TARDIS Complete

While this is definitely not the end of this project I am pretty sure I will declare the actual modelling phase of the TARDIS finished. 

Since the previous version I've added most of the detailing. The window boxes, the door handles and the like. In order to get the lamp working the way I wanted to I had to go back and study the Cinema 4D materials creation process. Then I added slight bevels on the edge of all the woodwork to reduce the 3D perfect plastic look.

Plus I made this distressed signage for the front door.

Digital Remastery

Once upon a time there was a short film called "Ferry Man". Even though it got finished the director wasn't happy with it and never showed it to anyone. More than a decade later, after badgering from some of the cast she agreed to hand over the Master for digitisation and an eventual showing.

This turned out to be no simple matter. The format of the tape, Digital Betacam, while entirely respectable in its day was no longer very common.  

Anyway, I got it digitised at work on an rickety old machine hooked up to an ageing MacPro. Just in the nick of time, too. 

The tape was so old that it broke during the play through!

Fortunately there were several versions on the tape because the Director/Editor was old school and made sure there were split audio and graphic free versions and all that stuff we had to do. So there was one complete full screen version digitised. 


Except for one frame which had digital dropout. 

Normally I would just try to digitise it again in the hope that it was dirt on the heads or solar flares or something. This time that wasn't an option.

The cheaty way to fix it would be to just cut out the frame or duplicate it. There would be a small jump but not as bad as coloured spots.

I went one step further. 

I exported the bad frame and the frame following it into Photoshop and stacked them on top of each other. Then I painted in a mask on the bad frame allowing the next frame to show through. Because there was very little movement in the shot the results were imperceptible, even with the nasty green bit over his eye.

Yes, We Have No Impressions

Kind of a quick and silly one for today. 

From the Robin Landa book, this is one that I haven't been able to do on the ferry. The instructions were to draw a pattern on a banana in biro and then press it onto the page. This didn't work at all. Either I spent too long on the pattern or it was too fast drying a biro but I got no impression whatsoever. 

To avoid the appearance that I didn't even bother I had a go with a felt tip and didn't do half as much. That got me a little bit of pattern. So be it.

Doctoring My TARDIS

This has to count as yesterday's thing as well. It will probably count as tomorrow's as well because there is still more to be done with it.

That said, I am pretty happy with my TARDIS. I'm not particularly experienced at Cinema4D but with a little help from Lynda and Cineversity I muddled through.

I also discovered the entire TARDIS building community. I would especially credit the TARDIS Builders' Handbook.

Helium Cheese

Took a slightly different tack today. The last creation of 2014 is halloumi. (Autocorrects to 'Helium')I made it from a kit with 4litres of milk and it looks really proper.

The instructions said it would take about 3 hours and I ran about 20mins over that. So, not bad.There’s enough of the active ingredient (rennet) to do it 11 more times.

Holiday Inception

On the spur of the moment we took off to Macau for the day- a holiday within a holiday. We went to see Paddington Bear at one of the Casino cinemas and then ate the hell out of some Fernando's (with Sangria, of course). 

Not Paddington, obvs.

Not Paddington, obvs.

Casino loot.

Casino loot.

Then walking along the beach the surf was lit up by phosphorescence. Tricky to photograph. With some long exposures I got me a some uncommonly clear Macau stars as well.

skyline (4 of 6).jpg

Using Force

Today David White came over and we played with his Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game.

We've played once before in which I was the Empire. So this time I chose the Rebel forces. Even thought he has a splendid Millennium Falcon model I was playing it as a smuggling vessel of no particular provenance. That means that it cost fewer points and steered like a hippo in custard.

A good time was had by all and we are hoping to play with some kind of regularity throughout the next year.

Cat Tent

Today's project was a Christmas present for the cats. I got the recipe from Instructables.com 

Franny is wearing her "I'm only doing this to humour you" face but, to be fair, she always looks like that.

Classic Books

This month's artistic prompt from the Artful and Enterprising Order of the Agile Eye is "classic fiction".

Once again I left this pretty much completely until the last minute. I guess I did a couple of layout sketches last week but in the end the whole thing came together on Christmas and Boxing days.

The basic concept is of a Lonely Planet style revamp of the Guide. I sketched out a Megadodo Publications logo and an icon for "Don't Panic" featuring the sub-ether thumb thingy. At the last minute I added in the page curl because I didn't think there was quite enough parody in place so I wanted some more travel book bumpf.

Seeking Goophone

Everybody's waiting for the new iPhone for different reasons. The weirdest one is probably these guys. 

I heard about the Goophone i5 from a couple of the tech blogs I follow.  In a nutshell their plan appears to be

  • Step 1 make a phone based on all the iPhone rumors.
  • Step 2 wait for the iPhone 5 to come out 
  • Step 3 sue Apple.

I thought it was kind of funny but when John Gruber on the Talk Show asked for Hong Kong listeners to try to buy one for him I thought I should give it a go.

It became pretty clear, pretty quickly that this is not a legitimate attempt to sell a smartphone product.
The website had exactly one page (although there is also goophone.com now that I look) and it mostly details how to identify a 'fake' imitation of their fabulous Goophone. There a no listed outlets to buy this thing.  There are two phone numbers, both with China prefixes. One is theoretically to buy a Goophone. The other is to report a violation of their so-called intellectual property. Very much in line with a plan to prove that they vigorously defend their copyright.

My colleague kindly agreed to phone the purchase number for me. She was told that the Goophone would be available towards the end of the month. So the whole plan looks kind of dead in the water right there. Also to get anymore information they wanted us to send our details to a QQ address and then they would totally get right back to us immediately.

We respectfully declined.
And I regretfully informed Mr Gruber that I was unable to fulfill his request for a review copy

Guess we'll just have to make do with whatever Apple is comes up with.

The only way out is through

Alex Lo in today's SCMP

"With unpopular policies... the government's routine has become consult and ignore. At the same time, Hong Kong is so safe and stable that people can bring children along to protests. So our protests become larger and more frequent and the players get younger and younger"

When dealing with government at any level there's a 'proper' procedure for everything. It's just that the connection between following that procedure and any kind of result has been severed. At best is a game of chess at worst it is a maze where civic engagement goes to die.