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

Friday, 10 May 2019


Fingers or hands? I think these are more hand sized.

I decided first thing this morning to have a break from mechanical things and to spend an hour or so modelling the clock face again, the first one I did was crap, the numerals weren't indexed properly and the hands were a bit agricultural. As you can see I have spaced the numerals correctly. I made a bit of a meal of it as I couldn't think of a fast way of spacing Roman numerals around the circumference without doing it manually. It worked out fine selecting each group of letters rotating around 'Z' back to zero then rotating again by whatever 30° increment is appropriate, it took several dozens of key strokes. There must be a quick way of doing it. I then settled down to the hands or fingers. I was looking at images for inspiration when I thought why not just copy them.

I settled on the first set as the more elaborate ones were very scruffy and would have taken ages to clean up. These are JPEG images which are of little use to man or beast. I converted the first pair into a PNG file in Photoshop. This isn't really necessary but it is good practice to work with as much information as possible. JPEG and PNG images are Bitmap or Raster images and made up of hundreds of little dots or pixels, like photographs. This is no good at all for scaling up or manipulating in a 3D programme. What we need is a way of converting them to a Vector format and the only format I know that Blender will accept is SVG. To do this import the raster image into Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator if you are lucky enough to have it. I only have Inkscape, a (two decimal summat edition)*. It is fine and quick to use, watch that you click remove background when tracing the Bitmap; the default settings should be fine for a solid B&W image like this. When saving in Inkscape be careful to save as Plain SVG. Default is Inkscape SVG, which Blender refuses to accept. This made me use some very naughty Anglo Saxon words. Twice, nay three times, I ended up making the dogs blush. Once Imported into Blender, change the display colour to white or it will be hard to see, it will still be invisible but scale it up and all will be fine. Select it and go into Edit mode and convert from a curve to a mesh then extrude it to make a solid; whilst you are in Edit press (P) to separate by loose parts . Back into Object mode and the job is done, bar shuffling about to set the time. 
This looks fine. Wait a second either the face is too small or the hands are too big. It is a problem working alone, such details are easily missed. In a workshop there is usually some idle, nowt better to do, smart arse to suggest one has been a bit thick.

That is much more betterer. Good job I made the original cuckoo as when rectifying my mistake I noticed that the hands were hitting the numerals.
This is good enough, using an engineers reckoning it is near enough.

Have a great weekend. If anyone wants to know how to do this I can make a HOWTO video.

(* I have had lots of fun and games getting the latest Inkscape 4.9 or whatever to run. I downloaded a 7zip file unzipped it but could I find an exc. file could I buggery. I know from previous cuckoos that dll. files are not to be messed with. I have cracked it and now have a brand new Inkscape. I just clicked the Inkscape file with their logo, tried to duplicate as a desktop shortcut....That failed but the next identical one in the list worked a treat. I now have a brand spanking new Inkscape. 
If you don't have it then it's free and has installers built in for normal folk. You just need fast broadband not the zero to 60Kb/s I enjoy and how I love timeouts. I have my own language for them. "You fukin bastard twatting dogturd useless cunting Openreach cock gobblers...repeat until one gets hoarse. It often works with 502 errors as well. Bet they don't teach that at the Poly.


  1. That really does look grand, Adrian. Coupling it to your gears will probably introduce a new set of Anglo Saxon words - better buy the pooches some ear plugs.

    1. John, I have messed with this stuff for about four years. I am happy modelling but this is a real challenge. I find it really stretches me beyond following tutorials. I am not computer literate and just find out by clicking stuff. I love this machine and have ordered a twice as big GPU to pop in it. I'm on a 660 at the moment which struggles, amazingly, most with Adobe but also with FreeCAD if I don't close and save windows. You can't hurt them you can confuse them and the more you learn the more you learn not to do muddling up things.

  2. This looks great, Adrian. When you finish the whole clock I might even buy one!

    1. Richard it is better than the previous attempt. The clock will be virtually free.