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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)

Farewell 2017, Welcome 2018

Firstly I would like to wish all my regular readers a Happy 2018. Your loyalty in visiting me has greatly brightened each day. This post is a bit of a retrospective finishing with a list of goals. In other words, expect me to be totally self-absorbed, so flee while you can. Okay, for those of you foolish enough to continue reading, here goes… The past two years were mostly awful

Creating the Starship image - Top 3 mistakes and/or lessons learned  #Blender

This post is about the top 3 mistakes made and lessons learned in making my recent Starship image in Blender. Hence it is probably not the most exciting of posts. This said, I always feel the need to share such things with others in case anyone cares to learn from my mistakes. So here goes. Failing to plan is planning to fail An oldy but a goody. As anyone who

My latest starship - greebles & lighting added, composition complete - done #Blender

My goal was to emulate the old-school spaceship art of the 1970s. Hopefully, I succeeded. This post will be a bit of a technical run-down in how I did it. Not too much detail, otherwise it will be super-dull. So you remember where I was at with my last post: I asked for feedback and got some great stuff. I experimented with the suggestions to see whether I liked them

First rough of new Spaceship scene  #Blender

Hi folks, Just a quicky because I have to get myself and the family ready and run out soon. It’s been a busy past few weeks (new job, end-of-year obligations, family etc) and I”ve hardly managed to make it to the PC.  Yesterday I did and so decided to use some of the new things I’ve learned in Blender this year to have another attempt at a space scene. The

More of the door   #Blender

Hi folks, I was unable to do much door work this week until today. Mostly I worked on the door itself. This meant painting the actual door texture based loosely on the reference picture. So here is the reference picture: And here is the texture I painted in Photoshop: I tried to make it look “used” and also admit to tracing a little bit :) I then turned it into a

The Astronomer's Crypt - trailer

David Lee Summers, whom I have mentioned before as a visitor to my humble blog, has just released this awesome book trailer. I just had to share. If you are into writing and science fiction/fantasy and aren’t following him already, then go and check him out. Greg I’m proud to announce the release of the book trailer for my novel The Astronomer’s Crypt. As you’ll see, we took a somewhat

Completely reworking Textures and normal map on door  #Blender

NOTE: a bit of a technical one today. So now I had a proof of concept design and had commenced a bit of trial work on it. Thing is, I always believe in self-critique. I sat down and looked at what I had done so far and whether it was correct. I noticed a few things, listed in the diagram below: I also decided that I wanted the bottom of

Normal map now on brick wall  #Blender

Hi all, Despite being tired, I came home and used Photoshop to make a normal map of the brick wall. This is just a filter in Photoshop that I applied to the skin I created earlier. Here is the normal map image: For those of you new to 3D modeling, this will give me some depth in my final image. I had intended to create a displacement map, but I need to