Royalty Free Images

Sometimes it’s necessary to get hold of some stock imagery to use on a clients site where they don’t have professional standard images to use of their own. It’s also useful when you’re producing a mock up for a client to use some placeholder images until their own images are available. Nine times out of ten I’ll head over to as I’ve found their offerings to be diverse and of great value. They even have a selection of free images.

Since joining I’ve become a contributor – take a look at my portfolio by clicking the link below…

Royalty Free Images

Just a quick update – found another good source of images at

Hostgator discount code

Hostgator promo code [date]

We do a fair amount of hosting for small businesses who would like an affordable hosting plan but haven’t got the first idea of how to get their web site up and running. In these cases we resell the services of various hosts depending on the customers needs. We manage the hosting for the customer so they don’t need to worry about the nuts and bolts of the site hosting process.

Sometimes though you have a customer who is happy to get their hand dirty and just needs a recommendation of which web hosts to use. Nine times out of ten I’ll point them in the direction of Hostgator. I use them for many of our sites and on the rare occasion I’ve needed support their live chat has sorted me out quickly.

We have a few hostgator discount codes for [date] for you which will save you a few pennies…

Use goldplate25 – this should get you 25% off hostgator hosting
Use goldplate2494 – 24.94 off  hostgator reseller hosting

Just copy one of the codes above and head over to Hostgator

Keep your eyes peeled for where to add the coupon code as it’s easy to miss. Should be on Step 1 of the signup process. Further down the page there’s a section called “Enter a Coupon Code”

If any other these codes fail to work let me know and I’ll dig into it.


UFO Invasion

Had some fun with Blender and Octane again. Thought I’d have a go at creating some UFOs. Started out simple with a basic droid ship – just a simple subsurfed model with a shiny metal material.  But comes alive when rendered with octane under a daylight environment.

Moved on to a more complicated model with windows. Started with one window and used Blenders array function. Render under a evening sky with Octane.

I Went on to model the mother-ship you see in the header and put them all together to create the invasion!

You can find more of my models for sale on

3D Golf Ball Impact – Blender 2.58

Blender 2.58 is out and I thought I run an old scene through it to test it out. Modeled a golf ball being struck by a six iron by the looks of it! Got to grips with Luxrender’s motion blur in the process.

I must say I’m very impressed with how well integrated Luxrender is with Blender these days. I remember when it was a chore to render anything beyond basic meshes.

Applied a simple lattice to the golf ball mesh to create the distortion of the ball.

This image is available for sale over at – click the image to view on their site…

Blender 2.57 Hair – Hairball

Did some messing around with the Blender 2.57 hair emitters today and put together a rather ugly looking chick.

Since upgrading my PC with a sandybridge core i5 – 2500k, the hair systems has been a joy. Could suck up a lot of time as such fun to play around with.

Here I have a 1000 particles with 150 children each. I’ve used the strand settings within the material to create the spiky hairs.

Anyway better leave it alone and go do some real work!

Installing Luxrender with Blender 2.55 beta on Windows Guide

Want help installing Luxrender with Blender 2.55 beta on Windows?

I’ve just gone through the painful experience of trying to get Luxrender up and working on the latest version of Blender 2.5 beta.  I’ve got it working eventually and thought I’d share my method of installation.

The way I approached it was to work out how the Povray engine got there and worked backwards.

Step by step guide to installing Luxrender with Blender 2.55 on Windows XP.

  1. Download and install Blender 2.55 Beta if you haven’t already
  2. Download and install LuxRender (v0.7.1) I chose 32bit installer version as I’m windows XP 32bit
  3. Head over to and grab luxblend25 zip
  4. Unzip to somewhere and remember where!
  5. Go to the folder you just unzipped somewhere and look for a sub folder called “src”
  6. Within this “src” folder is another called “luxrender” – copy this folder, including it’s contents to K:\Documents and Settings\Andy\Application Data\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.55\scripts\addons (obviously K:\Documents and Settings\Andy\ in the directory above is particular to my windows setup, so you’ll have your own place to look)
  7. Your addons folder should now look something like this…
  8. Boot up blender
  9. Luxrender should now be a dropdown from the engine choice, select it! – (see image)
  10. Under the render panel,  you should have  “luxrender engine configuration”, under here select “Run Renderer” and path to luxrender should be the folder for luxrender from under program files (see image below)
  11. I think that’s it in a nutshell.