Román Cortés

Relighting Sylvia

28 de Junio del 2010

Relighting Sylvia

Inspired by the research of Paul Debevec on photographic relighting, I’ve created this Flash experiment showing a real-time relighted scene of my girlfriend with her netbook. Watch it here. Please note it requires a fast computer to run at full framerate.

The scene has been captured without any special hardware, just a common reflex camera (Nikon D70) with its remote, a tripod and the netbook as the only light source. The time for shooting all the photos required for the relighting process was about 3-4 minutes, where Silvia — the Spanish for Sylvia — stayed amazingly static for the purpose.

I’ve really enjoyed the development of this experiment because it mixes the most of my hobbies: photography, art, coding, technology, and also it has been a great opportunity to involve my girlfriend in any of my experiments.

My Trip To Germany

20 de Junio del 2010

Few months ago I was invited to Merz Akademy by Olia Lialina to teach a CSS3 workshop for a week in June. I accepted, and it has been not only my first time visiting Germany but an amazing experience.

The Workshop at Merz

Classroom photo by Olia Lialina

First I have to say that Merz Akademy installations are excellent. The best place to study I’ve ever seen. During a week each semester, they invite 8 to 10 expert guests in different fields — music, film, graphic design… — to teach workshops to their students. The students are free to choose in which workshop they want to participate.

My workshop was about web coding with standars and an overview of CSS3. There were 17 students, all of them really nice people, it was a pleasure to work with them. A message to them: Hello! Come to visit me at Málaga, you have a free room here!

We spent the first two days on learning a bit of semantic html, a review of CSS1/2 positioning, CSS sprites… The next two days were spent in experimenting with CSS3 and making something artistical with it.

The last day, projection and presentation of the projects from all the workshops.

Our workshop: CSS3 Guernica by Picasso

In my opinion, one of the better ways to learn is by free playing an experimenting, so after the first days of good coding practices and real life web design examples, we started to play in an artistical and free way with CSS3 — just the same as I usually do with my blog CSS experiments. So, our project was not meant to be useful or applicable to real world web design, but an artistical experiment.

We cutted the painting Guernica in parts, one for each student, and we animated it with CSS3 transitions. You can see the result here:
* Note: it is for webkit browsers only, watch it from Safari or Chrome.

Visiting Smashing Magazine office

Vitaly Friedman and Román Cortés at the Smashing Magazine officeIf you are a common reader of this blog, I suppose there is no need to explain that Smashing Magazine is one of the most important web magazines on web design and development. Since it was at only 2-3 hours by car from Merz Akademy, I went to visit their office with one of the students (Hello Candogan!).

We met Vitaly Friedman, editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He is a really nice person and it was a pleasure to meet him and talk to him in person.

Vitaly gave us signed copies of the Smashing Book (Vitaly, thanks again for the book!). I’ve fully read it right now, and I’ve to say that it is really a good book. If you are into web design/development and you are searching for a good book, I can’t recommend you anything better than this. It is easy to read, well designed in its content, structure and visually, and very complete. I would have like to have a book like this when I was learning web development, it took me years to achieve all the knowledge that is condensed in this single book.


It has been an amazing and intense trip and experience. I would like to thank everybody I’ve met and Merz Akademy for making it possible.