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 31 May 2019


The weather is warm and very wet.
I passed an hour or two playing with a skull and lights. I have no idea why.
Have a good weekend.
Forgot to say the inspiration came from HERE

Wednesday 29 May 2019


What a weekend, it was brilliant. 
I went to see Mark Knopfler at the SEC on Sunday night. He will always be a favourite of mine. The band were superb all eleven of them, no synthetic or tracked backing and a really good set comprising old favourites and some new or old folky stuff. He did the Robert Plant and Alison Krause song Sailing to Philadelphia. I didn't expect that, nor did I expect to be one of the youngest there, the average age looked to be about seventy, I may be wrong, I'm sixty nine. The downside was sitting on hard seats for a couple of hours and the lack of nubile totty. Glamorous young ladies always provide the icing on the cake at such events. At any events where I to be honest. (I was a tad disappointed not to see any at a laser cutter demo a couple of weeks ago, only hairy arsed welders doing their best to assimilate G-Code). There were a few lovelies but they were the carers (Carers for the punters not for Mark Knopfler). I wonder what they made of it? It could be improved by being unplugged but then I very much doubt I could afford to go. The SEC venue is excellent, it's big but not so big that giant TV screens have to be erected so that one can see.
Now then, now then, the EUSSR election business. What a result. I know that I and all the folk voting for the Brexit party are total ignoramuses, quite possibly Fascist and racist. I have also realised that if you add all the remain contingent together then the Brexit party didn't win at all. I fear that the only way Socialists will win is by adopting good old Socialist policies. Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao had the right idea.....Kill decedent dissenters and pop moderates to work on the land to feed the less than committed folk slaving in the tractor factories. Nasty silly buggers are Socialists. Their constant refrain being that we need proper socialism. I've seen it and no thank you. Globalism is possibly worse but the two are brother and sister. They argue as siblings do but defend each other when confronted.
At long last the Hawthorne is in bloom. Here is a composite in white.
White Pony, White Blossom.
I'm not an artist, more an anarchist but if anyone wants a quick way of separating fine hairs then I can do a quick HOWTO using the background eraser in PShop. This took five minutes and could be perfect but that would take an hour. Not worth the bother for an artistic, autistic imbecile like me.
Have fun.

Sunday 26 May 2019

Cria y el Jefe.

It's the start of a new week. Last week was pretty good, our PM resigned but she hasn't gone yet. She is a pitiful creature, no ability whatsoever but then the rest of Westminster are cast from much the same cloth. Impossible as it is to believe many are far worse.
Yesterday I decided to get some snaps of the baby Alpacas. Cria they are called and they live in a mixed menagerie consisting of sheep, goats and a couple of Shetland Ponies.
Strange but attractive little creatures.

 The brown and white one is the boss or thinks he is. He tries his best to intimidate folk but doesn't spit or kick, not yet anyway. He contents himself with stamping his feet and edging closer to you. He then stops at about six feet and hopes you will run. Silly Alpaca. EL Jefe indeed.
It is difficult to take anything that looks so ridiculous seriously. I suspect that was half May's problem, I have a sneaking feeling that the Alpaca could have done a better job.
Have a good week, I'm going to see Mark Knopfler this evening and have a camera shutter to investigate sometime today. I'll hit it with some new firmware and hope that does the trick. If not I'll resort to a small hammer.

Have fun.

Wednesday 22 May 2019


I have had a good day today despite one or two challenges. Some were annoying, some amusing. Last night I made a curve rope for the clock but when I convert to a mesh it all but stops the computer. I have always tried to use Monsieur Bezier's curves when modelling stuff as they are really quick for curvy things, what I would do without he and Mr Boole I don't know. Fortunately I don't have to find out as their genius is embedded in the software I use. I just press buttons.
I had problems when I converted my rope to a mesh, it has a somewhat wonky lay, not to Bridport standards. As you can see if you enlarge the above the bake was taking silly time and ridiculous amounts of memory. I suspect Blender 2.80 Beta. This is the rope as a curve.
It's not too shabby and would be fine for video. The cutting in is normal as far as I can tell, it's caused by the original curve. I could try adding collision to the Bezier circles that I used to create the strands. Only just thought of that.

This government made my blood boil today, it is obviously not fit to run a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, nor could it afford to. The gurning, amoral spastic we have as PM is a national disgrace. They cock up everything they touch despite there being hundreds of thousands of them, millions if one adds in quangos. I dread to think how many folk it takes to teach incompetently, cure folk or kill them, add up rates, consider planning applications but I do know how many it takes to cut a grass verge. Five. One with a mower, a supervisor and three standing about doing lord knows what. I suspect the problem lies with the numbers and lack of accountability. OpenReach Just pull up in a van and do complicated things down a hole in the grass verge. Takes just the one man. I never saw the grass cutters van but a pound to a penny it has a driver and some bloke riding shotgun.

I am in charge of the campsite this week and had a couple of vans arriving. Could I get the computer to pop electric onto their pitches could I buggery. Maybe it isn't Blender. Happen I should ask for a consultant or ten. Hide my incompetence in numbers.

I went to see a lame cow first thing. She had a calf so I grabbed it, tied it to the front of the truck and then tied her and winched her to the back of the pickup, hobbled her with a bit of rope and gave her the baby back. What had I done but hobble the poorly foot. I went through the whole rigmarole again but visa versa with the hobbling, it took twice as long as she was wise to my subterfuge. I trimmed her hoof and she was so grateful I got a bash in the ribs for my surgical ministrations. Ungrateful beast. I'm getting too old for such shenanigans. I'll get some consultants in next time.

Last job before writing this was I had to go and pop the twenty tonne excavator on a low loader. That went like a dream as I wasn't driving either the low loader or the backhoe. God shines on righteous machines.
Have fun and if you can vote for Farage, he is far from perfect, in fact a bit of a twat but better than any alternative.

Tuesday 21 May 2019


Blender is going through another lot of user interface changes and also many clean up jobs. How they keep track of what needs doing is beyond me. Brilliant they are; as I keep telling myself when yet another operation goes belly up.
Here is a bit of video showing reversing gears and my attempts at modelling a rope to drive the clock.

It is all good clean fun.

Friday 17 May 2019


Well I can turn back time but have yet to work out how to make the gears run clockwise. I have spent an inordinate amount of time getting the job cracked to this stage. On the plus side I can now model involute gears in a few minutes. Any pedants who suggest that clock teeth are cycloidal can bugger right off. I also get distracted by images of Cher popping into my mind. I used to fancy Uma Thurman and still do but Cher's curly black tresses give her the edge in the fantasy stakes. Proper totty they are.
I love mastering something new. I tried everything to get these gears to work and what it came down to was me being thick. The virtual drive needed more oomph and the axis of the two gears sets had to be calculated and aligned accurately. The next step is to get rid of the virtual drive and replace it with a weight driven escapement and pendulum. The running backwards will be a minor setting I've got arse about face. I hope.
Here is where the power is, never noticed this little tinker before but not to worry I've learn't lots of stuff through missing it. This is a proper job or almost.

Have a great weekend. I'm horsing tomorrow lots of young folk doing gymnastic things on horses so if I can get my anti-perv ticket renewed then I'll post some images. If I don't then dream on.
Have fun.

Thursday 16 May 2019


At about silly o'clock I decide to have another look at the clock. I found that importing Stl. files into Blender has limitations. Stl. files are triangulated and not quads. they even have NGONS what they oughtened to do. See this is one of the very end of thirty teeth. Okay I removed double vertices but Shirley she can't be responsible. Should remove this but not for thirty teeth. Can't be arsed, let Shirley do it.

It causes a massive problem for rigid body physics. If I generate a perfect gear profile which this tooth is then moving the vertex down to triangulate the mesh doesn't solve the problem. I wish I understood the maths better. Rigid body physics in Blender does not like blank spaces. It wants loads of horizontal lines and then it performs. It also seems to require  sensible thickness to diameter ratio. Pain in the arse it is. It is sortable but no point in worrying till the basics are sorted.

Not a massive headache Just loads of things to sort. I prefer getting the basic thing done in FreeCad and then the rest in Blender. Does anyone know how to find the centre of a hole in Blender? Better still align two or three body holes to an axis.
I could start reading FreeCad forums but then I would be special needs or at least close to the spectrumius. I probably am but no worries. Just realized that clock teeth are  Cycloid and not involute. Makes no difference to the computer.
Have fun Vote Brexit. Farage is a bit of a tosser but the alternatives in England seem far worse. If you are a globalist then feel free to ignore my recommendation. I just like being English.

Wednesday 15 May 2019


The weather is superb. Yesterday we had a wander down to Loch Leven, I lugged two cameras but failed miserably with the insects. Not to worry it was a grand morning.

The dogs had a paddle and I was almost tempted to join them.
I have just got a pendulum and the weight drum to finish modeling for the clock or so I thought. You will see that things didn't go to plan. I am going to have to re-think the workflow. Amusing as this clock is it is not what I intended.
I am enjoying the modelling and colouring in but have still some way to go for a satisfactory timepiece.
Take advantage of the global warming, it's set to become global cooling for the weekend.

Sunday 12 May 2019


After cursing like a trooper I eventually got lucky and got Unopenreach to upload the latest stable version of FreeCAD. In the meantime I also realized that the gear add-on is not what the clever folk are using. I had a look on GitHub and found a macro that adds a gear workbench. These can be a pain to load but what I do is unzip the file, cast my eye over the resulting gobbledegook then open up FreeCAD in my programmes file and look for mod. It may be hidden so click show hidden files. Then I guess you could just copy and paste the whole unzipped thingy into mod. There is quite a lot of rubbish in these files like readme and licence, all superfluous junk. I just grab the bits I hope are relevant copy and paste those in. If anyone would like a HOWTO then just ask. What I do seems to work but I am a bit of a Muppet when it comes to computers.**
Brand new FreeCAD. Now all I have to do is get my head round it and get back to my clock. The new start page is  challenge.
This is the Gear Workbench which gives much more flexibility. Whether or not I can make it perform remains to be seen.

This morning I had a trip out macroing. There was a dearth of subjects but things are looking better.
 A successful clock. I usually take a couple of shots of something inanimate as it helps me get my eye in and check exposure. This dandelion is way ahead of me on the clock business.

Two St. Marks's flies. These will enlarge to at least twice, maybe three times this size. Not the most prepossessing of insects but the first I've seen this year. They do have hairy eyes and attractive feet.
The star of the outing was this wonderful moth.

I think this may be a Gold Spot Moth but I'm far from sure. It made my morning whatever it is.

** PS. There must be a posh way of loading such applications. GitHub is a wonderful free repository for stuff but it can take a few goes to get them to install. They do have an instruction page but I've never been able to make head nor tail of it. (They are developed by super intelligent versions of me. Altruists. Being a thick tightwad has disadvantages.) When you succeed in loading them they are as good or better than paid for Apps. You can't do any harm as long as you virus scan the files. I usually forget and to be honest a firewall shouldn't interfere with their installation. 

The more you play and fail the more you learn.

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.

Thursday 9 May 2019


No videos today, I am still trying to produce a clock in Blender and FreeCAD. I have had yet more setbacks. This morning I had a wonderful stroke of luck or fortuitous happenstance.
I found this drawing and it is just what I need. Unfortunately when I tried to use the construction lines FreeCAD kept crashing. I ended up guessing A LOT. and got this far.
I have not tried to animate it in Rigid Body Physics as I really didn't like it. I thought of tracing the drawing image in FreeCAD but was loathe to go to all the work of scaling it in Photoshop first. FreeCAD determines size by pixel count and having tried this before I end up with a really horrible fraction as a converter. Rounding it up doesn't produce anything much better than the above.
I then decide I had nothing to lose so imported the sketch into FreeCAD and what a beauty it is, it is full size so scales perfectly. Not often the Devil looks after his own.
I will start this again but the white lines are my tracing and you can see the 15mm Radius is a perfect match for the radius on the drawing. If this works I will credit Constantin whatever he's called for drawing it at 1:1 and scanning it at the same scale. It is available HERE.
This is much harder than I thought and I haven't got as far as the physics bit.

Monday 6 May 2019


This morning we visited Loch Leven. I wanted to see the Midges again so cleaned up the MP-E 65mm lens. Popped new Batteries in the ring strobe. I gave lens and flash contacts a gentle wipe with kitchen roll whetted with brake cleaner and off we went midgeing in unpromising weather. It was cold to verging on arctic. I was surprised to find Midges in abundance in areas sheltered from the freezing wind.
This lens takes practise, a steady hand and clean living to achieve focus. The strobe looks after tremors, delirium or other, it can't tell the difference. I called at the CO-OP for a Scotch Pie and the new lassy doing Scotch pies was stunning. I blame her for the pretty average results from both camera and lens. Clean living was the last thing on my mind, carnal thoughts I had. Not an auspicious start to a snapping session.
I took twelve shots and binned over half. 
This is a Dead Nettle flower from below. I started with this and clicked just once. It looked good so I went looking on Willow leaves for flies.

Someone will know what these are but I don't. Google is more interested in today's climate change than identifying flies with a 2-3mm wingspan. I miss not snapping such things. I have cropped these but they will enlarge with a click and can be pumped to pixelisation with Ctrl+.

I have been constructing the escapement wheel for the virtual clock. This one refuses to function.
Don't know why. I guess it need a more aggressive angle on the teeth. Not to worry all this keeps me from fantasising about wee Scotch Pie selling totty.

Sunday 5 May 2019


This morning the dogs and I had a wander round the shores of Loch Leven. No birds within camera range but millions of Midges. I shut my mouth for once but they were getting sucked up my nose. Little buggers they are. Here are a few snaps. I'll nip down tomorrow if the wind is away and try for some close ups with the MP-E 65mm. It's about time it had an outing. I'll also take the 400mm with an extension tube to try for one in flight. By the law of averages I should get one.

I really like insects and these must be male Midges as I didn't get bitten but interesting as they are, they are annoying.

I have gone back to first principles with the gear business. I think I have it about sorted or at least a workflow established. I calculated my own pitch circle diameter and modulus and bung the result into FreeCAD. With a bit of a mesh clean, it now seems to work in Blender. I did the cut outs in the gear in FreeCAD and also used the array modifier there. It's a one click or two click job, much easier than trying to use Blender as a CAD programme. Hopefully I'll get a working clock model before too long and then a constant mesh gearbox. 
Here is a bit of video.
Enjoy your week.

Wednesday 1 May 2019


A fellow Blogger posted some really strange art yesterday.  You can see it here: CRO MAGNON.  What amazed me most was the appalling photography, panning across a moving image is something to be avoided unless you want to make folk ill. Having thought it crap I got to thinking and came up with this. I did consider it as a title sequence but have knocked that idea on the head. Perhaps I'm being hasty, if Jesus Sato could make money out of rubbish then maybe all is not lost and I could too. This took some juggling in Blender 2.80 Beta as it would not accept more than 250 frames and for Blender pedants I did go into object and up the frames there. Nor would it accept the vertex thingy in the proper order. I wish I could understand the script writers as you can log into Blender developers and give them your twopenneth. They do reply but their answer is far too complikated for me to understand. I am not a recognised complikated person. I am a Muppet but not quite special needs, however in the company of code writers I am very thick. Brilliant they are and they do not suffer fools. Quite right they are, if I want to communicate effectively with them I have to learn their language.* 

I think with a video strip, rather than a still image, of seaside behind it would work. Doubt it would qualify as art. Kinetic or otherwise. 
This computer malarkey can get very complex. I love it.  The observant will notice that there is no perspective in this bit of video. I found that you can set the the camera to orthographic. Who would have thunk it.
What a difference an orthographic view makes. In the second screen grab I have highlighted the orthographic bit. Why Blender just don't title the box zoom I have no idea. I guess it is to make life interesting.
Have fun.
* I am old but know a lot of bits of a lot of things. I do know that we have enough folk below the productive median of intelligence without importing more. What are our leaders doing? Makes me think they want us to think they are competent.