I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images 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

Tuesday 29 December 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR. (29/12/15)

This is a little early but just in case the internet is a bit slow I'll post it now.
Have a wonderful year and let us hope for a peaceful one.

Once again it is what it is. The sky and river do move, the volcano looks more like a sparkler but there is so much to remember. One of the many things I should have done that I didn't was scale the landscape texture on the 'Z' axis. Then the computer refused to render using the GPU so I had to wait twenty hours for the blasted video to render at 150 samples. It could have done with twice as many.
It's the thought that counts and as the rain falls I'll try and do another one that looks a little more grown up.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

MUCH POSHER. (22/12/15)

In these long dark days of rain and sleet there is little to do but make a fool of oneself.
I love playing in Blender and all non linear video editors but I have to be on my toes.
I am slowly getting used to the node editor. This is a feature and a powerful one in all editing software. It is not a one click job. I was playing today in BLENDER and blew it I had sculpted a plane popped another in for my water and created text and fireworks, It never comes out like I think it will. I can only render a ten whatsit go in anything like real time and a ten sample render doesn't show what a two hundred one does.
I found motion blur in the camera settings and gave it a tick. Silly me this was half a second of exposure and a tad too much; I have just popped a glossy texture on the wee river and a diffused one on the landscape. I'll polish it up before New year. There are a couple of fireworks in these stills and the job is on about six layers. Blender is slightly annoying in that it doesn't seem to allow naming of layers.  
I have done the lettering but that was crap. The texture on the water and the land needs a lot more work. Hey Ho I have a week or more to do it. 
This is a monster of an image and I know I have to adjust the key frames for the right hand firework tone down the left hand one And make the text reflect. No worries......My head is spinning but I'll keep trying to stop it.
What is the little bright bob on the right? I know, it's my other firework. It should have been away at frame 175 bet a pound to a shilling I've got discombobulated,  Blender, yet again.

Monday 21 December 2015


A still for those with slow internet.
Below is a twelve second video. It is what it is, I know you aren't interested in the trials and tribulations.
Have a great Christmas, I will now make another start on the New Year video.

Monday 14 December 2015

BLUNDERING. (14/12/15)

Yesterday was exceptional, freezing cold, windless and sunny. We had a good three hour walk and then decided to have a few hours 3D modelling or blundering about in Blender. I thought of a way to get particles out of just the points on the star and not the centre vertices as well but then decided to use light instead. 

I modelled the star like this then cut the tips off. I can't get a clean cut as you can see but I then decided to experiment with a sphere as that would be easier to model. I'll have another go at the star later on. I have almost decided not to use the tree but to pop the text under a revolving star and have it flashing colours. I found by accident that if I have an emitter animate it and put a sine wave into the graph editor and raise it's amplitude above 1 then it lights up at values over 1, easy and controllable. I would rather have a square wave and will look into the matter.
This is what it looks like using a sphere,  a bit like a disco ball.
I can have an infinite number of effects but render times are horrendous about 1.5 minutes a frame at 1280x720 and 100% resolution with 100 samples. These stills are 500 sample renders and take over ten minutes. I'll have to work something out or just leave the final scene rendering all day.
This is a ten sample render and very noisy as a consequence. I would like to have made it a GIFF file but I can't get the size down under 27MB which is far too large for the web. It also skips a bit as I can't key frame it revolving 360° as the blasted computer thinks it hasn't moved I have to use 359.5°. I will try and take the first few frame reverse them and stick them on the end, that may help but won't reduce the GIFF file size.

I am getting quite fast at this job but still don't really understand what does what in Blender, I don't understand what half the terms mean so just have to alter values and see what happens. I am enjoying myself so that is all that really matters.
Have a good week.

Friday 11 December 2015

THE TREE. (11/12/15)

The internet is still very hit and miss and the weather is miserable.
I have spent several hours making a Christmas tree for the card scene. It is not easy and the way I did it it really gave the computer a hammering, I was having crashes every ten minutes. I used curves then converted them to a mesh. I did try and add leaves in the sapling generator but there was no way it would have it…………far too much to handle. I eventually put the needles on the tree branches but not the trunk using hair particles. It’s not brilliant but  as it’s 3D I can rotate it, scale it squash or extend it and get lots of different trees or the same tree looking different.

I am happy to have got a result at all. I just wish I had written down what I settled on. If I do another then I’ll have to start guessing all over again. It will enlarge with a click but then it doesn’t look too good.

It passes wet and cold days on. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

SWAMP. (09/12/15)

The weather does not improve though it appears the internet connection is marginally better.
The walk in the forest is getting more akin to a paddle. This is a dry bit in a rare glimpse of the sun.
Another dryish bit.
There aren't any fish or ducks........The alligators have eaten them all.

I am making my Christmas video and as is the norm when I get near Blender it's three steps forward and two back. This is quite normal so to illustrate that progress is being made here is the newest video.
I put highlights on the lettering to represent snow but as you can see they are lowlights. I never noticed until I got it uploaded. I am halfway to sorting the sparks or snow flakes. I have to use a particle info node on another something it can be any mesh body but it as to be on the same layer and out of camera view. 
It's still raining.

Monday 7 December 2015

STAR MAKER. (07/12/15)

The rain pours down again but I am getting quicker with Blender. This post is going to be very nerdy. Nerdy and boring.
I have made a much better star. Last time I found a star in Add> Mesh> extras> Simple Star, deleted all but the front face; selected the centre vertex and extruded it.
Like this.

Then I duplicated and flipped the copy through 180° and messed for ages getting them lined up close enough to join them….It’s almost impossible. Then I mirrored the image to end up with ten points but it wasn’t what I fancied.
This morning I started off the same but once I’d loaded the star I reduced the centre diameter added a couple more points, converted it to wire frame selected the central vertex and extruded it then I did the same on the other side and finally scaled the whole thing on the ‘Y’ axis to get a thin star. I duplicated it rescaled and rotated the duplicate and then stuck them together, much better.

So far so good I then animated it and added a particle system so it sprays little sparks from the vertices, I could have done with it not spraying from the centre ones but you can hardly tell if I adjust the camera angle judiciously. Like a dog with two tails I was.
I even managed to give it a material using the node editor.

I love the fact that I can have as many editing screens open as I like.If I had room and money for a monitor twice the size life would be a dream. This is about the limit on a 23” screen. From top left they go rendered view, Node editor….I can’t really work it but it is good fun. Then at the bottom I have the star in object mode and last off all the time line. The yellow Key frames have several attributes for rotation, position and scale. If you want to see them and edit them You can create another little window and use either the Dope Sheet or Graph Editor. It is possible to delete key frames in the time line by popping the time marker over it and then hitting the space bar to bring up yet another sub menu but it isn’t a good way to go on as it destroys all the information in the key frame and not just the bit you are having trouble with.
I then set it to render.

This is it doing it and saving to the Desktop. I had a bit of a cuckoo as I forgot to change the file from PNG to H265 so whilst I put the kettle on it started filling the desktop with png. images. The times I do that! I’ll have to look in Preferences and see If I can’t change the default to AVI. I usually render at 1080 as it gives me plenty of file to move around when compositing a final video at 720 or whatever I use for YouTube. I also make the World or background black as I can then just change the blend mode to screen to get stuff underneath showing through.

Now I have a serious problem. It isn’t rendering the particles like what it oughta. It isn’t rendering them at all in Cycles Render and if I use Blender render it makes them haloed and not what I want.
I'll sleep on the problem it's siesta time and a little snooze usually sorts things.

Sunday 6 December 2015

DRAFT. (06/12/15)

It is almost a year since we have had wind and rain like the last downpour.
I spent most of the time drying out and playing in Blender. I didn't do very well but here is a draft card in case I can't do better.
Have a good week.

Friday 4 December 2015

INSULTS. (04/12/15)

I have always enjoyed a good slanging match so today I’m going to reply to Dithery as he has labelled me and thousands of others terrorist sympathisers.

Piss off you spoon faced piggy poker.

There that’s that done. They will never learn and I haven’t got the energy or the opportunity to teach the bombers from either side the stupidity of their ways but I do know that it is impossible to bomb away ideas or ideals. The money spent on bombs would be better spent providing water, food and education. It would be far better spent on an alternative industry to the arms industry, I recognise that that is not going to happen in my lifetime.

It’s not been a very nice week, plenty of water here. Too much.

_MG_2487Why the dogs spend ages rolling in snow then return to the van and start pawing at the heater vents is a mystery.

A couple of days ago this grand machine came to trim the hedges.


It not only did the hedges but left pretty patterns.


Tidy hedges.


That’s all for today enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

SNOW GO. (02/12/15)

After three days of wet snow it has now all gone. I haven’t had very much internet, It always seems to act up in damp conditions.

I have one picture that I snapped just after the main snowfall as the clouds moved away._MG_2467

The rest of the time it has been sleety and foggy.

_MG_2466MARTY does produce the most wonderful composite images so thought I would have a go. Not very good but the best I managed. I never got MathMap into GIMP. I have given up for the time being. I was sorting through some old images and found lots of things I had completely forgotten about here is one of them.

The view from Smoo Cave Durness.

_V0G7026_7_8_tonemapped copy

I am writing this at four in the morning, rain is forecast and has just started but it has got warm. Later on I have to go and get dog food and something for me to eat.

I’ll try for some pictures later on this afternoon.