This year we were invited back to beakerhead to revisit our previous years project. Unfortunately due to many circumstances surrounding alberta and it’s art funding there wasn’t as much budget or time to create as large of an installation. We decided on just doing the light element and reorganized our triangles to look more like crystals. It just so happened that the star alpha lyrae was going to be directly overhead for this solstice edition of beakerhead so we decided to use the star’s name.
I’ve used Blender for all my animation work but never seemed to have the time for rigging. I decided it was about time to go down that particular rabbit hole and what a rabbit hole it is. Rigging is definitely a huge area in on itself and although I got the basics I realized it would take a very long time to correctly rig an entire human model. Luckily as is often the case other people have been working on solutions. One such opensource program focused entirely on the human-ish form is called Makehuman and they have a blender compatible rig as well. It doesn’t take long with makehuman to fiddle with proportions and come up with a human that fits the bill. I then exported and brought that into blender but animating every tiny bone takes a lot of work, even with inverse kinematics. I decided I’d find some motion capture data and apply that to the rig. And viola! Since I was also playing with the dome visuals at the time I decided I’d also try a 360 export.
A new project me and my dad have been working on is creating wooden vessels with the CNC machine at work. This project started as a tribute to my late grandma who had her own interpretations of vessels through her years of pottery work. We thought up a bunch of objects that would be near impossible to do by hand. Of course there is still a lot of hand work that needs to happen for these objects to truly shine. It was a bit of a challenge, not only in holding down the pieces but aligning them when cutting out the other side, designing the objects and fine tuning the tool paths.
To be able to keep up with rendering 2k or 4k video I decided I needed a new computer. Laptop’s weren’t really cutting it these days, I can’t put new Nvidia cards into them. Plus mac’s are overpriced for what they contain. I’ve been following along with mackintosh’s for awhile and even managed to boot up an old Pentium 4 shuttle box I had at one point, but it sounded like now things have started to stabilize. After many hours researching on tonymacx86 I took the plunge and started ordering. For roughly $1200 CDN I could put together a pretty powerful unit, Core i7, 16gb ram, 250gb SSD drive, Nvidia Geforce 960. There was relitively few snags on setting it all up. My main problem was because I was trying to triple boot, Windows 10/ OSX/ Linux (Mint). It seemed every time I installed a new OS it would blow away the boot manager from the previous ones, I’m looking at you windows. After some trial and error I have it all up and working. Now which OS will I find myself in more 😉
It’s been awhile (3 years) since the first raspberry pi, the $35 computer, came on the scene. Three years is a pretty long cycle not to have any major significant change in the computer industry . Sure they doubled the ram and added a few usb ports over the year, but original processor that drives these beasts was definitely showing it’s age. Then just recently they dropped a full refresh from what appeared out of nowhere. I’ve bought both of the last two significant upgrades and was about to drop money on the third but thankfully I hesitated that weekend and much to my chagrin the announcement came out. So I quickly ordered up a couple with some wifi dongles, it’s really too bad they didn’t include wifi but, it’s only a $35 computer for pete sake’s.
Well the 3rd generation of my 3d printers is now operational. I’m sure there will be some initial growing pains but so far the Wilson is shaping up to be a wonderful machine. The newly acquired smoothie board is fully operational and I even managed to print a calibration pyramid with the arcol v4 all metal hotend I picked up a couple years back. I still have to wire up some end stop switches and tidy the wiring. All the components I received from Voxel Factory were top notch. The power supply barley turns the van on even with the mk2a aluminum heated. Although our miserable weather might have some input.