4°C, melting

Particle flow: I’ve given up on this approach, instead I’m using an editable spline, which has 3 points animated so it wildly wiggles about. The effect is far better. PFlow wouldn’t work in Video Post so the glows were not rendered. It looks fine now, bearing in mind that it’s only a 1 second shot, any imperfections will go unnoticed.The next shot is far more complex.

Ice effect

from -1 to +2°C, snow

Snow this afternoon, classes all "Wooo’d" & threw snowballs after. Driving home was no inconvenience after I got out of the car-park. The wheels span, but it ran straight. Now it’s due to melt, then re- freeze into black-ice. tomorrow is due to be hazardous.
Besides all that, I’m Besieged by a tiresome virus. Throat sore and voice deep, like a dark cloud looming. It’s a bad idea to feel ill in cold weather.

3ds Max and Particle flow and Video Post. It doesn’t want to work with Video post, mind you – while trying out effects, I found this neat trick- I can get electric sparks to dance about an object ( in the image below) look at the bunsen burner.

fire effect

6°C, dank

28 miles under grey cold skies. The roads are slimey, brown with mud and scattered with decaying foliage. I kept the milage down because the sore throat seems a little worse today. Still not a real  problem though.
Back to video capture duties again. I’m adding fire effects as well as sparks/lightning to a pop video spoof. The footage is already shot, captured onto my PC and ready to load into 3ds max.

Now in 3DS Max, I’m trying two ways of doing this;
    • either lightning strike- using a renderable spline that glows and jiggles about,
    • or Particle-flow that emits long cylinders lke sparks which are attracted to the bunsen.

The second seems the most promising, both are quite a bit of setting up to render a scene of only about 4 seconds. Partcle flow is the most entertaining to use, it makes you think in a logical way rather than a visual one.

cycling: finally got those wretched gears working properly. The gear change is now quite good, earnly up to Campagnolo standards.

First of 41

all change: +9 to -1°C

I wish I knew what the weather would do. It’s been indecisive today- tomorrow coul dbe uncycleable, the ride home tonight warned me of that. The Shire Oak decent buffeted by NW sidewinds, holding a trakc was tricky & uncertain. Pudles are now glazing over outside so there is likely to be black ice around tomorrow. Bus?


The funny bit is the way that gangs of tumbling bronze leaves surge out from between trees, as if fleeing some feared predator. They prey on the instinct to swerve- I’d hate to run something over.

I killed a squirrel last year while driving, we were in a single-file road-works, it dived out from the hedge, and I couldn’t do anything. The roadspeed was only about 20mph, but when I looked in the mirror, it was lying on it’s back- legs in ther air. A grim memory.


Last day of 40

1 to 4°C, cloudy, NW wind developing

All domestic today. We have a new central heating system. the new boiler that is of a type that can heat the water tap as well as the radiators. It’s part of some new extension with new radiators to churm out heat to parts of the house that we don’t spend much time in. It seems wasteful to me.
It’s abit late in the day to pick up that painting, and I have some report grades to process..
Anyway, this is a bit boring so I am going.

Oh there’s a title

7°C, greyness.

Misleading weather reports. It’s not their fault really (the met office), but! We expected freezing fog & dangerous driving conditions therefore I cycled to work. But look, it’s clear, that air is 6+ deg, granted the roads are a bit slimey, but no black ice. Frustration- "I could have cycled"! By the time I was ready it was tyoo late to change my mind & get changed into cycling stuff.
Painting: Day two on the picture I am calling "Forkhead" for now. Maybe later I will come up with a better title. This is the second day – the first ( that I’m counting) was to repaint the canvas since there is another picture started underneath- now abandoned. The idea is to add this picture to the "domestic" series, this one will show the effects of cutlery. You may be able to discern the idea in the little photo (below).
I don’t min dposting even though there is much to change, the whole outline can’t stay like that, and the eyes are all out of postion as well as size. I have a reasonably claer idea in my head though.

It’s unsafe

6°C, patches of dense fog

The roads I mean, so commuting by car. the roads are slimey, and in places patches that look like black ice.
Here’s a useful site if you have the time & patience to fiddle with Windows ( if indeed you use Windows). Good if you have any networking problems, or features don’t do what you want- it’s surprising how much you can change.

The picture below shows a closeup of the most recent painting in it’s finished state. The is updates the previous picture that is a full frame view. It took some fiddling with in photoshop to get rid of various blemishes in the picture but it’s ok now to show here.

No specific cause

-2 to +2°C &

There seems to be a  "repairing" theme in the last week’s entries. Breakage and loss. I lost my USB memory plug this week. Today, I took a wheel hub to built up at a cycle shop. The computer is running better even though one of the new componants can’t be used. the car needs a few things. New derrailleur has arrived along with brakes.
Updated yesterday’s entry converting the results of RAM tribulations into a table. It doesn’t narrow down into a specific componant, basic incompatibility looks most likely now. I give up for now, pending expert advice.
Look below for my car this morning in close-up.
What a day- full of colour, atmosphere & space. And all this with no time for painting.

Hats off to the lady in Tamworth who had a poodle wearing a coat- on it was written " Take no notice of this dog". I didn’t tho’, it was such a nice dog, not pulling on the lead like mine do. I did notice it. sorry…

Another mystery…

That RAM!

the replacement for the faulty RAM (see previous) is not problem free.
It’s like this- there are 4 RAM slots to plug it in. To run the faster Dual Pipe mode, you need to install the first 2 cards into slot 1 & 3 & that has given 1024MB RAM:

DIMM slots (Double-sided in BOLD)
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Equals (POST)
Ok for now
No use
No dual pipe
boot failure
Ideal, but unstable
2nd try: re-ordered the Single-sided & double-sided  DIMMs in the slots.
It was DS+SS+DS+SS, but this one worked:
DS+DS+SS+SS. Only for a few minutes, then blue-screen & warning bleeps. Now I think maybe one of the new RAM cards is also faulty.
For a bigger picture look

There’s no "em" dash in this blog! Oh well, at least I worked out how to insert a table.

Things arriving through the door


There are things that appear in the house that weren’t here before. They arrive through the door in the mornings. They were put there by a man I don’t know. Today, it was two sticks of 512Mb RAM for this computer. The letter enclosed said the last pair of chips I was sent were both faulty. Tomorrow I can try these out instead. If they are virtuous- then this machine will have 2GB of RAM. that is a good thing.
Other things: the silvery rear derraileur that is so well illustrated a few entries ago. It’s even more shiney in real life. A bulb too, so I can cycle in the dark safely, and know what I am about to hit. It makes a lot of light. These new roads are very black with a slight lustre. CDs come through the door often too. Now I await a book.

No painting for a week now. oh!