English Bloke

This is where I think aloud about things that caught my eye.
Anything related to CG work is here marktomlinson.com


This month was dominated by the weather the first half being extremely warm and the second unseasonably cold. At the moment we are having daytime temperatures around 20° and night around 14°. Not quite cold enough for them to fire up the communal boiler we have to freeze for 3 days in a row before we get the heating turned on. I know it is like the dark ages.

I have spent the best part of the month on modelling remodelling and creating UV maps over and over in an attempt to understand the best way to create a model breakdown for using in Substance Designer. The model I am using is it seems a little heavy and needed a lot of reduction and redesign. I think I have it now and hope to be finished with it in a week or two. I am not complaining though as it has been a very enlightening challenge and helped fill some holes in my low poly modelling workflow.

We finish the month with a trip to the vets to get our small dogs teeth fixed which involved her being knocked out with opiates and ended with her having some teeth pulled. She is a little sorry for herself at the moment but I think in a day or so she will be right as rain.


Well this has been a terrible month as far as the weather goes. Temperatures in the high 20’s and humidity in the 50-65% range. Not what I call comfy at all. My arm is sticking to the desk which is really screwing with my style.

All in all Berlin feels more like it is in the monsoon belt than northern Europe so far this summer. I am hoping it cools down again in August but I am not optimistic.

Work wise I have been learning as much as I can about the PBR (Physical Based Rendering) workflow and how I can bring it into mine. It all started with Marmoset Toolbag 2 and rapidly moved on to the whole Substance Designer suite. On top of that I have had to look at low poly modelling something I haven’t done much of and certainly not in the last 6 years. But I am hooked I love the speed increases the PBR low poly world brings. Classic modelling is great but the tradition ray trace renders are really slow especially while developing an idea. PBR moves the whole thing into a fun realtime experience.

Gear wise I bought a new mouse the Logitech G602 to be precise the old Magic Mouse’s limited buttons were hampering me even more with the new tools, so I decided to get one with real middle and right clicks. The precision is nice but I am having a little trouble adjusting to it. The form is okay but the slide is a little too light for what I am used too, this will become less messy as my muscle memory retains, I hope. Although even on the first couple of uses in Blender and others the middle mouse button alone is a joy to have, I still reach for the modifier key I set up but again muscle memory effect.


This has been a month dominated by new software and football. The World Cup is full flow and England has made an early, if not unexpected, exit. My second team Germany is doing pretty well though so all is not lost in the way of someone to support.

This month I got the Substance Pack from Allegorithmic, I hope I spelt that right not really bothered, and it is is pretty impressive. Their Substance Painter is very cool. One of the limitations, at the moment at least, is the relatively small texture size of 2k this should go up to 8k later on I hope.

Weather wise it has been really cool rarely getting above 20° in the day and down to around 10° at night and it has rained on and off most days. This I have to admit suits me I hate the heat, I like bright and windy so I am at least half lucky.

We have had the longest day and so now we are on the slide to winter, but my favourite months are still in front of me and I hope this summer turns out to be a nice peaceful one and of course not too hot.


The first few days of May were exceptionally warm here in the city, although the last couple of days have been much cooler. Which suits me fine I am prefer bright clear and cool to hot and muggy and Berlin is better than most cities as it flat and surrounded by empty countryside. All of which helps to mitigate the pollution but it can still get thick here too. There seem to be more cars here every year. Which is to be expected but still not pleasant when the mercury rises.

I wonder how the summer is going to turn out each year and each year it isn’t quite as expected. I suspect this one may be cooler but there is no telling for sure, but I live in hope.

The balmy heat of the southern countries is fine as long as you have the beaches and promenades to go with it. But sitting in a city flat in the 30’s isn’t the same and really no fun at all.

April once again

April is here and with it the rain and wind. Nothing unusual there then in fact most Aprils in my living memory have been fairly consistent. Even the four I spent in the southern hemisphere weren’t much to write home about, a little like October in the North.

None of this has anything to due with the current geopolitical climate or in fact the atmospheric climate and or it’s warming. Warming seems to be a bad term chosen, as I am sure the over all effect is a rise in average temperatures this isn’t partially noticeable to the individual living in the moment. But I digress, as is my want when rambling in an ambling fashion towards an amount of words that fill a post.

You see there is a reason for this post and that is to post. The end justifies the means and the means are only a way to the end.

In other news the world is as fucked up as ever, humanity wise. The rest of natures goes on its merry way oblivious, until it is too late, of their fate. We are the virus spreading out and multiplying and in the process filling our people with fear and neuroses, but it passes the time and stops the masses from thinking about reality and the crappy lives they really live in.

Of course none of it maters as we are all worm food in the end, and that is how it should be.

Good night and sleep well.

Mavericks update 10.9.2

Coincidences are strange but they occur. Just after I posted the last article on the “goto fail” bug Apple released the long awaited Mavericks 10.9.2 update.

This update includes a fix for SSL [1] connection verification. This was the part that was in error and not verifying properly.

So hopefully all is again secure with Safari et al.

  1. Secure Socket Layer  ↩

Exposed for four days and counting

Apple has a big problem and we end users therefore have an even bigger problem. The problem is a bug known colloquially as the “goto fail” bug. I occurred because someone made a typo and added an extra line of code repeating a goto command in the code. The result is that the verification protocols can be fooled into giving up even when a bogus response is received.

This is bad news for us as we no longer know for sure whether we are really communicating with our banks or actually connecting to Google for our Gmail. This is because the verification can be fooled when using Apple’s Safari. It also affects other Apple products including FaceTime. So we can’t be sure a call isn’t being intercepted and listened in on.

In the meantime it is recommended you use Chrome or Firefox as they aren’t affected as they use there own verification protocols.

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You have to start somewhere…

Feeling restless and bored with the old tumblr site I have decided to be radical and change it.

Previously I only used it as a dumping ground for Instagrams and reposts from Flickr and any other place that supported reposting. As a result I rarely came here in person and the little site became neglected. I am not yet sure how but I want to do something different and different in the sense of content.

This will no longer be about images, they are on the old one English Bloke site. And there they will stay, whether I post new stuff there is uncertain. What exactly this site will be is unknown but I am thinking more text and less pictures.

So welcome on board.