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 May 2020


I have been trying for hours to model the chain sprocket and it kept going pear shaped. Not literally, even I can make a cylinder. There are several Boolean operations on this and for some reason the file size was turning out ridiculous. I had another go this morning and BINGO! It all worked roughly as expected. No more 90MB files just for the sheave. The following is more complex, includes about a dozen chain links and is coloured in and the file comes in at under 7MB. I wish I knew why. This sheave was made in three parts and the mesh joined right at the end, for the life of me I can't see what difference that would make but I guess Blender knows.
Here are the pictures.

 I haven't decided what to do with this yet. Whatever I decide the job will entail lots of boring repetitive work, not something I have the patience for so I have decided I need an apprentice......Who am I kidding? I am the apprentice.

It is going to be scorchio today so I suspect a trip to the Co-Op for beer will be the next thing on my agenda. I have a shepherds pie for supper, it's not pie weather either so I'll possibly settle for more beer. Perhaps not as I am going to the horses tomorrow and in Scotland the drink/drive limit is stupid low. Just my luck to get stopped by the polis for driving about and get bagged as well.

Have a great weekend.

Almost forgot.....Here's one for Graham.

Thursday 28 May 2020


I am still trying to sort the chain sprocket but to be honest I'm not getting very far. My latest idea is to make it in three parts and then join them together. I'm away to see the horses this morning so will have another go on my return.
I had a bit of a play either side of breakfast with a title sequence.

This uses the Build modifier and it's something I'd never noticed before. 

Before I go I'd like to offer you the opportunity to donate to a really worthwhile cause.

Monday 25 May 2020


I enjoy modelling in Blender and have decided to create an animated machine on the lines of the Heath Robinson silliness. It will be something yet to be decided driven by a chain like the links in the last post. I need a few chain sprockets and that  is harder than I thought it would be. I'm getting there slowly.
I got halfway there yesterday afternoon but the Boolean operation kept failing. This didn't come as a surprise as Booleans are a bit hit and miss.
The third attempt and apart from the hooked edges on the transverse indents it is fine. 
No it isn't, it missed two and failed to pop an inside on the third. Rubbish.

Earlier today I half cracked it. 

This isn't too shabby but the file size is very silly-95MB a flapping flag coloured in and with the sky behind it animated is only 15/20MB. I would try decimating the mesh but it really doesn't look too bad, all the normals are pointing out so the shading is good, I'll check but I'm pretty sure that I've applied all the modifiers; if there are more than ten I could have missed one or two as I run out of adding up digits. I'll come back to it and see where I've cuckooed. I would also like it with an inset middle/thicker rim but it definitely is having non of that malarkey. This is produced with a cylinder and the indents for the chain are just a filled in chain link.
A filled in link. I'm getting there slowly. I'll try making it in FreeCAD and importing it to Blender for the physics animation if I ever get that far. It is all good clean fun.

Saturday 23 May 2020


It's been a pretty good week. I've had a good look at four forty odd year old Honda bike carburettors. The bodies and bracket are away for vapour blasting and the slide covers will be anodised blue. A full refurb kit is also on order as are new jets. 
I suspect I've fallen in lust again. I was watching a clip of a White House press conference it featured the wonderful new press secretary Kaleigh McEnany. She is perfect, well informed, polite, cheerful and she can pop the snowflakes back in their boxes effortlessly. What have we got? Mat bloody Handycock or someone called Willy or Willis, both aptly named.
I am not going to apologise but my Blendering as been even more esoteric than usual. I had a choice between posting a video on settings in the physics simulator or using shader nodes as a maths graphing visualiser. I settled on the former as it has some pretty colours in. Well it does now I've coloured it in.

That's all for now. Have a good week, try not to get either soaked or blown away; it's very wet and windy here.

Tuesday 19 May 2020


Yesterday I got back at lunchtime after a relaxing morning with the horses. I called for the messages on my way back and got them roughly correct. There is in Fife a little known delicacy known as a breakfast roll. It's burnt bread to anyone normal. It's a white bread roll that has been burnt black. They are generally referred to as hard fired rolls. Amazingly when I first arrived here I thought they were seconds but no, they are the same price as regular rolls.
I checked my emails and found that Graham from Lewis said they have an Outer Isles Flag. I found an image of not one but two. He prefers the wavy one but I decided to run both the cross one and the wavy one. They were both very low resolution and a bit small so I ran them through Photoshop and trebled the resolution and doubled the size. They are still a bit iffy but not to worry, video hides a multitude of sins. I remade the finniels/phinials/sod it, the bobbles on top of the flag poles. I suspect they are a little over elaborate and looking again they resemble insulators on a sub-station. Not to worry they are posh for a flagpole bobble. Lewis is a bit like a miniature big island as it is divided up into Lewis in the north, North Harris in the middle, for a little bit, then South Harris as one heads towards the equator. Must be why they have two flags. I suspect they also have their own Anthem but they can make do with Flower of Scotland. I would have liked to use Rhythm of my Heart by Amy Macdonald. I suspect it is way beyond my budget but if you don't like Flower of Scotland then mute it and play Amy. I have always fancied playing with Amy but my flute playing days are long gone.

I was hoping to post this last night but got in a right muddle. I suspect that nobody will use the physics simulator in Blender but sometimes one ends up going round in circles with each new iteration getting worse. I have solved the problem; all you have to do is alter any of the parameters in the flag physics and then alter it back. The cache or Bake doesn't always clear when you tell it and you end up in a right muddle. This simple step clears it properly.

Here you are Graham.

That's all for today and probably tomorrow as I have the unenviable task of rebuilding four Honda carburettors. I just hope they all turn out the same or there will be some terrible language. 
PS. I had more than a bit of trouble using the current Blender 2.82 build for this. Don't use it, use the 2.83 Beta build and there should be no unpleasant surprises.

Sunday 17 May 2020


I think I have either gone or am well on the way to having gone native. I'm not wearing women's skirts yet but give it time.
 A few days ago John at MIDMARSH JOTTINGS posted an animated Lincolnshire flag, I thought I'd do the same for Fife but we don't have one in fact few Scottish counties do. The first of these is the Caithness flag which is miles away and the second is East Lothian which is reasonably close as the crow flies but takes ages what with the diversion for the Forth Crossing and the interminable Edinburgh bypass.

That's about it for now. Enjoy your week.

Friday 15 May 2020


Another busy day. I popped over to the horses this morning for a chat and to look at a muck sweeper engine that was being naughty. Got the engine sorted quick sticks. I heard some news, one lot good and the other bad. The good news is that a local engineering firm has recruited some more staff. Most folk want to work with the exception of those that get paid full whack for doing nothing and nobody but the government wants them anyway. The bad news is that the chap who keeled over outside Sainsbury's ten days ago was dead. Good job my services weren't required it would have dropped my success rate to fifty/fifty. I thought he looked 90% dead when I offered to help. I wonder if he will go down as a BatFlu statistic? A pound to a sticky bun he will and in a way they would be correct as if he hadn't had to wait outside in the cold he could have turned his toes up in a nice warm shop or possibly not at all. 
Mammals and plants die, we are mammals so we die. I really struggle to get to grips with the current obsession with death. Banging pots and pans is dafter than the ancients. I guess we will start having to sacrifice virgins. Good luck with that round here. Maybe the first born son would do. 

I think I may have sorted this smoke simulation. What do you think? It is still far from perfect but I've stopped it hammering the computer to death and with a larger CPU could do the job both faster and better.

 The pulse banding is not a shock wave it is what posh folk call an undesirable artefact and what I call really bad words. I can get rid of them by playing with density in the volumetric shader but then I lose the swirling as well. It has to be sorted prior to the physics baking stage. This, you will be pleased to know, is the last one of these. I've gone as far as I can with it. For those interested here are a few screen grabs.
 This is the scene set up. The big white thing is the emitter or as they now call it The Inflow.
 The thin blue line is a normal. Their direction is very important as is applying the scale and rotation of meshes/stuff in a scene; do not employ location, the computer likes to know where things are. Mostly normals need to face out, they rarely want to in complex meshes till you tell them but were you to require things/smoke/fluid contained in a box or any other mesh then the normals of the container would have to point inwards. Failure to recognise the importance of normals can cause a vast amount of head scratching and torrents of appalling language.
I think I may have gone a bit OTT with the aerofoil but it was leaking a bit so I gave it plenty of geometry and hence it looks like a hedgehog. It is a very nice aerofoil I am really getting topside of this Bezier business.
That's all for now and have a good weekend. 

Thursday 14 May 2020


It's been a good day so far. First thing I resurrected the smoke simulator, I then took the dogs out for a wander. Whilst eating breakfast I noticed a Gold Crest, I haven't got a picture of one so after popping the 400mm lens on the camera, rolling a few cigarettes and locating my fold up chair I went and sat in the sun to wait it's return. I saw it twice but it was far too fast for me. It's only a tiny little thing but by god it can flit about at supersonic speed. What is really amazing is that it never seems to bump into twigs and stuff.
I have never been able to tolerate not being able to sort things. A couple of days ago I was considering sending the virtual smoke to the failed projects care home to die and be forgotten. I decided to have another go.
Things were little better, possibly worse. I had quite a long list of messages for folk so with my tail between my legs I sallied forth to the Co-Op.
Upon my return I decided to give it another coat of looking at and BINGO. Not good but not a total mess.
Far from perfect but this will make a video and it isn't taking stupid amounts of time to bake.
I'll play with the lighting and try and reduce the banding on the left by calculating more sub-steps. The danger is it will stop the machine if I'm not careful.
That's all for now.

Wednesday 13 May 2020


I suspect I am cracking up. I have made a birthday video for Alf. Okay that is mildly eccentric but it gets worse as it's not his birthday or I don't think it is. I have invented a birthday on the first of October which both dogs share.  I was playing about before breakfast and came up with this.

Well not quite this I popped the happy birthday bit on then added some music whilst my lunch was cooking.. If I get any worse then it will be the men in white coats. Not to worry I'll get a new jacket out of the job and it will have tie up sleeves.

That's all for today.

Tuesday 12 May 2020


This fluid simulation job has got ridiculous. I'm giving it a rest for the time being.
My laptop is now around nine or ten years old and still has a i7- 2.8 GHz CPU a 660 GPU and 16GB of ram. This is pathetic in this day and age. I do try and keep it cleanish on the inside if not on the outside. Every few months I clear all the Windows update stuff, Temp. rammel, Tmp. most of it, any other rubbish that Adobe or Blender have hidden in obscure directories, crap I have downloaded etc.. I then give the processor fan a clean and spray a bit of that arctic stuff on it's heat sink. It's running fine but can't cope with the demands of this new software. Posh fluid simulations are long winded and very sketchy to say the least. Last night at six I left it baking two hundred frames of smoke and at four this morning it was just finishing but had only baked eighty frames properly and was nowhere near the cache limit I'd dialled in. A new all singing and dancing machine from PCSpecialist will run at give or take the best part of £2K. Not a bad price for what I'd get but it's still an awful lot of money for a computer.
I'll have to think of less processor intensive jobs to entertain me. It's not a real problem I can render 2K video but not 4K. Mind you when YouTube have finished bastardising stuff it matters little.
This is the old way of carrying on using a particle emitter. All my aerofoils now have an eye as it was suggested and I thought why not, adds a bit of interest.
This is the Mantaflow system that I had so much aggravation with trying to get it to work with the waterwheel.
(A) is the emitter or Inflow. (B) is the Domain. (C) is the aerofoil with an eye and (D) is the outflow or collector which I have yet to make do anything sensible. This is running a FLIP liquid simulation as gas or smoke just stops the machine. I could make this render using particles but then getting a colour shift would be a real pain. I think it is possible depending on the Shader editor inputs if they have one that does speed, then that coupled to a colour ramp node would do the job. I'm going to unsubscibe from these Blender forums. Half the time I haven't a clue what they are banging on about and on the odd occasion I think I understand, get all enthusiastic and try to operate the job I realise I had only thought. "That sounds fun." It's fun to a very bright twenty odd year old with a big computer. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing but on the plus side I can now use Bezier curves without the whole thing going anyhow, belly up and whichway. Perhaps Mantaflow is similar and in a month or two I'll pop back to it and wonder how had I been so thick.

I was chatting to an old friend this morning and he asked if I knew anyone who had had BatFlu. I said yes, Boris and numerous actors, TV folk and sundry other attention seekers. He said I mean normal people. I had to admit that I didn't. I have yet to hear of anyone dying of it other than folk that were on their way out anyway and the relaxation of death certification is puzzling. More than a mild consternation if you recall Staffordshire, cheapo mucky blood and a few other NHS whoopsies. We'll see when folk start wandering about as normal. Not that most have ever stopped round here. Not people I meet anyway. The Co-Op have several systems in place from fully open with arrows and lines on the floor to only two folk at a time. The two shoppers at a time Gruppenfuhreress on the door is so busy chatting to folk in the line outside she either lets nobody in or three at once. It's all good fun.

Sunday 10 May 2020


Yesterday whilst perusing the internet for aerofoil inspiration I found several simulations of stuff blowing past and over a wing. I thought I bet I could make blender do that. I was up most of the night trying to prove myself right. I spent ages trying to get the smoke simulator to change colour with either speed or acceleration. I wasn't much bothered which as it was the pretty pattern I was after. I then remembered playing with particles ages ago, I was idly clicking on things to see what happened and I got a colour shift . Not something I was looking for at the time, it came in handy early doors this morning. Took me ages to work out what I'd clicked on but I found it.

I have had to fake a boundary box for this as otherwise the particles were going all over the place. On the left I have a thin plane emitting particles along the normal,  on the right a much bigger plane collecting them and supposedly killing them. You will see in the video that there is a shock wave on the aerofoil leading edge which is acceptable but there is another that runs back up from right to left which is not nice at all. This needs a lot of tweaking but it does seem to work. I will try and do a really posh one with more particles, smaller ones and I'll alter the angle of attack but more slowly. It takes the thing a while to stabilise. I'll also make the foil smaller in relation to the simulation bit. There is rarely a dull moment with Blender, I start off doing one thing and get sidetracked. Here is the video.
The first half is showing acceleration and the second velocity. The colours are awful but It really doesn't justify the time spent in the compositor sorting it and adding some blur. This is an Open GL* Render as, this will make you smile, non of what you are looking at is real only real stuff renders in either EEVEE or Cycles. Reality is a variable concept in the 3D world. It has much in common with politics in this respect.
Have fun and make the best of the coming week.

* Should anyone wonder where the OpenGL render engine has gone in Blender >2.80 then it is now under View-Render Viewport. Don't be tempted by the Workbench option in the render drop down menu it is something special for very special folk. It buggers everything up.

Saturday 9 May 2020


I have decided on another project which will keep me amused. No! Not sheep feet, how they are going lame when we have a bloody drought I don't know but I now have a can of green stuff to spray their feet with when I've trimmed them. Pity nobody thought to tell me before. All I used fifty five years ago was Stockholm Tar, a fantastic smell it had or old sump oil which didn't smell so good but cured no end of things like ring worm and fly bite.

The new project is much like the old one in that it involves an animation but using a gas. I have decided to make a fan and knowing nothing about airfoils or aerofoils other than they let windmills generate expensive electric, aircraft fly and shift gases around for no end of other tasks I'm struggling.

As usual it started to get very complicated. I did remember that NASA have hundreds of free aerofoil sections and it turns out other folk do too. AIRFOIL PLOTTER  is one and this is another, OVER A THOUSAND HERE. The problem is that once one has decided on a pretty shape (some are just plain ugly) the file formats they use are beyond my ability to convert and import into Blender. The next job will be to learn to write enough code to do this. I would like to thank the USA for making such stuff so freely available if useless to me. It rarely happens in the UK. Our betters know that knowledge is power and hence if they had their way all education would be conducted in Latin or Greek. Well it would were they bright enough to learn it.

Onwards and backwards. I used a Bezier circle and pushed, pulled, stretched it this way and that until I got a chord profile I liked the look of. If the data bases have so many I suspect most of my pre-chord profile makers did the same. It is of course rocket science or close to it. I do not like using Bezier curves they take more than a bit of practise and a following wind for one to succeed. The bloody handles can easily be selected in a stupid manner and if you are going fast remember the damn thing is happy as Larry in three dimensions. That's what Bezier designed it for. It was made for Renault car shapes. I can believe that looking at the Scenic.

I've got this far. 
Sorry about the silver bits in the cap heads. I'll Boolean them soon. I only popped them in for interest and made myself look a numpty by doing so.

I like the look of this profile or chord section. Angle of attack is 8°. No idea whether it would work but it looked something like. I'll blow some smoke at it and see. I suspect I'll have to reduce the angle of attack towards the blade tips. I'll pop some serious geometry in and just swivel the top vertices. Visa versa would work better.
Have fun and remember what is now getting to seem normal is just bollocks. Wait till the teachers have to go back, the train drivers. The REEEEing will be deafening, not to mention our wonderful NHS who are employing folk to sit around eating free pizzas in hospitals running at about 60% capacity. They will be incandescent, heat half country they will. Burn the fat ones and we could be carbon neutral for a decade. 

Friday 8 May 2020


I raise a glass to hope.

Thursday 7 May 2020


I have tried and then tried some more, I have been very, very trying. This is as good as the water simulation is going to get. I will have another look in the future, I think I read that Blender 2.90 is due in July, hopefully they will have polished the Mantaflow job up a bit by then. How many particle bakes I have run is beyond count and I even started taking screen grabs of the settings not to mention wasting valuable paper scribbling stuff down. All to no or little determinable  improvement. It's time to move on and think of something else to occupy my little grey cells. I have enjoyed the modelling aspect of this project so am tempted to resurrect the old Steam Punk motorbike. It could be done in Blender but FreeCAD is a better tool for that job.
It would have been quicker to 3D print the waterwheel. I can model waterwheels in about half an hour so if anyone with a printer who fancies an Stl. file, I'll send one free from my computer. You can then pop it under the kitchen tap and film a video in minutes.
I thought I had cracked it with this version.
Unfortunately the water is too lumpy, the spray too small and it's still getting through the mesh. I quite like the RSJ (That dates me. 'I' beams they are called now), support structure and the plumber blocks and fasteners they came out a treat. Modelled from scratch and not downloaded as Obj. files from the bearing folks catalogue. It's nice to look at something and just extrude, scale, fill meshes.
Here is the video. I win some I lose some.

This is rendered in EEVEE the reason the water looks opaque is not because I forgot to set roughness to zero, it's because I have too much spray and foam in the job. 
Onto the next project.

I see we are getting blue post boxes. Must be to celebrate the new blue passports.

Have fun.

Monday 4 May 2020


As is my wont I was awake several hours before cock crow. I had another look at the water simulation and after reading developer notes I have learn't this is a mesh based simulation. What? I hear you say. It seems that my propensity for increasing barrier distance on stuff is defeating the whole object of their hard work. Fluid mesh and object mesh should be something like similar. These folk are hard work, I don't know what language they speak but most of it makes as much sense to me as Hottentot*. I could never get inflow volumes just as I wanted and I have had lots and lots of goes. I have now cracked that. It depends on ones inflow object mesh density and the size of the object. I'm getting there or thought I was.
  This is interesting but not what I either wanted or expected. It is doing what I want but a bit staggered on the 'Z' axis (Neither use to man nor beast). It may be my machine but I have now popped a dedicated folder for Blender Bakes on my Desktop. I can delete the buggers manually instead of having to rake through Temp.files to see if Blender has done as it promised it would years ago.

I then popped over to Kinross to get messages for folk. I called in at the horses for some eggs and got well supplied with goose eggs.
They are grand things. A bit big for me but they taste wonderful. There are half a dozen geese of varied pedigree. No pedigree at all then. They have a posh but old Chinese gander so all these eggs could be fertilised. It's best to get to them before the goose decides to sit and incubate them. That never used to have to be explained but these days I wonder if folk even know where eggs come from.
Nothing wrong with this beauty, it's just a bit damp still as I had to polish the crap off. 
They are big. Monotone is as near as I get to artyfarty. That and using DOF and very selective focus. Please excuse my nails but my nail lady has had to shut up shop. Summat to do with BatFlu.

I exited Sainsbury with what I hoped and prayed were what I had been asked to get. Bugger me! Someone had keeled over tits up in the safety line. I though that's working well then, popped the shopping down and wandered across to see if I could help but fortunately an off duty para-medic was already giving the corpse some serious compressions and said he was fine. Saved it or they getting to experience my dubious skill set. I have saved three out of five I have either stopped them bleeding out or kick started the blood pumping round bit. Two died but then I consoled myself that it was most likely down to bad diet, smoking, hard drink or too much rumpty tumpty on the corpses side. I have heard the professionals explain their incompetence and learnt.... Bloody BatFlu, without that and the stress of waiting in a queue, it/they, fat bastard; could have turned their toes up in the nice warm shop. Nasty east wind whistling through Kinross today. Freezing it was. Before I'd got back to the car two police cars polled up, all blues and twos. I presume they had come to arrest the (IT/THEY) in case it was breaking curfew and still breathing, enjoying life, not being miserable and in a vertical orientation like normal folk.

Pride comes before a fall.... I am so confident that I can make a waterwheel behave with water as it oughter. That I have gone to the trouble of making another. I must be the fastest waterwheel modeller in the 3D world, I can knock the blighters out in under an hour.
Tons and tons of mesh in the paddles now, middling elsewhere. If it needs more I need a new computer. I am confident that at long last it will work. So confident I have given the bits different colours.
What a sparkling bright wheel. Almost seems a shame to get it wet.
Have fun.

* Hottentot is a gibberish language from Africa. Socialist are fluent in it. They criticise everything without ever offering a solution. Solutions require logical thought and socialists only have feelings to justify their diktats.

Saturday 2 May 2020


I suspect I may be turning into one of them. No not anything weird like a vegan or a tranny. I'm turning into something much worse, a Blender addict. I think after countless hours I may have cracked the fluid job. It's not perfect but not too shabby. You wouldn't believe the brain ache I've had. The old fluid simulator did leave a bit to be desired but it was, in all fairness, only a ten click job. Mantaflow requires a doctorate in fluid physics, not that I've ever had a doctorate in anything. I don't think doctoring lambs counts as anyone can do that.

This is just a visualiser but you can see that nothing is passing through the waterwheel bit. Unfortunately nothing is getting trapped in the paddles which is a bit of a sod. This wheel consists of lots of pieces at least twenty odd. I am wondering if I made it much wider then parented the paddles and the central drum to the outer flanges and spokes then applied two different collision interferences it might do the trick. I thought this would be a weeks worth of spare time but I've still not cracked it. At least the water coming in is doing what it oughter. The fluid going out is still building up a bit fast. My drains must be blocked. There must be at least 60% of Mantaflow settings I haven't played with yet. I'm sure the developers can make it work. In a year they will have got Wiki instructions out, ironed out the glitches and I will wonder at my stupidity. 
Not to worry it saves me thinking of another project for the coming week. Problems are opportunities in Adrian world. I wonder how anyone can program such stuff. It's amazing.

I have another problem, it's with RBS. The dishonest useless tossers that call themselves bankers or at least I think that's what the account manager said they were the last time I managed to get hold of the part time twat. Yesterday I logged in to transfer some money to a registered transfer account that is purported to be a click away and the buggers wanted another verification code which they would send to my mobile. My mobile doesn't work here, nor do I know where it is so I got my card reader out to give them a random number and the bastard batteries were flat. Can I buy a couple of CR2032 batteries at Sainsbury? Can I hell as like. They sell them in packs of six for ten pounds. I have a couple of camera gizmos that use CR2032s so it is not a total waste of a tenner. The fit, youngish lady in Sainsbury had a very fetching white tabard on it looked wonderful against her died white hair with blue bits on the ends. Unfortunately she had her usual clothes on underneath. The tabard was printed up with the following message. Sainsbury request you keep your distance. I asked her what she'd got and the cheeky minx said nothing you can catch unless you have a six foot willy. That was me told. She was an angel though and fetched me three tins of grapefruit from out the back. I don't know why folk are buying so much tinned fruit but they aren't buying peach slices, fruit salad or pears.
I do have some video but I will wait until I can see if I can get this to work then run a before and after.
Enjoy the coming week.

PS. Update on Sunday.

I think this is about sorted. The lumps 'A' are drains. They won't necessarily render. The wheel 'B' I've made see through and as you can see the mesh 'C' is now filling the paddles. Seems the job is a good un. Now all I have to do is build a bit of infrastructure and colour in and I'll call it job done. Maybe I'll shift the inflow left a bit and see if I can reduce the friction on the wheel a tad.