I Love Fantastic Beasts and Imaginary Creatures

For those that know me, this is no surprise – since I was a child, I was completely in awe of all manner of imaginary creatures, fantastic beasts, and legends that contained them. From the minotaur to dragons, to gryphons and everything in between, I was completely captivated!

My love of all this fantastic and fantasy in films meant that I completely adored the Harry Potter movies and Lord of the Rings – I think I saw Fellowship of the Ring 7 times… at the cinema!

When I was younger, I read all the Greek myths I could find, In the hope of stumbling across a new, as-yet unseen-by-me-creature to add to my imagination. I couldn’t get enough!

When I was younger, I would draw those creatures and as I grew up, I never really grew out of it. A few years ago I even started to work on an art book of all the fantastic imaginary creatures I had found over the years, but work commitments and general lack of time made it hard to complete.

Now I have been given a chance to rekindle my love for these creatures with the help of the guys at ImaginaryCreatures.co.uk that are compiling a list of the legendary creatures from myth and legend, from all over the world! It is fascinating to learn about so many new creatures! My speciality is definitely in Greek Myth and European Folklore, So it is so intriguing to discover a whole world of myth and legend!

The Long-term goal with Imaginary creatures is to compile a list of the world most fantastic beasts, and then eventually add my interpretations of the creatures with my drawings and art. Obviously, that will take a while to make the whole list, so it is an ongoing project, with the eventual aim to creature a book (probably digital) that is available with the best of the best beasts and our personal favourites.

We have only just started compiling the list, and the style and formatting are currently being developed. We hope to have the complete list by the end of the year, with some beasts having individual pages, that we will be added to gradually. I have already started work on an “ancient” world map to show where the creatures come from and will be adding art for the individual beasts when I can.

Imaginary Creatures is both a pet project and a project that is being worked on with other people, so it is a joint effort that is fascinating and daunting to be part of. It will not be completed in the usual timeframe, so please don’t be impatient with me! 😅 I really can’t wait to show what is to come with our list of fantastic creatures of legend! But please visit often, and we are of course always open to peoples input! We love it! So if you have discovered a creature that has mostly gone unnoticed, then please tell us about it! We have even considered a list of user-created creatures because sometimes peoples imaginations are even more incredible than what has come before, and all imaginary creatures had to start from someone’s mind, right?

Have a good day! 🙂

Luke

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.

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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?

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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.

 

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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.

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