Ace McCool

Canadian Aviation historians might have run across this fictional character a few years back…

Still a work in progress – ‘Ace’ is still in rough layout form…

JJ’s Woodart – Downtown Loggerman

JJ’s Woodart, a local Terrace wood carver, created a life-sized logger from a 100+ year old tree on Terrace’s main street.  I went to take a picture of it and ended up taking a dozen or so to try to make a digital model using “photogrammetry”.  I think it’s my best “digital scan” yet out of the couple of times I’ve tried that method…

To see more of JJ’s work, check out his web page at or his Facebook page at

Here’s the local newspaper article about it, from October 17 edition:

Bird Flyby

Since I created a version of the “little yellow bird” with wings, I created a short wing-flapping animation and sent the model on a trip around a “curve” (just a quick way of making an animated model follow a pre-set route) to see what it looked like…  The background is an “HDRI” from Blender Cloud (an HDRI can be used as a 360 degree background which also can supply lighting).

More Birds… and Goodbye Windows!!!

First, I made some more birds.  Another good start…

It’s actually the same bird, but I rigged one without the wings.

Secondly, I finally have had enough and Windows 10 is gone on my “creative” machines.  Since I’d already banished it from most of my daily drivers, it’s only running on a couple of computers here now (the tower that serves as my “VCR” (W10) and the webcam download computer (W7)).  I also have it on the small computer at Dad’s (W10) that handles the Terrace webcam.  Otherwise, I’m more than happy with Linux (Mint 19.2 Cinnamon) and the bonus is that it’s about 50% quicker doing pretty much anything.  That’s a pretty major speed increase for very little money (actually free – although I did the last two installs on a couple of used SSDs that I just bought from a friend).

No looking back now…  Everything works again (even the stuff that Windows broke in the last couple of updates).

Oh, I did one other model on Wednesday to initially test the installation but I don’t think you’ll see it here.  You see, I build and rigged a clock and it actually runs for an hour (from 12 to 1) in an hour.  At 24 fps, that’s 86,400 frames and a little big for this site.  Maybe a useless Youtube video?

I heard an owl call my name…

Working on an owl.  I’m actually surprised the rigging/feathers worked so well…   Still on the drawing board but it’s getting there.  It looks like this guy just caught a mouse for breakfast!

Grab Bag

Even when nothing shows up here for weeks on end, I’m usually busy in Blender trying to get better at it.

First I thought it wise to build a fire….

Actually, I’m just getting back up to speed with Blender 2.80, just released at the end of July….  Re-learned a few things about fire simulations during this run.

Animation practice is always on the agenda.  My walk segments are still a bit funky but they’re getting a bit better with time…

Then I got the modeling urge – the Northern Pike from my time in the North was the first up:

and then yesterday it was a squirrel – I started with a base model made of a few “metaballs” then sculpted the shape and some detail (feet and claws, etc.).  I then applied a decimate modifier to get the poly count down a bit.  I then experimented with the hair (4 or 5 separate particle systems for this one) and a hand-painted texture map to get the colours into it.  I then put a basic quadraped rig on it, quickly to be upgraded to a “Rigify” armature for animation.   This probably took 5 or 6 hours from start to where it’s at here but it was good practice to get back into a model with hair (still coming to terms with hair particle systems in Blender 2.80).

There’s always something to do in Blender, even if it’s just a glorified “video doodle”…