feather effect

Charms & Talismans (II)

For Luck

  • Butterfly charms - They are considered to be omens of luck. The gentle fluttering of a butterfly is good fortune. It is a symbol of freedom and perfection in nature. Just as a butterfly is not born, but is metamorphosised into a perfectly symmetrical creature, one’s ill fate can be transformed into good fortune. Butterflies have been associated with wandering, free souls in many different cultures.
  • Acorn - It is said to be an emblem of luck, and is believed to give the gift of youth to the wearer.
  • Astrological talismans - These type of talismans are usually very effective when prescribed according to the specifics of one’s horoscope. It corresponds to a favourably or unfavourably placed planet in the horoscope of the concerned person, and can be acquired to either strengthen or reduce that planet’s effects
  • Feathers - An ancient charm for luck and represents the journey of the soul to the other realm.
  • Keys - Three keys worn together symbolise the unlocking to the doors of health, wealth, and love.
  • Lucky coins - Bring luck to the bearer.

For Protection

  • Corno (horn) - An Italian amulet of ancient origin. It is a gently twisted horn-shaped amulet worn to bring protection against the evil eye, specifically against being cuckolded.
  • Cord charms - Intended to decay, they are put around a child’s wrist or neck, and by the time they wear off, the child is said to be old enough to withstand the “eye”.
  • Rabbit foot - The left hind foot of a rabbit is considered lucky, and the bearer has to rub it to activate the luck. In some sources, it is also said to be good for protection magic, in addition to bringing good fortune.
  • Mano Cornuto - “mano” meaning “hand” and “cornuto” meaning “horn”, the charm represents a hand gesture in which the index and little fingers are extended while the middle and ring fingers are curled into the palm. The reference is to the horned head of an animal. It is used for magical protection against the evil eye. 
  • Abracadabra - Created in biblical times for the benefit and well-being of all humankind by the elite holy men known to history as the Magiits proven ability to compel negative situations to diminish and vanish is legendary.

Crystals & Stones (Various)

For travelling:

  • Carbuncle and chalcedony - Protects sailors from drowning.
  • Quartz - Protects from extreme weather.
  • Banded agate - Protects from surging waves of the ocean.
  • Jet - Provides major protection to the wearer for travelling by river or sea.
  • Amethyst - Can be used as a general protection for travellers.

For courage

  • Aquamarine - Banishes fear.
  • Bloodstone - Provides courage.
  • Carnelian - Provides courage, as well as protection.
  • Agate - Dispels fear.
  • Black tourmaline - A very protective stone which is also excellent for dispelling fears.
  • Blue quartz - Releases fear.

For health:

  • Amazonite - For general health.
  • Green aventurine - Beneficial for blood and circulatory system.
  • Emerald - A very good general healer.
  • Fuschite - Helps mental and physical problems.
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I’ve made some more progress on this though I’m still trying to work things out like how the wings fold and clothing, etc. The head is p much done tho. (btw this is the male version, i’ll be making a seperate female version at some point as well)

Do You Feel It?

A/N: I absolutely LOVE the “seeing wings = soulmates!” troupe. However, the fics I’ve come across for Gabriel always seem to have him getting super excited super quickly. I feel like it would be a more emotional moment that takes a moment to adjust to. I wanted to see him vulnerable and flustered. Here’s my take on the idea of wings and soulmates. 
Pairing: Gabriel/Reader 
Warnings: fluffy fluff 
Synopsis: “Angles have this…thing. About angels. And angel wings.”
______________________________________
Gabriel. The name was familiar, obviously. Besides perhaps Lucifer, he was the most well known Angel, even if I hadn’t been raised Christian. I’d learned about the Archangel Gabriel in the same breath I’d learned about Jesus, seeing how he announced Jesus’s existence to the Virgin Mary. His name was spoken in a reverence by every religious figure I’d met growing up, he was a biblical fixture in my life. Which is why I was left a bit short for words when Sam and Dean announced his impending arrival with undisguised disdain.
“Gabriel. THE Gabriel. Is coming here? To help us with a hunt?”
Sam gave a disgruntled sigh, “yeah. Hopefully he won’t be here long and we won’t have to deal with him too much.”
I knew the stories about the boys’ run-ins with the angel. As much of a show as they put on, they didn’t seem to hate him as much as they hated some of the other angels. There was a deep-seated distrust and vague annoyance, but their faces didn’t darken at his name like it did with others, which I took to be a good sign.
Honestly, I loved the stories about Gabriel. While misguided, he seemed to have a good heart and sense of humor. I mean, come on, trapped in TV? It’s the single-greatest prank I’d ever heard of. The Mystery Spot mess was perhaps a little overboard, but the point he was tying to make to Sam was with good intention. Surely he’d redeemed himself, at least somewhat, in their eyes when he helped them against Lucifer. It had broken my heart to think he’d almost died, even though I’d never met him. It was several years later that the boys found me hunting a rugaroo solo and had taken me in. I’d been with them for about a year now, so it surprised me that I hadn’t met Gabriel. I was quite looking forward to it, much to the apparent annoyance on the Winchesters’ faces. If they’d expected me to be sulky about this interesting turn of events and expansion into my hunting life, they were sorely disappointed.
“(Y/n) really, he’s not that big of a deal, and if you act like he is, it’s going to go straight to his head and make him even more of an annoying jerk than he already is.”
Dean piped up, “Not to mention he did technically kill me, like, a lot. No matter what funny façade he presents, you can’t afford to forget how dangerous he can be. In fact…maybe it’s best if you aren’t here when he comes. The less he knows about you, the better, if you ask me.”
“Are you kidding me, Dean?” I turned to Sam, who had an expression that was starting to mirror Dean’s. “Sam, you’ve got to be kidding me! I am a grown woman, the two of you are not my keepers!” They may have taken the place of surrogate brothers in my life, but they most certainly did not have any authority over me. “If I want to meet the infamous Archangel Gabriel, I will, and you cannot stop me. Dean, no-” Dean had opened his mouth, about to argue. “I was hunting for YEARS before I met the two of you. I’ve met every monster imaginable and my religion is one of the only things I’ve held on to from my pre-hunting life. I’ve been around Cas a ton and hell, I’ve literally met Mr. Call Me Chuck himself! You say Gabriel has information that could help us, by Chuck, I’m going to be there to meet him with you and there’s nothing you can do about it!” I finished, a little childishly, just short of stomping my foot and sticking out my tongue.
“This one’s firey, I like her. Where’d you find her?”
Startled, the three of us whipped around. Standing in the middle of the library behind us was a (rather attractive) man. He was much shorter than the boys, but a couple inches taller than me. He had golden blonde hair and caramel-colored eyes that seemed to constantly sparkle like he was mid-laugh. His face was upturned in an amused smirk. He noticed me watching him and gave me a wink. “Gabriel, Archangel of the Lord, but I believe you’ve figured that out.” He turned to the boys, “No holy fire? No pre-drawn angel banishing sigils? Boys, I don’t know whether to be disappointed in your lack of preparedness or impressed with your increasing capacity for trusting people. What can I do you for?”
The boys begrudgingly began explaining to Gabriel the details of the case. We suspected the witch we’d been tracking had somehow gotten hold of a Hand of God. With Gabriel’s attention fixed on the boys (or, mostly fixed. Every so often he would glance at me, almost like he was sizing me up. It was both intriguing and intimidating) I took a moment to examine the most incredible feature of my new acquaintance: the six massive golden wings protruding from his shoulder blades. They seemed to fill the entire room. They looked like they were spun with pure gold. Not only did they reflect light, they seemed to radiate light and warmth. There was an edge of one of the wings near me. I resisted the urge to reach out and stroke it. I wanted to know if they were as soft as they looked, but I didn’t want to overstep any weird angel boundaries. I couldn’t help but be a little confused. I’d been around Cas a hundred times. I’d met Hannah and Balthazar. Why had they kept their wings hidden? Gabriel seemed to be proud of his, showing them off like he was. Every so often he would give them a gentle shake, as if he was adjusting them, causing the light to ripple down his feathers. The effect was mesmerizing. If Cas’ wings were half as beautiful, surely he’d want to show them off, too.
“–(y/n)? (Y/n), you there?” I shook my head a little and turned to the three pairs of eyes watching me, waiting for a response. I wasn’t sure whether or not mentioning an angel’s wings was acceptable or appropriate, so I decided to keep my thoughts on their beauty to myself.
“Sorry, I got lost in thought for a minute there. What were you saying?”
Dean replied, “we were saying that we need hard proof before we go charging in, just in case this is the real deal. You ready to tank this bitch tomorrow?”
“Sure,” I replied. “The three of us? Or…all of us?” I tried to ask innocently, glancing at Gabriel. With all my heart I wanted Gabriel to be there, too. However, I had only just met the man. I hadn’t even spoken to him yet. Why I so desperately wanted him to stay I didn’t know and I didn’t want to be…weird. Gabriel was watching me, dear Chuck I hoped he wasn’t reading my mind.
“You, me, and Dean tomorrow,” came Sam’s reply. “We need to cover our bases and find out everything we can about what we’re dealing with tonight. If this truly is a Hand of God, we need to be prepared.”
“I’ll be on standby,” Gabriel added. “Just a quick prayer and I’m there. Now, who’s hungry?”
Gabriel ended up spending the afternoon at the bunker. After he popped in six pizzas (two topped with chocolate sauce and candy. It looked awful but according to him “candy goes good with everything”) Gabriel half-helped the boys research and half-spent his time talking to me. I tried to help research with the boys, but I couldn’t help myself talking to Gabriel. There was this strange pull I was feeling toward the angel. Perhaps it’s because he’s an archangel. Against my normal thorough hunter’s training, my head was only halfway in the researching while he sat across from me talking about his favorite biblical misconceptions and telling me stories about the boys from before I’d met them.
“Here’s a thought,” I said two hours later after closing the book I’d been attempting to read from. “Why don’t we simply…ask Chuck?”
“Well, we don’t exactly have him on speed-dial,” replied Sam.
“Besides,” added Dean, “He split after the whole Amara thing, remember? ‘The world has you’ and all that bullshit. I doubt he’d answer even if we could call him.” I nodded my head, conceding to the reasonable argument. I grabbed another book and pulled it toward me. I could feel eyes on me. I looked up and my eyes met Gabriel’s. He was watching me with an intensity that almost made me uncomfortable. Instead of opening the book, I stood up, breaking eye contact.
“I need some fresh air. I’m going for a walk.”
The boys didn’t look up from the books they were engrossed in. Dean grunted and Sam gave a vague wave of acknowledgment. Determinedly not looking at the angel, I grabbed my jacket and walked across the room and up the stairs to the door. Making sure I had my key, I stepped out into the cool evening air.
I took a deep breath and began walking. I barely paid attention to where I was headed, vaguely west toward the sunset. I had walked a radius around the bunker of a few miles in every direction during the year I’d spent here and my feet took me to one of my favorite spots: a small clearing in a grove of trees on a hillside, perfect for watching the sunset. I sat down and surveyed my surroundings. The air was definitely helping me clear my head. What was wrong with me? It was like Gabriel was clogging my senses, making my head fuzzy and warm. It was a strangely comfortable suffocation, one that was equal parts invited and confusing as hell. I had literally only met him this afternoon! I had never developed feelings for anyone this quickly, especially feelings this strong! It didn’t make any sense!
“You feel it too, don’t you?”
I stood up quickly, turning to the voice behind me. I relaxed immediately once I saw Gabriel. Which was also wrong! I was a hunter! What was I doing relaxing at the sight of a potentially dangerous creature that I barely knew? Gabriel seemed to read the mix of emotions on my face.
“It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you. I…don’t think I even could. I have this…weird pull toward you. Am I crazy? Do you feel it?”
It was almost unnerving seeing him so vulnerable, asking for reassurance. The stories I’d read and learned about for as long as I could remember were of this mythical and intimidating figure of Heaven. The stories the boys had told me were of this powerful and annoyingly pretentious asshole. The man before me was…a man.
He reached his hand up to awkwardly scratch the back of his neck, obviously uncomfortable with my silence. His wings twitched, causing the light from the setting sun to dance with the golden luminescence of his feathers. The movement caught my eye, which he noticed. His hand froze on his neck and his eyes widened. I met his eyes and his eyebrows cinched, mouth slightly agape. He shook one of his wings purposefully. I glanced toward the movement and back to his face, confusion I’m sure was evident on mine. His hand dropped from his neck and he released a long breath he had been holding. He took a step backward as if in shock and asked in a quiet voice, “…you can see them, can’t you?”
Slowly, I nodded. “Gabriel…why can I see your wings, but not Castiel’s? Hannah’s? Balthazar’s? Do they keep theirs hidden?”
Gabriel’s focus on me was intense as he seemed to gather himself. He cleared his throat and took a couple steps toward me. His hands looked like they were attempting to reach out and take my arms, but he was holding himself back. “Um…no. Not technically. There’s this…thing. About angels. And angel wings. Even we can’t see each other’s wings.”
This surprised me, but it only deepened my confusion. Angels couldn’t see each other’s wings? So, why could I?
“I guess that’s not entirely true,” he amended. “In certain…circumstances, we can. It’s simply one of those things. Showing your wings is kinda like showing your privates. It’s an intimate thing. Only reserved for special…partners…” he trailed off. I stepped toward him. We were inches apart. The fuzziness in my head was starting to return, along with a strange clarity.
“Partners?” I pressed.
“Well, more like…mates. Like…soul mates. It sounds cheesy, but only an angel’s soul mate is able to see an angel’s wings. You can’t see Castiel’s because he’s not your soulmate.”
“But I can see yours. So that must mean…”
“Yeah.” He closed the distance between us, allowing his hands to wrap around my back and hold me closer to him for a fiercely passionate kiss. I returned it with fervor. His hands trailed up my arms to cradle my face. My hands found their way to his hips and our bodies pressed against one another. Every cell in my body was on fire. Every ounce of my being was screaming how perfect this felt, how natural and overwhelmingly right. I wanted to kiss him for the rest of my life.
I started to giggle while we kissed. He broke away and rested his forehead against mine. “What, in the name of my father, could be so funny at a moment like this?” He teased.
I grinned at him. “I’m standing on a hill in a field kissing THE literal archangel Gabriel whom happens to somehow be my soulmate. If my mother could see me now…” he chuckled and kissed my nose. His wings, unbeknownst to me, had wrapped around us, forming a sort of cocoon around us both. I started to reach my hand toward the feathers close to me, but stopped. I glanced at Gabriel, who gave an almost imperceptible nod of permission. I continued my reach and stroked the feathers. They felt like clouds woven into a fabric. Their softness was indescribable and the warmth was comforting to the touch. Gabriel let out a hissing gasp the moment I made contact. I pulled my hand away and looked to him immediately, terrified that I had somehow managed to hurt him. He noticed my distress and kissed my forehead.
“It’s okay. I’ve just…never felt anyone touch my wings before. It’s like if you suddenly had nerve endings in your hair. It’s startling, but extremely pleasant.”
Just then, my cellphone began to buzz in my pocket. I pulled it out and glanced at the screen.
“The boys seem to be getting worried…how long have we been out here?” I couldn’t see the sunset behind Gabe’s wings. When he pulled them back, I learned that not only had the sun gone down long ago, but the heat radiating from his wings had effectively blocked off the chill of the night. I was immediately onslaught by cold air and wrapped my arms around myself, shivering at the temperature difference. Gabriel noticed and held me in his arms.
“Hold on tight, sugar,” he whispered in my ear before snapping us into the bunker’s living room. Dean and Sam, who had been sitting on the couch and in an armchair respectively, both jumped up as we materialized in front of them, concern evident in their faces. Concern that quickly turned into confusion and apprehension as they took in the protective and possessive way Gabriel was standing with his arms around me, and the comfortable way I was leaning my back against his front. Dean’s eyebrow slowly raised as he caught my eye.
Grinning sheepishly, I looked at the two of them and said, “boys…you may want to sit down. I believe you both need a break from research and there’s some…things….that need to be talked about.”

teenytotsimmer  asked:

How did you make your current icon?? thank you!! :)))

Hey! I made my current icon thanks to photoshop! First thing I did was I cropped out my sim (to get the background gone), then I just used a drop shadow and stroke! After that I used the dodge tool and used a brush that had a feathered effect at the ends (I honestly don’t know what to call it) and just put it along the background it make it look like it has light :)

Feathers- Magical Uses

This is a post specifically for my dear friend thegaywiccan who asked about the uses of feathers in magic. 

Feathers have had symbolic meaning in folklore, cultures and magic for a very long time. there are many different types of feathers and a whole bunch of different meanings and associations attached to them based off of their color and what bird they have come from. for example Native Americans believed that symbolically feathers represented the spiritual ascension to a different plane, wearing feathers as a sign of their ability to communicate with spirit and their wisdom. in other cultures, it is believed that a black feather landing on your doorstep is an ill omen that signifies that death of someone close or bad luck. you can find over 100 different interpretations on them. 

Feathers are magically ruled by the element of air, which is the realm of thought and  intellect, which is the first step toward creation.  this makes feathers good helpers in communication. But each feather can also hold other specific correspondences, relating to factors such as the bird it came from, its color, the place and how it was discovered.

Bird feathers are symbols of the wind, the divine,  Flight, the mind and new opportunities, travel,  speed or swiftness, wisdom, communication, spirituality and spiritual powers. also finding a feather can be a sign  the connection to Gods or Goddesses. Finding bird feathers can be seen as a reflection of reaching new levels of consciousness or Change. It is always good magic to collect feathers. (i personally have tons of feathers that i have collected, however some  feathers are illegal to own, so make sure you know what you are picking up) 

Colors are also consider to be an important component in the use of feathers or effective of feathers in magic, I have personally found that Naturally colored feathers are far more powerful than chemically dyed or altered ones. some examples of colors and their meanings are how white feathers  are commonly associated with peace, purity, the moon, spirituality  and good luck. where as green feathers can symbolize harmony, unity, prosperity,  good health, nature, plants and animals, fertility and so forth. 

in magic feathers can be used in spells and rituals to promote change, or are used as catalysts. Sometimes particular feathers which have meaning to their owner are added to wands, bags, sachets,  witches ladders, necklaces and many other ritual tools to help gain power, draw good luck or keep away negativity. 

however the knowledge of what kind of feather is best used for its intent can only be discovered much like many magic things by trial and error. A single feathers usefulness in magic is primarily decided by the energy, intent and associations put into the feather by its user.  In addition  to this energy, the feathers will hold onto its specific associated natural abilities.

Overall feathers have a wide range of uses, meanings and correspondences associated with them.  

-photo by HoneyCoyote (no i did not keep the feather) -

 

 

Here’s an update pic of the 4 budgie chicks. Taken today! :) The only way I can get them all into a group photo like this is by holding them. Otherwise they scatter in all directions to hide in the blankets. lol

Chick #1 (back middle) 26 days old. Identical to mother (Teaberry), grandfather (Milo) and a half-sister (who was originally named Cecil) from another nest who is 2 months older. Possibly male. No name ideas yet.

Chick #2 (yellow on left) 25 days old. Feathers have a gradient effect that turns from soft yellow into white. Possibly male. Name idea: Butter.

Chick #3 (front left) 20 days old. Pretty white and dark grey wings with pale yellow speckles. All sorts of teal, blues and greens. Possibly female. Name idea: I’ve been calling her Ostrich because she runs and stops to stick her neck straight up. It probably won’t stay. lol Who knows.

Chick #4 (white chick) 17 days old. Albino white with pink eyes. Quiet and shy little bird. Possibly female (male albinos are rare). Name idea: Popcorn.

Beholder, Eyeball

The smallest and weakest members of the beholder family, eyeballs are nonetheless tenacious and ill-tempered predators. Only eight inches wide, eyeballs are no larger than a human head, with four stubby eyestalks set in a row above its large central eye and a mouth full of small, needle-like teeth.

Eyeballs have been created by several different mages, beholder cults, and other aberrations who independently came up with the idea of creating miniature mutant beholders for use as servants. Evil wizards who wish to cultivate a reputation for danger often select eyeballs as familiars.

Eyeballs that have escaped into the wild become pack hunters, working together to take down larger creatures than themselves with their daze and frost rays. Most true beholders hate eyeballs as much as they hate all beholder-kin, but eyeballs can nonetheless be found near their lairs as scavengers.

Keep reading

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The following are tulips infected with a virus. The virus infects the bulb and causes the tulip to break its lock on a single color, resulting in intricate bars, stripes, streaks, featherings or flame-like effects of different colors on the petals. 

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CONSIDERATIONS

Paper Colour
A crisp, clean white is the standard for most fountain pen paper, but soft, cream coloured paper is also available as an option that’s easier on the eyes. The brightness of white paper may vary across different manufacturers. For inks to show their true colour, a bright white paper is the best choice. If white and cream don’t speak to you, Midori makes a range of colourful notebooks with matching coloured paper that is fountain-pen-friendly!

Feathering
The dreaded effect of feathering occurs when the ink spreads through a paper’s fibres, resulting in an unattractive, web-like mess. The low-quality paper is more prone to feathering while the higher quality paper is specifically designed to resist the spreading of ink along its fibres. Aside from the paper itself, nib size and the nature of the ink also play a role in the degree of feathering.

Bleed-Through and Show-Through
Bleed-through occurs when a paper is too thin or too absorbent, or when a fountain pen is particularly inky and wet. The fibre on fountain pen paper is specifically woven to prevent bleed-through, but you may still see traces of what you’ve written on the other side of the paper, known as show-through. The show-through level depends on the opacity of the paper, mostly affected by its thickness. A thicker paper will naturally have less show-through.

Dry Time
Given a certain ink formulation, the dry time varies by a paper’s absorbency—the greater the absorbency, the shorter the dry time. However, a paper’s absorbency is inversely correlated with its smoothness; in other words, a paper that is more absorbent will tend to also be rougher to write on. In practice, you will have to choose a balance between a short dry time and writing smoothness.

Sheet Style
Like regular paper, fountain pen paper comes in a range of sheet styles, from lined to blank to the grid. A popular option is Rhodia’s dot grid ruling where light gray dots are arranged in a grid pattern, providing a nice guideline for writing without being intrusive. For those who prefer blank sheets, some manufacturers will include a template that you can layer behind the paper to help you keep your writing straight.

Smoothness
To fully take advantage of a fountain pen’s smooth flowing ink, an equally smooth paper is a must. Usually, the coating on the paper affects its smoothness level. A fully coated paper is slippery, making it difficult for the ink to absorb and dry. However, an uncoated paper is often toothy, which is difficult for fountain pen nibs to glide across. It is recommended a half coated paper for a smooth writing experience and reasonable dry time.

Price
You don’t have to break the bank to get a good paper to pair with your fountain pens. Generally, paper made especially for fountain pen use will be more expensive, but below some are for fountain pens, however, some are not but work just as well.

PAPER RECOMMENDATIONS

Tomoe River Paper
The exquisite Tomoe River Paper proves that a paper is a both thin and high quality. These ultra-thin pages are velvety smooth and highly resistant to bleed-through. There is a high amount of show-through however, which renders the back side of the paper unusable. This paper is perfect for those who need something lightweight, but still high quality. The paper comes in loose leaf sheets as well as a notebook.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook
In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the mother of the nine muses, and it’s easy to see why her namesake paper is an inspiration in itself. The paper found in these notebooks is extremely high quality, boasting a silky-smooth surface, relatively fast drying time, and minimal show-through. With an impressive array of sizes, sheet styles, and binding types to choose from, it’s easy to find a notebook or notepad that will help you channel the spirit of Mnemosyne.

Midori Colour Paper Notebook
Colour lovers will enjoy all the scrumptious colours of these notebooks! Midori didn’t skimp on their caliber—the paper has a satiny feel that fountain pens can effortlessly glide over. However, the paper has a significant amount of show-through, which is bothersome for those who want to use the back side. Nonetheless, coloured notebooks suitable for fountain pens are few and far between, and this is a great, affordable choice if you want a coloured notebook!

Midori MD Notebook
This small and simple notebook features Midori Diary paper, which is designed to give the user a pleasant writing experience. With a fairly short drying time and soft, smooth paper, this is a nice, inexpensive notebook for everyday use. However, the show-through level is significant, which may be inconvenient if you want to use the back side of the paper.

Rhodia DotPad Notepad
Fountain pen users love the dot grid pattern that is featured on this paper! This sheet style is subtle enough to not interfere with your writing but clear enough to provide a nice guideline. The low level of show-through is quite impressive, so we wouldn’t have a problem writing on the backside of this paper. Incredibly smooth, this paper is a joy to write on.

Rhodia R Premium Notepad
One of the smoothest papers I have had the pleasure of writing on, this premium paper is so smooth. It has the least amount of show-through out of all the featured papers. Fountain pen ink also dried reasonably quickly, considering the smoothness of this paper. For those who want a luxurious writing experience, I absolutely recommend trying this paper.

Kokuyo Campus High-Grade MIO Notebook
The high-quality MIO paper is extremely smooth but provides some grip to keep your fountain pen nib from slipping and sliding everywhere. Ink dried fairly quickly on this paper and only showed through the back a slight amount. The paper is lightweight, making it perfect for carrying around at school or at the office.

Apica Premium C.D. Notebook
Fountain pens glide gracefully over the rich, silky paper of this sophisticated notebook. There is very little show-through on this paper. However, you do have to wait a bit longer for ink to dry. We love that the notebook contains a hefty 96 pages in both the A6 and B5 sizes, giving you plenty of space to write all your thoughts, notes, and observations.

Clairefontaine Triomphe Notepad
The meaning of “je ne sais quoi,” or that certain something, becomes clear when we use Clairefontaine’s renowned paper in the Triomphe notepad. With barely any show-through and a silky texture, this extra-white paper is a joy to write on, making it a favorite among fountain pen users. A guide sheet is included that you can place under your blank page to help you write in straight lines.

Clairefontaine Collection 1951 Notebook
Clairefontaine is also famous for its classic composition notebooks. With the notebook’s touch of French sophistication, you never feel the drudgery of grade school when you use it. While not quite as smooth as the paper in the Triomphe notepad, it is an affordable choice for those who need a solid, reliable notebook for school or work. There is some show-through, but you can get away with writing on the back side depending on your tolerance for show-through.

Tsubame Fools University Notebook
This charming notebook contains smooth, high-quality paper that is not too slippery but has a bit of grip to give you full control over your fountain pen. It has some show-through and dry time, but not enough to get in the way of using the back side of the paper. There is also a cream version of this notebook for those who want an alternative to white paper.

Life Vermilion Notebook
Easy on the eyes, the creamy paper of the Life Vermilion notebook makes it a great everyday notebook. The minimal amount of show-through means that you can easily use the back side of the paper. Be careful when you turn the pages, though, because there is a moderate amount of drying time for the ink. You can choose from different sizes and sheet styles based on your needs.

Pilot Letter Pad for Fountain Pens
Made specifically for fountain pen use, this letter pad allows the fountain pen nib to glide effortlessly over it. The unique, wide rule of the paper gives you ample space to pen thoughtful notes and letters, and the soft white color is pleasant to look at. It’s not as practical for everyday use, but for special occasions, letters, or archiving your inks, it’s perfect.

Game Development Glossary: Graphics 101

The other day, a friend of mine was going through the list of game options that adjusted various graphic-related settings, but didn’t understand what all of them actually meant. Some of them should be pretty self-explanatory (texture quality - low, medium, high, ultra, for example) but there’s also several other terms that are used that many people have a vague idea about, but aren’t quite sure. Today, I’ll try to explain what they are and how they work.

Bloom

Bloom is a shader effect that allows lighting to create a sort of feathered halo-ish effect around hard edges. It’s what makes light sort of bleed out over and around corners on things, or when it is reflected on shiny surfaces.

VSync, or Vertical Sync

VSync forces your graphics card to synchronize its display at the same refresh rate as your monitor. This is supposed to guard against screen tearing - when your GPU is caught in between rendering two different frames. It doesn’t always work, though. Turning on VSync will also force your GPU to output at a lower rate, which results in worse overall performance.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field is when the programmers use various shaders to simulate focusing on a specific distance, making things further or closer appear blurry instead of uniformly focused. It’s a shader effect that gets run on top of what you should be seeing if everything were in perfect focus.

Motion Blur

When the camera moves faster than the eye can focus, the image gets interpolated with what has just passed to simulate speed. This makes things at lower frame rates feel better, though it will cost graphical computing power since it has to retain what it has just seen for the past few frames and use that data to interpolate what it is you see.

Anti-Aliasing

Anti Aliasing takes what you should see and smooths each pixel with the surrounding pixels. This helps keep edges from looking too jagged or pixelated. As a post-processing effect, it also soaks up graphical processing power.

Texture Filtering

Similar to Anti-Aliasing, it’s used to make textures appear less pixely. As such, you can turn down the texture quality/size without making the textured objects look too blocky if upscaled. It does this by interpolating the pixels on a texture with nearby pixels. The important thing to note here is that texture filtering occurs on the texture itself, while anti-aliasing occurs on what you see on screen.

FOV  (Field of View)

Field of View is the width of the camera’s view angle. The wider the angle, the more you can see overall. Extreme width will, however, cause distortions in the proportionality of things.

God Rays

God Rays are when you have concentrated, visible light beams break through cloud cover or around/in specific areas.

Ambient Occlusion

When deciding how to draw a given pixel, the GPU will sample the depth/distance from nearby pixels to figure out how much shadow/depth the nearby pixels should affect the given pixel. This makes crevices and nooks darker than the surroundings.

And that’s it for this blog in 2014. I will be on break and traveling for the next two weeks or so, so updates will be sporadic at best until the new year begins.

Further Reading: