Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tripod Master

After a long trip I finally settled back to Tampere for my final year in TAMK. This year I should do my final thesis and to be honest there isn't much anything else. At the moment, I still have school 4 times before Christmas, about every second Monday! I hope I'll get creative... At least it started well when I saw a ball of green yarn laying around in my parents' place. I decided to try some crocheting, a craft which I've always slightly loathed since it makes my fingers hurt. Anyway, after about a day of crocheting I finished this adorable little Tripod Master. (Here is a pic of the original if you are not familiar with it.) It turned out much better than I thought, considering it is also my first finished crocheted thing ever. :) Hail to the Masters.

Crocheted Tripod Master

Friday, August 31, 2012


My internship ended officially today and next week I'll head back to Finland for one more year of my studies. It feels weird to think going back home, after year and a half in Germany this has become pretty much my second home. (Well, maybe third, after NZ.) I'm not terribly looking forward to it, but there are some good things in it, too. Like all of my handicraft utilities. :)

I enjoyed my time in Erfurt a lot. The work was meaningful and I was happy with the results. I got my water cycle ebook ready, when I have time I might put it here. It was 17 pages in the end, so no wonder I was busy the whole summer. Here is an excerpt of the thing, made in HTML5 for the book. (Click the pic to try it out.) I enjoyed finding out about the protozoa, etc. Paramecium is my favourite.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Finland has a lot of coastline. Every Finn is also familiar with the sea weather broadcast that is playing daily in our national radio. I love the monotonic sound of the news readers as they dutifully state the sea weather bases, the current weather, height of the waves, etc. It's a very calm moment, almost like the time would be standing still. (There are many lighthouses that have quite exotic names, even if mostly just Swedish. I'd still love to go see some of them.)

Anyway, some time ago I had an unexplained urge to get a t-shirt with a text "Nahkiaisen tiedot puuttuvat". (Sorry, this is hard to translate with all the nuances.) This has been hanging on the coat hanger for long enough, maybe I'll continue with it later, but here's the first version. So cute.

Merisää t-paita

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tumult Hype

During my internship, I need to plan and produce an interactive ebook about water and its cycle for kids. For some time, I was trying to find a proper way to do that, since there are some tricky things involved when it comes to the platforms. In the end, we agreed that I should just try to do it for iPad, then I can try out the iBooks Author and see if it's any good.

There are already many useful interactivities built in the iBooks Author, but I find them somewhat simple. My colleague mentioned, that maybe I can use Tumult's Hype to add some widgets into the soup. In the end I bought the programme and have been trying it out a week or so now. And I must say that I like it.

The biggest problem with anything iPad related is naturally Flash. It won't work in iPads, so all the interaction needs to be done some other way. And that would then be HTML5. That's what Hype does: create HTML5 documents with JavaScript that can then be added to homepages or made into widgets. The good part is that the user doesn't need to know much about JS to make simple things work. The better part is that if the user does know JS, they can add the code directly into the document and go far beyond the default settings.

The programme is still very young and many features are not there yet, but for me it's very useful tool to do neat stuff with HTML5 (and to wean myself from Flash) without the trouble of pure coding. (This is not really an advertisement, more like pure joy that I've found a useful programme for myself that I enjoy using.;)

Screenshot of Tumult Hype
A screenshot of the project I've been working with.

Friday, July 6, 2012

George's paintings

Wow, June came and went without a single post! And I'm not even on a holiday! :P Oh well, at least I've been doing something meaningful, so maybe somewhere in the future I'll just post a couple of screenshots or something to prove my worthiness.

I felt down when I didn't have any creative to do at home, so I bought acrylic paints and some miniature canvases. George spotted them on my shelf and made himself busy. I had no idea he's so artistic, the results seem pretty cool!

Here George poses in the middle of his art.

George and his art

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Electronic books

One of my tasks in my work practice is to try and find ways to compile an interactive ebook for a tablet pc. I did some research of the subject and found it quite interesting and very new. This is again one of the things that will change fast and I'm sure the things in one year will look completely different. Still, I compiled a short pdf from what I found. I have to mention, that it was rather difficult to find clear information about this particular subject, so there might be some misunderstandings on the way. I also would have liked to include more programmes, but finding about their features without buying them proved to be somewhat impossible... Anyway, maybe this helps someone who is new to the subject!

Interactive ebook developing programmes for tablets: pros and cons

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Timelapse photography animation

Some time ago I asked my former NZ colleague Fraser if I can download some of his timelapse videos and edit a small piece from them. Last weekend I was so far, and crafted this thing out of the photography. Fraser is awesome with the photography, if you ever go to visit New Zealand and would like to learn and take astrophotos, contact him! His website is in www.frasergunn.co.nz.

I hope you enjoy the video! :) Just view it in full screen, please. The small box doesn't really give justice to it...

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Jetzt muss ich dann auch schon mal auf Deutsch schreiben, weil dieser Eintrag geht über ein deutschsprachiges Buch, nämlich "Die Kometenjäger" von Marc Deckert. Es hat in meinen Augen in der Bibliothek aufgefallen, und natürlich musste ich es sofort zugreifen... Bin aber auch glücklich, dass ich es gemacht habe: das ist wirklich eine tolle Geschichte - über Amateurastronomen!

Ich habe oft ein wenig gehofft, dass ich konnte irgendwann mal alles was ich über Astronomie weiß wieder vergessen. Naja, wäre natürlich auch sehr peinlich. Trotzdem wäre es schön, wenn ich konnte das alles irgendwie neu erfahren. Das habe ich mit diesem Buch gemacht. Der Weg, den hier beschreibt ist, habe ich auch schon erlebt. Wie es fühlt, zum ersten Mal M57 durch das Teleskop zu sehen... Oder in der Dunkelheit mit den fremden Leuten zu sprechen... Und die böse Lichte kaputtmachen... (Das habe ich aber nicht ernst gemacht.) ;)

Es wäre schön, wenn dieses Buch auch z.B. auf Englisch übersetzt würde. Ich finde es eigentlich sehr exakt darüber was kommt mit der Amateurastronomie. Nicht nur deswegen, dass die Daten richtig sind, sonst auch weil das richtiges Gefühl immer dabei bleibt. Ich weiß schon selbst, wie weit man kann seine Träume jagen. Da ist doch nur der Himmel die Grenze.

Die Kometenjäger

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I don't normally post pictures of me, since I find it a bit boring, but this one is too good to miss. My friend visited me yesterday, and I asked her to take a pic I've been wanting to do since I visited Erfurt the first time. It turned out better than I thought. Definitely in top 10 of all the pics ever taken of me! :'D

Sandmann in Erfurt

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I often love to browse through the statistics of my home page. I really don't know why, maybe it just teaches me the way Internet works. Or then I'm just nerdy enough to get kicks from numbers. (That would be odd, though, my relationship with mathematics is still somewhat hostile.)

Anyway, the thing I'm really interested to follow is the frequency people download my fanart about Eisbrecher. It often surprises me to see, how popular some of the things have become. :) See yourself:

Eisbrecher stage: After Tektonten Papercraft added a link to the stage (or "paper theater") I've got frequent hits all around the world. If even one fifth of the downloaders would have actually built the thing, the band would be playing in quite a few households!
Total downloads after 2010: 544

Alexx paper doll and Noel paper doll: Good old paper dolls seem to be keeping their flair. I guess I could spare some time someday to draw some more clothes to them, on the stage specially Alexx seems to use some new stuff, too...
Total downloads after 2010: Alexx 239, Noel 137

Alexx paper doll book (English) and Alexx paper doll book (German): After the Alexx paper doll there were the pictures... This I consider pretty cool, too, since such fanart is already extremely specific and not all fans have similar humour.
Total downloads after 2010: English 79, German 101

Eisbrecher board game (English) and Eisbrecher board game (German): Like Alexx himself commented on the boardgame pic in Facebook: "das ist ja wohl mal der eiskalte hammer....." I dunno if he ever played it, but it does work. (I've lost the game already several times. Mur.) It is still frequently downloaded and I'm happy that both versions are equally popular!
Total downloads after 2010: English 230, German 230 (No, it's not a mistake, they really are equally popular!)

Eisbrecher font: This one is a bit newer than the others. It's not as popular as e.g. the stage, but I guess people do use it to different things, too. I hope they'll do some neat stuff with it! :D
Total downloads after 2011: 112

Paper dolls
The original paper dolls - with signatures. It finally paid off to drag them with me to so many EB concerts... ;)

Still, the most surprised I am about the thing which doesn't have anything to do with Eisbrecher. It's the interactive Flash animation I coded for our animation course. I was very stressed at the time and didn't even think I'd be able to pull it off, but in the end I managed to do something: Constellation survival kit: the Plough. First it was just happily residing on my pages, until Googlebots started to pick it up more and more frequently. Nowadays, if you google "the Plough constellation" with any Google it turns up on the first page... Talking about the power of Google! :)
Total downloads after 2010: 911

Friday, April 27, 2012

Playing with Blender

Somebody mentioned about 3D at work, and because I wanted to have a break from what I was doing at the time I decided to give Blender another try. Wow, the programme seems to have evolved from the last time I was using it at school. (Yes, yes, it's already some time ago...) Still, I was surprised to notice how much I still remembered! (Also thanks to the thorough notes I did during the lessons.)

It's actually quite a lot of fun. There are thousands of tutorials in the Net, so it's relatively easy to get into, as long as one has patience... This programme needs a lot of patience... (Especially with Windows XP at work.)

Here's a render I did after completing one tutorial. I actually only wanted to do an icecube, but somehow I ended up with this.

Blender water glass
Now I have 4 days off, since Tuesday is the 1st of May and we don't have any office on Monday. They have also forecasted more than 20°C for every day for a week. It's a pretty nice concoction... Nah, I guess I just sit at home and play some more with Blender. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Seven Daughters of Eve

I can't help it, I just LOVE genealogy and DNA, especially that mitochondrial stuff that can track your ancestors back thousands of years. I'm sometimes wondering what did my forefathers do, where did they live and what was their everyday life like. I'm devastated that I can't carry my whole library with me, I have several books over this subject (as well). For example "After the Ice" by Steven Mithen is a great book to read, I love the way it is written. (Part of it official, part of it like a novel.)

Still, my favourite book of the subject is Bryan Sykes's "The Seven Daughters of Eve". I took it with me the last time I was at home, since I wanted to read it again. It is about the theory about how pretty much every European are descendants of 7 women. Yes, total of 7. And proof to go with it. It is one of the best science books I've ever read and my mind always runs wild after reading it. (E.g. after finding Ötzi the Iceman, they were able to trace his mitochondrial DNA to his living relatives.)

Yes, biochemistry is one of my favourite sciences (just after astronomy, somewhere around physics, chemistry, geology, etc.). What would be a better way to relax than a book about biochemistry (in German) and a glass of wine? Or a book about prehistory?

The Seven Daughters of Eve

P.S. The new usability of Blogger update is faeces.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Laika Comics

When I went to work on Tuesday, my colleague said she had something for me. Then she gave me a small comic book about Laika, neatly wrapped in a plastic so it looked like some collector's edition from the 60s! :D I was completely blown away, but she just said she had seen the picture of my Laika Comic novel while browsing through my blog. (She also knows I love astronomy.) From that she remembered this book, because she knows the artist and has a copy herself. So, she asked a copy for me, too. It was even neatly dedicated for me with a pic! What would be more awesome!? :D


The story itself is not long, but cute. Even if a bit surprising... ;) I also like the style it's been drawn, it suits the style of the story quite well. And, naturally, I wouldn't be able to hate a cartoon if it has a picture of a Voyager probe! <3

Here are some other works from the same source. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In Erfurt

So, I managed to move me and my few belongings to Erfurt and start my practicum. I've only been in the place for a couple of days, but I already feel like it's just perfect for me! The company does applications and games for kids in learning in mind, so called "edutainment". I guess through my astronomy interest I have pretty good ideas to give to that scene, too. :) I'm really interested to see how it's going to turn out to be. The office is very central and is big and spacious and the people are really nice. Feels great!

Erfurt is also a very pretty town, I guess it'll just get better when the summer really kicks in. (It's actually quite pleasant already, even if the mornings are a bit chilly, it goes up to about +13C during the day. And no snow. Thank god. Like there is in Finland. Even now.) I did a short walk around and found some places with prospects, e.g. Petersberg with big grass fields and nice views over the town. Very nice indeed.

Erfurt Petersberg
The northern/northeastern side of Petersberg

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Possibilities all around

I've been wondering why I haven't been updating my blogs that often. After some tedious brainstorming I've found out that I need a creative environment to be creative. That mostly means lots of my own stuff (especially books) and that I haven't been able to pull out in the last year or so. I guess I also demand so much from myself, even if it's just a blogpost I should write... But when I browse through my old entries, they are not that special! Just things I've seen or experiences that made me chuckle/interested, etc.

Tomorrow I should drive to Erfurt to start my work practice. I've been packing my stuff by my friend in Hamburg and am very proud that I can still pack them in just about 4 bags. (Remember that this is pretty much everything I own books and some random clothes excluded!) We shall see if the summer in Erfurt will give me new ideas. I'm a bit worried, though, since we are talking about the town where they just last week brought the "bratwurst flame" (cf. Olympic flame) in the occasion to celebrate the opening of the bratwurst season.

I did a short truck tour during the past few days and ended up at some stage to Berlin-Tempelhof airport. The place is not in use anymore as such, but they do some events there every now and then. I loved the textures of the place, I should really buy a proper SLR camera for use... But I guess I have to see how far the student budget will budge.


Friday, March 9, 2012


I decided to give another try to Twitter. Last time I didn't last that long, though, before I thought it's not really my thing. But maybe if I try to tweet more design-oriented stuff (e.i. like this blog), than maybe it'll last longer. :)

Don't hold your breath, though. Or open the champagne bottles. Maybe this is just a way to pamper my bad self-esteem since I've not done much anything creative for a while. Hopefully feeding myself in small bits to the masses helps the pain go away.

Btw, bronchitis is not funny. :(

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Poser

Here's the final version of the animation I've been working with for our animation course. :) At least some proper work to post about in this blog, again... :P

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The way to see life

Like many, both of my friends are using tumblr.com to post inspiring pictures. I love to follow them, but I don't have the patience to surf through tha Netz to find more pictures. Maybe I can do some myself, though. :) Here's a couple.

Texture from www.cgtextures.com

Texture from www.cgtextures.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time lapse photography

My ex-collegue from New Zealand is ripping my heart off by constantly posting the time lapse animations he's been making in Lake Tekapo area and Mount John Observatory... There will be a total solar eclipse in Australia later this year, I hope I'd be able to go there and visit NZ on the same trip. When looking these things I miss there so much...

(Notice the glow of the southern lights in the sky!)

Much more the coolest animations you'll find in Fraser's Youtube channel!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


It's been a while since the last work post, mainly because many things we are doing on the courses are quite big and I haven't had anything worth posting in my hands. Now the end is nigh, though, and the works - hopefully - start to get ready. The animation I've been working with is quite far. As soon as it's ready, I'll post the link here. :)

The other thing I'm working on is a storyboard for our storyboard course. I thought I could as well try to visualise that Eisbrecher's song I've wanted to draw for a long time. (It's good, since I have many ready made things for that in my computer already.) So, here's sneak preview. I like the way the pics are coming and my eternal love for Illustrator is just getting bigger... (Premiere is not bad either, as long as my computer can handle the data!)

A pic from Eisbrecher storyboard

Monday, January 9, 2012

An open letter to the teachers

Dear teachers,

This is not the first and sadly not the last time I - as a student - face this irritation. Some might say it has to do with the quality of the teaching. But that's just the nice way to put it. I would call it the lack of organisational skills, or just plain laziness.

The whole cause of irritation is simple: the teachers entering the class without any preparations done whatsoever. It seems that some teachers think the lesson will take care of itself and if not one can always improvise. Well, it won't work. The difference between the teachers who think through their lessons in advance and the teachers who just turn up is unbelievably huge.

So, here are some news for those teachers who are on the wayside:

First of all, the students can't really read teachers' minds. It doesn't help, if some important piece of information was given more than a month ago, because the students probably will not remember that anymore when it's acute. The good teachers always send e-mail to all course attendants, so that also those who were absent (yes, some people can also be sick and not just skipping the lessons) know where everything's going. The good teachers are also very precise about what each lesson will be about and they are not afraid of telling that in advance.

Second thing is that when there are examples to be shown or tasks to do, they also need to be meaningful. The teachers probably have no idea how fast badly designed lesson kills the student's motivation. It is pretty much impossible to follow a teacher who doesn't have anything to say. If there is a task to follow, the teacher also needs to be clear that there is a task to follow. Especially when learning different programmes, it is not easy to follow what the teacher is doing and then do the same in your own computer when the teacher is racing forward.

Third, every student has his/her own way of doing things. If that is the best way for him/her to work (so that there will eventually be results), the teacher has absolutely no right to mock or evaluate that work flow. When for some people it is a piece of cake to produce perfect designs at school in 5 minutes, for some it is next to impossible. The teachers should courage each and everyone to find their own creative ways. That's why the time given to finish the tasks should also be long enough for good work for everyone. "All the designers should be able to do this like this" is not a proper way of giving critique about other person's work flow. It is also impolite.

Some people might say that the worklife will not be so easy and that many bosses will be acting exactly like the bad teachers. Well, school is not worklife and even if it's good to make a mental note on the bad teacher/boss axis (there will be enough of those still to come) it is more important to concentrate in what the school is about: preparing the students to the work life. The school's purpose is to give enough knowledge and new ways of thinking for the students as well as strengthen his/her self-esteem in his/her abilities. Bad teachers will not succeed in relaying such things, they leave only confusion and frustration behind.

So, the next time you are entering the classroom, please think honestly through how many hours did you prepare this lesson. The students have huge respect toward the teachers who make real effort in helping what's important for them: studying. The best teachers are the ones who in this way really care about their students.