December 8, 2013

Quetzalcoatl snake-guitar

I was born in the year of the Snake in the Water lunar cycle according to the Chinese zodiac. Because of this at some point I wanted to create a guitar that had the shape of a snake. It probably was of some sort of surrogate compensation of me being unable to get some decent sounds out of such an instrument, in spite of many attempts. I never got beyond the plucking of The House of the Rising Sun accords and even then the neighbours called the police to have me arrested. As hardware and software progressed, I used various 3D programs, none of which allowed me to produce the image I had in my head, until Rhinoceros R5 and T-Splines made it possible to approximate my vision.

December 5, 2013

3D organic shapes

3D programs have evolved over the years at a tremendous pace. Today it is possible in many of them to create realistic organic shapes, somewhat similar to molding clay, which - as opposed to stone carving - allows to remove as well as add material to objects that are being built. In addition to the real life molding process, the software takes care of calculating smooth transitions between adjacent areas while automatically creating a symmetrical half of the object if so desired by the artist. Creating symmetrical shapes is therefore no longer a tedious task that consumes shiploads of the artist's time.

3D design created in Rhinoceros R5 + I-Splines

October 14, 2013

I conjure texts too! - A poem.

So far I did not feature examples of text creation. It is time for this to change. Below you see a poem (or at least an attempt to poetry) I wrote, when thinking of science 'discovery' that 97% of human DNA has no function they were able to detect - no specific proteins were produced by that 97%, tempting them to coin it 'junk DNA'.

Some - mainly spiritually inclined people - suggest that humankind originally had 12 strand DNA instead of the 2 strand of which our bodily tissue consists now. That would mean that we use only 3% of 1/6th of our true potential..., which equals 0.005th of the original coding, assuming extra strands do not increase perception and skills exponentially...

October 13, 2013

Com-Art airbrush paint

After all digital tinkering with DTP and 2D & 3D apps, it's time to pick up the airbrush once more. My mate Geerco van Strien polished the needle of the Iwata Micron and we bought a Com-Art portrait set of paints at Airbrush Services Almere. Initially I tried diluting them with water, but it appeared almost unnecessary. A test of this paint that was new to me you see below.

Com-Art test next to a 20 Euro cent coin

October 2, 2013

3D printing

3D printing has a great future. The devices are still unaffordable for the average consumer, but as the technique develops it will become within reach of the private people. Larger, complex objects will be printed by specialized companies, but simple constructions will one time soon be printed at home not too far away in the future. As is the case with all consumer goods, the possibility to produce complex objects with 3D printing devices will be increasing rapidly. This will include plastic parts, composite materials, metals (including non-ferro objects). Basically any material needed to produce useful things.

Simple 3D printed ring

September 28, 2013

Suffer from soccer

This is the Ajax logo - the new one - created in Rhino 3D version 5, mainly using the pipe command. Ajax has started the 2013 - 2014 in a horrendous way. The transfers of Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderwereld were in no way compensated. The technical management failed to anticipate their departure that has been a foreseeable event the entire preceding year. 

September 10, 2013

Working under pressure

Working under pressure. Negative pressure as you might notice. It requires more than one 3D applications between which objects can be traded using either .dxf or .3ds files. It makes working for the user easier but the computer has to work harder several 3D apps open.

Pressure gauge

August 27, 2013

High end 3D app filleting

Low end and mid range 3D application commonly struggle with producing proper filleting of curves. Some even mess up in performing such tasks. Even more so when fillets of different radii meet and / or surfaces join at angles other than perpendicular. High end 3D programs however have no trouble handling such matters. See image below where detail is in red circles.

August 26, 2013

EFC - Earth & Flight Composites

EFC is an enterprise that conducts training and offers consultancy for the advanced composites industry. Composite materials are increasingly applied in construction since they are strong, have a light weight and hardly require maintenance. But construction and repair activities require skills that are quite distinguished from those of traditional sheet metal work and application of other materials.

Consequently a different type of knowledge and skill are necessary to process composite materials properly. Since it is often applied in critical constructions, poor handling can lead to disastrous consequences. It is for this reason that industry authorities have decided to issue guidelines and directives. EFC is well informed concerning the knowledge and skills required to work and operate composite material constructions safely. Decades of practical experience in the business and acquired certification by attending many courses make EFC a trustworthy partner for companies seeking to train their staff or inform their management.

EFC avatar

August 18, 2013

3D fillets

3D applications have different approaches to processing matters; the way in which their functions handle things are distinguished. The algorithms in which they calculate certain processes are different formulas. In this respect they resemble people all of whom have different talents and different things at which they suck (pardon my French). The image below is an example of the different way of handling of matters.

The fillet of the object at the top is irregular while the bottom one is smooth. It is an angled joint of two pipes of a different diameter - one of the constructions that a number of 3D programs do not handle well. The fillet actually looks like a real life weld of welder who was not too skilled. Also the fillet command disrupted the surface of the slanted pipe. The application producing the poor filleting does an excellent job at other types of modeling, rendering and creating animations, but this particular function gives bad results. It is probably why many 3D artists use various applications to achieve whatever they want to achieve.

August 2, 2013

High end applications

I have been watching a number of tutorials on Youtube on a high end 3D program - Solid Edge - and became stunned by its complexity that was paired with a user friendliness that I was unaware of. This seems to be a contradiction, but in fact it just requires the user to adapt a different frame of mind when modeling parts. What this means, is that many relations between (sub) parts exists - similar to what we encounter in every day life - that we take for grated without actually being aware of it. The complex functionality was made to serve user comfort and increase construction options dramatically, which are features never seen in the over the counter commercial apps most people have installed on their computer.

May 27, 2013

Browsers and Flash

Flash can only be seen in browsers when the plugin is installed. It is often not behaving like is described in the specs of either of the components. Corporations would have you believe that they are working towards plugin-free browsers in developing HTML5. This of course is quite ludicrous. Many programs have the functionality that allows the installation of plugins that enrich the programs' functionality that in some cases raise their level of usability to heights that manufacturers and / or users had never dreamed of.

May 17, 2013

UI's becoming darker

After years of being bombarded by particles emitted by bulky CRT's and LCD 'dirty waves', the industry has finally started to make applications' User Interfaces darker. Adobe as one of the leading software developing companies has given some of its products (strangely enough not all of them) a dark interface.

Adobe Illustrator CS6 dark UI

May 10, 2013

Have a useful day

At times I become overwhelmed by an infinite type of sadness. Especially when realizing that mankind has separated from its true essence that is unknown to a disturbing number of people who aren't even looking for an excuse why they're cluttering up this planet. I had such a moment recently when I was sent this video clip by a friend on Facebook:

May 9, 2013


Professor Frank Tipler in his epic work 'The physics of Immortality', claimed that life is the exchange of information. Whether two boxers beat the crap out of each other in a match, a parent tries to explain something to his or her child or when people make love, they all exchange information. The way in which communication is conducted may differ, but it is what all of us do all the time anywhere.

Business communication

May 7, 2013

Dynamic Blogger theme modifications

If you want to modify your (Blogger) blog and use a dynamic theme, please consider visiting Southern Speakers. Their css code suggestions ALL work and enable bloggers to change their blog pages' appearance in a subtle or radical way. I've explored the web for a long time in search of adequate tips on this matter, but never came across a better source.

Southern Speakers header image

The CommuniCats blog uses their css code to center the Header and Tab Bar, Make the Tab Bar sticky and to continuously show the gadgets to the right. As you can see, all of the code simply works. Just cut and paste into the Template - Customize - Advanced - CSS and you're done.

April 22, 2013

Digital / analog

Lately, out of necessity, I have been doing a lot of digital work. Fun as it may be to do, at some point digital creation feels as if something is lacking. Perhaps it is because humans are analog beings. So, to get my mind off the rigid canvas of digital tools, I may revert to the only real type of canvas from time to time to appease more natural aspects of life. I have a magnificent photograph for reference that I edited digitally (...) to spray with an airbrush. Many tests will be involved; I have to try new things always to prevent from becoming bored.

April 16, 2013

New website

I have been working my butt off for the new website (pardon my French). Creating tables in html sucks; they are unpredictable. So I used a lot of flash (swf) and ccs in the design, which makes widths more consistent. Please take a peek at it if you have time.

Earth & Flight Composites website

March 28, 2013

Lightbox suddenly disappeared from Blogger

Without any warning or offering any solution Google removed Lightbox from the blogs. Lightbox allowed to click on one photo in a post or page which enabled visitors to scroll through all photos present in that page or post. It shows Google's boundless arrogance and disrespect for their users that are only interesting to them as cash cows that bring in advertisement revenues.

Lightbox - image display

March 4, 2013

CorelDRAW vs AutoCAD

One thing I never quite understood, is that CorelDRAW is not used more often for creating technical drawings. In The Netherlands companies seem to have an unwavering preference for AutoCAD, which is almost exactly 10 times more expensive than CorelDRAW. Most drawings do not require the complex features of AutoCAD; the drawings' simplicity can be constructed with CorelDRAW considerably faster, allowing to apply more visual options, such as line thickness, style and color, gradient coloring of planes etc. at lower cost.

In 1995 I decided to put things to the test while working for a well known Dutch air carrier company by creating an educational drawing to be used for presentations in the classroom for licence training of technicians. It took me 10 hours to draw that image in CorelDRAW and when I attempted to do the same in AutoCAD, I did not even complete one third of the drawing at the 10 hour mark.

February 20, 2013

3D practicing

Working hard to acquire C4D (Cinema 4D) modeling skills. In a few weeks time I am ready to make something that resembles an airplane.

Modeling practice in Cinema 4D - Airplane

January 27, 2013

On-line interactive book

I am currently in the process of creating and interactive on-line book that contains some of my poetry (or attempts at poetry if you will). You can scroll through the pages by dragging the page corners like in a real book or by clicking on them. Some poems cover two pages. I placed a small red triangle after the first part of the poem. If you click on that you will go to the part on the next page. It is more of an indication that you have not yet reached the end of the poem, but it is also click-able.

January 25, 2013

The horror of using Office files in DTP

When using Microsoft Word documents and Excel-files to compose a book in InDesign one inevitably encounters the lack of logic and structure Microsoft and its users included in their products. First, the new type of Office interface with the ribbon is horrific to work with. Functions are buried deep underneath a shipload of illogically designed icons, while the documents that are compiled lack, whatever is required to build a sensible parametric structure.

January 21, 2013

Adobe InDesign, Scribus, LyX, VivaDesigner, Quark Xpress, Affinity Publisher

Recently I have been (re-)learning InDesign again. I have an old CS3 version, but now tried the new CS6. The program is impressive in any respect. The structure and logic are beyond that of most other programs. Perhaps only a number of 3D applications are able to match it. A lot of digging in the menus is required to make full use of it, but once that is done the program allows to produce the most complex documents for any purpose imaginable: print, web, animations etc. there is very little the is not capable of.

InDesign screendump

January 9, 2013

Reconsidering course methods

After considering many things we have decided to go about airbrush classes differently. Different than what is commonly done. There is a strong dislike of the commercialized approach. Commerce and truly creative skill are rarely good companions. One always violates the other to some extent. And since humans are analog beings we aim to focus on that - on the creative side. It still requires skill, but it should not serve commercial means in our view.

January 5, 2013

Brainstorming about the Perfect Airbrush

A few things bother me in even the most advanced airbrushes. Improvements can be made in the handling and maintenance department. For the time being I thought of the following:
  • Trigger control should allow more accurate needle movement
  • Triggers should be placed closer to the needle tip
  • Paint containers can be separate from the main housing (connected with a paint supply hose)
  • Assembly and dis-assembly should be made easier
  • Parts should be less vulnerable and should be constructed in a way that allows to mount and dis-mount them without the use of tools
  • Airbrushes should accept various needle / nozzle sizes
  • Airbrushes should not leak paint during needle cleaning
  • Paint cups should not obstruct the view on the artwork

The perfect airbrush