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The Waterstrider and the Watchmaker


careldewinter writes:

This I think may be my final contribution to the story of the Swiss navy, at least for a while , as it seems I may be finally getting back to work. In this short movie, Manfred Von Richthofen, whilst on leave from the Swiss Fleet air arm, takes part in a speed trial, using his personal speedboat.
The boat was a challenge, most particularly the wake. This was created by using 3 particle systems, one for the bow wave, and one for each of the paddle wheels. The particle system is set to object, and consists of a bunch of white dots spattered onto a plane set to alpha hashed in the materials tab. In solid view it looks like this.


(I assure you there is a boat in there somewhere). The water was done using the dynamic paint function, both for the displacement, but also for the foam, in which I used a wetmap as an animated stencil. The foam itself was created using an animated noise texture, set to both colour and also height, using a bump node. It took a fair bit of experimentation, but I am pretty happy with the result. The ships came from the reconnaissance to reichenbach competition entry from 2015, but the have had a bit of a makeover for eevee and may feature in a future movie. This was built in blender 2.82, but rendered in 2.9 alpha, with the new object based motion blur (yipeee!!!).

The program did crash a few times, but the results are great. In fact the sequence where the boat does a slalom under the Schloss Unterhofen bridge was originally much too fast, so I slowed it down to 12fps, originally I was going to rerender it, but the motion Blur carried it off so well, giving it a great dynamic grainy quality, that I decided to leave it as it was.

Finally a few words about the music, This is the second half of the title track of “The Mad Monk and The Mountain”, an album that I I realise much to my horror, I recorder 10 years ago, and on reflection made me think I should go back to playing the guitar a bit more.

About the Author

Colin Masson

Born late 1958 of Anglo german parents, I spent my early years in a small town north of Hamburg, then in various army camps before moving to Great Britain in 1968. My first sign of an interest in music was at the age of 3, showing enthusiasm (and dancing along to) Telstar by Joe Meek. I admit to no memory of this, rather my mother told me about it. My parents were avid jazz fans, and at the age of 11 I was presented with a trombone, which almost put me off music completely. My enthusiasm was rekindled when a kindly neighbour gave me an old acoustic guitar. By then in my mid teens, I bought a second hand record player from a friend. The first record I bought was “Collected Organ Works Volume 1 by J.S. Bach, shortly followed by Midnight Mushrooms by Gryphon, and Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield. Then, when I started at winchester school of art, I spent my travel grant on my first electric guitar, and then hitchhiked to college for the rest of the year. Whilst at art school I played in a punk band called the BA (The original guitarist had to drop out because he shredded his fingers in his enthusiasm), however I was thrown out because I knew too many chords, and wore a woolly hat. Subsequent bands had names such as Scavenger, the Gestalt, Big Amongst Sheep, and Elidor. They all had one thing in common, they rehearsed a lot and never played any gigs. None lasted for more than a few months. The next band, The Morrigan was a different kettle of fish however. In its 25 year history it played a lot of gigs, including 2 stints at Glastonbury in the 90’s, and released five well received albums. In the end the band did not break up, rather it retired, and might yet crawl out of the woodwork. I released my first solo album in 2001, ” Isle of Eight,” followed by “The Mad Monk and the Mountain,” “The Southern Cross,” and now “The Anvil of the North.” When not musicing I can be seen pushing a lawn mower up and down at a local school. In the last 10 years I have become interested in computer animation and games, including games music, and have been using what I have learned, to make my own music videos

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