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

Friday 29 April 2016

MYSTIC MOLLY. (29/04/16)

Molly pondering the meaning of life. We had a really pleasant but non productive walk yesterday morning. The dogs met two Newfoundlands, a Bearded Collie, a massive Heinz and Magnus who had escaped again.
We got back to the van and I spent an hour cryptic crosswording. I spent another half hour first thing today but can’t finish it.
Here it is for all you masters of English as she is wrote. It will enlarge with a click and pressing Ctrl+ will enlarge it further. Pressing Home will wiz everything back to normal.
It then started to hail and sleet so I settled down to try and convert a title vision into virtual reality in Blender.
This is a version one of about six. As you can’t see I am using a sphere to blast through the text to deform it and spray sparkles. You can’t see the sphere as I have made it not to render. What you can see is the spikey bit. This is a bit of scruffy mesh........ I converted from a text object to a mesh, got rid of thousands of duplicate vertices and recalculated the normals. I then went a hunting through the modifiers and found something called remesh. It works but took me ages to work it. It does clean up the mesh but uses something called Octrees. I hadn’t a clue either so looked them up. Wickipedia was some help but then I got sidetracked and found more information than I needed or wanted about something that an hour before I never knew existed. Blendering is wonderful for this time wasting and much more interesting than FreeCell.
After a few hours playing this was as far as I got. A clean mesh that deforms and reforms without spikey bits These are single frames from the video.
This is what an Octree is.
This morning dawned cold, wet and snowy.

Views from the van at dawn.
The dogs sniffing and snuffling, They do enjoy snow and to be honest so do I.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

SCORCHIO. (27/04/16)

It’s a glorious day here, there were a couple of sleet showers overnight but the wind has dropped and we had a grand wander into town. I didn’t need much so the trudge back was far less arduous than usual. The Lomond Hills had a sprinkling of snow which set them off very nicely.
I got a Telegraph so have a crossword to do tomorrow when the rain returns. After a quick perusal there is not very much news. The poor Scouse football supporters that died twenty seven years ago have been cleared of all responsibility and it was everybody else's fault. The Labour party is jammed to the rafters with anti- Semites but after a quick read it appears that it is Zionists they really object to. I’ll read a bit more as I can’t imagine having much in common with anyone who supports the State of Israel. That’s the news, Liverpool Football Club supporters are all paragons of virtue and Israel is a benign and tolerant nation. David Cameron is the best prime minister since Churchill and the pigs here are fed and ready to fly.
_MG_4230 East Lomond.
_MG_4233                                   West Lomond.
Spot the Bird.

It’s a Buzzard.
I hope the sun is shining on you today.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

STILL HIDING. (26/04/16)

I was short of inspiration for todays post but thanks to JOHN I have pinched a couple of his ideas.
_MG_4228     NIK Filtering.

Spot the Woodpecker.
_MG_4224  This is a difficult one but it is about dead centre. Yes the image is the right way up, I had to check and I took it.*
_MG_4225  The same Woodpecker a couple of minutes later. I wish it had flown my way but at least it flew and perched for a twig free view.
_MG_4215  This is twiggy but easy to spot. It was much easier as it was sitting on the ground eating a pine cone but the dogs spotted it before I did and whizzed it up the tree…. Bad dogs.
We are going out for a longer walk now but the weather, though dry, is freezing cold. I’ll pop another layer on. After the walk I’ll come back for some more Blendering. I have a couple of ideas for animated video titles and will see if I can achieve anything worth using.
All is well in Scotland but in England the doctors are being revolting, it’s only for a couple of days whereas the Government are permanently revolting. I wish we could be ruled by folk who aspired to look after the populace and didn't spend their time looking after themselves and their acquaintances…..Fat chance.
* Ps. Perhaps the woodpecker was a bit silly. Here it is.


Sunday 24 April 2016

STILL TRYING. (24/04/16)

On Friday I decided to take the patient approach to birding. Around coffee o'clock, half tenish, I wandered into the forest and settled down with the dogs on a fallen tree. It worked a treat as a long range birding tactic, it did until a lass wandered past with a Boxer, Labrador and a Heinz. That put paid to the birding but I didn't really mind as I had a couple of shots in the bag and she was far more attractive and chatty than the birds.
Greater Spotted Woodpecker, male, a long way away but posing in the open for a change.
Tree Creeper. This system may not make for very good pictures but it does show the birds in their habitat.....Admittedly there is more habitat than bird but it's difficult to get both.
The Wood Sorrel is appearing as is the Wild Garlic. I'll get some chicken as the two go well with braised chicken. Sorrel gives a lemon flavour and I'll leave you to guess what wild garlic tastes of.
It's been a busy week what with one thing and another. I didn't have a beacon to light for the Queens birthday so I lit the incinerator, it's just an old oil drum with air holes in but it put on quite a show. It's the thought that counts.
I have been playing in blender and have now modified the title so that it is nearer to the effect I was trying to achieve on the Rolling video. Whilst playing I found a feature that I didn't know existed in Blender. When I pick a font I have to either know what it looks like, preview the fonts in Word or keep guessing and changing them. I found that I can display thumbnails. Years I've been swapping fonts and cursing. 
This is what I used to tolerate.
Then I found the tiny thumbnail icon.
That's better, no more guessing, I bet it has always been there I just never thought to look.
Here is the revised title, I'm not sure I like it now but at least it is something more like the vision I had.
 I don't know where the lines crossing the extruded text came from but I suspect I may have left the freestyle lines on. I'll have a look and see. The daft thing is that I don't need outlines. It's a baffling job.
Have a great week.

Friday 22 April 2016

ROLLING. (22/04/16)

Today I am posting the final video in the seeding series. They are far from perfect but I have learnt a lot and been kept amused. I noticed after publishing that I could and should have cut a bit more, between 1' 36" and 1' 49" I was watching the dust dissipating and failed to realise how boring dust is. I have altered the titles again and this time I created a rolling mirror effect but it runs a bit fast and then for some inexplicable reason I decided that it looked better in colour. It doesn't, I think I need a Carer. 
I will keep persevering with video as I haven't found a way of compositing in real time and it will take me ages to adjust to seeing things as they will render. Here is the video.
It's spitting with rain here but whatever the weather has for you then have a good weekend.

Thursday 21 April 2016

PERSPIRATION. (21/04/16)

The weather is superb, chilly first thing but hot, windless and sunny during the day. Yesterday I was wandering along in a dreamy fashion when I was brought out of my reverie by a tremendous roar. The dogs started barking, it was pandemonium. Not an ideal start to the day.

Not often I see a hot air balloon these days, they were very popular twenty or thirty years ago.
After breakfast I decided that as it was such a grand day I’d walk into town. It is an easy stroll downhill but a bit of a slog back up with a rucksack full of shopping.
The view from the Co-Op.
Jimmy Shand.
That’s all for today.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

IN THE DARK. (20/04/160

I have done the penultimate video in this series and this time kept everything barring the audio at full quality or lossless in the Blender VSE.

This is the screen grab prior to rendering, the file rendered at 6.47GB which is a little on the large size for YouTube so I had a play with a video compressor called Handbrake. This dropped the file to 52.8MB with no artefacts or reduction in appearance that I could discern.
I will have to play further with Handbrake as it appears to have dropped the video from 1080 to 320. I have had a few goes so it is now time to read the instructions or watch a "How To".*
Here is the video of seeding in the dark.
I have a bit more footage of the Zetor 7745 Turbo tractor rolling the field. I'll see how I get on with that and like it or not so will you. I'll think up some alternative credits and make a real effort with the sound.
* PS. the video is now 1080 so I must have been a little impatient when checking the upload. It's a massive reduction in file size. Clever folk these script writers and better still Handbrake is free.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

SEEDING PART TWO. (19.04/16)

This video shows a New Holland 8360 with an air seeder and initially with an pneumatic fertilizer feeder, the latter works fine on the flat and uphill but hasn't got enough blow to work well downhill. The bit in front of the seeder is a power harrow.
My video editing seems to take one step forward and two steps backwards. I like the idea of the titles in this but I'll have to have a serious think to get rid of the colour cast in the alpha channel and generally smooth the animation up. Blender introduced 2.77 in early March but I didn't swap until last week as I was worried I wouldn't be able to find anything. The VSE has a much better white balance corrector and the compositor has a very fast blur node. No doubt lots of other bits and bats that I've yet to find.
This video is full 1080 so if you have a yen to see it perfectly then click the little gearwheel and select 1080. I didn't do anything with the sound apart from import it and sync it. 
I still have enough video for another three minutes of fillum and will try and clean up the titles before I post it. 

Saturday 16 April 2016

I WONDER. (16/04/16)

On sunny mornings I route my walk so that we follow the tapping of Woodpeckers; they don’t bother tapping if it’s raining or damp. If they don’t tap they are very difficult to spot despite their being bigger than a Thrush and brightly coloured. This is one of the dead trees they tap on and I noticed a new hole about twenty feet up it.
I estimate it to be 50mm diameter which doesn’t seem big enough for a Woodpecker. It’s a very neat job, an excellent hole.
I didn’t find any Woodpeckers this morning, I may have been too early but we did find this Crow or possibly Raven irritating a Buzzard.
I don’t really know the difference between a Crow and a Raven…..I’ll look it up but these don’t sound like Crows but maybe Bugger Off in Crowish is a different sound to normal Crow cawwing.
It’s frosty here but bright and sunny so with a bit of luck I’ll get some seeding video. I have decided that if I stand in front of the camera and clap my hands I should be able to sync the sound perfectly…We’ll see.

Friday 15 April 2016

BEFORE AND AFTER. (15/04/16)

I now have two smart dogs.  I even had a trim myself so folk will struggle to recognise us.

Molly on the left and Alf on the right.
Now we are ready for summer but is summer ready for us?
Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

PRACTISE. (12/04/16)

Today I have a short video that I have put together from material shot yesterday. I need the practise I am slowly getting better at the job. I hope.
There are strong flickering lights on the video so if you are affected by them don't watch it.
Tomorrow is haircut day and I will probably be away for twenty four hours. 
Now I must get a before picture of the dogs. 

Sunday 10 April 2016

NO SPACE. (10/04/16)

I am running out of monitor space, I will have to start undocking panes onto the laptop monitor but that seems a bit of a pain.
This title is about halfway there. It has an alpha channel (RGBA) so should be see through but I've got a non see through node lurking somewhere. I quite like this effect and it was inspired by a BlenderDiplom how to. I have another one with similar rays and bright explosive flashes but it's a bit extreme and it also isn't working too well.
I have come to the conclusion that the main reason I post videos is because I love doing this sort of artwork.
Have a great week. The dogs will be sparkling bright on Wednesday as they are going for a haircut. Perhaps I should have one as well.

Friday 8 April 2016

THREE. (08/04/16)

Three fences today. Iron, stone, wood.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a few days but we had to go in the pickup to pick up a new to Scotland seed drill in Beverley. I am working on titles in the Blender compositor, it’s brilliant for masking. I’m getting bits of cutaway footage and I’m trying to stay organised for the video ‘Seed Drilling.’ Seeding here should be a one pass job. Power harrow, roll, fertiliser and then seed. with the phosphate going an inch deeper than the seed. Perfect! I just hope I can edit it all to four minutes at full 2K. I’m recording sound at the same time as the video to save time and synchronise better and because I don’t record sound on the camera I now have a fair few files. I’ll try and keep on top of the job. I could do with an assistant.
Have a good weekend.

Sunday 3 April 2016

DRECHT. (03/04/16)

It’s a miserable start to the day, foggy, raining but warm.
I’ll share a mildly amusing joke I received.
Dithery and the Queen.
, "Your Majesty, how do you run Buckingham Palace so efficiently? Is there any advice you can give to me now that my government is falling to pieces?"
"Well," said the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."
Dave frowned, and asked, "But how do I know the people around me are intelligent?"
The Queen took a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy; you just ask them to prove their intelligence by answering a simple riddle." She rang a tiny hand bell and asked the footman. "Please find Nigel Farage and send him here, would you?"
After a little while Nigel walked into the room and said, "Yes, Your Majesty?"
The Queen smiled and said, "Answer me this please Nigel, your mother and father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"
Without pausing for a moment, Nigel replied, "That would be me." "Yes! Very good," said the Queen.
When Dave got home that evening, he called George at number 11, and asked him the same question. "George, answer this for me..'Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"
"I'm not sure," said George "Let me get back to you on that one...."
He went to his advisors and asked them all, but nobody could give him an answer. Finally, he ran into Michael Gove. George said to him, "Michael, can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"
Michael answered immediately, "That's easy, it's me!"
George smiled, and said, “ Thanks, Michael.”
He called next door and said to Dave. “I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle and do you know what?…… It's Michael Gove."
Dave got up, walked over to George, and angrily yelled at him, "No, you fool, can't you answer even the simplest questions? The answer is obvious…………..It’s Nigel Farage.”
After that disaster I’ll leave you with some foggy photos.

Enjoy your week.

Friday 1 April 2016

FILM ON FRIDAY. (01/04/16)

I have spent ages on this video but I'm far from happy. I'll keep trying as I am getting a little bit better at the job.

The next one should be about seeding. I'll record the sound at the same time and either find an assistant or grow another pair of arms. It is a nightmare chopping and trying to sync sound but using the VSE in Blender I can edit in real time by using a proxy strip. Very handy, I wish I'd found it before. There are still lots of things I've seen but I haven't a clue what they mean or what they do.
Enjoy the weekend and the month.