Mac Gets VR, But I don’t… Yet

Excited about the new and improved focus on high-end pro-level Macs and VR in general. As a lover of 3D, the graphics card has always been a bit of a drawback in the Mac, especially when it isn’t really user upgradable. The idea of Thunderbolt eGPU’s has actually got me pretty excited. PixelMaker cover the whole thing, including links to Apple where you can buy an eGPU from Sonnet if you are a developer.

I can’t wait to get some form of VR, but I haven’t yet decided what it should be. The entry level PSVR is a nice price, but I know the experience and higher framerate and resolution will be desired if not needed. It’s tough, especially as there really hasn’t been a piece of software that really defines VR as a “must have”. It needs its Halo, Call of Duty or Destiny.

New Lego Blog!

I have been helping some friends set up a LEGO blog that will feature some reviews, news, and custom LEGO projects. Everything LEGO.

We hope to make some original content, such as Vlogs and custom builds. We are currently working our the details, and they are picking my brains for ideas, so it should be fun!

We started off with the awesome LEGO BrickHeadz, which seem like a LEGO version of POP vinyl, but better, because you get to build them! I can’t wait to see what they bring out next in the line.

We hope to bring some interesting takes on the standard formula for LEGO reviews, so please bare with us while we work it all out. Any feedback is welcome as we want to know what everyone wants from it too.

Emergency Plumber Custom 404 Page Tutorial

This is a little bit of fun… I thought it would be nice to add a little custom 404 page, to pay them back for some awesome work, for their Emergency Plumber 365 website. Great guys from Harrow, so I thought it would be fun to make a little 3D, but retro mario in EP365 colours.

Mario style plumber 3D 404 page
Mario style plumber 3D 404 page

How do you add a custom 404 page?

That has to do with your .htaccess file, so go hunt that down. This is for linux based, Apache hosting, so it will be slightly different for other hosting types. The file will be in the root directory of your website hosting.

Set up a page, make sure it’s pretty small in file size (there used to be a limit to the size the page could be before it would simply default to the browser’s (not bowsers) own 404 page). People don’t really like to wait to then be told they are in the wrong place.

This page can be called anything, but stick to the basics, like 404.html or new404.html… something original like that. Or 404doh.html. For this tutorial, I will assume our new file is called new404.html

Then add this little bit of code to your .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /new404.html

So now the browser knows that if you visit a page that doesn’t exist, it should show you new404.html. Simple.

Revisiting the Train with Materials in Blender Cycles

This is a small update about the train that I had made before. I found it pretty fun to work on all the aspects of the train – I do enjoy a bit of steam punk for sure. But then as I started working on the detail it became more and more laborious. I am not a plumber, engineer or train aficionado. I had to reference the mechanics of the steam engine and the way the wheels are driven by the steam engine itself.

Continue reading Revisiting the Train with Materials in Blender Cycles

Odeon Limitless – is it a Good Deal?

Odeon Limitless is here, yes Odeon have finally joined the likes of Cineworld – who have previously offered an all-you-can-eat cinema. As the name suggest you can view as many films as you want every month for a fairly reasonable 17.99 per month (outside Central London) and 19.99 per month if you want to view them in Central London.

The first thing I thought is; That’s how much it cost me to buy one ticket last time I went, so really this is fantastic value, even if you only use it once a month. But that was immediately clouded by the second though; This is too good to be true. But is it?

Continue reading Odeon Limitless – is it a Good Deal?

Balanced VS Unbalanced Cable, What’s the difference?

Do you often ask yourself what the difference between a balanced VS unbalanced cable is? Well so did I for a long time, in fact I went through a phase (no pun intended) of replacing a lot of my leads with balanced XLR cables, only to realise I had been replacing perfectly good balanced cables that had a TRS Jack connector as opposed to an XLR connector. So I was young and foolish, and always associated XLR with balanced signals – which isn’t always the case. So I am going to show you how to spot balanced VS unbalanced cables, what balanced even means, and how the magical-voodoo, that is is balanced audio actually works.

So, what’s a balanced cable? and why is it good?

The main benefit of balanced cables, compared to unbalanced guitar or patch cables, is their ability to transfer sound signals over much longer runs/distances without signal loss, or interference. Balanced cables have a very low signal to noise ratio, so will often give you a much better sound, especially over longer cables. The problem with cables in general, is the same thing that makes them useful – they are very good electric conductors and are very sensitive to electromagnetic forces.  They are long runs of copper, and the copper acts much like an antenna. Though the cables likely have an internal screen or earth in order to try an mitigate the issue, over long lengths of cable the problem is compounded. This is why you probably need a balanced cable.

 

Continue reading Balanced VS Unbalanced Cable, What’s the difference?

How to Make a Hulk Fist Cake with Edible Rubble and Captain American Shield Cake

It was recently my lovely (though sometimes monstrous) Nephews Birthday. As I have been tasked with making his birthday cake in previous years, it again fell to me to design and create a SUPER AWESOME AMAZING (his words) birthday cake to smash all birthday cakes that have come before. This would be no easy task as last year I had made a free-standing Olaf cake. That’s the snowman from Disney’s Frozen for anyone lucky enough to not know who I’m talking about… who am I kidding, I loved Frozen 😀

We finally decided on a Hulk Fist cake with edible rubble, Captain America shield and super hero emblems. Sorted. Now I just had to make it all.

Continue reading How to Make a Hulk Fist Cake with Edible Rubble and Captain American Shield Cake

Blender Cycles Ice Material Test

I have been wondering how cycles would handle a material or object within another object. There was no real reason it wouldn’t work, but I always found the process to be a pain in the a$%* with blender internal.

I wanted an ice/glass/gemstone type material with two objects within it. One was another simple material and one was an emission object so that it would have an internal glow. Happily it is really easy. Cycles doesn’t have many hoops you have to jump through as it would work in a real world object so it works here. I kept tweaking other aspects of the shader so that it ended up looking a little more like a rough gritty ice. This is still a basic material, so I could add wear to the edges or peaks of the ice so that is more white and opaque. But for a first test I think this is fine.

I will try and incorporate this Blender Cycles ice material into something fun soon.

Blender