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Monthly Archives: September 2017

tctk0017As a child, I was always fascinated with clocks. Back then, of course, the satisfying ticks signalled all the good stuff – home time, TV shows – like Bernard’s Watch  and dinner. Later on, of course, those hands brought about things like the dreaded school bus and homework, but still, the appreciation and wonder of such a device has remained. I could tell the time at quite a young age, and am often reminded of the time in the supermarket when an old man, spotting me enjoying my new watch, approached my buggy and asked for the time. When I told him it was thirty-seven minutes past ten, he was, well, rather shocked!

Before long, I had acquired quite an array of watches and clocks from car boot sales and junk shops, but occasionally brand new; most notably for me, a Thomas the Tank Engine musical watch and some snazzy back-to-front clock cuff-links. I’m not sure what became of my collection. I had a habit of taking them apart to look at the mechanisms, so perhaps they were broken. Perhaps my parents just got rid when it seemed I was no longer interested.

So, in another bid to turn the clock back, here are some random and speedy attempts at clock modelling – one more traditional and the other rather more modern. Once the clock face had been put together, it was a relatively easy job making the modifications; this being said, I’m not sure the refraction levels of the glass are all that:

I originally went without the Batman-esque decorative pillars on the case, and tinkered with the finials somewhat:

These are more than a little basic, aren’t they – I’m hoping that this will allow for a more satisfying progression; at least, that’s my excuse for posting these quick models! It would be fun to, one day, try and model a clock from front to back, coding it to actually work. There are certainly lots of interesting and intricate timepiece designs out there, so inspiration abounds even out of the realm of memory. I do have some things in mind. Time will tell!

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dutch-mill-2I thought I’d have another crack at the painting technique touched upon with Wet Edge Mill – namely, the wet edge brush. Naturally, this meant another windmill, but we’ve leapt over to the Netherlands again – where the landscapes are almost exactly the same, yes, but hey, the sky’s different at least! And the mills there are rather pretty, as I’ve doubtless mentioned before. This one is drawn from reference, too, so it’s invited greater detail if not feeling quite so free. I’m afraid I know nothing of the actual location, so we’ll have to forego the usual history lesson. Hear the internet weep! I would rather like to live there, though…

With two wet ones down, perhaps I ought to aim for a ‘medium’, being a bit more daring with colour choices; I’m pretty sure there will be a next time, as the dynamics of the brush are fun to play with, and it has coaxed this out of a seemingly endless dry spell. Yay indeed. Vaarwel!

thurne-motorI’ve put my windmill models into action before, using keyframes to bookend the motion of the sails. This time around, however, I’m playing with some of the software’s simulation tools and sticking the sails onto a Motor object. As you’d expect, this works rather like a continuous supply of energy, allowing objects to move or spin, depending on your configuration. It seems silly that I’ve not thought to use this before now, but then, I never have been one for the simple route!

With that constant power, the controls simply allow you to moderate and determine how much it provides, making a smooth start and fluctuating revolution speeds a breeze to animate. Not a ground-breaker, perhaps, but satisfying, and a very useful thing to have discovered.

Our subject for this experiment is Thurne, which stands on the outskirts of the village of the same name and beside the river of the same name. It was built in 1820 and worked for over a century, shutting down for the last time in 1936. By 1950, and like many of its peers at the time, the mill was lying derelict and under threat of demolition, but fortunately rescue came at the hands of Bob Morse, a windmill fanatic, and soon the Windmill Trust took it on. Since then, it has been kept in good condition and, with its splendid white coat and pretty vicinity, enjoys a reputation as one of the most popular on the Broads – I believe recently it has even been restored to full working order, an accolade that can’t be boasted by many broadland mills and one which makes it even more worth a visit.

A short time ago, I posted a clip of the motor power on my Instagram gallery.

 

rhcpflea-2c“No matter what level you’re doing it on, playing music is an opportunity to give something to the world.”

While there have been several artists that have been with me since childhood, I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers were one of the first that I discovered myself, with a hunger to learn more and track down new material – the eclectic mix of hard rock, funk and soul makes them a truly alternative act, and one with proven longevity. Being that first major stop in the pursuit of musical discovery, finding my way back to their material is always a tremendous nostalgia trip.

Though all are hard to ignore, it was always the bassist, Flea, that grabbed me the most. The origin of the nickname is clear to see, for he bounds around the stage – typically wearing next to nothing and/or doused in neon paint – with such enigmatic vigour, all while slapping the guitar and making it sing. He’s a skilled multi-instrumentalist, but his work on the bass is quite rightly acclaimed as some of the best ever. A proper rock star.

All of that surely explains the rather pedestrian portrait of our man dressed up in a snazzy shirt. I just found this particular reference quite cute, and wanted to focus on that. Perhaps I’d better do another, more animated attempt which can do justice to the showman…