Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Awesome Sunset - Wave Cloud

Following on from Saturday's classic lumpy nor'wester, the sunset this evening was equally pretty (and every bit as chilly again). The TV weatherman called it "wave cloud" (or at least the clouds floating nearby), so I'll just call it that.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Piano Improv - 20150627 - T. Newman Style

A short little track, recorded using my phone (lying on top of the piano) after a long walk in the chilly winter air this afternoon. In the style of a "Thomas Newman" score ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Violin Improv - 20150625

It was so good to have a nice long session of bashing out some of these this afternoon. Such a nice change from the rut I've been in the past few days setting up systems to power some upcoming experiments. Here are most of the clips from this afternoon, in reverse order (since they seem to work well in that order too - from good to bad). The first clip though I've not uploaded (20 minutes) as that would clog up the remaining space on my account too much...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NZ Native Fish - Videos

On a more positive note, here are some videos of some fish swimming around in an aquarium of NZ native fish. I'm quite pleased with how these turned out, considering I shot these by holding my phone up beside the tank. Some of the fish may not have been quite that pleased to have been followed/tracked around the way that they were though!

1) A silvery fish showing off its blue fins - I suspect it may have been trying to "scare" me off from tracking it like that

2) Watch out for the antics of the blue cod here - Every bit as athletic as Bubu, but perhaps even more so, and quite impressive for such a long fish like that

3) This milky-white specimen is quite interesting, as it has some of those "wise old fish" whiskers. It also looks quite a bit like an axolotl (check them out too, but be warned that they do look a bit icky; I saw some back in high school, as our biology teacher kept some as pets). Stick around till then end though, for some interesting shots with the snapper(s) just idling around in mid water. It's pretty full on!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

RIP - The Fallen Silvereye

Sometimes, nature can be quite savage and cruel, reminding us all just how fragile life really is. Just over an hour ago, I watched in horror as a silvereye fell out of the tree and onto the cold hard concrete less than a metre away from where I stood. Out of nowhere, there was a rustling of leaves overhead, and then all of a sudden, there was a chaotic ball green-grey wings and feathers flailing around on the ground, frantically tossing and turning (in what I presume was shock) before rolling onto its back, legs twitching, and taking its last gasps of air.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Friday Night Rants

This is an assorted collection of ramblings and rantings derived from various topical issues I've come across recently week. Let the ranting begin!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Anim Tip: Pose Libraries are just Actions!

From time to time, I hear questions about people wanting relink Pose Libraries, or manually reorder the poses, and not knowing how/what to do. The answers to these questions are quite simple once you know one simple trick about Pose Libraries:

Pose Libraries are just Actions!  (*)

(*) The fine print:
- The pose data is just stored as keyframes in these Actions
- The "secret sauce" is that Pose Library actions use markers (stored inside the action) to tell Blender which frame each "pose" is stored on. The name of each marker is the name of the pose. These markers are drawn as the taller, "bone" shaped markers.
- If you're going to do anything to these Actions, make sure you keep the markers and keyframes in sync!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gah! Stupid HP Design Flaws

Earlier in the week, I randomly started getting some nasty creaking/snapping noises everytime I opened or closed the lid on my laptop. Last night, I finally discovered the cause: the plastic base-plate was coming away from the rest of the case in the top left corner (below the power button)! Basically, every time the lid opens and closes, it looks like the left hinge is forcing open the casing (currently by 1 - 1.5mm, along a 2-3 cm stretch from the top-left corner). For now, I can still nudge/snap it back into place after each open/close cycle; there's also a bit of a rattling sound inside (like some plastic bits have snapped off). Apparently, this design flaw with the hinges+base-plate has caused quite a few people grief.

If the rumors are true that this is because they freaking glued that part of the case together, then that would really suck, as AFAIK, all the heat-producing processors are located there along with some fans. Along with some of the other annoyances I had when setting up this machine (i.e. RSI-causing keyboard, oversized and hard to deliberately-click (yet easy to accidentally bump) touchpad, out of kilter out-of-box monitor colour calibration, and the high pitched eee...errr...eeee....errr whining when it's on standby, to name the most egregious examples), this just further reaffirms my decision to never buy an HP product again. I would also strongly discourage anyone else from doing so in the future as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mid Afternoon Sketches - Birdies

Some mid-afternoon doodles from earlier today - all with black ballpoint pen..


The silvereyes do sometimes get into a bit of a flap over a preferred perch...

A little warmup sketch

Blender Animation FAQ's - June 2015 Edition

From time to time, several issues commonly popup up time and time again. So, I'll try to answer a few of these that come to mind most currently.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Grease Pencil Dev - Sneak Peak of WIP Feature

Yippee! After a weekend of work, I've finally gotten this new tool for Grease Pencil editing working! Here's a little teaser to wet your appetite for what's coming ;)

Stroke Sculpting - Interactively "paint" edits on to the strokes, instead of needing to select the points one by one...

The functionality is still very rough - only a single brush is implemented, lots of UI polish is still needed, and the strength of the effect still needs fine tuning. But most importantly, the first version of this tool is now functional! :)

Now, it's time I headed off to bed!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Musings on Forceful Methods to Bring "Heated" Forums Back to Health

I think everyone can agree that the atmosphere over on BlenderArtists has been quite "heated" and problematic over the past few years. There has been much written about this - pages and pages by the same cabal of 3-7 "usual suspects" (*) who are largely responsible for most of these very issues. These "forum addicts" spend their time trotting out the same few complaints over and over like a broken record, getting into some rather heated/vindictive/nitpicky+pedantic debates that at times border on outright slander.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Klaus Trailer - SPA Studios

Wow! This looks great! On some many levels too :D

In case you haven't noticed, this is actually hand drawn animation! (Don't believe me? Watch it again carefully!) At first, I too thought it was just 3D rendered using a NPR style... but, apparently, it's hand drawn and rendered using some new CGI techniques! I'm very curious to learn more about how they're doing this, as there's some very interesting stuff going on here.

Christchurch CBD - Signs of Rebuild

This weekend was a long weekend (Queen's Birthday weekend) here, and an eventful one at that. Yesterday (Sunday) saw the old central police station tower "imploded" (I've got before and after photos for this to come in a later post), followed by some nice warm weather today (20 degrees for the first day of winter!). Here are some photos I took during an impromptu trip late this afternoon  to check out the rubble from the implosion...