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

I love graphics!

I do not know how it happens, but I still find it hard to write regularly on this blog. I do have time and opportunity.. so what is keeping me?

Anyways, it has been a busy few weeks. I have been working with Blender to continu to develop my skills, and I still find it an AWESOME program. Further to that I have been working with Inkscape, which has its own peculiarities, but I find it very complete and easy to work with. Vector graphics are fun to create and I have been doing a lot of doodling lately. I started creating patterns and Inkscape offers great options to multiply and copy shapes following geometrical formulas. I remembered a great tutorial in one of the photoshop magazines which shows how to create seamless patterns, and I decided to re-create a similar pattern with Inkscape. Good excercise with great effect!

Today I am working on a new WordPress layout. There are many excellent templates available, and some are free. The fun part about creating templates is that I can both improve my graphics skills as well as my coding skills. I love to play with different color schemes and match them to my moods. As I am not working for any client now, I can do as I wish. I will upload some previews soon.

Further work…

Sometimes life is interupted by reality. I am currently enjoying a long break and use this precious time to improve my graphical skills. Events occur tho, the world does not stop spinning because I put things on hold for a bit. And sometimes goal posts move unexpectedly. Something like that happened recently and those events resulted in some delay in work, and I went back to browsing certain forums and providing as much feedback to those affected as possible. But where does that leave my plans? In limbo.

So today is a day of new things. I have completed the Blender course, and today I will try and model a first freestyle prop. And I will start with a Poser tutorial, as a lot of things have changed between version 4 and version 6. I know there is a newer one.. but hey.. long break means not spending to much money on trivialities.. so P6 will do!

Blender Materials

sharkI had some serious troubles to assign 2 materials to a single mesh of a shark in Blender. Frankly, it was driving me mad… it looked like the mesh was overlapping and the resulting render looked horrible.

Careful study of the model revealed that indeed some extra faces were created when I added the fins. Also a lot of vertices were doubled, which caused problems with smoothing. I cleaned up the mesh and got rewarded with a nice render. The shark is the last model in the TUFTS course on modelling in Blender by Neal Hirsig. The shark will be animated in the very last tutorial…. after that it is time to be on my own two feet.

Correct rendered shark
Correct rendered shark


Beautiful Bugle
Beautiful Bugle

In my last post I wrote about the free course that TUFTS university hosts on Blender. Over the past 2 weeks I have steadily worked through all the lessons, and I feel I have basic control over the Blender interface now. It was a challenge at some points, as the course uses a slightly older version of Blender compared tomine, and Blender keeps changing and improving.

I can truely say that this course was everything I hoped for to get me started with Blender. I could have completed it quicker, but I was in no rush. I think that it is time for any 3D graphics designer to take this application very seriously, as it contains so much more features now. I have become a true fan of this software and I already made plans for items I would like to model using Blender. It will keep me busy for at least another few weeks, and if anything turns out to be good enough for sharing, I will surely share it.

I will also give Umbraco 4 a go. It is still in my plans and it would be good to get my site up and running using a full CMS. So that provides me with enough tasks at hand to prevent me turning into a couch potato. Updates follow soon…