Archive for March, 2009

Episodes Page Outage

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Our episodes page was temporarily down for some time today. Sorry for that. We’re not sure what actually happened though. Host Gator was able to restore things back to March 29th, the date of our last backup. Unfortunately, we lost a few user comments but nothing major. Everything seems to be back to normal. πŸ™‚

Thank-you, Host Gator.

Episode 085 – Create a Blackboard Image

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Episode 085 has been posted. In this screencast I show how to make a simple blackboard image. πŸ™‚

Episode 084 – Make Your Digital Image Stand Out

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Episode 084 has been made available.

This episode is a pretty short one and it’s incredibly easy. In it I demonstrate a simple way to set up a filter effect to non-destructively convert a photo to black and white while leaving other parts in color. This is somewhat an older trick that many of us were used to doing in Gimp. We can do it just as easily in Inkscape. πŸ˜‰

Volumetric Lighting Animation in Blender

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Lately, I have had an itch to learn how to make volumetric lighting animations in Blender. After spending countless google sessions looking for a tutorial on the specific thing that I wanted to learn and turning up nothing, one of my twitter/identi.ca buddies (Aloyr) made me a few tutorials and walked me through the process. Boy, did I ever appreciate that. Without his help I would still be stumbling along, I’m sure. All I can say is that I appreciate people like him. I often feel embarrassed to ask for help sometimes. I don’t know why. I guess I don’t want to become a pest to someone when I unload a barrage of questions onto them. So thanks Aloyr for putting up with me, answering my questions, making personal screencasts for me, blender files, and sample videos…yes, he went the distance. πŸ™‚

In addition to learning volumetric lighting, I took some time and explored Blender’s node editor. After reading some of Richard’s email to me regarding compositing, I was curious and eager to find out all about this compositing thing. I wasn’t sure what I could come up with since my Blender skills are a little third-grade but wanting to learn something badly enough gives a person just enough ambition to put everything else on hold until it’s figured out. Bane of my existence and story of my life.

So after going through much trial and error, I put together a quick animation in Blender with the assistance of the node editor to make something very basic. I’m sure the Blender fluent would shrug and agree that my animation is very amateurish but for me this was a major step forward. I learned so much from making it. Things that will help me in other areas of Blender. So without further ado, here’s my humble little experiment.

Magic Show

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Richard gave me a tip once regarding making a coffee cup disappear by swirling a Bic round-stic medium point pen (has to be that specific one) over the top and twice repeating the word abracadabra. For the longest time I thought that was complete bull@#$%. I don’t believe in magic and anything Richard tells me I take withΒ  a grain of salt. On the other hand, I happened to have a coffee cup and a Bic pen that meet the specifications. Coincidence maybe. I was a bit scared to try it since I didn’t want to open any portals to Hell or anything like that. Anyway, I gave it a shot. It looked like it was going to happen but it didn’t work in the end. Likely something that I did wrong. I’m too scared to try it again because it made my donut disappear instead. I was furious. Perhaps Richard tricked me. πŸ™

I recorded the incident but nothing happened on screen. My donut was just a few feet away and poof! It was gone. See video.