By , June 11, 2009 10:58 am
A January 2012 photo of Andrew Hazelden flying model airplanes.

A January 2012 photo of Andrew Hazelden flying model airplanes.

Hi. I'm Andrew Hazelden, a visual effects artist and co-founder of Dover Studios, Inc. This is my blog about photography, visual effects and electronics. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and enjoy writing about the hobby experiments I do on weekends and the the tools I use everyday.

My average blog post might be about anything from building an underwater ROV, flying a model airplane, compiling a mental ray shader, creating a time-lapse video, or doing stereoscopic 3D photography.

My electronics workshop currently has a set of MikroElektronika PIC and dsPIC development tools, a Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope, a 3.5x to 90x trinocular zoom boom microscope with a canon EOS t-ring and a Canon 10D DSLR, an Aoyue 968 solder station, a bottle of ferric chloride, a package of Pulsar Pro FX toner transfer paper, and a laser printer and laminator that I use for creating toner transfer printed circuit boards. My favorite soldering tips on the Aoyue are the hoof and Aoyue T-H sharp bent type soldering iron tip because they work really well with "through hole" parts. I have a full size drill press and a band-saw that come in handy on most home-built projects. Somehow every project I do seems to require at least a bit of duct tape and some hot glue during the build phase.

My current desktop computer is an Apple Mac Pro System.

The software I prefer using for developing electronics is MikroC Pro for PIC and MikroC Pro for dsPIC for writing C code software for microcontrollers, and Diptrace for designing schematics and PCB circuit board layout. My favorite text editor on Mac OS X is TextWrangler and on Windows is Notepad++.

My favorite programming language for a hobby project is C code but I also use PHP, Basic, Javascript, and when required, Objective-C. I'm just starting to dabble with Python.

I am a virtualization / emulation fan and have VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, and Parallels Desktop in my dock at the same time. I use each program to run different guest operating systems and software.

For creating "spherical" 360 degree equirectangular panoramas I like using Hugin with a Peleng 8mm Spherical Fisheye lens mounted on my trusty old Canon 10D DSLR mounted on a homemade panorama head.

For creating aerial mosaic images I enjoy using the x64 version of Microsoft ICE. When it works it works really well.

On sunny days I have a great time creating time-lapses using either my Canon 10D DSLR camera and a TC80N3 intervalometer or my Canon Powershot SD780IS camera with CHDK. I have created a few CHDK uBasic intervalometer scripts over the years.

A fisheye Astrophoto of a meteor from the Perseid meteor shower

I really like astrophotography and find the planetarium software Stellarium helpful along with tracking the current weather on the websites like Environment Canada, ClearDarkSky, and Wind Guru.

My first computer was an Atari 400 which I loved to play on for hours creating graphics using the ATARI Basic cartridge. I only wish I had been better at fixing SYNTAX ERRORS back then...

My first Apple Macintosh computer was a Mac 512K. I loved using MacPaint and the fatbit editor.

My first complete NLE video editing system was an Apple Power Macintosh 9600 computer with an Atto SCSI card and the Radius Video Vision PCI / Video Vision Studio PCI cards along with a big black Radius Telecast break-out box. Back then the Radius Edit software seemed so advanced.

My first 3D modeling / animation / rendering package was Strata Vision 3D on a Power Computing Powerbase 180 system running Mac OS 7.6. The software Strata Vision 3D and Strata Studio were great for getting me started in computer graphics because they had simple and uncomplicated user interfaces that were perfect for a beginner who was familiar with software like Adobe Photoshop.

My first experience with the 3D graphics program Maya was in the spring of 2000 through the Alias | Wavefront "Taste of Maya" trial CD. It included a copy of Maya 2.5 that ran on Windows 2000 Pro. I have been hooked on Maya ever since.

For my current retrocomputing needs I have a Silicon Graphics SGI O2 System with a 195 MHz R10K MIPS Processor, 320 MB ram, a 36 GB SCSI disk and the AV i/o board. My SGI O2 system runs IRIX 6.5.22.

My first R/C model airplane was a fiberglass Donald Seaplane with an electric Speed 600 motor. The R/C electronics didn't seem to enjoy being submerged in salt water whenever I would tip the seaplane over on a hard landing in my cove. These days my aerial photography projects have standardized on using a foam Multiplex Easystar model airplane, long range 72 MHZ radio control, an analog NTSC based 900 MHz Video link + a FatShark HMD (Head Mounted Display), and a Canon Powershot camera with the CHDK firmware for capturing still images and video clips.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

Andrew Hazelden

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