual pieces have to fit together to make that “Different” happen.  What we know as the modern bicycle, for example, went through almost 50 years of fits and starts, through several interpretations of a two-wheeled, human-powered device…  but until three unrelated bits came together – a manufacturing process that could make tube steel, inflatable, pneumatic rubber tires, and, most interesting, industrial roller chain – could the modern concept of a bicycle exist.  The parallels in electric motorcycle development make this a fascinating story of 21st century innovation.

This is a book that will interest not only EV enthusiasts and motorcycle fans, but anyone interested in how breakthrough ideas incubate, fail, and succeed.

And, I started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book.  Take a look: Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles.  If you’re interested, I hope you’ll consider backing the project. In the first 24 hours the project hit 25% of the funding goals, and 50% in a few days.

What’s most exciting, and personally satisfying, is how the electric motorcycle community has embraced and supported the project.  Where I once had doubts that this was anything but a personal obsession, the community has stepped up and unequivocally weighed in: this is an important project, and people want to support it, both with their dollars, but also with information, resources and contacts.

The video:

Here’s the latest version of the outline:

Chapters:

The Timelines:

• Battery development • Brand development • Community/forums • Racing

The Pre-history – makes and models, tests and development:

• The Age of Lead • 1900 to 1950 • the late 20th century • The Dawn of Lithium • The 2000s

Battery and Supporting Tech Development:

• A Short History of Lithium Battery Research • The BMS • The Motor and Controller Equation

The People (notable cast and characters of the 2002-present period):

• Mike Corbin • Michael Czysz • Terry Hershner • Chip Yates • Craig Bramscher • Livia Cevolini • Jeff Disinger • Shawn Lawless • Luke Workman • Azhar Hussain • Cedric Lynch • Neal Saiki • Brian Richardson • Bill Dube and Eva Håkansson

The Student Teams: Ohio State • Purdue • Virginia Tech • Kingston University (others)

Europe and the UK

The Australians: A continent in flux:

• Danny Ripperton • The Voltron • Racing

The Communities:

Endless Sphere (and the e-bike crossover) • Elmoto • ElectricMotorcycleForum • V is for Voltage • DIY Electric Car • Brammo Owners Forum

Racing:

• The Early Years (Team Bettimoto and the EVN CUP) • The Isle of Man • TTXGP • FIM • eMotoRacing • MotoE • eFXC • Land Speed Racing • Drag Racing

The Brands:

• Zero • Brammo • Energica • Harley Davidson • Electric Motorsport • Agility Saietta • Quantya • KTM • Mission Motors • BRD • Vectrix • Electric Moto • ELMOTO • MotoCzysz • Oset • Roehr • Bell • Lito • Sarolea • Lightning • Amorak  (others)

World’s Firsts, Records and Feats:

Mike Corbin • The NEDRA • KillaCycle • Shawn Lawless • Lightning • Chip Yates • Mission • Nathan Abbott • Terry Hershner • Team MotoElectra • Pikes Peak • Charlie MacArthur (more)

The Medicine Show: Emerging technology and the rise of the “PT Barnum Effect”

The Future of Electric Motorcycle – Overtaking a century of carbon-fuel development: Mainstream Manufacturers • Emerging Brands • Custom Builders

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Somehow, over the years of hammering away at programs like Photoshop, I’ve had sort of a mental block trying to learn even the most rudimentary CAD software.  Not too long ago Sketchup was a free program offered by Google, and I gave it a try…  and failed miserably.  Lately though, I decided it was something I really needed at the very least a basic understanding of.  So I tried again.

I fetched around the internet and found the official Sketchup training videos – here’s the first basic intro, here:

The next thing I decided after messing around with dumb objects that had no real purpose was that I should work on an actual part.  The dolly shown above was one that I’ve been wanting to draw, so, after chunking around with some not-so-actual parts, I decided to take a shot at an real design I’d been thinking about.  This is the universal-fit wheel assembly for the X-Y Easel.  That was the first step that made a real difference it learning this stuff.  Do something real.

As it turns out, it’s not such a steep learning curve after all.  It’s just, well, different.

Here’s the cool thing about a 3D modeling program.  You get to look all around it.  Here’s the bottom view:

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Once I got around the toolbar a bit I realized it’s a lot like building a real thing.  You need parts.  You can get parts from the online source, or you can make them yourself. Here’s the basic wheel mount, with the brake assembly:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.29.54 AMThis is made up of a few “Components”, which are distinct parts that you can move in and out, much like a real assembly.  Unlike when you draw additional things on a model, components stay intact. The blue frame shows you the outline of the component, in this case the wheel brake idea I had:

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This is a spring that I found in the “Component Warehouse”, after trying in vain to draw one myself:Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.30.20 AM

 

After making some pretty rudimentary parts, with no curved edges or anything, I decided to try to figure out how to make curved edges and refine the shapes a bit.  The tutorials were OK, but when I just started Googling what I was trying to do I found some pretty helpful amateur tutorials.  Unlike the official videos, these are much more specific to one subject.

Here’s the wheel I made, using the actual dimensions from a Rollerblade wheel:

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And here’s how it fits into the assembly as a component:

 

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.30.31 AMSo using that, I now have real-life dimensions I know will work.  I can also see conflicts and problems before I start cutting stock – for instance, this slot for the brake spring mount is a problem if I don’t pay attention:

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…and yes, of course you can move the light around and get a good look at things, just like real life.

Conclusions?  Well, first, it’s not such a big deal.  My biggest hurdle is to accept the fact that the tools aren’t the same as Photoshop.  I found it frustrating that my instincts and habits were so, well, just wrong, and I had to get over it.

Second, I’m coming to the realization that the program probably isn’t all that great.  It feels like one of those packages that tries to be simple, but in doing so is kludgy and does stuff you don’t expect or want.  It’s useful, but I suspect messing around with a more professional program like Solidworks or Autocad is ultimately going to be more satisfying – though a much steeper learning curve.

Probably the biggest hurdle is learning “the rules” – or, in other words, figuring out the behavior of the program.  What you can do, what it won’t let you do, especially since you’re moving things around in three dimensions.  I still haven’t figured out how to draw certain things on certain planes without having to rotate them after.  Really, that’s just a matter of practice and, as usual, digital hygiene.  Nothing new here, folks.

But, at the end of the day, is this a 3D model that I can use?  Most definitely yes.

A while ago I posted a photo from a series I did a long time ago – started in the early ’80s and finished up by ’87, documenting many of the buildings in the Town of Harvard that we felt were soon to disappear.  Here is the complete set:

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I want to make this as simple as possible, and it’s a subject that invites you to dive in to all manner of techno-vortices of Color Science.  It’s really a simple question, though.  Does it matter which light source I use to illuminate artwork for reproduction?

I’ve argued that the color and quality of the light source is crucial in reproducing the vision of the artist.  I think I’ve demonstrated pretty well how the light quality affects the texture and surface of the canvas, but I’ve been struggling with a good way to demonstrate how the light color affects the perception of the various tones and values in a painting.  I’ve been tempted to go into a deep, technical discussion of it, but then realized it’s really a very simple thing.  Show how the colors are different with three basic light sources – tungsten, strobe and “full spectrum” fluorescent.  The simplest way to show that is with a Colorchecker.

Basically, think of it in terms of throwing something at an object, and getting what bounces back.  You can’t get back what you didn’t toss in the first place.  If you’re not throwing red, for example (in the case of a fluorescent, specifically), you’re not going to get red bouncing back to the camera.

First, the video:

Now, the details.

The “Tungsten” version was shot using halogen gallery-type floods, the camera set to 3700K, and shooting RAW with the Nikon D800.

The “Strobe” version was simply changed to 5000K, and the “Fluorescent” version was 5000K as well.  The fluorescent bulbs are so-called “continuous spectrum” 5000K bulbs, which is really a misnomer, a fact you can see by simply looking at a spectral response graph of any good bulb of this type, including those used on the Cruse Scanner and other similar devices.

The files were processed using Adobe Camera RAW, and a click-gray balance was made on the lighter of the two center gray patches.  The shadows and highlights were adjusted slightly so the shadow and highlight points on the histograms would match up well.  The files were cropped to the target, and processed with the default Adobe camera profile.  The Working Color Space is Adobe1998.

Remember.  The primary objective of the entire science and technology of CCD development and Color Management is to replicate the human visual experience of color.  Color management tools’ job is to take these colors we see above and try to correct them to match the known colorimetric values of the target.  They can do that a lot better and bring the colors closer to what we perceive if they have a starting point closer to where they’re trying to end up.  If they don’t have the colors, they have to make them up, or stretch the colors they do have into the space they need to be.

The conclusions are pretty obvious to the eye, but even more so when you look at the histograms.  Each light source is indeed different.  The intensity of each of the color patches on the Colorchecker is rendered in a slightly different way in some cases, in others, the differences are pronounced.

So, yes, each is different.  That begs a few questions.

Which one is more “accurate”?  That question will send you down another vortex of Color Theory.

Which one is more faithful to what the artist saw?  That question is simple.  The light source that the artist used when creating the work can only be the most faithful to the artist’s vision and intent.

A painter’s view of light, color, and their importance in reproduction of paintings:

Warren worked closely with me in developing the technique I use for Fine Art Reproduction…  inspiring me to develop and refine the process and the tools – the X-Y Easel.