Friday, 4 May 2012

The joy of code

Sadly I am having way too much fun playing with this site and it's growing very rapidly. I've been working on it for 15 hrs straight!

Members now have stables, can add horses, veiw horses (with pictures) and upload pics! When you write it like that it doesn't sound like much but my cramping thumb from the not so ergonomical code that is PHP begs to differ.

Every page is made up of around 7 pages (not including the links). Every menu is an 'included' page, which while sounds impressive, makes updating everything that much easier. As instead of going back to edit the different pages I can edit one included page and it updates to the whole site! How cool is that!

Playing with varibles is still a bit beyond me, but things are just working even when I didn't think they would. Which is fantastic. I think I must be understanding stuff in my sub-concious, cause I am still scratching my head over some things. If thats even possible?

I'm continously having to stop myself from adding on the fluffy extras now and focus on getting the back bone of the site created first. Although when I get tired I find myself messing with the table layouts and the layout of the code. I have found it nesscary (I can't spell) to make comments next to my if close tags, as to make the site as idiot proof as possible I have been including lots of if and else varibles and all those curly brackets can get confusing. So by adding comments when I need to add another if over the top of the first 20 ifs I can work out where to put that blasted curly bracket so it doesn't pop up an extra error for me to figure out.

I know this means nothing to anyone but me, so how about I add some photos.

Am I the only one who finds it curious that I don't actually participate in photo showing? (Thanks liwi and D'Arry for photos which I just ripped out of a random file for test purposes)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Feeling Ambitious

Things have been very busy on the ND Designs work bench. Model horses have taken a back seat to other creations, whilst still model horse related it's not tangible and shall never be entered into a show ring.

I have been working on something called EMSC, for those who aren't mind readers it's the "Equine Model Showing Central", my first really big project. The idea of this site when I noticed the lack of places for people to host their online photo shows. I don't believe this is a dead art form, but rather one which has been looking for a place to call home. I often see photo shows held on photobucket or webshots, with sucess but the upload and way of doing things appears "clunky" at best and time consuming. In a hope to slime-line this, I started thinking about ways I could improve this (and my coding skills) the result is EMSC.

So what is it? I am hoping to create a central database where clubs, showers and hosts can unite and host all their photos, enter multiple shows over multiple clubs and store all their model horse photos. Entering online photoshows will be easier, as rather then having to upload all photos and information to a new location everytime you try to enter, you can just enter the photo with a click of the button, no waiting for passwords or money to clear it will all be handled by one unified system. People who run clubs can host their own shows, which can be open to the entire group or closed to members of their club. PM's, points systems, leader boards and heaps more. Horses will be able to have multiple photos and the points of the horse will be tallied. Design your own classlists, anyone can create their own classlists, assign a judge(for clubs) or judge it yourself. Presidents can confirm that people are part of their club and members can be part of multiple clubs. Well... eventually.

Before we run the marathon, first I must learn to walk. Today, I took some babysteps in a forward motion with the creation of a login, activation script, log out and register. This is a huge step forward for me, as I have learnt about session ids and how logins work, storing varibles and calling them. I'm really pleased with the foundation I have created and think it will be adequate to carry the site forward whichever direction it goes. It's been great fun (if your a nerd like me) but now the a's and s's are starting to look alike and I keep miss-typing and forgetting all important underscores which is do or die in coding.

However, now we have a login, we can start looking toward the more interesting things like creating user pages and uploads so the site can have purpose, at the moment it's a bit of a road to nowhere. Luckily there isn't any sort of "login limit" as I would have surely broken it with all the testing I do as I go along, to make sure the theory (and spelling) matches the practice. After 22 test accounts, 15 acctivation emails and 27 logins. I declare the login working!

And what's a blog post without sneak-peak photos?

Yeah, it still has a way to go...

Watch this space!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Off with his head!

I wanted to call this blog "Yet Another Customising Blog" but that just didn't seem right, because, well... I'm not really a customiser. I'm more of a got to try making anything once kind of person. Mostly under the assumption of, I want one of these, so I shall make/create/do it. It's how I got into web design when I was 13 and why I now want to try my hand at the customisation of model horses. I've also built jumps and made a half a bridle. The tack thing didn't last. I'm too impaitent and get finger cramps when playing with inny-weeny-wittle buckles. Plus I have friends who are way more skilled at these things and make all my tack dreams come alive... Danielle (Daley Park) and Cristina (CK Tiny Tack).

Today, under the inspiration and help of Karen Grigson (Bluebird Studios), instructions from Lauren Skilen's Blog (Don't eat the Paint) and the help of my Dremel! I set out to deform, I mean customise, an Idocus.

Being a self confessed Performance Junkie if I'm going to mangle modify a horse, I would like it to be something useful. My first project was going to be something easy, so I got a couple of bodies so I could have a range of choices. Well, I got it in my head that I wanted a halted horses. The easy thing went out the window and Idocus became my main focus. I'm never one to take the easy road. So I went through my photo acrvhies of horses I took photographs at show. (I use to do photography too.) And settled on this pony.

Okay so not so much pony as great big, lovely warmblood. I was attracted to this fella because he's really cute. He's nice and square, which is what I wanted from my model and I like his big type. I would consider him to be quite correct in his pose. He has a lovely length of rein, is nice and relaxed but still could be responsive enough to step off at any moment. It's just a nice picture.

Meet Idocus. I marked him up with black texter as to where I was going to cut him. It was a good guideline, but once I started dremelling I noticed that my lines weren't adequate enough to achieve the movement I wanted. So I cut, and then I cut some more. To cut the pony, I used my dremel with the ezy lock cutting attatchement with the plastic cutter thing.

Advice: Dremeling is messy! Little bits of plastic goes everywhere. Wear safety glasses! I used my old Oakley sunnies which did the trick, but little shards of plastic did fly everywhere including my eyes when I forgot to put them on. Be warned. Also dremels look really cool and not as big and scary as some tools, but they really are, so be careful!

I removed his ears first, and sanded off his forelock with dremel also, and his balls. I basically removed his leg, leaving it only attatched through the hip, cutting where a horse would move through so I could move it into square position and his neck. Then I got the heat gun and heated and moved. Some of the areas aren't pretty, they are a bit warpped and I bubbled the paint a touch (oops) and on  the other side the plastic has buckled in where I pushed it together to get him to stand how I want. I wanted to keep the intergity and form of the model, but with this much modification that all went to heck. Good thing he's going to have a nice big round bum so I can cover over all my mishaps with sculpty.

 Another thing they don't tell you is that the pastic is heated and gets quite hot. Obvious I know, but not something you think about until you have to move it and touch it. So becareful when you touch it that you haven't over heated it so much you can't touch it.

The end result was this. He's square and decapitated. I'm quite happy with it. He does have a conformtion flaw in that one hock is lower then the other, but for the life of me I just couldn't move it any more. His feet are in need of the farrier and then I think he will stand a touch better. All four feet on the ground and all that. It's my first one, so yay for me. I didn't melt it completely and I still have 10 fingers.

Okay, now he needs a neck. Under the guidence of Laurens awesome blog, I set to work on creating a armature with a bit of wire, super glue and bi-carb. Oh and masking tape. I used Seally's (or something) Liquid glue, it's expensive and didn't go very far. I couldn't find anything in a bigger bottle. I won't be using it again, it was excellent, but definetly need something bigger. I super glued and bi-carbed the armature wire to the inside of his body. The reaction of the bi-carb and the glue makes it hot, so be careful, it will stick to your fingers and get hot too.

I then created the neck I wanted, masking taped with Scotch blue edge tape. It was suppose to be stick to any surface stuff, but it wasn't very sticky and I don't like it but did the job all the same this time.

Ta-da. One pony. I really like that with the soft wire you can still fiddle with the neck even with the tape on. So I have been until I am happy with how it is sitting. Bt you have to be careful not to bump it at the same time.

The next adventure is to see if I can built it up as well as I can cut it. Should be interesting! I've chosen to use Amazing Scuplt rather then the Apoxie stuff everyone goes with, for a few reasons. But we shall see how it all goes and I'll report back when it arrives.