just another web log

17 Aug 2017:
blending procedural wood table tops
One of the things I wanted for my Blender science scene was wooden table. Normally this [sic]wood mean creating or finding a wood texture image of suitable quality, unwrapping the table object in Blender and then applying the image as a UV texture. But I wondered if you could create something wood-like using Nodes ...

Then I found this great video that showed how to create a very nice wood texture with nodes.
[url]https://www.youtube.com/results?q=blender+cycles+nodes+wood+texture[/url] (oops, cannot find the video)
The video is very quick and I used YouTube Speed settings to slow it down.

Based on that video here is my tutorial, for future me, for when I am looking how to create procedural wood textures in Blender

Start by scaling the default cube into a table top. Set the renderer to Cycles and add a material. In the Node editor Add/ Texture/ Noise Texture, you can tweak the values later.

blender procedural wood texture step 1 adding noise node

Now that fluffy rainbow cloud does not look very wood grain-y. Next Add/ Input/ Texture Coordinate and then Add/ Vector/ Mapping and set it to Point and link the Texture Coordinate Generated output to the Vector input of the Mapping node. I set the X scale to 7 but it depends which way around your table is and what overall scale it is. Feed this Vector output to the Noise Vector input.

blender procedural wood texture step 2 stretching the grain

And now we have a stretched rainbow. But not for long. Add/ Converter/ ColorRamp in between the Noise Texture and the Default BSDF, it should snap right into place. Spend sometime creating a number of hard edged white stripes in the ColorRamp.

This starts to create the grain definition and you can try adding more/less harder/softer variances in the ColorRamp for different effects.

blender procedural wood texture step 3 defining the grain

Add another ColorRamp by duplicating the first with SHIFT+D. Set all the black markers to a light brown and all the white markers to a darker brown. To get all the colours the same use the eye-dropper to select previously coloured markers.

Finally looking a bit woody.

blender procedural wood texture step 4 simple colours

But it is a bit flat. Add, swap and generally muck about with the ColorRamp to inject some variations, hot pink always works well :)

blender procedural wood texture step 5 living colours

and here is the one I am using for my scene, I deliberately wanted a hard, dark harsh surface.

blender procedural wood texture step 5 some alternative colours

Now to give it all some depth we Add/ Vector/ Bump attached to the Default BSDF Normal input and Add/ Converter/ ColorRamp connected to the Bump Height input and with the input from the first black and white ColorRamp

blender procedural wood texture step 6 adding depth

and although it is really going to break the page layout here is the complete Node workflow.

blender procedural wood texture complete Node workflow

Feel free to tweak the settings to get the type of wood texture you need!
15 Aug 2017:
it is not my in page kanban system
To help me get things done I like to create lists and tick things off as I go, to show progress is being made. This is brilliant and also allow me top break anything complicated or time consuming into near infinitely small, and manageable, chunks.

But the other day I need more that just a list, I needed a Kanban board. Last time I looked at getting something to do Kanban it was all trial-ware or physical post-it notes.

I thought about the problem and about how all the commercial solutions were much more complicated than I needed. What I wanted was web page that saved to Local Storage and let me add columns and add and remove cards.

I could write it, I have no doubt, but, I do not need to!

my-personal-kanban from https://github.com/greggigon

Simplicity itself. Download the archive, unzip to hard-drive, open page, set columns, start adding cards. That's it! It saves to local storage and if you really want to, you can create a cloud key and save it remotely as well.

Very impressed! Nice to see the world does work sometimes.
15 Aug 2017:
flogging last years dead horse
It's August and I have finally got around to doing the 2016 yearly review, do not knock it, sometime I go years without remembering to do the review.

The post on the 2015 yearly review talked about how I was amazed that I ever do anything and then I do the review and it's all "Wow! I did that?".
Well, I get the same feeling but also I cannot help notice how my concepts of time are vastly out of wack. It's not so much "Wow! I did that?" than "I did that last year?". The Cambridge Science Festival seems so long in my distant past, whereas the Blender coil scene feels like a few months ago.

Speaking of which, I really must try and complete that.

So there were 60 posts and missed months, which is unusual.

Caught me unawares that I did so much Raspberry Pi stuff last year and really cannot get over the amazing HTC Vive Raspberry Pi Model B VR challenge I created that was seen by the Queen's sister!

There are a number of posts that I re-read that give me a warm fuzzy feeling that I wrote something worth while and informative. Unfortunately, there are far too many rambling posts that I see where I was going from but are missing the "readability" bit.

Maybe I need a flog resolutions ...

You can read the archives of bygone years all the way back to 2002 on the archives page

I could start on the 2017 reviews now ... or maybe not ;)
09 Aug 2017:
slow news day
Where are the Raspberry Pi modelling updates ... ?
09 Aug 2017:
outlook profile settings haxor transfer
I had to setup a new Windows 10 machine for someone this week. It took 4hrs to install the updates, on a high speed ethernet connection. That was not the download time, no, it was all the rebooting and getting to 100% and the starting at 1% again.

Finally got it sorted and hit the next problem, they wanted Outlook (Office 365) migrated, including their eight email accounts, grrr.

Microsoft's official line is "You cannot transfer account settings only data files", but digging deeper there was a rumour. The rumour stated that Microsoft did not want to support people transferring settings as it was non-trivial. Finally I found that the key to transferring settings from one machine to another was to ensure it was with the same version of Outlook. Easy it was all Office 365.

You have to export and import a specific set of Registry keys, but that is just
run RegEdit
find keys
export keys to file
copy file
import keys from file

The keys you need are everything from


The slight problem I had was the old machine had the keys in


and the new install had created


A quick Search and Replace in the .reg file fixed that. And the crossing of fingers, still, Microsoft will never know!

Now the final (OK, second to last) piece of the puzzle. The process of exporting and importing your Outlook settings does not include your passwords. Annoyingly it does include the setting "Remember my password" so, Outlook then fails to ask you for your password because the nothing it has is deemed correct.

The passwords mush be somewhere on the system ...

Google Google bit more Googling and bit of luck and recognised the domain name http://www.nirsoft.net

Digging around a bit, there is a lot of great free tools on that site, and found this

It is incredibly simple. Download and run, no install necessary. Then select the defaults and let it run a for a minute or so. The result is every piece of encrypted data in your registry is decrypted and displayed!

Now, you might think L33t Hakorz, but, this utility simply uses the API Microsoft created for this job. The clever bit is it knows how to find the keys to decrypt, which is detailed on the site as a specific HEX signature. If you are logged in, I was, then it just gets the data.

There were 300 keys found, but, I recognised the passwords pretty quickly. The problem now was I had a list of eight passwords but did not know which accounts they linked to. The output does list the registry keys so I just went in to the registry found each one in turn, they had GUID type names, expanded each one and read the "Account Name" key!

The final, final steps was to copy the .PST files, and .OST for IMAP accounts and place them in exactly the same path as the old machine.

I do not think Outlook on the new machine had any idea it had been hoodwinked.
06 Aug 2017:
blender tripple blended for open amd
I had switched to the open source Radeon AMD graphics driver as AMD dropped fglrx/Catalyst support and had noticed no problems. But last time I upgraded and recompiled my kernel, Blender gave me weird graphics corruption.

The solution was very easy, but I hate to think how someone who had never had used Blender before would have reacted.

File->User Preferences->System

Set Window Draw Method to Triple Buffer.

From Gra at https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1674399#p1674399

The Blender developers seem to be aware but uninterested in fixing the issue, relying on the fact that "Triple Buffer" will become the default in Blender 2.8 releases
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