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Category Archives: Animation

Stream of consciousness Sunday (1)…

You’ll never guess what; I’ve got a couple of days off work this coming week, so I’m merrily procrastinating today and I shall provide you with your next fix of The Accumulator tomorrow, in a SoCM post. 

But Linda G Hill left us a prompt, so it’s only fair I should put it to some use;

” “mem.” Choose a word or words with the letters “mem” in that order and run with it. ” 
Well, today I have been writing the cover blurb for my upcoming novel; a lot more difficult than I thought to keep it concise, I had to remember I wasn’t writing a story.

I also went to see tributes being paid to our fallen servicemen and women in the Remembrance Sunday parade at the local war memorial, where I captured some images to use for tomorrow’s Cosmic Photo Challenge

…followed by a pre-lunch stroll (or scoot) with the family in the unexpectedly pleasant autumn sunshine…

…and finally, I helped Audrey put the finishing touches to the project she’s been slowly working on since my niece gave her an art kit for her birthday; a papier mache dragon that is now decorated with a layer of appliqué paper, with a top coat of clear glitter paint:

All in all, a very fine way to spend a November Sunday.

I’ll see you tomorrow for part two of this omnibus edition of SoCS, enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll leave you with Pink Floyd and their tribute to the fallen:

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 

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Reaping the wild wind…

The majesty of the Devon countryside, juxtaposed with the imposing, sculptural forms of wind turbine technology make for some great photo opportunities.
Enjoy the spectacle, as posted on Photo Sans Frontiers, my photographic blog.

Images From An Internet Nobody

Yesterday morning I took a drive up to the hills above Barnstaple, which give views of both the River Taw valley below and Fullabrook Down wind farm at the top.

I went up there initially to capture some black and white landscape shots for today’s edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge on Diary of an Internet Nobody, but the views were so spectacular that I stayed to do some experimenting with long exposures of the turbines.

On the way back down the hill, I stopped to grab a few shots of the wooded river valley, lit by the low autumn sun…

…and because it was bonfire night on Saturday, here’s a sparkler sculpture and a strange sparkly gif of Audrey for you.

Oh, by the way, that post title..? That’s just a reason to include this ’80s classic.

Enjoy.

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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge…

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend and that K’lee’s prompt of Black and white landscapes gave you plenty of inspiration for today’s edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

Fortunately it was a beautiful day yesterday, so I ventured out onto the windy hillsides above the Taw valley, up to the Fullabrook Down wind farm, where the majestic structures of the wind turbines add an extra presence to the landscape.

I got some fine shots of the low morning sun, shining across the wooded valley and I mucked about with some long exposure shots of the turbine blades in motion (more of which can be seen over at Photo Sans Frontiers) giving them a dandelion-like appearance:

And just because I can, another gif:

Now it’s time for you to show us what you’ve come up with.

You can see K’lee’s photo HERE.

*****
To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.
Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.
#CosPhoChal

 
9 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Photography

 

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Stream of consciousness Sunday: It’s been a long week…

This week I’m wimping out on SoCS, (although even that ended up being a lie, once I began mucking about) mainly because it really has been a long slog this week and I only get one day, Sunday, when neither Rhonda or I are working. But Linda G Hill left a prompt I couldn’t pass up;

” “novel.” Use it any way you’d like. ” 

Oh, alright then…

Lazy weekend.

It was a gorgeous morning, so I couldn’t resist going out into the Devon countryside to take some photos to use in Monday’s Black and white landscape edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

Here are a few colour shots from my journey, to pique your interest for tomorrow.

Here’s a gif of the view from the hills overlooking the River Taw valley, where I took these photos. (Please excuse the shaky camerawork, that was me tripping over a tree root) 

It was also bonfire night this weekend and for those of you who aren’t aware of what that means for us in the UK, let me quote from a post I wrote a few years ago, (yeah, I know, not in the least bit stream of consciousness, but it did just occur to me, so I’m going to allow myself to use it, ok?) so, should you be interested;

It is the dawn of the 17th century.

In continental Europe, the Eighty Years War rages.

In the old low countries that would become the Netherlands, the Catholic Spanish are fighting the Protestant Dutch, aided by mercenaries and zealots from far and wide, including a man known variously as John Johnson, Guido Foukes, and Guy Fawkes.

During his time on the campaign Fawkes met Thomas Wintour, a fellow anti-royalist who introduced him to Robert Catesby, the man who would lead the conspiracy that would become known as The Gunpowder Plot.

*****

Rewind a further 700 years.

The dingy recesses of a kitchen in 10th century China:

A cook is making a spicy curing mix for half of the pig his master has acquired for winter storage.

In the gloom he reaches for black peppercorns to add to the saltpetre he has already got in his grinder, little knowing that what he has in fact added is ground charcoal, used to prime the ovens.

Not only that, he also erroneously adds sulphur in the place of yellow turmeric.
After starting to rub the mixture into the pork, he realises his mistake too late and has to dispose of the spoiled meat, already fearful of the punishment to come.
However, when he throws the carcass on the fire, thinking to tell his master a tale of a cooking accident, he notices the coating he had applied burning with strangely coloured flames and giving off loud cracking and popping noises.

Knowing a good escape route when he saw it, he hurried to his master and told him of this mysterious discovery.

Experiments followed, packing the sulphurous black powder into hollow bamboo shoots and igniting it, the destruction achieved seemingly disproportionate to the tiny volume of mixture used.
The rest is history.

Or possibly gastronomy.

*****

Fast forward to England in 1605.

By now Catesby had persuaded Fawkes and eleven other co- conspirators to take part in his audacious plan to assassinate King James I.

He had gained access to the undercroft of the House of Lords, where he and his cohorts stashed some two and a half thousand kilogrammes of gunpowder. Enough, by recent calculations, to cause total devastation to anything within a 500 metre radius of the blast.
Of course the plot was foiled at the last, the King’s men tipped off by an anonymous letter. But it is often forgotten, in our haste to cast a good anti-hero in our folk legends, that John/Guy/Guido only played a minor part in proceedings, merely guarding the cache of explosives and therfore being the only one caught red-handed.


He gave the rest of them up under what would nowadays probably be called “enhanced interrogation”, but cheated the full weight of justice – he was to have been hanged, drawn and quartered – by jumping from the scaffold and breaking his neck before sentence could be carried out.

*****

Now, back in the present day.

We still celebrate the burning to death of a man who actually took his own life under the very noses of his executioners.

And thanks to Henry VII choosing the new fangled fireworks (oh, if that long-dead Chinese chef knew what he’d started) as the climax to his wedding festivities in 1486, immediately making them de rigueur with the celebrating upper classes and soon with anyone else who could mix the easily-accessible ingredients, we now fire all manner of alarmingly powerful ordinance into the night sky, never knowing quite where it will land.

Well we have a tiny back garden, which is overhung by a large oak tree, so we were never going to have an aerial spectacular, but Audrey and I still had a mini display of our own, with a combo firework and some sparklers.

Here are some pictures and another bizarre little gif.

And as for Linda’s prompt, well; in case you missed it, I have a novel coming out soon and if you click the lovely bespoke artwork below, you can find out more.

There, that wasn’t too blatant, was it?

For more photographic loveliness, tune in here tomorrow for the Cosmic Photo Challenge and over on Photo Sans Frontiers for more on my trip up to the wind turbines.

The Accumulator returns next week, honest.
**********

#SoCS

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 

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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge…

Hello and welcome to another Monday and the latest edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, which I have dictated the theme for this week.

I asked you to go Into the light, break the rules of conventional wisdom and shoot your photos directly towards a light source; let us see some creative (lens)flair and bright ideas.

I have compiled half a dozen shining examples of excessive brilliance, as well as creating a piece of video artwork (using just my phone, a kaleidoscope and a small flashlight) for one of my recent musical experiments, Inner Sphear.

Enjoy…

Update: Here’s an old layering experiment I just found, merging Rhonda with the first of today’s photos…

…and I little gif I made today, using two glitter lamps.


K’lee’s photo for the day can be seen HERE.

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.
Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 5, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Photography, Video

 

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Video

Travelling in time(lapse)…

One of the main reasons that I keep getting behind with posting stuff, is that I’m continually sidetracking myself with things which seem more interesting than whatever I’m doing at any given moment.

Yesterday, I thought that I’d better write some more in the collaborative space opera that is Starship Gypsies, as I have been very lax recently in keeping up with the story. But, despite my best intentions and having made good progress on a new new episode, my magpie mind soon drifted upwards, to the clouds above my head (serves me right for sitting out in the sunshine, I suppose) and to thoughts of trying out the timelapse feature on my camera.

So I stopped writing (I’ll get back to it this afternoon, honest I will) and set up my impromptu studio on the patio to do an experiment.

While I cooked Audrey and I some dinner, my trusty smartphone camera patiently clicked away in the garden, recording the passage of big fluffy clouds and gently waving trees. Then, full of spaghetti, meatballs and after dinner coffee, I began to apply the all-important “mucking about” element to the collected images.

I decided to add one of my swirly musical compositions to the resulting visual creation, after having run the original thirty second clip of the sky above our garden through several different editing treatments and ending up with the following, rather hypnotic, multi-media presentation.

So please sit back, relax and enjoy this little video for Speedwell

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Photography, Video

 

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#atozchallenge: L is for Lion…

#atozchallenge: L is for Lion…

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Audrey is following what letter I have reached on the A-Z challenge and, since she likes doing guest spots on the blog occasionally, today I thought I’d feature another of her many craft projects.

A few weeks ago, when our regular sitter was unavailable, (Rhonda sometimes has to start work early, before I get home in the evening) Meg, our next door neighbour looked after Audrey for an hour or so, during which time she made a clay model of a lion.

So, this evening we decided to make a little gif of her creation getting his first coat of paint.
No doubt I shall manage to shoehorn a photo of the finished article into a post at a later date.

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#atozchallenge

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Animation

 

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A – Z challenge: A is for…

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Today is the first day of the A – Z blogging challenge, which has all sorts of complicated stuff attached to it, but boils down to; post something every day in April, (except Sundays) with each post themed around a letter of the alphabet.

Initially, I decided to go for A is for Alternative, but then I changed it to something else…

…which was A is for Apathy, but I couldn’t be bothered to write about that.

A is for April just seemed foolish.

I thought maybe A is for Architecture would give me something to build on…

…then I got sidetracked by A is for Absence and…No, it’s gone.

A is for Agnostic seemed like a good idea, but I’m not sure I believed in it.

I can’t put my finger on why, but A is for Abstract doesn’t appeal to me.

I could have used A is for Artificial, but that might seem a bit contrived.

I disregarded A is for Auxiliary, because I didn’t want to make extra work for myself.

A is for Aggravation sounds like far too much trouble.

I had a real dislike of using A is for Antipathy.

And I wasn’t sure I liked the look of A is for Appearance either.

Going with A is for Average struck me as rather mean.

You really would have needed to egg me on to use A is for Albumen.

I could have just picked something at random, like, um,…A is for Arbitrary.

But I eventually settled for this:

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#atozchallenge

 

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Free the music…

In the last couple of months, I’ve been drawn back to my electronic music making gadgets; first producing a tune to celebrate Just Jot It January, then remixing it, which got me inspired to experiment with loops, sequencers and drum machines again.
I’ve made two new tracks since then, one of which I made a very basic video for, (since SoundCloud stopped their mobile upload service) just so I could get it online via YouTube.

After that, I decided to check out what other free music upload platforms were available, because I’m not planning on making any money from doing it, it’s just something that entertains me, like this blog, and I don’t see why I should pay to post music I’m not selling.

By happy coincidence, I was idly scrolling through my Tumblr feed and came upon a post from Delorme, a Canadian musician with a very tasty line in retro synthscapes and an extremely helpful and friendly chap too.
He recommended that I try ReverbNation or Bandcamp and having done a comparison, I chose the latter.

Before I go any further, I should plug the man who advised me so astutely to pick my new musical home, the wonderfully talented Delorme.
Here’s his website – Check it out.

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Here is a link to his Bandcamp page where you’ll find his fabulous new album, The Greatest Cape, check it out and buy a copy if you like it (I already purchased my copy and it really is excellent).

Ok, let’s get to my own sonic output.
I’ve been making strange electronic sounds, the most recent of which very nearly qualify as actual music, for about three years and, although I’m no more musical than I was when I started, I have got the hang of manipulating technology and, by extension, sound.
The fact that I’ve been listening to, and obsessed with, music for my whole life probably helps too, I suppose.

Each of my improvised audio snippets has been uploaded to my free SoundCloud account in the past, where they sit, lonely and unlistened-to, except by faithful guinea pigs like Ho and occasional blog readers who stray onto my Sound and Vision page.

So now there is somewhere that you can listen to the more melodic of my offerings and, if you so wish, download them, for free.
I have uploaded 10 of my personal favourites (including Phasar, a new and unheard tune) to my shiny new Bandcamp page, which you can access BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
Go on, pop over and have a listen, ogle the slick layout and sumptuous artwork, (some of which you may recognise) or better still, give yourself a little present, compliments of the original artist, yours truly, by downloading your favourite track, free, gratis and at no charge.
And remember, each track is a completely unique one-off, composed, played and recorded in one take, with no post-production or edits.

But before you go, I’d like to present a new video I made for one of the tracks available at the link above, Glacial Daze.
I made it using the same gadgets I used to make the last one, but I spent more time synchronizing my limited library of effects to the music and made the background image more interesting by doing a colour changing, stop-motion animation of this composite image I made ages ago…

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…which in turn started life as this photo…

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…taken at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens and has since been used to make weird posters like this…

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…and has even featured on the virtual cover art for my as-yet-unfinished sci-fi masterpiece, Deus Ex Machina.

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I then layered the effects over it, added the all-important soundtrack and…voilà!

 

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Slave to the rhythm…

Over the weekend, in burst of audio-visual creativity, I made another strange gif and produced (composed, played, mixed and recorded) an all new sonic experiment.

Here’s the gif…

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…and then there’s the musical thing; “Klack”.

As I wanted to share my latest masterpiece with you, my lovely readers (and hopefully, listeners), I uploaded it to SoundCloud, as I have done with every other weird collection of bleeps, beats, bongos and boinging noises that I’ve made over the years.

At least I tried to.

It seems that SoundCloud have disabled the music upload feature in the mobile version of their site and now offer the option of “record” only, using your device’s microphone, not by direct upload link.
Which is no bloody good if you’ve spent three hours carefully programming drum loops and experimenting with reverb, delay and bit-crusher settings on a separate app and want to send it as an mp3 file.

So as usual, I set about finding a way round the obstacle, because that’s my speciality and I consider it a personal challenge to my ingenuity.

The obvious alternative was YouTube; after all, I’ve made animated clips to go with my bizarre compositions on many occasions and then I simply embed the videos in a blog post.

But at the time (this was late on Saturday night) I didn’t fancy spending ages doing a stop-motion film, just so I could upload a new tune.
Then I had a flash of inspiration; why not upload a static image to YouTube instead, like you see all the time when an album cover or something is displayed, while music plays on the soundtrack.

So I set up my phone camera in front of an old photo I’d previously mucked about with, (displayed on my tablet) and just recorded ten minutes of that.
When I’d got my motionless video, I simply dubbed my track over it and…

…Ah.

The soundtrack appeared to consist solely of the noise that an ’80s computer made as you loaded a game from a cassette player;

SSSSKKKKKKRRRRREEEEEEEEE KKKKRRRRRKKKKKKEEEEEEE!

Oh bollocks, that wasn’t what I recorded.
So much for my brilliant idea.

I don’t know if it was some sort of feedback from the tablet screen through the camera or what, but I had two more attempts with similar results and realised I was going to have to think of something else.

Maybe it was my old video editing software.
Aha! An excuse for a new gadget.
Excellent.

After two new apps, (and an abortive try at videoing gifs) one to remove the audio from the original video and the other one to…well, you’ll see in a moment, I managed to stick the component parts together and upload the result to YouTube.

Now, the extra bits in the video; they are only there to make it more interesting than watching a still photo for ten minutes, they are not in any way meant to be synchronised with the music, but having done this rather rushed version, I may well practice with my new toy and present further projects for your perusal at a later date.

After all that, you’ll probably either love it or hate it, my musical taste is somewhat acquired at the best of times, let alone when I’m actually making it myself, so a ten minute electronic percussion frenzy might not be for everyone.

Give it a listen anyway, I bet it’ll get your foot tapping by half way through.

Here’s Klack, music and video by yours truly.

It builds slowly…

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

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