Advice on approaching Value studies. - Page 2
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    OMG...I have no idea how the above relates to art in any manner. If you want to understand value better I would suggest simply drawing, with traditional media, from observation. The world is all around you...learn to see it.
    Sorry, gotta disagree here. That diagram prerequires some knowledge and makes sense in a certain context that may not be readily apparent, but that doesn't mean it doesn't relate to art in any manner. Would you honestly tell a pianist not to learn anything about scales and music theory and just get out there and play?

    I would actually say that diagram is critical to anyone who wants to really understand how to think about color and to communicate it clearly, which can only help when they just get out there and draw or paint. I'm not, however, saying the diagram is easy to understand

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    Hey Tim...I agree with you about the point of learning scales, music theory, composition, etc. I am definitely one of the most outspoken proponents here about developing a solid understanding of the fundamentals. I think the analogy is more like studying how a decibel meter might sample acoustic information in various ways...which has little to do with learning how to play music.

    In regards to the diagrams briggsy posted: Ten identical triangular value/color scales with arrows indicating that light values go toward white and dark values go toward black...is just absurd, imho anyway. It's nothing more than re-hashing Munsell and making it overly complicated at that. It has a lot more to do with the minutiae and technicalities of Photoshop sampling algorithms than it does with art.

    I'll just close with the point that people have been able to make art pretty darn well before briggsy came along with his diagrams and 3D models.

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    Many people here, for better or worse, start their exploration of color in digital media. So, explaining how the various color models used in digital media differ from visual perception and/or traditional color terminology relates directly to that, as the bulk of this thread demonstrates.


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    It's funny to me how people are so often "It's not about the tool, it's what you do with it"...yet so quickly reverse their thinking to "It's all about the tool, the way the algorithms are set up to pick color, you must understand the various color space theories and their minute differences, etc.". It doesn't matter. What matters is an understanding of value and color, their relationship and how you use them as an artist. All this other stuff is a distraction from the real task at hand which is to understand how value and color (along with the other fundamentals) are used and controlled in picture making.

    I'm actually a very technically oriented artist - you have to be to make console games (well, it helps anyway). I've been using Photoshop since before it was called Photoshop. Been creating digital art since 1985. I teach Photoshop in a digital arts program at college level. In all my experience as a digital artist this kind of minutiae has never even come up. Photoshop has a color picking tool...use it to pick the right color and the right value in relation to the mark or note you wish to make. That is a fundamental principle of art, no matter the tool or media employed.

    If people are interested in discussing the finer points of how color space works in Photoshop, it seems it would be more appropriate to discuss it in the Photoshop forum.

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    The point of the thread is to learn to do value studies. You shouldn't rely on the computer to pick your values for you. You pick your values. You use your own eyes. So you learn to see better. Then you can check it against how your computer grayscales the same color ref. /thread

    All this technical stuff about color spaces is not only off topic, but it's basically useless for art making. If it ever comes up, yeah, learn something about it. But bloody hell, don't bother a beginner with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    It's funny to me how people are so often "It's not about the tool, it's what you do with it"...yet so quickly reverse their thinking to "It's all about the tool, the way the algorithms are set up to pick color, you must understand the various color space theories and their minute differences, etc.". It doesn't matter. What matters is an understanding of value and color, their relationship and how you use them as an artist. All this other stuff is a distraction from the real task at hand which is to understand how value and color (along with the other fundamentals) are used and controlled in picture making.
    You are making some vast assumptions about what "people" think. I wouldn't tell anyone to learn about the intricacies of different color models until some later stage in their development, and only then if they showed some interest in that kind of thing. I would, however, point out various pitfalls that are waiting for them regardless of what medium they are using. To date, I haven't found a medium--digital or traditional--that doesn't deviate in some strange way from how humans perceive color. Paints mix in strange ways and cause confusion (e.g. adding black doesn't just simply darken a mixture), and digital color models provide a different type of confusion (i.e. 2 colors of the same brightness may appear different values to the human eye). I agree that you don't need to know the subtleties of why in order to create art, but knowing the pitfalls can save a lot of time and frustration. And hey--some people are curious about the why and that's not a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    I'm actually a very technically oriented artist - you have to be to make console games (well, it helps anyway). I've been using Photoshop since before it was called Photoshop. Been creating digital art since 1985. I teach Photoshop in a digital arts program at college level. In all my experience as a digital artist this kind of minutiae has never even come up. Photoshop has a color picking tool...use it to pick the right color and the right value in relation to the mark or note you wish to make. That is a fundamental principle of art, no matter the tool or media employed.
    Fine, but right in this thread there were a few people (DreamArt and aks9) had questions about this kind of stuff. I don't see what the harm is in answering them. And I can tell you that I had been doing digital art for nearly two decades before learning some of this stuff and it helped me immensely.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    If people are interested in discussing the finer points of how color space works in Photoshop, it seems it would be more appropriate to discuss it in the Photoshop forum.
    Nearly every computer program provides HSB and HSL, which are better than RGB but still confusing--particularly when it comes to value. It's not a problem inherent to Photoshop, but a common pitfall when dealing with value on the computer in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    The point of the thread is to learn to do value studies. You shouldn't rely on the computer to pick your values for you. You pick your values. You use your own eyes. So you learn to see better. Then you can check it against how your computer grayscales the same color ref. /thread
    Agree. But I think it's worth noting that on the computer you have the interesting possibility of testing your value selections for accuracy. That's some of what people are doing with the color picker, although the temptation to use it for futility is strong. Color picking to vet your accuracy is actually a very useful learning tool if used intelligently. But you need to know that you can't trust brightness for this kind of thing. L from Lab is better. Notice I'm not saying you have to learn every single nitty gritty thing about Lab. But hey, some people are interested in that and how it's different from, say, HSB.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    All this technical stuff about color spaces is not only off topic
    Sanctity of thread topics has never really been a strong suit of CA.org, and thank God. I've learned a lot and had some great discussions from threads that went off topic.

    '
    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    but it's basically useless for art making
    Yes, if it's understood in a vacuum. But I don't think that's what anyone here is proposing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    If it ever comes up, yeah, learn something about it. But bloody hell, don't bother a beginner with it.
    DreamArt and aks9 asked about it. It's not like Briggsy barged in here randomly with his diagrams. He answered some people's questions and they said they learned from it. Why all the pitchforks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    Why all the pitchforks?
    Spillover


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    So Tim you think the difference between HSB, HSL and RGB matter when you paint digitally? Because once you are using any one of them you are painting relatively.
    So explain how they matter? Because I'm telling you they don't. there isn't one single thing that they do differently that will stop anyone from painting accurately. Of course it would require painting more than studies to actually know that. Maybe you and David want to post all the inferior inaccurate RGB painted concept art and point out their flaws and while you're at it, post some of your own accurate LAB paintings. You know just for giggles, so we can all test the veracity of the ideas.
    Nobody is holding pitchforks, we're asking people who make strong claims to the contrary to provide strong evidence of the efficacy of their propositions. Think of it like scientific peer review.

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    I swear to god I will turn this car around...


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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    So Tim you think the difference between HSB, HSL and RGB matter when you paint digitally? Because once you are using any one of them you are painting relatively.
    So explain how they matter? Because I'm telling you they don't. there isn't one single thing that they do differently that will stop anyone from painting accurately. Of course it would require painting more than studies to actually know that. Maybe you and David want to post all the inferior inaccurate RGB painted concept art and point out their flaws and while you're at it, post some of your own accurate LAB paintings. You know just for giggles, so we can all test the veracity of the ideas.
    Nobody is holding pitchforks, we're asking people who make strong claims to the contrary to provide strong evidence of the efficacy of their propositions. Think of it like scientific peer review.
    (apologies to Elwell--I'm on vacation and really enjoying having time for some art discussion in Art Discussion)

    Yikes. Hey--I don't really disagree with you on this. Believe it or not, most of the time I just use HSB when I'm painting digitally because of exactly the reasons you say: it's all relative. I don't usually paint with Lab. I do use it occasionally when painting digitally in small places where it's advantageous, but generally I don't bother with it. But you know what? For a long, long time I painted digitally with some nagging feeling that Brightness wasn't doing what I thought it was, and lo and behold--it wasn't! And learning that fact made me understand a lot about what was actually happening when I was mucking around in that color picker. Why is that a bad thing? Did my digital or traditional paintings suddenly get better? Not really. Did it eventually provide me with some interesting techniques, methods, and insights? Yes. Did it stop me from making some really boneheaded mistakes out of ignorance? Occasionally, but nothing I couldn't fix with my eyes and perseverance--if time allowed. Did it save me a bunch of time, headache, and confusion in the long run? Absolutely. And the same piece of knowledge has helped a lot of other people that I know.

    When someone comes on the board and asks, "Hey, isn't it weird that when 2 colors have the same brightness one looks darker to me than the other? Why is that?" or "Hey, it seems like the brightness changes when I change the saturation. Why is that?" it just isn't a terrible thing to answer them. And those answers require some amount of technicality due to the technical nature of the questions. A thorough answer will probably dip into Lab because it's the closest thing we have on the computer to the way humans perceive color, and maybe into Munsell because it's even closer. Thankfully, Briggsy knows a lot about this kind of thing and has already generously prepared a bunch of diagrams pertaining to this kind of thing and shared them with us. I just can't understand what's so bad about that. I know I've learned a ton from him...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I swear to god I will turn this car around...
    OK - that was a good LOL moment!

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    It's so chatty here in the weeds. While the OP is off playing video games and freebasing egg nog, the existence of this thread having evaporated from his mind.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Many thanks for all your efforts, Tim. Most of the feedback I get is positive, but several things you said here are exceptionally gratifying - as also is the fact that my website is used as recommended reading for at least one of the TAD fundamentals classes. Ironically, the attitudes put on record by the Three Amigos here help to confirm how much it is needed.

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    Aww, I still like ya Briggsy!

    After all, your input kept me from wasting time on Chevreul out of blatant Winslow Homer fan-boi-ism.

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    funny how the experienced guys preaching, how thick a skin artists should grow, flip out over completely random things. get along, both of you contributed alot. no need to be friends, but dont pick on each other for non-topic-related reason on every possible occassion.

    [edit] everyone reading this post is hereby granted the right to tell me the same, the next time i cross the line

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    I should disclose that I may have unintentionally contributed to this by making a suggestion to Jeff on another thread that was meant to be genuinely helpful, but in retrospect sounds abrupt and tactless. So sorry for that. But in seven years here I don't think I've ever "insulted" anyone, and certainly never said anything resembling the series of personally abusive posts that then issued from the author of the "how to respond to criticism" thread. Oh well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    But in seven years here I don't think I've ever "insulted" anyone, and certainly never said anything resembling the series of personally abusive posts that then issued from the author of the "how to respond to criticism" thread. Oh well!
    +1 insult for that post though . stop the bickering ^^ we all know, leave your ego at the doorstep once you go the art route.

    [edit] think of all the desperate newbies, who just need that one question answered to skyrocket with their art, we could have provided with an answer meanwhile. they dont like it generally, but will we ever stop? ^^

    Last edited by sone_one; December 22nd, 2012 at 06:27 PM.
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    Sounds good to me. Happy Mayan New Year!

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    I enjoy the graphs, theories, spaces, cataloging and discussion. Color seems to be an art and a science.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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    Well...

    Amazing how every artistic masterpiece the world has ever seen was painted without knowledge of the differences in color spaces.

    Why is that?

    Anybody know? Anybody? (You in the back? No?)

    Must have something to do with artistic usefulness. Right? (Yes.)

    Science wants to know the one true color model. Anybody care to check if we all have the same color models in our minds?

    Anybody?

    Wait wait, if we don't all have the exact same color models in our minds, then how can we all experience art similarly?

    Well, as pointed out earlier, its because color is all relative. Absolutes only exist in the ideal.

    Science searches for these absolutes. Science is an attempt to replicate the essence of phenomena by mathematical modelling.

    Art is an attempt to express life (broadly speaking) through symbolism.

    Anybody care to explain the differences between artistic symbolism and mathematical modeling?

    I'm a pattern matching kind of fellow. And I see a pattern. The surreptitious swapping out of symbolism in favor of mathematical modeling is the basic problem I find continually objectionable. I'm not party to the spillover. I'm targeting the carry-over that arrogates authority where it doesn't reside.

    Last edited by kev ferrara; December 23rd, 2012 at 02:17 PM.
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    Have a happy holidays everybody!

    Best wishes for a new year and the many fine months of art making ahead!

    At least Icarus tried!


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    I'm still trying to work out how to freebase eggnog.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    I'm still trying to work out how to freebase eggnog.
    The Italian side of my family will school you in hardcore substance abuse during the holidays. We also snort meatballs and take lasagna suppositories.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Oh, the elegance of the southern European. My lot just drink.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Kev, I'm out of my depth here among all of you. I want to qualify what I say very carefully. If patterns exist, if measurable quantities exist, and if relationships between quantities and patterns exist, then math applies. Working in a digital medium has all these things. I can easily see, and I concede, that it is lost on paint and pigment. It is impractical to carefully measure each dab of paint and calculate surface areas of tone and trying to create the unified theory of art.

    Relationships among properties of color seem to exist. If (IF) chroma decreases as value decreases or increases, that's something vaguely mathematical. I don't see the harm is understanding that as a general guideline at the very least. And if you come up with a generalized description about a physical phenomena, it's falsifiable, it can predict future outcomes (next time I paint the guidelines will produce similar results), and it involves experimentation, you're definitely moving in on science as a methodology. Which is all I meant, I wasn't trying to disregard the immaterial side of art. I do understand that at the end of the day, none of it helps if a person can't apply it.

    I can't argue with the big-boys about it, and I can't really substantiate it yet, but I do think art does attempt to find truth. It does seem to have a logic to it. It does seem to attempt to answer questions about beauty and the optimal/relevant symbolism for the purpose of expression.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Anybody care to check if we all have the same color models in our minds?
    Anybody?
    Wait wait, if we don't all have the exact same color models in our minds, then how can we all experience art similarly?
    Well, as pointed out earlier, its because color is all relative. Absolutes only exist in the ideal.
    Wait, wait, wait--are talking about iterations of different color-wheels dancing around in different heads or are you talking about neural processing of visual data as being varied systematically from one head to another? Brains process color the same (as they’re all wired the same genetically), from head-to-head, unless you’re a tetrachromat (having a 4 dimensional color space), colorblind (maybe), or just plain blind from birth. Artists “systematically” play on the consistent and universal architecture of viewers brains (perceptually, archetypally, vicerally,…) to elicit desired responses to their work, in a "mathematically" predictable manor.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Anybody care to explain the differences between artistic symbolism and mathematical modeling?
    On the basal level, the differences are hard dichotomies. Just pick any metaphor or definition for one and the polar contrast would apply to the other—simply. I’d rather hear about the similarities.
    It appears that if you don’t know enough math, you won’t realize the beauty, the aesthetics, and sublime symbolic allusions that can embody math when you get well past statistics 101.

    Some folks like a little mathematics with their poetry in the morning.

    That Clint Eastood & Empty Chair styled rant was entertaining.

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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Bill618,

    Sorry, I didn't see you sitting there...

    So, "normal" brains have the same processing architecture and generally process particular kinds of information in the same region as other humans do (although this may sometimes depend on training or other factors, see the difference between math processing Chinese v English speakers). But beyond these similarities, there are non-trivial differences within the regions, for obvious reasons. For instance, the exact mapping of one's own personal color space is malleable and based on experience and study. Just like your particular mapping of where the word dog appears with relation to the word horse (in some realm of understanding we may call the concept of animals) may be slightly different than mine. Your experience with vocabulary is part of the mapping of your verbal areas. Just so, your experience with color affects how you map colorspace unconsciously in your mind. The greater your color vocabulary, the more adept your innate colorspace mapping, and the fewer gaps it has, and the greater extent in all directions your model.

    When you are making a work of art and you seek to previsualize a color you sense is missing in your picture, you are essentially consulting a vocabulary for the "right word." If you don't have the color vocab, you don't have the ability to consciously call a color (in all three of its dimensions) to mind. (this is a very cursory discussion of the matter, obviously. I don't want to turn this into a science thread about perception. Especially given that the field in terms of the neuroscience is still really in its infancy, with basic questions still out.)

    On the second rhetorical question, I meant how such things are used as knowledge carriers. Not how they require differing brain mechanics.

    kev

    Last edited by kev ferrara; December 23rd, 2012 at 08:16 PM.
    At least Icarus tried!


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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    If (IF) chroma decreases as value decreases or increases, that's something vaguely mathematical. I don't see the harm is understanding that as a general guideline at the very least.
    That's not the issue here. That's been known for a thousand years.

    I do think art does attempt to find truth. It does seem to have a logic to it. It does seem to attempt to answer questions about beauty and the optimal/relevant symbolism for the purpose of expression.
    Agreed.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Well...

    Amazing how every artistic masterpiece the world has ever seen was painted without knowledge of the differences in color spaces.

    Why is that?

    Anybody know? Anybody? (You in the back? No?)

    Must have something to do with artistic usefulness. Right? (Yes.)

    Science wants to know the one true color model. Anybody care to check if we all have the same color models in our minds?

    Anybody?

    Wait wait, if we don't all have the exact same color models in our minds, then how can we all experience art similarly?

    Well, as pointed out earlier, its because color is all relative. Absolutes only exist in the ideal.

    Science searches for these absolutes. Science is an attempt to replicate the essence of phenomena by mathematical modelling.

    Art is an attempt to express life (broadly speaking) through symbolism.

    Anybody care to explain the differences between artistic symbolism and mathematical modeling?

    I'm a pattern matching kind of fellow. And I see a pattern. The surreptitious swapping out of symbolism in favor of mathematical modeling is the basic problem I find continually objectionable. I'm not party to the spillover. I'm targeting the carry-over that arrogates authority where it doesn't reside.
    Not at all sure that this isn't just stirring, Kev, but I'll bite!

    Obviously there is no digital painting at all without colour spaces, and when you use more than one space you need to understand the difference between them (duh!).

    If you actually mean to maintain that thinking in terms of a colour space doesn't help with painting in traditional media, then I'm happy to just leave that as a documented sighting of an attitude still in existence at the end of 2012.

    The systematic relationship between lightness and chroma brought up be s.ketch is actually very relevant here, as it is a good example of the kind of mathematical relationship among colours that we are all wired up to recognize, and on which our perception of objects and illumination depends.

    This relationship shows up as a pattern of radiating lines in any color space of the hue-value-chroma type, eg. Munsell, YCbCr. YIQ, CIE Lab, CIE Luv, CIE CAM, as well as in concical or hexagonal-prismatic representations of HSB, and even in RGB. All of these colour spaces have their particular uses. Your shot about science wanting to know the one true color model is so wildly off target that I will just pass over it, and the rant that follows from it.

    I don't know of any monk or viking who knew about this relationship, but the essential idea was certainly discussed by Alberti and Leonardo. When Leonardo wrote about this piece of knowledge was he writing art theory or science? The answer is that it is a silly question. It's a shame he's not around to comment on your attempt to put up a wall between art and science.

    For science to say that you must paint in a way that is mathematically correct would be to arrogate authority where it doesn't reside.

    For science to say that if you want to create a painting with the vivid effect of a particular lighting and atmosphere, this is how you can build in the mathematical relationships that will do so - is not. And like it or not, that is what a lot of people here want to do.

    Now off to wrap some presents, he he!

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    Kevin--the linguistic model (or just idea) of color may vary greatly from head to head, depending on culture, or artistic training, but the 3-channel color space by which visual info is collected via the retina (the determiner of our 3-channel color space and literal extension of the brain itself) is the same in all primates, including us. How that info is subjectively dealt with after leaving the primary visual cortex is solely up to the frontal lobe where all the abstract thinking goes on about this info. Unless some humans develop tetrachromacy (enabling 4 channel color space reception) we all view the world through the same 3 channel color space, whether you’re a Papua New Guinea tribesman with no word or concept for 'green’ (describing leaves as light or dark) or an op artist creating elaborate color illusion paintings, or Daniel Tammet an autistic savant and synesthete with a unique way of thinking in color number forms, being able to recall pi to 22,515 digits.

    Visual Neuroscience may be described by a neuroscientist as a field in it’s infancy, but to you and I, mere picture makers, that infant is a Behemoth of information starting long before the neuro prefix was affixed to the science of visual perception.

    Last edited by bill618; December 24th, 2012 at 07:49 AM.
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