A quick catch up on the past few weeks #SeekingWork #EuroPCR

As some of you may be aware, I’ve been unemployed since January 2016: the result of an unexpected downsizing and an equally unexpected eye-operation for my Keratoconus. In respect to the Keratoconus, I saw my eye specialist a week ago and he reckons I’m as good as it will now get, and so I don’t need to see him for another year. Yippee! Albeit, I still have fifty stitches in my eye. Since recovering from the operation it has therefore been a long struggle applying for countless jobs given that I have to explain the eye operation as the cause for the extended period of time not working. One employer actually told me following an interview that the only reason I was not hired was my recent year-and-a-bit not working. So if not working is stopping people from wanting to hire me, how will I ever get hired?

All this said, there have been some nibbles. Indeed, my recent fortnight absence from the realm of WordPress is a result of an exceptionally busy period in the job hunting scene. I am really astonished by what is expected of job applicants these days. For two of my job applications in recent weeks I have (for each) had to 1) perform an online intelligence test 2) undertake separate position related testing 3) perform role-plays of situations typical of the position. So six tests in all, each on separate days. Huh? Yep. In each case the role plays were conflict based. I guess they want to see how we cope under stress. I have also had a few more traditional job interviews. It has all been very tiring with a promise of more interviews next week.

Other news: my brother-in-law Glen Ison went to EuropPCR in Paris where he presented his abstract and used one of my images in his presentation. Glenn ended up winning the EuroPCR 2017 Nurses and Allied Professionals Best Clinical Abstract. Well done Glenn!

Glenn also made a nice comment about me on Facebook.

I must admit that it would be nice if I could get work doing computer graphics, especially for medical stuff. But I am not really good enough yet.

Other events included hosting a sleep birthday party for my daughter Rhiannon and her friends. This included me cooking a Thai Green Curry for them and locking myself in my office till 1am hoping to outlast them and turn the television off. However they outlasted me and when I crept out the merriment was still going strong. I relented and went to bed leaving them to their High School Musical marathon. The following day we bade the overnight guests a sleepy farewell and then caught a train to the city to visit my mum who was turning 86. So a very full weekend.

During my tiny bit of down time this past fortnight I have become enamored with the television series WestWorld. It’s well worth viewing for reasons that deserve a post in themselves. I’ve also read Lee Child’s “Make Me” – a Jack Reacher novel. This was enthralling and fast paced.

Hopefully soon I can get back to my regular reading and writing on WordPress.




Initial thoughts on a 3D Art Nouveau setting to be made in Blender

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Digital set number one

Just a short post.

I did my initial brain dump of design specifications in PowerPoint. These are fairly simple.

Here is a link to a Google image search on Art Nouveau. What do you see? Curved lines and natural shapes. So I had a go at using PowerPoint to create some basic outlines of wall shapes.

This said, they feel more Art Deco (i.e. more geometric that natural in form). So I need to rethink these designs. Part of me is almost tempted to just jump in using these basic concepts and see whether I can make them more natural once I am actually crafting them.


Thanks for reading.


PS: the header picture of the ballerina has nothing to do with this post. I just didn’t have a suitable header and that’s an old picture I painted for Nicole when I was 23. Thought it looked pretty. :)



Does an artificial world need to be geometric?

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Mapping Shade

So I sit here with Scrivener open, contemplating writing (contemplating writing is always so much easier than actually writing) and my mind falls to my world of Shade and maps. Should I map my world? Then I remember that I had contemplated this three years ago and even written some posts in which I used Bryce and Photoshop to create a maps of the chasm city of Shade.


So much has changed in that city and in my mind.

Back then I did not know how to link posts together as series, so I have now done that and created a series called Mapping Shade that I shall add to from time to time. This post will be one such addition.

OK – brain dump time.

When I first envisaged Shade it was just as any other planet, albeit a ghost planet with a surface comprised mostly of ruins and wrecked star ships. The chasm – then and now – was the only place where humans might live safely. So in that respect not much changed.

However since then Shade changed. I increasingly saw it as a constructed world – an artificial sphere in space. So as I found myself today reading a novel with maps, I thought “Should I go back to mapping Shade?”

My mind then did what it normally does – send me off on a wild goose chase looking at what other people think on the matter. Blah!

Once those hours had been wasted and my mind could not escape actual thought, I began drawing up this strange map made up of geometric shapes. Why? Well if it is artificial then obviously it is all straight lines etc. Blah! (Yes, my second blah). How stupid am I? (Don’t you dare answer that)

Mathematicians, scientists and hobbyists have been playing with fractal landscapes for a couple of decades now, so obviously any world sculptor in the far future will too.

My mind leaps to the works of Douglas Adams:

Slartibartfast: You know the fjords in Norway? I got a prize for creating those, you know.

So there I go. I am once more unburdened and able to create fractal maps for Shade.

As an aside, I will get around to showing you soon some of my ideas for my current graphics project.

Thanks for reading.



Next modeling project – a setting #Blender

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Digital set number one

Hi folks,

Just a short one today.

I’ve been pondering my next Blender graphics project for a week or so. I’ve decided upon a set. By this I mean a digital space for me to pose characters and make 3D images – much like a film set. I want a feature of the space to be ornamental doors and windows, probably in a style like Art Deco or Art Nouveau. This can be a setting for some of the scenes in my novel, either in the plush apartments of the Azar family or in the Babel Saloon. So I am not creating any furniture, just the space.

My next post in this series will have a formal specification etc drawn up.

NOTE: the photo in the header to this post is the lobby of the Berida Hotel in Bowral in New South Wales, less than two hours south of Sydney. We’ve visited it a fair bit and as it has an early 20th century feel to it, I thought I would make it the header until I have managed to come up with a design. Certainly I would recommend anyone to stay there.  No, I am not getting a kick back, I just really love the place and want to share it with you.

And talking of things that I want to share, if you enjoy digital art then please take a look at Serengeti Archer by one of my regular visitors. It really appeals to me and shows what is possible using DAZ Studio and just a few available assets.

Thanks for reading.




User Testing – finalising my model of an x-ray machine #Blender #EuroPCR

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series My X-Ray model project

So you may remember that we started this project with an overall plan that follows the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) approach to remodel a 3D likeness of an  x-ray machine that I first modeled a year ago for a presentation at EuroPCR 2016 – the official annual meeting of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) and the world-leading Course in Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine. Here is the diagram of the plan:

I now feel that I have reached the Close part of the plan (at least until my skills improve and I can make a third attempt AND also given my my brother in law will be attending EuroPCT 2017 and I can create images for him using this now instead of my old model). So I need to do the Quality testing. My test user is obviously my brother-in-law Glenn. He had sent me some photos of the angles that he wanted to display the model for his presentation and asked me to add a patient. This was what I sent back..

The first two pictures suited his needs but the last two did not. He needed the top part to be closer to the patient. The reason for this was that it meant less radiation due to inverse square law. Then he gave me a bit of knowledge that was new to me: the top part can move to extend downwards.



I had the image intensifier as a solid part of the arm. This is what happens when an artist does not have a proper technical understanding of a machine. So I needed to disconnect it and stretch it and then assemble it next to, but not as part of, the arm. The reason I needed to stretch it was so that when it lowered it did not suddenly hang in space. This took a little while as I returned to blender. Outcome:



The response to this : “The 3rd one’s perfect. I’ll use that and the previous cranial ones. Good work.” So it passed testing.

And so more of my graphic work will turn up in Paris at EuroPCR. Cool!

I know that Glenn will give a marvelous presentation and I am happy that I can help in a small way.

Thanks for reading.