Photoshop/gimp layers to SVG

Ever wanted to export multiple layers in a Gimp or Photoshop image, with each layer as its own PNG, but the whole thing then wrapped up as an SVG?

The usefulness is that an artist can create an image of, say, a person, with eyes of various different colours in multiple layers.  Then we can create an SVG file that we can embed in an html page, and then change the color of the eyes through Javascript.

So take this example.  In this image we have a face made up of various layers, and the layers are further grouped in GroupLayers.

So imagine having this image, then in Javascript on your page being able to swap out just the eye image.  Or just the mouth image.

To achieve this, I had to modify an existing gimp python script from 5 years ago that has since bitrotted.  Back when it was written, there was no such thing as group layers, so the script doesn’t work now.  A bit of hacking, and I get:

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: <utf-8> -*-
# Author: Erdem Guven <>
# Copyright 2016 John Tapsell
# Copyright 2010 Erdem Guven
# Copyright 2009 Chris Mohler
# "Only Visible" and filename formatting introduced by mh
# License: GPL v3+
# Version 0.2
# GIMP plugin to export as SVG

# Save this to ~/.gimp-*/plug-ins/

from gimpfu import *
import os, re

gettext.install("gimp20-python", gimp.locale_directory, unicode=True)

def format_filename(imagename, layer):
	layername ='utf-8')
	regex = re.compile("[^-\w]", re.UNICODE)
	filename = imagename + '-' + regex.sub('_', layername) + '.png'
	return filename

def export_layers(dupe, layers, imagename, path, only_visible, inkscape_layers):
	images = ""
	for layer in layers:
		if not only_visible or layer.visible:
			if layer.opacity != 100.0:
			if not layer.visible:
			if style != "":
				style = 'style="'+style+'"'

			if hasattr(layer,"layers"):
				image = '<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="%s" %s>' % ('utf-8'),style)
				image += export_layers(dupe, layer.layers, imagename, path, only_visible, inkscape_layers)
				image += '</g>'
				images = image + images
				filename = format_filename(imagename, layer)
				fullpath = os.path.join(path, filename);
				pdb.file_png_save_defaults(dupe, layer, fullpath, filename)

				image = ""
				if inkscape_layers:
					image = '<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="%s" %s>' % ('utf-8'),style)
					style = ""
				image += ('<image xlink:href="%s" x="%d" y="%d" width="%d" height="%d" %s/>\n' %
				if inkscape_layers:
					image += '</g>'
				images = image + images
	return images

def export_as_svg(img, drw, imagename, path, only_visible=False, inkscape_layers=True):
	dupe = img.duplicate()

	images = export_layers(dupe, dupe.layers, imagename, path, only_visible, inkscape_layers)

	svgpath = os.path.join(path, imagename+".svg");
	svgfile = open(svgpath, "w")
	svgfile.write("""<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!-- Generator: GIMP export as svg plugin -->

<svg xmlns:xlink="" """) 	if inkscape_layers: 		svgfile.write('xmlns:inkscape="" ') 	svgfile.write('width="%d" height="%d">' % (img.width, img.height));

	blurb=("Export as SVG"),
	help=("Export an svg file and an individual PNG file per layer."),
	author=("Erdem Guven <>"),
	copyright=("Erdem Guven"),
	label=("Export as SVG"),
		(PF_IMAGE, "img", "Image", None),
		(PF_DRAWABLE, "drw", "Drawable", None),
		(PF_STRING, "imagename", "File prefix for images", "img"),
		(PF_DIRNAME, "path", "Save PNGs here", os.getcwd()),
		(PF_BOOL, "only_visible", "Only Visible Layers?", False),
		(PF_BOOL, "inkscape_layers", "Create Inkscape Layers?", True),
	domain=("gimp20-python", gimp.locale_directory)


(Note that if you get an error ‘cannot pickle GroupLayers’, this is a bug in gimp. It can be fixed by editing

    350: gimpshelf.shelf[key] = defaults


Which when run, produces:


(I later renamed the layers to something more sensible 🙂 )

The (abbreviated) svg file looks like:

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Expression" >

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Eyes" >

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Layer10" ><image xlink:href="girl-Layer10.png" x="594" y="479" width="311" height="86" /></g>

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Layer14" ><image xlink:href="girl-Layer14.png" x="664" y="470" width="176" height="22" /></g>

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Layer11" ><image xlink:href="girl-Layer11.png" x="614" y="483" width="268" height="85" /></g>

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Layer9" ><image xlink:href="girl-Layer9.png" x="578" y="474" width="339" height="96" /></g>

<g inkscape:groupmode="layer" inkscape:label="Layer12" ><image xlink:href="girl-Layer12.png" x="626" y="514" width="252" height="30" /></g>



We can now paste the contents of that SVG directly into our html file, add an id to the groups or image tag, and use CSS or Javascript to set the style to show and hide different layers as needed.

CSS Styling

This all works as-is, but I wanted to go a bit further.  I didn’t actually have different colors of the eyes.  I also wanted to be able to easily change the color.  I use the Inkscape’s Trace Bitmap to turn the layer with the eyes into a vector, like this:


Unfortunately, won’t let me actually use SVG images, so this is a PNG of an SVG created from a PNG….

I used as few colors as possible in the SVG, resulting in just 4 colors used in 4 paths.  I manually edited the SVG, and moved the color style to its own tag, like so:

<style type="text/css"><![CDATA[ #eyecolor_darkest { fill:#34435a; } #eyecolor_dark { fill:#5670a1; } #eyecolor_light { fill:#6c8abb; } #eyecolor_lightest { fill:#b4dae5; } ]]></style>


<path id="eyecolor_darkest" ..../>

The result is that I now have an svg of a pair of eyes that can be colored through css.  For example, green:


Which can now be used directly in the head svg in an html, and styled through normal css:



For the sake of completeness, I wanted to let the user change the colors, but not have to make them specify each color individually. I have 4 colors used for the eye, but they are obviously related. Looking at the blue colors in HSL space we get:

RGB:#34435a =  hsl(216, 27%, 28%)
RGB:#5670a1 =  hsl(219, 30%, 48%)
RGB:#6c8abb =  hsl(217, 37%, 58%)
RGB:#b4dae5 =  hsl(193, 49%, 80%)

Annoyingly, the lightest color has a different hue. I viewed this color in gimp, change the hue to 216, then tried to find the closest saturation and value that matched it. 216, 85%, 87% seemed the best fit.

So, armed with this, we now have a way to set the color of the eye with a single hue:

#eyecolor_darkest  =  hsl(hue, 27%, 28%)
#eyecolor_dark     =  hsl(hue, 30%, 48%)
#eyecolor_light    =  hsl(hue, 37%, 58%)
#eyecolor_lightest =  hsl(hue, 85%, 87%)

Or in code:

function setEyeColorHue(hue) {
    document.getElementById("eyecolor_darkest").style.fill = "hsl("+hue+", 27%, 28%)";
    document.getElementById("eyecolor_dark").style.fill = "hsl("+hue+", 30%, 48%)";
    document.getElementById("eyecolor_light").style.fill = "hsl("+hue+", 37%, 58%)";
    document.getElementById("eyecolor_lightest").style.fill = "hsl("+hue+", 85%, 87%)";
<label for="hue">Color:</label>
<input type="range" id="hue" min="0" value="216" max="359" step="1" oninput="setEyeColorHue(this.value)" onchange="setEyeColorHue(this.value)"/>

Tinting a more complex image

But what if the image is more complex, and you don’t want to convert it to an SVG?  E.g.

The solution is to apply a filter to multiply the layer by another color.

See my follow up post: Changing the color of image in HTML with an SVG feColorMatrix filter



Simple HTML

I frequently want a simple single-file html page that generates some text dynamically based on some inputs at the top of the page.  This can be done in react etc of course, but sometimes my usecase is so simple that it’s an overkill.

For example, to generate some template code based on a few input parameters. Or to make some calculations based on inputs, or to make a customizable story, etc.

With this in mind, I produced the following minimal HTML, using the handlebars processor, that lets me do exactly this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
	<meta charset="UTF-8">
    <script type="application/javascript" src=""></script>
    <script id="result-template" type="text/x-handlebars-template">
Hello {{name}}!  You are {{age}} years old.  {{#xif "this.age > 18"}} That's really old! {{else}} So young! {{/xif}}

Put the rest of your page here.

<h2>What is your name?</h2>
Name: <input type="text" id="name" value="Bob"/>

        Age: <input type="number" id="age" value=32 min=0 ><p/><p/>
<div id="resultDiv"></div>
		var inputs = document.querySelectorAll("input");
		function update() {
			var params = {};
			for (i = 0; i < inputs.length; ++i) {
				params[inputs[i].id] = (inputs[i].type === "number")?Number(inputs[i].value):inputs[i].value;
			document.querySelector("#resultDiv").innerHTML = template(params);
		document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function() {
			Handlebars.registerHelper("xif", function (expression, options) {
   				 return Handlebars.helpers["x"].apply(this, [expression, options]) ? options.fn(this) : options.inverse(this);
			Handlebars.registerHelper("x", function (expression, options) {
				try { return Function.apply(this, ["window", "return " + expression + " ;"]).call(this, window); } catch (e) { console.warn("{{x " + expression + "}} error: ", e); }

			var source = document.querySelector("#result-template").innerHTML;
			template = Handlebars.compile(source);
			for (i = 0; i < inputs.length; ++i) {
				// Use 'input' to update as the user types, or 'change' on loss of focus
				inputs[i].addEventListener("input", update);

Which produces a result like:


Single-page HTML that changes the page on user input

Unity vs Unreal Engine 4

I implemented two medium-sized projects, one in Unreal Engine 4 and one in Unity 5.

Unfortunately these were both for clients, so I can’t talk about any specifics.  I do, however, want to give some general thoughts on the comparison between them.

Pros and Cons:

  • Unreal Engine 4 seems to have a lot more advanced features.  But I didn’t personally use any of these advanced features.  They didn’t seem easy to use.
  • Unity 5 was much more intuitive for me to use.
  • The Unity 5 asset store was so much nicer to use.  I could buy an asset and import it into my game with a couple of clicks.  With UE4 it seemed so much more difficult.
  • UE4’s VR support simply didn’t work on a Mac.  This sucked because my artists all use Macs.   More annoyingly, it didn’t say why it didn’t work, it just simply disabled the Preview In VR button, giving no reason.   And the reasons were written up in an Internal bug report (UE-11247 apparently) that the UE4 developers constantly refer to, but users aren’t actually allowed to view or see the status of!
  • I much preferred having a managed language (C# or javascript) in Unity than the C++ support in UE4.  Mistakes in C++ code meant crashing the whole app.  It also led to long compile times.   But a mistake in C# meant just having an exception and the app being able to easily recover from it.
  • I tried really hard to get on with UE4’s Blueprint, which is basically a visual “programming” language.  But implementing in a fairly simply mathematical formula would result in 20+ nodes.  Implementing a simple polynomial like  $latex  y = 3x^2 + 2x + 5 $  was incredibly painful in dragging out nodes for each operation.

Blueprint quickly becomes a mess. This is a random example from the web.

  • UE4’s blueprints become particularly annoying when users are asking questions about them.  They’ll paste a screenshot of their blueprint saying that they have a problem.  Someone else then has to try to decipher what is going on from a screenshot, with really no easy way to reproduce.  Users who want to copy a blueprint have to do so manually, node by node..
    I would really love for UE4 to mix in a scripting language, like Javascript.
  • UE4 has lots of cool features, but they are really difficult to just use.  For example, it has a lot of support for adding grass.  You can just paint grass onto your terrain..  except that you can’t because you don’t have any actual grass assets by default.
    The official UE4 tutorials say that to add grass, you should import the whole 6.4 GB Open World Demo Collection to your project!
    But then, even that isn’t enough because it doesn’t have any actual grass materials!  You have to then create your own grass material which is quite a long process.  This was really typical of my experience with UE4.  Why not just have a single ‘grass’ asset that could be instantly used, and then let the user tweak it in more complicated ways if they want to later on?
    Compare this to Unity.  You go to: Assets > Import Package > Terrain Assets  click on the tree or grass that you want, and that’s it.  You can then start painting with that tree or grass immediately.  If you later want to make your own trees, it comes with a tree editor, built in!
  • Unity’s support for Android was much better than UE4’s.
  • UE4 taxed my system a lot more than Unity.  For my beefy desktop, that was no problem.  But the artists had Mac laptops that really struggled.
  • I really like Unity’s GameObject plus Component approach.  Basically, you make a fairly generic GameObject that is in your scene, and then you attach multiple components to it.  For example, if you want a button, your button GameObject would have a mesh, a material, a renderer (to draw the material on the mesh), a hit box (to know when the user presses it) and presumably some custom script component that runs when you hit it.
    And because your custom scripts are written in C# or javascript, you get lovely automatically introspection on the class variables, and any variables are automatically added to the GUI!

Overall, I guess I’ve become a unity fanboy.  Which is a shame, because I started with UE4 and I really wanted to like it.  I have been with UE4 for 2 years, and was a paying sponsor for a year.

I feel that the trouble is their different audiences.  UE4 is obviously targeted towards much larger studios, who want advanced features and don’t care about built in assets etc.  Unity on the other hand is targeted towards Indie developers who want to make quick prototypes and cheap products easily.

This has resulted into a sort of stigma against Unity projects, because there is a glut of rubbish games produced by novices in Unity.  Unity charges about $1,500 per developer to remove the start-up Unity splashscreen, resulting in most indie developers not paying that fee.  Only the good games which sell well can afford to remove that splashscreen.

The result being that if you start up a random indie game on steam greenlight, for example, and see the Unity splashscreen, you know that the game is unlikely to be that good.  Hence a stigma.

USB i2c convertor chip. A lesson in USB Latency.

I was interested in transmitting data from an i2c sensor to an ARM board running FreeRTOS along a long wire, and decided to use a i2c to i2c converter. Specifically a chip called MCP2221.

A single sensor reading from the i2c sensor is 2 bytes. I wanted to read 128 samples per second, so I need 256 bytes per second of data.

I figured we’d be able to do easily, what with i2c at 400khz and USB at 12 M/s. There is considerable overhead – each sensor reading needs four USB packets:

  1. Send USB packet from arm board to usb chip telling it to read from i2c sensor
  2. Receive ACK from USB chip
  3. Send USB packet from arm board to usb chip telling it to send us the data that it just read
  4. Receive the data read

Each USB packet is 64 bytes, so we have an overhead of 256 bytes for every 2 bytes of data that we want to read. This means we need a throughput of (256 bytes per sample) * (128 samples per second) = 32kb/sec.

Trying to get 32kb/s out of a 1.5MB/s USB link should be easy, I naively thought.

I wrote a driver for the chip for FreeRTOS, and tested it out.

I got a miserable 40 samples per second. Far out from the target of 128 samples per second.

So what was going wrong? Obviously I suspected a mistake with my driver. So first step is to try to reproduce on linux. I downloaded the MCP2221 Linux driver, and tested the speed of it, like so:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import smbus
import time
import sys

I2C_ADDRESS = 0x48

if (len(sys.argv) == 1):
print("Please specify the bus, like:\n sudo $(sudo i2cdetect -l | sed -ne 's/^i2c-\([0-9]\+\).*i2c-mcp2221.*$/\1/p')");

bus = smbus.SMBus(int(sys.argv[1]))

def getContinuousValue():
values = bus.read_i2c_block_data(I2C_ADDRESS, 0x0);
value = (values[0] << 8) + values[1]
return value;

last_epoch_time = 0

write_bytes([0x01, 0x4, 0x83]);
while True:
epoch_time = int(time.time()*1000);
epoch_diff = epoch_time - last_epoch_time;
last_epoch_time = epoch_time;
hz = 0;
if (epoch_diff!=0):
hz = int(1000/epoch_diff);
print str(getContinuousValue()) + " (took " + str(int(epoch_diff)) + " ms - " + str(hz) + " per second)";

This produced a miserable 62.5 samples per second. i.e. 16ms. I even tested on windows and got the same result.

So what was going on?

I tested with a oscilloscope. It was taking 1ms to send a USB packet to receive the reply, compared to the 8ms for a roundtrip that we see in the driver.

This 8ms for a roundtrip is 4ms average for sending and receiving a packet. The code in the driver (after I modified it) looks like:

static int mcp2221_ll_cmd(struct i2c_mcp2221 *dev)
       int rv;

       /* tell everybody to leave the URB alone */
       dev-&gt;ongoing_usb_ll_op = 1;

       /* submit the interrupt out ep packet */
       if (usb_submit_urb(dev-&gt;interrupt_out_urb, GFP_KERNEL)) {
                               "mcp2221(ll): usb_submit_urb intr out failed\n");
               dev-&gt;ongoing_usb_ll_op = 0;
               return -EIO;

       /* wait for its completion */
       rv = wait_event_interruptible(dev-&gt;usb_urb_completion_wait,
       if (rv interface-&gt;dev, "mcp2221(ll): wait interrupted\n");
               goto ll_exit_clear_flag;

       /* tell everybody to leave the URB alone */
       dev-&gt;ongoing_usb_ll_op = 1;

       /* submit the interrupt in ep packet */
       if (usb_submit_urb(dev-&gt;interrupt_in_urb, GFP_KERNEL)) {
               dev_err(&dev-&gt;interface-&gt;dev, "mcp2221(ll):
usb_submit_urb intr in failed\n");
               dev-&gt;ongoing_usb_ll_op = 0;
               return -EIO;

       /* wait for its completion */
       rv = wait_event_interruptible(dev-&gt;usb_urb_completion_wait,
       if (rv interface-&gt;dev, "mcp2221(ll): wait interrupted\n");
               goto ll_exit_clear_flag;

       dev-&gt;ongoing_usb_ll_op = 0;
       return rv;

I spoke to the Alan Stern and Greg KH, the Linux kernel USB maintainers, who were not surprised by this 8ms delay at all, and told me:

Why are we seeing such a large latency?
I don’t see anything wrong here, USB isn’t guaranteed to have any specific latency, what you are doing here is the worst-possible-case for a USB system (i.e. send a packet, wait for it to complete, send another one, etc.) There are lots of ways to get much better throughput if that is what you are wanting to do.

Can we make this faster?

For a horrid protocol like this, no, there isn’t any way to make it go faster, sorry. That is designed in such a way to make it the worst possible thing for a USB system, go kick the person who designed such a thing (hint, they have no idea how USB works…)

I strongly suggest going and getting a different sensor chip, don’t encourage such behaviour by actually buying their hardware.

Where is the delay coming from?

Multiple places: time to submit the request, time to reserve bandwidth for the previously unused interrupt endpoint, time to complete the transfer, all multiplied by 2.

You can get more information from usbmon (see Documentation/usb/usbmon.txt in the kernel source). But Greg is right; the protocol you described is terrible. There’s no need for a multiple ping-pong interchange like that; all you should need to do is wait for the device to send the next bit (or whatever) of data as soon as it becomes available.

Flight aerodynamics simulator

I wanted to have a modern aerodynamics simulator, to test out my flight control hardware and software.

Apologies in advance for a very terse post.  I spent a lot of hours in a very short timespan to do this as a quick experiment.

So I used Unreal Engine 4 for the graphics engine, and built on top of that.

The main forces for a low speed aircraft that I want to model:

  1. The lift force due to the wing
  2. The drag force due to the wind
  3. Gravity
  4. Any horizontal forces from propellers in aircraft-style propulsion
  5. Any vertical forces from propellers in quadcopter-style propulsion

Lift force due to the wing

The equation for the lift force is:

L = C_l \cdot A \cdot .5 \cdot r \cdot V^2

I created a function for the lift coefficient, C_l, based on the angle, by calculating it theoretically.  To get proper results, I would need to actually measure this in a wind tunnel, but this is good enough for a first approximation:

micron lift coefficients

The horizontal axis is the angle of attack, in degrees.  When the aircraft is flying “straight”, the angle of attack is not usually 0, but around 5 to 10 degrees, thus still providing an upward force.

I repeat this for each force in turn.

3D Model

To visualize it nicely, I modelled the craft in blender, manually set the texture space, and painted the texture in gimp.  As you can tell from the texture space, there are several horrible problems with the geometry ‘loops’.  But it took a whole day to get the top and bottom looking decent, and it was close enough for my purposes.


I imported the model into Unreal Engine 4, and used a high-resolution render for the version in the top right, and used a low-resolution version for the game. screenshot2


Next, here’s the underneath view.  You can see jagged edges in the model here, because at the time I didn’t understand how normal smoothing worked.  After a quick google, I selected those vertexes in blender and enabled normal smoothing on them and fixed that.


and then finally, testing it out on the real thing:




The architecture is a fairly standard Hardware-in-loop system.

The key modules are:


  • The Flight Controller which controls the craft.  This is not used if we are connected to external real hardware, such as the my controller.
  • The Communication Module to the real hardware, receiving information about the desired thrust of the engines and the Radio Control inputs from the user, and sending information about the current simulated position and speed.
  • The Physics Simulator which calculates the physical forces on the craft and applies them.
  • The User Interface which displays a lot of information about the craft as well as the internal controller.

The low level flight controller and network communication code is written in C++.  Much of the high level logic is written in a visual language called ‘Blueprint’.

User Interface

From the GUI User Interface, you can control:

  • The aerodynamic forces on the wings
  • The height above ground to air pressure curve
  • The wing span and aerofoil chord length
  • The moment of inertia
  • The thrust of the turbines
  • The placement of the turbines
  • The PID values for the internal controller


It worked pretty well.

It uses Hardware-In-Loop to allow the real hardware to control this, including a RC-Transmitter.
In this video I am allowing the PID algorithms to control the roll, pitch, yaw and height, which I then add to in order to control it.



PID Tuning

I implemented an auto-tuner for the PID algorithm, which you can tune and trigger from the GUI.


I used two arduinos to control the system:


And set up the Arduinos as so:  (Btw, I used the Fritzing software for this – it’s pretty cool).

neva arduino_bb(1)


And putting together the hardware for testing (sorry for the mess).  (I’m using QGroundControl to test it out).

And then mounting the hardware on a bit of wood as a base to keep it all together and make it more tidy:


I will hopefully later make a post about the software controlling this.

ESC Motor Controller Delay

I was particularly worried about the delay that the controller introduces.

I modified the program and used a basic UFO style quadcopter, then added in a 50ms buffer, to test the reaction.

For reference, here’s a photo of the real thing that I work on:

The quadcopter is programmed to try to hover over the chair.


I also tested with different latencies:


50ms really is the bare minimum that you can get away with.

These are manually tuned PIDs.

I did also simulate this system in 1D in Matlab’s Simulink:


A graph of the amplitude:

matlab estimated transfer function sin

And finally, various bode plots etc.  Just click on any for a larger image.  Again, apologies for the awful terseness.

Nokia 6110 Part 4 – Programming

This is a four part series:

I previously talked about the code for the display driver, and the code for the snake AI algorithm, but here I want to just tie it all together.

I used the arduino tools, setup like so:

arduino options cpu arduino options board

I initially made a mistake and used the default 5V option with the 3V board.  It uploaded correctly, but the serial output was at half the expected speed.  This is because the 5V board runs at 16mhz, but the 3.3V board runs at 8Mhz. (As a side note, I searched for the particle AVR chip and it’s actually rated at 20mhz and 10mhz respectively.  I wonder why the Arduino underclocks the processor?  As a second side note, for fun I tested a 5V board at 16mhz but actually fed it 3.3V and amazingly it worked.  Obviously reliability is probably an issue, but the tolerance for low voltage is well outside the official specs, so in pinch you can really abuse this hardware.  I got it down to 3.1V before the 5V board gave up).

Programming for the PC

I wrote the code such that the arduino-specific code was as minimal as possible, and kept in .ino files.  And the rest of the code in .cpp files.  The result was that I could do almost all the development and debugging for the PC.

Although this was slightly more work (e.g. I had to write an ncurses output), it was very much worth it.  I compiled the program with:

gcc -fno-omit-frame-pointer -fsanitize=address \
    -Wno-char-subscripts -g -Wall snake.cpp \
    -o snake -lncurses

The sanitize=address option is new to GCC 4.8.0 and is extremely cool.  It’s a memory error checker and it saved my bacon several times.  For me, it has replaced valgrind’s memchecker tool.

Monitoring memory usage

I needed to be aware of every byte of memory that I used throughout the project, and to compare my theoretical counting against actual usage I used a pretty neat trick that I found on the internet:

  static int freeRam ()
    extern int __heap_start, *__brkval;
    int v;
    return (int) &v - (__brkval == 0 ? (int) &__heap_start : (int) __brkval);

This function returns the amount of free memory by taking the current stack position (since v is on the stack), and taking the difference to the current heap position.  This works because on arduino the heap and stack grow towards each other, like this:

Final product

Final product uses 1.4KB out of the 2KB of memory available.

Flash Furniture Website

I had an idea for website that would let you design what you want your kitchen to look like, while immediately getting a material quote for the work.  The idea is to act as a middle man between kitchen-fitters and customers, charging the kitchen-fitters a small fee per customer.

So I put together a flash website:

The actual furniture is based on the dimensions that the the company “Howdens” produces.  The 3D models and textures are entirely procedurally generated.  Getting the plinths and worktops to be calculated correctly took far more time than I’m willing to admit 🙂

The helper girl at the bottom is my 5 year old daughter.  I got her to point in different directions 🙂