If you can’t see your Kindle content on another device

I have several Amazon accounts: one in the US, one in the UK, and one ein Germany. Every now and again I de-register one of my Kindles from one account and register it with another one. Depends on what content I’d like to read and on which account it’s available.

The other day I switched my Kindle Fire from my German Amazon account back to my US account, my main account, containing all my my english content. To my surprise, the device registered fine, identified itself as “Jay’s Kindle”, but none of my content was showing up. Likewise, the device was not showing as registered on my web interface.

What was going on? Where was all my content? This had worked not too long ago!

I tried installing the Kindle iOS app on my iPhone and registered it too – only to find it behaved exactly the same way: no content, and the device was not showing itself on my Amazon account.

After getting in touch with Customer Service, I can now tell you what happened – and a neat trick of avoiding it, should it happen again. Interested? Read on!

Read moreIf you can’t see your Kindle content on another device

How to cure Kindle Fire sync issues

Back in 2011 I bought a first generation Kindle Fire in the US. It hadn’t been released anywhere else, and this device started the whole Kindle Tablet business for Amazon.

It’s still working, and I’m still using it as a “bedside” Kindle (my Kindle 3, or Kindle Keyboard, doesn’t have a backlight, so the Fire is my “reading in the dark” companion).

Trouble is, the Kindle Fire doesn’t always sync my books with other Kindle devices. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it does not – and I never really knew what to do about it.

Until some online research gave me the solution that I’d like to share with you. Just in case this happens to your device.

This fix may work with other (Android based) Kindle Fire devices too, but I’ve only tested it with a first generation Fire (serial starts with D01E, Firmware 6.4.3).

Read moreHow to cure Kindle Fire sync issues

How to display a movie on a plane in Blender (Blender Render)

To show an animated video clip on a plane inside our scene, we can texture our plane object accordingly. Here’s how to do it using the Blender Render. engine (this won’t work in Cycles). select the plane object and create a new Material on it (in the Materials Tab on the Properties Palette) under the Shading …

Read moreHow to display a movie on a plane in Blender (Blender Render)

How to combine a 3D render with a background image in Photoshop

In this video I’ll show you how to render an image in DAZ Studio and compose it onto a background image in Photoshop. We’ll use the Shader Mixer and a Shadow Catcher in DAZ Studio to make the figure cast a shadow but be otherwise transparent. In Photoshop we’ll add artificial depth of field to …

Read moreHow to combine a 3D render with a background image in Photoshop

Combining a DAZ Studio Render and a background image in Photoshop

In this episode I’ll show you how to render an image in DAZ Studio and compose it onto a background image in Photoshop. We’ll use the Shader Mixer and a Shadow Catcher to make the figure cast a shadow but be otherwise transparent in DAZ Studio. In Photoshop we’ll add artificial depth of field to …

Read moreCombining a DAZ Studio Render and a background image in Photoshop

How to use the Grappling Hook in XIII for GameCube

unknownI was playing XIII again the other day. The US GameCube version this time. I remember enjoying XIII on the original Xbox back in the day, as well as on PC.

Even today, there’s nothing quite like playing these old style shooters with blurry textures and blocky unsmoothed 3D objects.

That aside, I had a tough time making the Grappling Hook work, mainly because the controls on the GameCube version must be the most terrible in the history of console gaming. Sadly my copy did not come with an instruction booklet, but at $4.99 with free shipping I’m not complaining. I found no instructions on the internet either, I’m probably a lost cause and too late for the XIII party anyway.

For future generations, and my future self, here’s how the XIII GameCube control work (from what I could figure out).

Read moreHow to use the Grappling Hook in XIII for GameCube

How to create a translucent shader in Blender (Cycles)

By default all our 3D objects are opaque, meaning light does not pass through them. Like a brick wall. But many objects in reality let some amount of light through, like a piece of paper or a glass of lemonade. This partial transparency is called translucency. In the picture above, light passes through the leaf, …

Read moreHow to create a translucent shader in Blender (Cycles)

How to create a Shadow Catcher in Blender (Cycles)

shadow-catcher

Setting up a Shadow Catcher in Blender is a bit more tricky than in other applications, but nevertheless straightforward if you know what you’re doing. I certainly did not when I first tried it, but thanks to this short YouTube video by Nonsense Blender Tutorials, I was able to set this up.

Here’s how to do it:

Read moreHow to create a Shadow Catcher in Blender (Cycles)

Why I joined The Blender Cloud

Blender LogoYesterday, while I was receiving my 13th chemotherapy shot at the hospital infusion suite, I’ve spontaneously joined The Blender Cloud.

Full of pride I mentioned this on Twitter, and Ton Roosendaal asked me to sum up what got me on board in one tweet. That’s not an easy feat, considering what the Blender Cloud has to offer, and the more I thought about it, the more reasons sprang to mind.

Here’s why I did it (in slightly more than 160 characters).

Read moreWhy I joined The Blender Cloud

How to create a transparency shader in Blender (Cycles)

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Texture files can have a transparency value, and as such we’d like to use it on occasion with 3D objects. The above image is created using flat square leaves, onto which an image of a leaf is projected. Outside the leaf, the area on the PNG file is transparent.

Here’s how to create a Cycles Shader in Blender that will show only the leaf and not the surrounding area of the texture.

Read moreHow to create a transparency shader in Blender (Cycles)

How to turn an Image Sequence into a Video in Photoshop

In this episode I’ll show you how to combine an image sequence into a video file using Photoshop CC 2017. This is helpful if you’ve rendered a series of still images from a 3D application and would like to create a video file from them. I’ll go over how to import the whole sequence, duplicate …

Read moreHow to turn an Image Sequence into a Video in Photoshop

How to render an image sequence as video in Photoshop

Up until now I had always used Premiere Pro to assemble image sequences of a rendered animation.

I’m still using Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and I’m not currently subscribing to the whole Creative Cloud package. As such, my version of Premiere is stuck somewhere in the past, when 4K was barely an idea, and 1080p was the highest result you would ever need.

The trouble is, I was working on an animation whose resolution was larger than 1920×1080. While Premiere Pro CS 5.5 can handle this and higher resolutions for editing, there doesn’t seem a way to export it at anything above 1920×1080.

My editing needs were moderate at best: assemble 250 frames, repeat those several times, and add a fade to black either end. Which application would be capable of doing this swiftly and efficiently, I wondered?

Photoshop CC can do it! Would you believe it? Here’s how.

Read moreHow to render an image sequence as video in Photoshop

How to make a texture repeat in Blender (Cycles)

Sometimes we need a seamless texture to repeat on an object without the help of Photoshop. That’s possible in Blender’s Node Editor, albeit not exactly intuitive. We need to add both a Texture Coordinate node, as well as a Mapping node to our shader to make this happen. Here’s how to do it: setup your texture …

Read moreHow to make a texture repeat in Blender (Cycles)

How to grow grass on a landscape in Blender

I have previously grown some grass on a terrain in Carrara, and thought I’d try the same in Blender. I didn’t know much about how to do this, but the approach is very similar in Blender.

Like with my Carrara approach, I’ve modelled a few grass stalks from a cylinder first. Those are then replicated over a larger terrain. Neither a replicator nor a terrain generator exists in Blender, so here’s how I did it.

Read moreHow to grow grass on a landscape in Blender

How to flip or rotate a texture in Blender

When you’re UV unwrapping in Blender, it can sometimes happen that a texture doesn’t show the way you had intended it to. Instead it may appear rotated or mirrored (flipped). Take the above example of a simple frame with a picture in the middle. When I originally added the texture file after unwrapping, the crab …

Read moreHow to flip or rotate a texture in Blender

How to rename Parameter Dials in DAZ Studio

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Parameter Dials are everywhere in DAZ Studio. But sometimes they’re not in the right place, or they’re not called what we’d like them to be called. For example, if you bring in a Morph Target via Morph Loader, DAZ Studio will create a folder by that same name.

It’s easy to change most Parameter Dials. Here’s how to do it.

Read moreHow to rename Parameter Dials in DAZ Studio

How to add margins between UV islands in Blender

When UV islands are packed too tightly together, there’s little to no room between them. That’s great because it makes use of every available pixel on the UV Map, however when it comes to texturing in Photoshop, selecting separate islands is very difficult. Blender has a nice feature that lets us add a margin in …

Read moreHow to add margins between UV islands in Blender

MIRABEL Textures – now available at Renderosity

mirabel-main

It is with great pleasure that I give you my latest texturing endeavour: MIRABEL Textures for Sunny’s First Date outfit, perfect for an autumn stroll.

MIRABEL contains a total of 48 texture presets for DAZ Studio, 24 for Iray and 24 for 3Delight. I’ve created high-resolution texture maps for the top, skirt, scarf and boots, 6 outfits in total – but the combinations are endless.

Read moreMIRABEL Textures – now available at Renderosity

How to split and detach viewports in Blender

By default Blender has one window with multiple interface sections: the main viewport, the properties panel, the outliner, and so forth. We can easily create more of those sections by clicking on the little triangle in the top left corner of a window and drag left or down. Likewise, we can collapse those windows by …

Read moreHow to split and detach viewports in Blender

Rendering with Depth of Field in DAZ Studio

In this episode I’ll explain how to render a camera with depth of field in DAZ Studio 4.9. The assets I’m using are available from DAZ 3D, they’re called BC Movie Stands “The Office” by The Ant Farm.  For Branson. https://www.versluis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Rendering-with-Depth-of-Field-in-DAZ-Studio.mp3Podcast: Download (Duration: 30:30 — 27.9MB)

How to upgrade Blender while retaining your settings

In this episode I’ll show you how to upgrade to a new version of Blender and copy your settings from a previous version. Blender is a bit “special” in that it does not automatically overwrite an existing version, instead it installs the new version alongside the old version. The idea is that if the new …

Read moreHow to upgrade Blender while retaining your settings

How to copy and paste materials in Blender

chocolates-gpu-render-37mins

Sometimes you want to use the same material on another object and only make a small change to it. Rather than this change affecting all linked objects, we need a new material with all the settings of the old material.

For example, in the above image I’ve used three chocolate shaders. They were all the same, except for the colour of the chocolate. I started with milk chocolate, then changed the colour for the dark and white chocolates.

There is an easy way to do this in Blender, albeit not entirely obvious at first sight. Let me show you how to copy and paste materials in this article.

Read moreHow to copy and paste materials in Blender

How to render the current viewport in Blender 2.79

In other 3D applications, it is common to “look through” a camera to position and manipulate it with the usual viewport controls, and then render the result. In Blender things are a little different (of course). We can manipulate the viewport, but we cannot render it. We can see it rendered as a preview, by …

Read moreHow to render the current viewport in Blender 2.79

How to create a brush from an image in Manga Studio

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-15-00-57Manga Studio (or Clip Studio Paint as it’s now called) has a very versatile brush engine. We can customise our own brushes too, so that we can “paint” with our own images – just like the ones above, all of which come with the app.

The process is less than intuitive, but once you’ve done it a couple of times it grows on you. I tend to forget how these things work pretty much instantly, so here are some notes on how to create a brush from a seamless tiled image in Manga Studio.

Read moreHow to create a brush from an image in Manga Studio