Thursday, 29 July 2010

How to get mental ray back when it disappears from Maya's render options

Alternate post title: DAMN IT MENTAL RAY!!!!

Mental ray dropped out of Maya again, this post is to remind me how to get the little blighter back in line, it might be helpful for other people too.

  Window > Setting/Preferences > Plug-in Manager

Tick loaded and auto load next to Mayatomr.mll

Now sodding stay there!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Project Done!

Here is the light box all finished and stuff. Well finished enough at least, it still needs a bit of tinkering but I'm leaving alone for a while. now I have to find places for all the other stuff it has displaced in my room.

Also here's a little guy made from wire!

There is a mobile phone somewhere on my street driving my speakers crazy.

Monday, 12 July 2010

CASEee Mod

A few months ago I bought an Asus Eee 1005p netbook. I did this because I found that since building my desktop computer I was using my ageing laptop less and less at home, and it was too big and the battery life too short, for me to carry around everywhere else.

When I unboxed it my first thought was 'wow, every time I touch this its going to get covered in fingerprints.' It comes with a REALLY shiney black finish with tiny metallic blue specks in it, which looks extremely smart until you start putting your hands on it.

Since I've had some spare time on my hands, I did some research on pc modification forums and found a guide on how to strip it down.

After several days of umming and ahhing I carefully took the thing apart and removed all the shiney plastic panels. I cleaned the surfaces with a cloth and window cleaner, masked off a few sections and set to work.
For a base coat I used about 5 thin layers of white Hycote spray paint, the main design was done with acrylic artists paints and a Sharpie pen, and I finished it all off with a few layers of Hycote gloss lacquer.

the lacquer is acrylic based and designed for use on car paint, it dries to the touch after about half an hour and if you leave it for a day or two it sets rock hard.

Here are my results!
Back of the lid

Palm Rest

Detail of the light symbols

Seriously, not my fault if you break something!

Building Stuff

I'm making a light box! They're pretty expensive to buy, but I reckon I can make one like the box on that page for a lot less. I've spent about £36 on materials (I had to order an acrylic sheet and some flourescent lights, which are on their way here) but the rest of my materials are scavenged. 

My dad is helping me build this since he's got all the tools and engineery know-how, that's him in the picture on the left. (I did some work too, but I can't use power tools and a camera phone at the same time, so you'll have to trust me on this.)

After cutting the plywood to the right size with a hand held circular saw, we had to make a circular cutting jig for the router. Dust everywhere, good thing we did it in the garden.

After making a recess for the disc to sit in we used a jigsaw to follow the inside edge of the previous cut to leave an almost circular hole.

Here it is. It took a bit of trial and error to get the disc to fit in the hole and rotate freely, we sanded the edge of the acrylic untill it fit just right, although it wasn't far off, considering we took turns hacking it out of a 500x500mm sheet of 5mm acrylic with a coping saw.

The disc was a bit stiff turning on the bare plywood, so I glued some strips of an old T-shirt to the lip it runs on.

Here's the disc in the board with the finger holes drilled to help rotate it, there's not a lot more we can do right now because the lights haven't arrived yet and we need them to see how deep the base needs to be.

That's everything to do with this project so far, I left out the parts where stuff went wrong so it looks more professional like, more later! 

PRO TIP: Keep your cuttings! If you try this yourself you'll want them to test tools on and make sure the acrylic doesn't just melt with high speed tools. I threw mine away, but luckily everything turned out fine.


Friday, 9 July 2010

New Blog,

The title of this blog is something my parents say to me often, I named it to remind me to get on with my work. :D

These are some old things I made, I'm putting them here because I think they're interesting and I'm still fiddling around with the layout of my blog, so I want to see what it looks like with a few words and pictures in it.

This is a model street made from paper and string, painted with watercolours. the houses on the right are about a centimetre in length each, to give you an idea of scale.

I don't think I'll do anything more with this right now, it depends if I can think up a project for it to fit into.

This is something I made a couple of years ago, in my first year of sixth form for a DT project I think. 
Ergh, market research.... I did like making things though.

Also, here's a Lego truck I made, I found a photograph of it on my phone, I hadn't finished it, and only made the front end, but from this angle it could be finished!

I haven't done any drawing in about 3 weeks, I really need to stop procrastinating and do a few sketches... maybe later, eh?