Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Photo Highlights

As 2017 draws to a close, here's a collection of some of my favourite photos from this year. In past years, I'd have put up separate posts for each series, but since that's taking too much effort now, this will have to do.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Grease Pencil Dev - FAQ's, Current Status, etc.

In response to a bug report in the tracker, I ended up posting a long-ish reply that I thought would be good for more people to see, since it probably gives a bit more insight into some of the work that's going on "behind the scenes" atm. So, without further ado, here's a copy of my reply.

(For more of a user-orientated look at what functionality we've been adding, check out Antonio's post)

Season's Greetings and Updates

Just a short post today, to wish everyone a slightly belated "Season's Greetings"! I hope that you've all been enjoying some time off to spend with your family and friends, as 2017 draws to a close. Hopefully everyone is getting some much needed Rest and Relaxation :)

As for me, well, I'm certainly getting my fair share of rest (though I'm still waiting a bit for the "relaxation" part) after what has been an epic, draining year of near constant go-go-go on a series of big projects with tight deadlines. I guess all those late nights and stress have finally caught up with me, as over the past week, I've basically been forced to take some serious time off nursing what seems to be a nasty convergence of exhaustion/infections/asthma/allergies, all rolled up into one ugly ball of tiring mucousy coughing attacks and sleepless nights. It sucks getting sick (especially just before/during Christmas - in fact, I can't remember it having happened before), but it's probably a definite sign that it was time for a break!

BTW, before getting sick, I'd originally been wrapping up a few posts covering graduation day photos (this was the Friday just before I got sick), and a review of Coco (which we luckily managed to catch during early-bird screenings several weeks before it opens here). When I do get around to getting these up (probably next week or so), I'll probably backdate them to when I'd originally intended to post them (since the content will make more sense that way).

In the meantime, that's me for now.  Seasons Greetings again to all, enjoy your holidays, and good health to all :)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

PhD Graduation Celebrations

I still can't quite believe all this just happened a few days ago, but on Friday, I graduated with my PhD in Computer Science! Yay!

Shaking the chancellor's hand on stage

Photo with the Vice Chancellor, Chancellor at a special event afterwards

Chance encounter with former Prime Minister, Sir John Key, at the Arts Centre while taking photos

Monday, December 11, 2017

Coco Review (Spoilers)

Over the weekend, I took Mum and Dad to see Pixar's latest masterpiece - Coco!  (And if you're wondering, yes, the much maligned "Olaf short" was still screened before it that day).

Technically, the film doesn't officially open here in NZ till Boxing Day. However, while checking the cinema times for the weekend (what better way to pass a few hours during the 30+ degree heatwave that's been gripping Christchurch over the past few weeks), I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were showing it various theatres this weekend! It turns out that these were actually special advance screenings (I didn't know that at the time), and that they were only going to be running over that weekend (luckily my gut instict was right on this part... it would've sucked having to wait another 3 or so weeks to get to see this).

Monday, December 4, 2017

Production Notes (From 150YOD Video Project) - Things to Fix in Blender

To followup on my earlier #150YOD video post. I had originally intended to release this a lot earlier (e.g. around September 13th), but various things have been taking up my time over the past few months, delaying the release of this.

As has become my habit after completing each Blender project, here are some notes about things (bugs, usability quirks, observations, and general todo's) I ran into that need attention. Though it's mainly a list for myself, hopefully these notes may be of use to other people too.

The Dr is In - PhD, BlenderDev, and Upcoming Project Updates

Woah! It's been over 2 months since I last posted anything here again :(

During that time, I've ended up being super busy with various projects/commitments (which I'll outline below). Unfortunately, this has meant that my todo list/postponed-project backlog had to take a back seat again, along with squeezing in time to write stuff here (Note: This post itself has ended up being rescheduled several times already even!). Hopefully I'll finally manage to get enough time to start making some progress on some of the things I've been wanting to do since early March (EDIT: actually, it's been since October June 2016)! Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

[Vote for Me] New Video Describing my PhD Research for #150YOD

Blender community batsignal!   

TL,DR: Please help vote for my #150YOD video (deadline is Thursday/Friday midnight, UTC+12)! Every vote counts!

Like, Share, and Vote (link below)

Vote for my video at the following link:

Voting Instructions (sorry, that it's a bit of a long-winded process):
1. Go to the competition website
2. Click the "Vote" button
3. Register on the site (Facebook or Email + Name + Password)
4. (If using email, check your email/spam folders, and Activate the account)
5. Back on the competition website, click the "Vote" button again.

Note: You haven't voted until the button says "Remove Vote" and your name appears on the list

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oil Column Heater Model

As a little warmup exercise for a video project I'm working on, I went ahead and modelled Mum and Dad's old oil column heater. Why a heater you may ask? Well, a few nights ago, I caught sight of the the heater's light casting a lovely red glow on the wall, nicely complementing the deep blue light coming from the windows in the darkened room, and thought to myself, "Hmm... I wonder if I could replicate this scene in Eevee..."

Of course, what's a story without a little drama ;)  The one snag in all of this is that it turns out I haven't actually modelled anything in over 2-3 years! Sure, there have been Grease Pencil tests/animations and an occasional quick test objects, but models meant to look like something in particular? Zilch  (IIRC, the last time I did a lot of modelling was on Dad's ebook promo video, which was eons ago...)   Furthermore, I've mostly focussed on organic stuff (i.e. characters), so modelling an hard-surface object was a nice little challenge.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Update Time - Thesis Submitted

It's time to dust off the cobwebs and post an update! As you'll probably have noticed from the lack of activity here (and also in the Blender commit logs), I've been rather busy for the past few months </understatement of the year> ;)

Well, during the past 4-5 months, I've been bunkered down in my home office, pulling crazy hours 6.5 days of the week writing up my PhD thesis.
AKA *this* thing... All 268 pages and 100,000 words of it!
(It's no wonder that I haven't have much apetite left for doing any more writing/coding recently ;)

And as of last night, after 4 long years, I've finally submitted it! Woohoo!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photos from April

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Music - Musescore 2 Experiments

Over the past few weeks, I've been getting quite a lot of interesting melodic snippets popping up at random times (and much more frequently than in the past). So, I've taken to firing up Musescore and jotting them down while they're fresh (and also, since a lot of these just sound so neat when done this way). Plus, earlier in the month, I finally upgraded to version 2.0 at last, which has brought with it a lovely new Soundfont (based on Fluid; I especially love the Piano and Marimba sounds on this; the Flute could still be better on long notes, and I still don't dare to touch any of the Strings as they typically sound dreadful XD); that and the awesome "Continous Mode".

Here are two of the more "complete" pieces I managed to bash out using this (today's one is first, followed by an older one from week or two ago).