Yearly Archives: 2011

Woody dancing at the office

Woody is our favourite wooden artists’ manikin. He currently lives on a shelf with two woolly ninjas (Blackberry and Blueberry) but we though it was time that he was brought to life. I was delighted when I found him in the additional content for Poser 7.

I animated him using Animate 2 in DAZ Studio 4, then exported the sequence into Poser 7 and rendered it, much like Dancing Alien and Dancing Robot before him. I wanted to make the scene more interesting so I tried orbiting the camera round Woody – that’s different to rotating him, but not a hard job thanks to Poser.

Even though there’s still a lot that could be done to make it more realistic (Woody’s feet don’t cast shadows, and sometimes he sinks into the office floor) I’m quite pleased with the results. My MacBook was rendering for over 24 hours on this one – that was before I told him not to go to sleep – it may have been done quicker, who knows. I can imagine how the Pixar guys are sweating – render a full day just to find out it was all for nothing. That is one thing I don’t like about 3D Animation – the rendering to appreciate the full effect isn’t instantly visible.

The backdrop in this scene is Ratracer’s Film Noir Detective Studio. I added some colour correction in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 to brighten the dark scene up a bit. Julia kindly showed me how to use Garage Band on her iPad so that’s how we made the music (including robot sound samples).


Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 – my personal hands on review

To complete my migration from PC to Mac I’ve downloaded the trial version of the latest Premiere Pro CS 5.5 yesterday. I bought CS 3 a few years ago and haven’t regretted it, but at work we have CS 4 and now CS 5 and I can see the feature improvements and benefits to our workflow.

As last time, this is a rather large expense for me (£285 for the upgrade, which is still better than £810 for the full version) – however Premiere is a fascinating powerful programme and I know how helpful it is.

My old version has made its money back many times over so I’m sure this version won’t disappoint me either. In fact, I’m quite excited about the new options in version 5.5 and the idea of having it on my laptop.

Here are my hands-on notes, my first impressions and my two cents about Adobe’s rival to Final Cut Pro.

For the geeks: I’m using Premiere on a MacBook Pro with 8GB of Ram, 64 bit OS (Lion) and an Intel Dual Core i7 processor at 2.7 GHz.

Continue reading Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 – my personal hands on review

Dancing Robot Splash Screen

I thought I’d share a couple of Splash Screens I created for my (since rejected) iPhone Apps. Splash Screens are loading screens which are shown while the sometimes lengthy startup process would show a black screen – unless you provide an image. Makes for a much nicer user experience.

Dancing Robot (above) is lovely cartoon figure called Klank by 3D Universe – I absolutely love their style! I have a couple of other figures made by them and I’ll show you some pre-production artwork a bit later.

As you may have guessed, Dancing Robot is essentially the same app as Dancing Alien with a different character, an animated background and different music. Guess I won’t be submitting that one to Apple…

Continue reading Dancing Robot Splash Screen

Twitter for Beginners

In a surprise move, my wife Julia has just joined Twitter. Welcome, @Julia_V1!

When I was at that point a couple of years ago I remember thinking “why oh why would I even consider joining this… er… movement?” I admit it’s hard to explain what makes it interesting. Twitter needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Here’s a little how-to guide about the language and conventions used on Twitter, I thought this may be useful for other newbies too.

Grab a coffee while I tell you everything I know about the (apparently) hottest social network in the blogosphere.

Continue reading Twitter for Beginners

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple over the rejection of my Dancing Alien app

On Tuesday, my “Dancing Alien” App has been rejected by Apple on the grounds that “it wasn’t very useful”. They pointed me to Section 2.12 of their submission guidelines which explains this.

Today, only a couple of days later, my good mate Steve Jobs resigns from Apple, probably as a direct response to this appalling decision. This is the second time in his career that he had a falling out with management over decisions he’s just not 100% behind.

I’d like to say from the bottom of my heart: thank you so much for your support, Steve – but this wasn’t necessary. I appreciate the gesture though, and I’ll put you on my list of Beta Testers so you can run t he app anyway.

I’m already planning my next app which will include the alien, so I’ll let you know how that’s going. So please, nobody else needs to quite their job over this!

Continue reading Steve Jobs resigns from Apple over the rejection of my Dancing Alien app

How to change your Playstation Network Password after “The Incident” (even though Sony mess you around with a link that doesn’t ever work)

Months after “The Incident” at the Sony Playstation Network happened, many users are still having problems resetting their password.

This mandatory security procedure is necessary says Sony, and I can understand that.What I can’t understand is why they keep sending you to the same link to change your password, when all said link does is bring up an error message stating that the site is down.

Let’s take a look how we can remedy this.

Continue reading How to change your Playstation Network Password after “The Incident” (even though Sony mess you around with a link that doesn’t ever work)

I’ve submitted my first iPhone App to Apple

I’ve just spent the last three hours trying to make sense of how to submit my first iPhone App to Apple. This is not an easy task, I can tell you that!

Now the waiting game starts – let’s see if I’ve done everything correctly. As nice and easy as the end user experience is, you’d imagine once you’ve built your app there’s a “submit” button that you press and your hard work gets uploaded. Sadly that’s not quite the case.

I’ll tell you more about this another day since it’s time to hit the hay. Watch our for Dancing Alien – coming to an app store near you very soon 😉

Creating Dancing Alien v1.0 – Release Notes

It’s been an exciting day here at The Render Farm: we’ve decided we wanted to release our first app by tomorrow evening, and the next thing we knew was that Julia’s soundtrack was ready for it. Not even half an hour later we previewed stunning animations with several characters… we couldn’t believe it ourselves – since we’re neither musicians, animators or coders!

I had conducted several tests based on the ImageHop exercise from SAMS Teach Yourself iPad Apps by John Ray, all OK but implementing several views really was hard. I’ve decided instead to keep it ultra simple and literally only have one view for Dancing Alien and one lone “i” button at the bottom right as an About / Credit page with link to our website. Works much better, is much simpler – and more to the point it’s possible to implement by tomorrow evening.

Continue reading Creating Dancing Alien v1.0 – Release Notes

London Riots Business Idea

With Anarchy breaking out in London over the last few days, I had a great business idea: sell remote controls for TVs that have been looted! We can also sell chargers for laptops that went walking from PC World & Co.

We’ll create an interface where customers can pop on the serial number of the device in question, then we’ll sell them an original accessory for £5 – £10 with free postage. eBay and Amazon will suffice, let’s not build a website for this.

Once we have their addresses, we’ll hand them over to the police who in turn can take care of the rest. We’ll beat them at their own game. We’ll donate the money to a fund helping people and local businesses who have suffered from idiots with Molotov cocktails.

Good plan?

Simon from Poser: 3D Animation gone bad

Here we have my good buddy Simon – he’s one of the default figures that comes with Poser. I accidentally added two animation imports on top of each other which wasn’t so good for his hip. It looked rather amusing as he twists out of it so I thought I’d post this.

It’s also my first iMovie experience on Mac – all this was done in about 15mins (including the upload to YouTube mind you). Music written by Julia courtesy of Garage Band on iPad.