ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 31 January 2019

PERFECT.

This morning was a little chilly. Not as chilly as America but then they aren't protected from the foibles of weather by the EU. 
It was -11°C with about the same inch of snow we have enjoyed for a day or two , not a breath of wind so perfect. The wind turbines were having a rest here so the birds were safe and the turbine owners couldn't care less as they get paid anyway. My, silly money, electricity was flowing at 17p/KWh so I was nice and warm inside. Seventeen pence for a KWh, a stupid price to pay but one has to be green. Green energy costs three times that produced by combined cycle gas turbines and we are not short of gas or coal. The solar panels will be clocking up a bit but then it's dark in winter so not for long. I am thinking of running a red diesel gen set again and waiting to laugh at the moaning when power cuts happen. I just downloaded the numbers. Every job in renewable costs around £100,000. The workers are not paid that but the quangos and investors have to take their cut. The country is run by ignorant idiots who employ more of the same ilk to advise them.

 It is total folly to rely on the wind or the sun to power a country. I heard the other day that old folk get help but as I live incognito I don't. I bet the young muzzies and Somalian stabbies do. Little tinkers they know where to go for a liberal welcome.
Anyway onto our wander two. I called at Sainsbury's as I'd run out of bread, milk and Gaviscon. I am suffering terrible heartburn at night and it helps and so it should at £ 8.50p a bottle and it is only a little bottle. A tenth the size of a wine one. I thought it might be alcohol intolerance but having forsaken the drink several months ago I'm thinking of starting it again. Be cheaper than bloody Gaviscon. Then it was a quick run to Loch Leven, it is mostly frozen with a strange sort of semi plastic ice. Can't say I've seen this stuff before. It makes waves or ripples but really slowly. 


It was great to watch it. Then on the way back I saw this little bird but I only had a 50mm lens on so have had to crop the image within a pixel of it's life. Made a good day better.
It's a Tree Creeper but it was behaving very strangely, it could fly but it only flew to the bottom of the next tree, usually they run up them in a helical hopping manner. It seemed fine with the flying. Possibly a special needs Tree Creeper.
Have fun in the cold. 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

SERIOUS MUPPETRY.

I am spending far too much time messing with the Beta version of Blender 2.8. She's like a new girlfriend. I keep pressing all the wrong buttons and wonder why she doesn't work properly or to my satisfaction.
Looking on the sunny side of life Blender bloody 2.8 Beta doesn't require expensive meals and wine. It is immense fun; having blundered about in 3D software for a few years now I sometimes but rarely have a clue what has gone amiss with my cunning plan. If it is engineering stuff I check but with Blender it is just birthday cards and such stuff, ArtyFarty things. I am having troubles but am really impressed with what I've seen of the new version. It works when it works and when it works it does so perfectly.
Here is a video of my blundering in Blender. It is often useful to animate materials or the transparency of them. It can be faked to a certain extent by scaling the object down to zero but it would be nice to scale the visibility. It's easy when you know how. 
That is it for today if anyone would like to see a tutorial  on shrinkwrap and shape keys then I'll get around to doing one.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

THIS, THAT and MORE BLENDER 2.8.

It is a busy week. A new tractor arrived in the dark yesterday. It's a NEW HOLLAND 3160 all the way from France. It looks great and I'll get some photos as soon as it comes back out of the barn. Barn is a posh word for what we call the shed here. It will replace the gorgeous old Zetor who will be semi-retired and it will manage the fields better than the 3460 which is great for dumper dragging and subsoiling but a little large for ploughing, bailing, tedding in tight uppy and downy hill fields.
I have been having no end of problems with Blender crashes. I put it down to my using the new Beta version. I went onto Blender's development forum and was little wiser, they talk in gobbledegook but they are not working on problems with materials so I surmised that it must be me. I got up to date drivers for my CP and GPU and installed them. I got rid of horrendous quantities of Windows update files, I deleted loads of temp files and %temp% files I now have a primary drive about 50% full. The machine has two drives but I rarely use the second as I forget it's there. I shifted videos and heavy stuff like RAW files to a Transcend external drive. What a clean computer, the result is no more crashes. I'll have to show the same enthusiasm for my oven. The latter has been a bugger to light lately. 
I have a couple of birthday cards to do and soon. I send folk an E-card. Usually....Well from next time...A still shot and with a link to their own birthday video. A video I hope will be perfect. I'll be damned if I'm paying the thick end of a pound for a stamp. The Post Office used to be fine until the grubby money grabbing Krauts, who never paid a penny in reparation for the grief they caused twice, decided that it was a monopoly and against their interests. DHL came in after paying our politicians to destroy the P.O. monopoly. They destroyed the monopoly but then buggered off and left us with stupid plastic slotty things to confuse customers and staff at Post Offices. You don't find DPD messing with a little plastic template. If they can lift it and zoom about without running over folk they will deliver it and our local man Joe, barring a traffic accident is perfect. Always on time. He is better than Postman Pat. We have Postman Steve. He is good, arrives everyday but doesn't have stamps on his van so can't take unstamped mail to post. Fair enough he gets to pop round his round but could supplement his income by selling stamps to folk that were desperate.
This video is me trying to find my way around Blender. I can't find the video non linear editor in it but since BlackMagic the posh Aussie camera folk bought Fusion and made Fusion free I guess it may be shoved down Blenders list of priorities. Fusion is not to be confused with Fusion 360 the cloud based 3D programme or App as we hip folk call software. Hip folk makes me sound like a sodding vegan or transvestite they are much the same in my experience.
Here is the video despite fine tuning in Audacity I still sound a bit croaky. I had ManFlu over Christmas, was off the drink but managed the odd roll-up, couldn't lift a horses head collar. I felt like death but if you can have a roll-up you know all is not yet lost.
All the best.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

CONTROL PLUS (S).

I have been having an interesting time using the Alpha version of Blender 2.8. I love the new interface, I can't praise it enough, suits me a treat. The downside is this development version doesn't seem to like me using posh materials. It crashes with monotonous regularity. I can barely read the Ctrl and S keys so often have I had to save. Good job I know where they are. The new EEVEE render engine is very fast and I can live with the somewhat cartoony effect. I found a box to check which does soften shadows. There is so much good that is new that I can't believe how clunky it makes previous versions seem. The Cycles render engine is still there for high days, holidays and posh stuff.
The following short video is me having a bit of a play with the Boolean modifier. At the beginning there are a couple of stills to illustrate how this animation is created. I'll pop them in here as well to save you pausing the video. The viewport can get a little cluttered with the transform overlay and everything else.
I have highlighted the bit you click if you want to switch overlays on and off. The video shows the cut left by this cone which I scaled and tilted whilst moving it about.
These are the bits one switches off to stop the cone being visible in the final render.
I have kept this short but should anyone be interested in how it's done then let me know.
Enjoy your week.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

WINTER TREE WITH LIGHTS.

Oh what fun I am having with Blender 2.8. The video  sequence editor accepts nothing by menu. It will accept video if I drag and drop, I usually render a frame at a time and select the stills as a job lot to import, I can't make it play. I hope they haven't forgotten the VSE as Fusion is free.
The EEVEE render engine is superb. The following video is rendered in it at 2K and at about twelve seconds a frame unbelievably quick. The old cycles engine though much better is overkill for video,  though visually much better for a still image of a composite. This video has volumetric lighting, particles and bloom which is new or something I've never seen in previous versions. It's like a posh foggy look. Really gave the old system a pasting. 
This is a demo from blender, they are great for getting the feel of the software. I don't load by Appending I drag and drop into a cleared 3D screen. Appending stuff is fine but it's all too easy to miss a bit. 2.8 is still in Beta so far from user friendly or at least friendly to this user. It seems everything has changed, mostly for the better. It is stable but roll on the final release and thank you to all the developers.

It passes time on cold murky days.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

NEW YEAR, NEW BLENDER.

I have downloaded Blender 2.8 Beta for the New Year. It was released in Beta about a month ago. It seems stable enough from what I've seen. I had a bit of bother unzipping the download using WinZip so right clicked the Zip file and did it that way. There is no installer at the moment so after much pondering and a few naughty words I clicked on the Blender icon  and it loads up quick sticks. Here is the bit I clicked on.

If in doubt I click the largest file. Seems to do the job nine times out of ten. It loads straight away so no problems there. I just wish I were computer literate, it would save hours of head scratching. The thing I like about computers is that it is hard to really cuckoo the job. I did copy and save the zipped file in case I managed to confuse the machine. A not unheard of occurrence.
This version of Blender has a magical feature called EEVEE it is a real time render engine and I was so impressed that I made a little video to show you all why. The Blender render engine is gone but Cycles is still there for really posh renders. Many shortcuts have gone and we now have leftclick select which is grand for someone like me who uses several 3D programmes.
Here it is doing it's stuff in real time.
Brilliant so much to learn and so much fun to be had. I was going to build the video here in 2.8 but bottled it and used my normal workflow. Blender 2.7b for the pictures, Audacity for the sound as my voice is croaky and the dogs always need editing out and finally Handbrake just to reduce file size for YouTube.
A good start to 2019.