SoulThief

Why? Why? Why? The why behind my plot.

Many years ago I was identified as a possible Public Service leader of the future. Well, it didn’t pan out, but for a year the government did pay for me to have a personal mentor. This man taught me a lot about leadership and motivating people. One of the big lessons revolved around “why?”. Why should your staff care? Why should your bosses care? Why should your customers give a

Rhiannon's Dance Concert - with a cameo by me #EDTA

My life is a myriad of experiences, as I am sure that you are all aware. Last weekend was my daughter Rhiannon’s dance concert. Rhiannon learns at the Miss Patricia Yvonne Studio, part of the EDTA Association. So this post is a bit of a recount for anyone interested in the various aspects of my life (yawn) and also a bit about life in New South Wales, Australia. Our story

#Adobe #Portfolio - giving it a go

I have Adobe Creative Cloud but rarely make the full use of it. I mean, I use the obvious stuff like PhotoShop, LightRoom and Premier and to a lesser extent Illustrator and InDesign, but that is about it. What a waste! Anyway I thought that I would have a go a Portfolio. Essentially Portfolio takes a selected collection of images from LightRoom and turns it into a web site which

My #GoogleLocalGuide photos reach 3 million views on #GoogleMaps

As many of you may remember, when I was unemployed one of the things I did to keep myself sane when not applying for jobs was to become a Google Local Guide. This meant visiting local attractions and food spots and photographing/reviewing them. The results were then placed on Google Maps. There was no money doing this, but there was an opportunity to get more free online storage from Google.

Comments back on and other news

Hi folks, In case any of you wondered, I had comments turned off for a while because I found the site flooded with pornography-related comments. I’m now starting to deal with that, so I have turned the comments back on. I have just celebrated one year of working. Wow, that went quick. I’ve learnt a lot of C# programming and now that I have Visual Studio running again at home

Finally got Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition working again!

OK – a technical post for any programmers out there whose system knowledge is a bit lacking these days (like mine, apparently). Basically, I had a problem and after a few months I now have an answer, so I am sharing. The problem was that I had a working version of Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition and decided to upgrade. During the upgrade I got the following message: PackageId:Microsoft.VisualStudio.MinShell.Interop.Msi;PackageAction:Install;ReturnCode:1911; And

End of October 2018 Life update :)

It is one of those things that life rarely goes as one has planned. I reckon that has been true since my last update. Weight My weight loss is progressing slowly but steadily, with me being just over 2 inches slimmer around the waste. One interesting side effect of eating healthily has been the impact upon my eyes. As you know I suffer from Keratoconus. Since my eye infections in

Review: Vampires of the Scarlet Order by David Lee Summers

Disclaimer: David (the author of the novel) and I interact in a friendly manner online. This said, my review is entirely objective. Key take-aways It reads like a Louis L’Amour novel crossed with Anne Rice novel (with some X-Files thrown in) Initially feels like a series of connected short stories but transforms into a fast-paced action story I enjoyed reading it Blurb on Amazon Vampires of the Scarlet Order is

September 2018 catch-up

Hi folks, It’s been a while. The last six months have been an emotional journey, but I seem to be slowly arising from the troughs. I’m still enjoying my “new” job. It’s been nine months now since I started. My current employer is much better than my previous one and has provided me with everything I need to succeed in spite of my poor eyesight. So I now have four

A quick catch-up with my friends and followers

Hi all, I hope that you are all well. For me, the past several months have been emotional and full. In my last post, I mentioned that my mother-in-law was passing. She has now departed this life. It was as distressing as you would expect. Pam had very much been the centre of our extended family. Anyway, I won’t say much other than to say that she will be sorely

Sorry, won't be writing many articles on my blog for a month or so

Hi all, (this is a bit of a feeling-sorry-for-myself post) Some of you may have noticed my absence recently. Some of this has to do with work obligations and some with the rapid decline of a family member. As any regular readers will know I secured myself a job in November following two years of unemployment. I’m enjoying it thoroughly. The downside is that it takes me 95 minutes to

Our first day in #Rome

This 2015 trip was our second visit to Rome. Our first had been in 2002 with Globus. Back then we had stayed in a hotel not far from the Colosseum. The room had been small and the hotel staff arrogant. We wondered how our Trafalgar Costsaver experience would differ. The question was quickly answered when we reached our hotel, the Ergife Palace Hotel, at around 4 pm. It was spectacular.

Time in this 3D hair journey for 3 Rs - Research, Review, Reflection

A long time ago I was a teacher. Besides the normal three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), I always followed with a second three – Research, Review, Reflection. For me, these were consolidation exercises that deepened my understanding. Each of you will have to do this for yourselves. I just thought that I would share my experience of it in learning about 3D hair. Research I watched several Blender and Photoshop

Making a simple hair transparent texture #Photoshop #GIMP #Paint.NET

Hi folks, This post will be very similar to my post about making an opacity map. So if you have read that post then you only need to skim this for salient differences. Just to make it slightly different I have also added an incredibly small flaw into the hair by way of a slight wave. I did this because nothing is truly straight in nature. So our goal is

Test rendering a transparent hair texture in #Blender

In my last post (about an hour ago), I commented that while occlusion maps were good, I wondered what the hair would be like if I used a texture that already had transparency. So I quickly cobbled one together in Photoshop that was based on the same two textures that I used in the last post. Here is the node set-up that I used in Blender: Note that it is

Last night I sang

Last night one of my local churches ran an Open Mic Night. For those not in the know, it means an evening where anyone can turn up and perform. Karaoke was available for non-musicians, or else we were expected to bring our own instruments. I chose the karaoke machine. The turn out was not large, but at least one professional musician/singer was there. He was a keyboard player/singer who performs

Test rendering the hair opacity map in #Blender

Hi folks, the purpose of today’s post is to document my testing of the hair opacity map that I created in my last post. I am doing so in Blender cycles and I will be assigning the hair texture and the opacity map to a bezier curve. Huh! A Bezier curve! Yep. At the end of my post, I shall place a link to a great Youtube tutorial called “How

Making a simple hair opacity map  #Photoshop #GIMP #Paint.NET

Purpose In the first post of this series, I made a simple hair texture, demonstrating how similar hair textures can be created in Photoshop, GIMP and Paint.NET. In this post, I shall show how to make a simple hair opacity map using these three applications. It’s remarkably similar. NOTE: In this tutorial, I do not intend to implement the texture in a 3D application, simply to make it. What is an opacity

Book Review: "Owl Dance" by David Lee Summers     @davidleesummers #steampunk

Disclosure Before reviewing Owl Dance, I just wish to acknowledge that its author, David Lee Summers, is someone that I like and regularly interact with via social media. In no way does this fact impact the impartiality of my review. I also wish to state that I purchased the ebook myself and am therefore under no obligation towards the author. Initial Comments To be honest, Steampunk is not something that

Making a simple hair texture using #Photoshop or #GIMP or #Paint.Net

Purpose The purpose of this post is to show how (more-or-less) the same hair texture can be made using any of the following: Photoshop, GIMP, or Paint.Net. Note that I have not been that particular in selecting the same base colors and I also recommend that you experiment a lot with what I give you. Background As per my last post, mastering hair in Blender (for use in DAZ Studio)