Upside down

This morning I browsed to my domain and I saw that my last post was dated the end of June. Time flies… especially when you are having fun.

Biggest news is that my visa came through and I am finally allowed to stay in Oz indefinitely. That means that starting now I am able to hunt for jobs and to join the rat race again. I had to go overseas to get the grant and decided to go to my home country and travel around Europe.

From my perspective Europe has always been a large continent, with most countries larger than the one I lived in. It is great fun to travel with an Ozzie and see astonishment as it is so easy to cross borders by train. We travelled through the Netherlands, crossed Belgium and France to get to Spain, visited the French Riviera and continued to Italy, Switzerland and Germany, to end up back in the Netherlands and to return to Oz from there. It felt a bit like ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’, too many stops crammed into too few a days, but somehow I survived. So how great was it? We had the best of fun as long as we stayed away from the tourist traps. We deliberately did not visit some of the great landmarks, as entry fees and waiting queues were not tipping the balance in favour of a visit. We also stayed away from the food locations at the main drags. We ventured out through some locations ‘off the beaten track’ and kept our eyes open for establishments that were mainly occupied by locals. Good quality food for decent prices, ordered by sometimes picking dishes blindly from a menu and sometimes explained to us by using sign language and always served with a smile.

Cities we visited:

  • Amsterdam
  • Leiden
  • San Sebastian
  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Nice
  • Genova
  • Pisa
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Zurich
  • Koeln
  • Utrecht

Beautiful cities with beautiful arts and architecture. Inspiration a plenty.

Just stumbled upon…

I must say… I really love the Blender community. I only recently started to use Blender, but the abundance of information, tutorials, forum help that is provided is a true inspiration. It seems that those that love Blender as their 3D graphics program of choice are pouring out their knowledge to inspire new users and make them love Blender too. Well, I am slowly becoming a true disciple too.

As I wrote last week I am looking into cloths modeling with Blender. Creating a mesh needs some careful planning upfront, but once a concept is available it is not so hard. But fitting a piece of clothing snugly around a model is a bit of work. Especially if you do not want to start with a duplicate of the original body, as one may run into troubles with copyright and ownership when meshes are made available to others. Creating tight fitted meshes from scratch is rather time consuming tho.

I read about cloths modeling for Poser a while back, and some of the more talented scripters have created tools to use in that program. Philc demonstrates in one of his tutorials how to shrinkwrap a cylinder around a poser model and uses that as a starting point for a dress. I figured something like that surely should be available in Blender too. And again I was not disappointed. And to wrap it up nicely, as a matter of speech, I found a great video tutorial demonstrating this feature by Jonathan Williamson of MontageStudio too. Check it out here!

Sneak preview

I have done some further doodling with RealDraw today. I have created a few hand-draw elements and will use those for a 2 column WordPress template. Sneak preview:

Sneak preview of elements for WordPress template
Sneak preview of elements for WordPress template

So what am I up to lately?

Geez.. what not actually 🙂

Subtitle project

Life is really keeping me occupied I must say. But all the better I guess. I got dragged into a voluntary project to provide subtitles for a Dutch mini-series. It is 3 hours worth of translating from mostly Dutch to English. Mostly? Yea.. as there is a fair bit of French involved too. In the old days the ‘high society’ thought it was fancy to speak French amongst each other. Especially when they were discussing things the servants should not hear! I am very fortunate to have a French ami that is willing to help me out with the fast speaking French bits… my knowledge of French is way too rudimentary.


I am still enjoying Oz. Life is very easy going for me at the moment. I am going out for long walks almost daily and I finally have a good grasp of the street plan covering about a 1 hour radius walking. That distance is slowly expanded and there are many interesting spots actually not so far away from the place where I stay. I guess it is time to make some pictures. I bet heaps of them can be used in the graphics design.


Ongoing plans… I have done some work on converting PSD mock-ups into full websites. Somewhere in the back of my mind I am tinkering with the idea of setting up a service like this. At the moment I cannot do commercial work, but I can think about it and plan ahead. Further to that I also helped out ‘Sydney’s wrongest band’ with the graphics for their first CD. The original design was made by the lead singer, who uses ‘Paint’ as main tool, and cut-and-paste as main technique. No need to say some clean up was required. I offered to vectorise the cover and clean up the relevant bits. The final product was made with Inkscape and nicely printable at 300 dpi.

Front side cover
Front side cover
Back side cover
Back side cover

Back on-line

WOW.. been a bit hectic lately! And I suppose that follows directly from the limited number of posts sofar *grins*

I have packed all my stuff and relocated to the other side of the world. Getting there was not so hard, getting ready to go there was. And in all dust whirls caused by packing I forgot all access information for this blog … Luckily I know databases *grins* so that was fixed easily.

From now on I will have plenty time to start all my projects that have been in wait state forever. So keep your eyes open for fresh updates. Probably one of the first ones to come is the move to Umbraco.. they are in beta for version 4, and oh man, it has new features that should make any .Net developer drool.. uhm.. make that ANY developer. More on that soon!

For now .. I just have to add that I got here in Oz allright, and no .. it does not feel like I am walking upside down.. tho I must say that their winter to spring type weather looks much like the summer to fall type I left before. I am truly looking forward to some real summer… Life is going to be good!