365 Day Sketch Project Update: 38-54

I’ve given myself a few weeks off, with the Big Clearout taking over pretty much every spare moment I have. It’s a shame because I would’ve like to have drawn many of the items we’ve been passing on as a record of past times. But the speed and quantity of things going meant that I just didn’t find the time to do it. Also tiredness.

38/365. Sometimes it’s good draw stuff just to calm yourself down. A complicated week continued today when, amongst other things, a computer power unit died loudly in my actual face. This is Fudge. Look he’s dug up somebody else’s flowers, he wants to be your friend. I wrote some comics about him. They’re on the internet. They end badly. Fountain pen. Notebook: Zebulon.

39/365 Wacom pen, wand of power. Slightly less magical since they added those silly buttons down the side of the tablet there. Drawn at work whilst waiting for something to happen, which seems to be occurring a lot today. Pencil. Notebook: Ethel. Mood: Impatient.

40/365. Flars. I fckn luv flars. Pencil and fountain pen. Notebook: Ethel.

41/365. Caster wheel on very old piece of furniture we just repurposed into a different part of the house. We are undergoing a major reorganising, lots of memories being resurfaced. Pencil and fountain pen. Notebook: Leonidas.

42/365. Daisies on a summer evening. Overlayed the subject using #photoblender. Pencil and fountain pen. Notebook: Ethel.

43/365. Not from life, from brain. Eye flowers crop up from time to time. This one asks for rain, the heavens bestow. There was a baby hedgehog out and about in our garden today. Apparently they venture out in daylight when they are thirsty. Family members left out (specially purchased) cat food and some water to drink. Like carrots and brandy for a very small spikey Father Christmas. Fingers crossed all is well. ‘Night. V-ball. Notebook: Ethel.

44/365. Fancy mantlepiece complete with ornamental #cats. Fountain pen. Notebook: Leonidas.

45/365 Chillin’ in the Park. Pencil. Notebook: Leonidas.

46/365. Wave breakers on #Hunstanton beach. With accompanying canoeists and the distant far side of the Wash. The sea was like glass today. V-ball. Notebook: Leonidas.

47/365. Various attempts at the #WashMonster as it made it’s way on shore. It’s an ex-military amphibious landing craft re-purposed as an anthropomorphic tourist fun ride. #EastCoast. Actual picture to follow. V-ball. Notebook: Leonidas.

48/365. Silver birch outside the window. Spent a bit longer than usual on this one. I’m on holiday, deal with it. Pencil, V-ball and grey Stabilo point 88. Notebook: Ethel.

49/365. An actual flamboyance of flamingos. Special guesting from 26/365 and 33/365. Fountain pen and V-ball. Notebook: Leonidas.

50/365. Various “folks” toing and froing from a large play area. Two bits of pages badly comped in photoblender. Oh, and it’s number 50. Five Oh. #Fifty. L. #50. V-ball. Notebook: Leonidas.

51/365. Bit behind. Here’s my keys. Pencil and marker pen. Notebook: Ethel.

52/365 Cows and lamas. (Obvs) Puxton Park. Pencil. Notebook: Ethel.

53/365 Wet rocks on a rainy day. Pencil Notebook: Zebulon

54/365 “I ride this beat like a tractor”. This is a tractor. #tractors (I’m tired) Pencil. Notebook: Leonidas

Posted in macro, process | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making Mental Ray for Maya 2015 work with Macintosh OS Mavericks (10.9)

As you may be aware if you follow me on Twitter we’ve been having some terrible trouble with rendering on Mental Ray for Maya after upgrading to the Macintosh Mavericks OS.

There seemed to be a conflict with multiple thread renders and the new Macintosh architecture.

We so far seem to have cleared the issue.

We completely uninstalled all parts of Maya, on the problem computers by dragging the Maya folder in the applications to the trash and then finding the Autodesk preferences folder in Library/Preferences(Library appears when you Alt-click the Go menu), and removing that too. Probably best keep a back up of that one.

Then do a fresh install of the new Maya 2015 Sp3.

It’s easier than uninstalling Mavericks anyways.

We had this in place for 3 days now and the constant hangs seem to be over.

Fingers crossed.

Edit: Scrub that. Still having freeze problems. Thinking of now striping the Mavericks machines to take them back to OS 10.8, as we are having no problems with them. If anyone else is making progress on this please let me know.

Edit 2: I tried CGBeige‘s script in the render farm, but it didn’t seem to stop the issue. So I have reverted to enabling “Overtime Kill Ratio” on Smedge (the software we use to managed our render farm). I set this to 3, so that if the work for the chunk goes 3 times over the work unit time it kills the chunk and starts again., which is good enough to kick it into gear and means I can sleep, without looking over the render farm all night.

Oh, and I have raised an official case ID with Autodesk, in case you were wondering.

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Space sounds and meandering digression.

One of the perks of doing this often is that it takes away the stigma of it being a big deal. So with this being the first for a while, let’s get on with it

It’s very difficult to ignore the news at the moment, it’s on my mind a lot, as I am sure with many others. There are terrible things happening to many innocent people. Just so you know this rambling meaninglessness has the days events weaved into its substance, if it’s not overt.

Molly Crabapple wrote some journalism (with illustrations of course) on the people Caught between Isis and Assad.

I used to have these (I am that old):

Still playing with Photoblender, all though it does seem more late at night when watching YouTubes:


Loom bands are seemingly every where, even on my pencil. I also have a bracelet, which I wear with pride.

Making stop motion with an iPhone would appear to be living the dream, although I wouldn’t know because I live in Android. Would like to check out all those arty iPad apps though.

“Making films is all about—as soon as you’re finished—continually regretting what you’ve done. When we look at films we’ve made, all we can see are the flaws; we can’t even watch them in a normal way. I never feel like watching my own films again. So unless I start working on a new one, I’ll never be free from the curse of the last one. I’m serious. Unless I start working on the next film, the last one will be a drag on me for another two or three years.”  — Hayo Miyazaki

This quote is completely robbed from a beautiful, beautiful picture essay by Victoria Ying On Sketchbooks, read it NOW.

Legendary animator who gave me life changing advice when I was a student continues to dish out the sermons when I find her on the Twitter many many years later.

Gove got the chop, which is mildly cheering, because he wantonly ground the education system into the ground. But you can still slap him for free, if you wish.

A stop motion trailer by Jim Batt for the supernatural thriller The String Diaries.

Been having a terrible time with the render farm and Maya, had the last PC die loudly in my face and decided to upgrade to Mavericks and Maya 2015, (with one of those new Mac Pro vase things supplied by my company). Anyways things are moving forward but still having a touch of trouble with hanging renders on the network. Getting a man to look at it, etc.

Friend and former colleague Jonathan Doe has, bold as brass, starting uploading his “sketches” to the twitter. Follow him.


Japanese childrens books that feature cut out shapes for the reader to cast as shadows to help tell the story:


Source here.

Fell in love with this when I heard it on the radio the other day:

Lord Josh Homme (above), made a lovley program for the First Time on 6Music, and perfectly so ended the show with this tune:

(I kind of occasionally co-curate a Rockabilly tumblr over there, btw).

Molly Broxton, everyone:


Finally(ish). Andy Serkis being generally awesome on a podcast with the Nerdist people. I think a lot of what he has said about Mocap and animation and acting has been taken out of context in the past (particularly by me), the man is an artist and a visionary and any talk, inspired by work he has done, of either animation, or actors not being needed in the future, is largely conducted by idiots. Anyways enjoy.

Okey doke. That’s it. Children begin the (not as long as I remember) school holidays today, hopefully it will bring bigs things for us all. In a good way obvs.

Perhaps you could see your way to doing this.



Posted in daybook | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

365 Day Sketch Project Update: Days 23 – 37

Well over a month in. Quite chuffed. I had a few medical incidents during the course of this (see below) so there are a few rushed, but done.

23/365. Update on 12/365. I might be doing this a lot. Is that against the rules? #therearenorules #Iamtherules. Pencil. Notebook: Ethel.

24/365. So yesterday my foot had a severe altercation with the front room door. A long and difficult story. Suffice to say it involved a rogue birthday balloon and some spectacular but involuntary aerial gymnastics. I don’t think there’s any breakages, but there is pain and I’m moving about with a rather swaggy limp. #parenthood Consequently keeping it up in the air like this to avoid unnecessary throbbing. Multi-coloured ball point. Notebook: Ethel.

25/365. Various lunch time folk on the green outside. Completely unawares I am misrepresenting them so wantonly and with such poor skill. Hahahahaaa. Stabilo point 88 and Staedtler triplus fineliner on cartridge. Notebook: Leonidas.

26/365. Went for a swanky lunch in a swanky joint. There were swanky sugarcubes in swanky hermetic glass terrines. #livingit #swank Straight to V-ball. Notebook: Leonidas

27/365. Youngest’s very well worn but always loyal teddy. Still rockin’ after all these years. Pencil. Notebook: Zebulon.

28/365. Mo’ footballers. #ARG v #BEL. Pencil. Notebook: Zebulon.

29/365. From Sunday. (Been busy) Pilot V5 Hi-techpoint. Notebook: Zebulon.

30/365. From Monday. Ye Olde Stove Kettle. Had some trouble with the base of it there. Terrible business. Pencil and fountain pen. Notebook: Zebulon.

31/365. Rufus. Drawn in haste because he won’t stop moving. Vball. Notebook: Ethel.

32/#365. #NED v #ARG Stabilo Point 88 & Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. Notebook: Zebulon.

33/365. Cloud studies. Pencil. Notebook: Leonidas.

34/#365. View down the back garden, with the blessed shed number one in the middle distance. Drawn a day or so ago whilst taking a break from working on the 13 metre trench that’s going to be taking electricity down to blessed shed number 2. That’s 27/365 at the top of the page there. Pencil and fountain pen. Notebook: Leonidas.

35/365. The space between the fire place and the TV. Drawn during #BRA v #NED because it was so BORING! Includes one of the birthday ballons that caused the incident documented in 24/365, yet still lives on to haunt me like a tiny round ghost. Multicoloured Stabilo point 88 and fountain pen. Notebook: Zebulon.

36/365. Early birds catching worms, flies and seeds. Two sparrows were out maneuvering each other to catch a big moth like thing. (Tried to draw that down the bottom there) Pencil. Notebook: Zebulon.

37/365. Shakey rendition of the air con unit down the local health centre (don’t worry about me, I’m fine) earlier today. Pencil. Notebook: Leonidas



Posted in art, macro | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Independent Immersive Cardboard

So I look at the date on the last post like this and just wade through my social media posts to put down anything of any particular note here, like a searchable back up, similar to what Scobletrousers talks about here.

The idea of an independent web is becoming increasingly vital I think, it takes effort, and does not come naturally to most. This blog is not currently self-hosted, but should be and I plan on making it so as soon as I can justify the cost. I chose WordPress for this because I get the impression it is portable as and when one is ready.

The recent controversy over the experiments Facebook was doing with peoples streams is a great example of why indieweb is so important. I have always found Facebook to be emotionally manipulative, like a bad Spielberg film.  It’s taken some time, self-confidence building and some shedding of giving a **** for me to start using it in a way that is useful and constructive, and I use it because so many people I know do and I would lose contact with them if I didn’t. This does sound bizarre when you write it down, but it’s as true for many other people as it is for me.

It was always a platform designed for young students to show off, that is what it is based on.

Here’s some Robert Breer.

It goes Areer, Breer, Creer, Dreer, Ereer, Freer, then me, Greer.

Mr Breer came to do a talk at my college when I was a student it’s not difficult to see the influence of his thinking on things like the Animated Journal.

It’s a beautiful summer (so far), we bought a new tent and spent a night in the garden. Adventures soon hopefully.

Garden Picture

I’m still loving Photo Blender.

Eli Wallach died. Remembering this as cinema.

My friend Hugh Cowling (awesome), who worked on the forthcoming Poets of the Sommes animations, told me about this beautiful little piece of stop frame.

I share a lot of stuff like this on my Tumblr, it is the form of social media internet I feel most comfortable with, most unselfconscious, if you like, I’ve been on there since early 2008, and I don’t think there’s been many days since I haven’t reblogged something.

This is taking a lot longer than I expected, I should do these more often so they’re not so rambly.

I previously mentioned my disappointment at the recent Godzilla 2014, so I recently caught up with Pacific Rim, which, although not exactly Citizen Kane, is great fun, it’s pitched perfectly, has a very valid message for the kids, is inclusive and has international characters working together. I found myself laughing and clapping my hands several times. That someone loves those kaiju and the rest of humanity so much, they would make such a film for the rest of us is heart warming.

Here is a quote from the director Guillermo Del Toro (culled from Wikipedia so it must be completely accurate) which illustrates just one simple reason why it’s a superior product to G14.

I don’t want people being crushed. I want the joy that I used to get seeing Godzilla toss a tank without having to think there are guys in the tank… What I think is you could do nothing but echo the moment you’re in. There is a global anxiety about how fragile the status quo is and the safety of citizens, but in my mind—honestly—this film is in another realm. There is no correlation to the real world. There is no fear of a copycat kaiju attack because a kaiju saw it on the news and said, ‘I’m going to destroy Seattle.’ In my case, I’m picking up a tradition. One that started right after World War II and was a coping mechanism, in a way, for Japan to heal the wounds of that war. And it’s integral for a kaiju to rampage in the city.

I think they got the go ahead to make some more, which is great news. Apparently this is unusual because it didn’t do so well in the States but did well elsewhere, and they don’t usually commission a sequel in such circumstances.

Had a go on this thing.


Was lucky to see some immersive theater last week. It was very intense, unlike anything I have experienced. Get into that if you’re wondering what to do with yourself, it’s actually ground breaking. Not sure there can be a lot of money in it though.

OK, I’ve spent twice as long on this as I was expecting. If you actually read this and liked it do something to let me know what you liked. If you didn’t like it, I don’t care, I’m going to keep doing it anyway.

Hit send.



Posted in daybook, macro | Tagged , , | Leave a comment