2°C, rain then dry.
Talking to a class of 11 year olds today in a lesson on sensors. I asked them what devices they have at home with a sensor. The usual burglar alarms and security lights. Then one told us about her kitchen bin. It opens when you wave your hand over the top. Presumably so you don’t have to touch the lid.
Taking this further, another has a toilet that lifts its seat if you approach. Impressed, I asked how does it know whether you want the seat up or is it just the lid. The subtlety was lost on this group. So I said “perhaps it’s just a bloke thing”.
By now, my imagination was running with this. What happens when you go to the bathroom for a tissue to blow your nose? Like the hand-driers at work, it presumably is activated. Does the toilet lid lower itself in a disappointed way afterwards?
This would make a fun subject for animation. It’s all in the timing, the disappointment bit I mean.
This instrument is near work, on the side of a busy road. For years, I have wondered what it is. Probably a smog detector. Looking back, I couldn’t see what that light is aimed at. Is there a reflector in the distance somewhere?

Pulsar visualised

6°C, gales from SE. Some dry patches too.

3DS Max 8: I don’t often find the time to play with 3D software, but here is a still from a longer render that I ran overnight. As I write, I am attempting to upload the clip to YouTube.

Visualisation of a pulsar using 3D animation software. Inspired by the book- Clocks in the Sky: The Story of Pulsars by Geoff McNamara.
To make the job easier, this pulsar spins at only 2 times per second. There is a particle system for each pole and a volumetric light. If I have the right idea, then there is a gas jet from each magnetic pole and an electromagnetic beam too. With a rapidly spinning source, those two would not be colinear some distance from the object.
The particle system doesn’t show clearly; a feature that needs some work. Also, an introductory distance shot would work well. 3D animation takes a long time and only produces a few seconds of video each day. Some shots can be re-used, stills can be overlaid in the video editor.



16°C, showers & more crispy sun

This is the best animation of a pulsar I have yet seen. It does a good job of conveying the rotation rate- 30turns per second.

I’d like to know a bit more about who did this clip and how. Perhaps it was the BBC’s own 3D animation department.

Sore legs

21°C, Windy & sunny patches.

3DS for FSX: On a day for resting the legs and occasional stretches.
I’ve been making things again.
This is lichfield Cathederal, destined for FSX and possibly Google-Earth.
Some faces havn’t got textures yet (as you can see), but it’s going alright currently, though this process does take a long time.

St Kilda finished

19°C, lots of rain.

Uploaded the St. Kilda project.
After mithering about some remaining islands, I found a way to create a peak without a flat top (which looked so bad the first time I tried). Anyway, it’s all uploaded to AVSim if you want it.
Linseed: don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned painting, yesterday saw another layer added to the Angelica picture. I doubt that the difference would show on a digital photo here, so you’ll have to wait for another day.

White horses

28°C, humid, hot and a terrific thunderstorm in the evening.

FSX: after buying a book of aerial photography in Britain, I had a go at adding a prehistoric white horse from Wiltshire to the flight sim. It was easy! See picture.
Shopping: bought some new shoes, the same as the old ones except not decrepit.

Stac Lee for FSX

27°C, Hot.

3DS – FSX: faster taster…built a usable 3D  model of Stac Lee for the Flight Sim. From testing, it appears that other people only see a flat area where this rock should be, so for reliability, I had to go down the custom 3D route. The project needs another sea stack that I can use as a generic model, then this Island archipeligo will be complete. The released folder will include a library.bgl for this to work on other people’s machine. No problem, looks alright doesn’t it?


23°C, warm, sunny and very nice indeed, more please.

3DS for FSX: Built a 3D model of Reactor No.6 at Chernobyl. Also spent ages rebuilding the scenery so that it is easier to edit, now the cooling channels have concrete linings. I’m going to try fixing LOD models for this since the whole scene is now weighing in heavily.