Eurobricks Citizen
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About Splat

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    St Louis, USA (ex Melbourne, Australia)
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    MO, USA (ex AU)
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  1. @JGW3000 - That image is looking pretty good - your daughter did a good job. Some constructive feedback: Fix the little bit of background showing on the right that @Myers Lego Technic mentioned. It looks a little bit grainy - try lowering the ISO. The shadow at the front has a little bit of blue tint to it, but it is still very acceptable.
  2. How did you email them, but aren't able to see their other contact information? If you go to https://www.lego.com/en-au/service, there is an option to 'Send Email' and directly below that is an option to 'Phone Us'. Click that, and select your country from the drop-down to get their phone number.
  3. @Sariel - It looks like rcMart.com has stolen one of your YouTube videos and uploaded it to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcmart/videos/10155265672557008/ they have given you credit (link to your YouTube Channel), but it is still 5.5k views (at the time of writing this) that you have missed out on. Unless you have a prior arrangement with them, you might want to investigate further. Facebook: Reporting a Violation or Infringement of Your Rights: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/634636770043106
  4. Try to keep the green screen further away from the model. This has a few advantages: Any green reflection should only appear on the back of the model, and not in the photo from the camera. You will be able to light the green screen separately from the model so that you can get the green screen evenly lit to avoid lots of post-processing. Having distance between the green screen and the model also allows the depth-of-field to be focused on the model, while the green screen is blurred out. This helps to make the green screen look more uniform, which also helps to avoid lots of post-processing. Lastly, this allows your model to have nice sharp edges which helps when post-processing.
  5. designer: Splat motorized or manual: Motorized (but could also be manual) sequential or direct: Sequential (using linear actuator) special features: can be changed to more or less gears number of gears: 3 Speed + Neutral + PTO more info: Eurobricks Topic -------- designer: Splat motorized or manual: Motorized (but could also be manual) sequential or direct: Sequential (using worm gears) special features: can be changed to more or less gears number of gears: 6 Speed + Reverse
  6. Two of these damped shock absorbers were used in the Mars Exploration Rover set. One was used to slowly open up the solar panels. The other was used to slowly raise up the mast that has the cameras and other sensors. Here's a short 30 second video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/i9lMB6P-oJw What I want to know is... What can the same damper WITHOUT the spring be used for? Part 32181c03, only used in one set. I have a few of these, but have never found a use for them!
  7. My goal when designing a Lego model is to build something unique, using the Lego system of parts. Something that anyone else could have built, if they had thought of it first. For me, this rules out the use of most 3rd-party pieces, and especially 3D printed pieces. When looking at 3rd-party pieces I ask myself this: "Does Lego make the same piece (just more expensive/less supply)?" If so, I'm generally ok using the 3rd-party equivalent. So I admit that I do use 3rd-party string and rubber bands. I haven't done too much with pneumatics, but I would consider using 3rd-party tubing too. I have also used an SBrick in models when I know that I am going to be using them outdoors (where IR range is really bad or virtually non-existent). But, if IR worked better outdoors, I would continue to use the Lego IR Controllers/Receivers. I also enjoy building (rather than designing) Lego models designed by other people, either as official sets designed by Lego designers or MOCs designed by other AFOLs. In these cases my goal is to learn new techniques and new ways of using Lego pieces. If I see a MOC by an AFOL that is using pieces that aren't created by The Lego Company (or direct equivalents such as string or rubber bands), then I become disinterested very quickly as it is no longer something that I could have designed myself, given the guidelines I have set myself. I try not to speculate about what their thinking was when they chose to use non-Lego parts, but at the same time I'm thinking: "If they are going to use non-Lego parts, why didn't they just 3D print the whole thing?" I also don't like to modify or paint any pieces. This time I ask myself: "Can someone else build this model I designed using just Lego parts?" If they cannot buy the parts directly from Lego without having to modify them, then I have failed my goal of staying within the Lego system of parts. I understand that the range of parts changes each year as Lego release more parts, and some parts get older and harder to find, but this is also part of the challenge. As an example, I started designing a model several years ago, but had to stop as I moved to a different country and left my Lego collection behind. I still think about that design occasionally and I do hope to get back to working on it someday, but now I would build it totally differently since new Lego parts are available, and in new colours. As others have mentioned, I think there is a "spectrum of purity". What I am willing to do to design and build a model can be (and from the posts in this thread, obviously is) quite different to what others are willing to do. If it is a "spectrum of purity", with official Lego sets and MOCs that follow those same guidelines at one end, and 100% non-Lego models at the other end, in the middle somewhere there has to be a point at which you are no longer making a "Lego model with non-Lego parts", and you are now making a "non-Lego model with some Lego parts" (hopefully you can see the distinction there). In the paragraphs above I have tried to use words such as "I" and "my" and "myself" as this is my opinion, and I understand that yours may vary. I have set myself these goals and guidelines, and while I admit that I'm not 100% purist, I like to think that I am fairly close to a purist.
  8. @MrLegoCollector - Nice little MOC. I also had the same thought with those minifigs, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
  9. While prime lenses generally have wider apertures (eg. f/1.4), photographing Lego usually means that you are fairly close (within a few meters). At these distances, a wide aperture results in a really shallow depth-of-field. If you are trying to be artsy, this can be great, but if you are trying to document something you typically want more of the subject in focus, so a tighter aperture is needed anyway. For example, using a Canon APS-C camera, with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, and shooting at f/1.4 from 1.2 meters (4 feet) away, the depth-of-field is only 2.94cm (1.2 inches). Everything outside that will start to look out of focus. (http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/depth_of_field_calculator.do) I typically use a Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8 prime lens, but when taking photos to document Lego I stop it down to at least f/5.6, sometimes to f/16, just to get a better depth-of-field. For video, if you want to stop down your aperture, then you either need to boost your ISO (and introduce noise), or you need good lighting. PS. The autofocus on my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens stopped working recently. Apparently this is a common problem with this lens.
  10. The parts lists can either be seen in the photo descriptions (on Flickr), or the video descriptions (YouTube), or on Rebrickable: http://www.rebrickable.com/users/slfroden/mocs/
  11. Hi everyone I thought that I would share some of my 'Magic Folding Cubes' with you, also known as 'Photo Folding Cubes' or 'Yoshimoto Cubes'. From left to right: Small Version, Large Version, Giant Version. Although I came up with all of these designs independently, I have since found out that others have also made these cubes out of Technic, and my solution for the small cube is identical to the solution that others have come up with. I guess that is to be expected when designing something so small with such a limited number of pieces. (eg. see here: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/46788-build-three-lego-technic-promo-magic-cubes/) I haven't seen anyone do the Large or Giant versions before. The Giant version also has some extra features that the smaller ones don't. You'll have to watch the 3rd video below to see these features! Here are some videos that I made: You can also see some photos in my Flickr Photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/slfroden/albums/72157680083652104 And I have also uploaded the MLCad files and Inventories to Rebrickable: http://www.rebrickable.com/users/slfroden/mocs/ Lastly, I was also honoured to be blogged by the Brothers-Brick: http://www.brothers-brick.com/2017/04/30/make-lego-magic-folding-cube-just-pieces-instructions/ Please let me know if you have any constructive feedback, comments, or questions.
  12. Most of what I do to create videos has been mentioned in bits-and-pieces here already, but I will give a complete list of what I do. I normally take photos with my Canon 60D DSLR, but I use a small aperture and tripod, and that usually results in long shutter speeds (several seconds), which is no good for video where you are limited by whatever frame-rate you are shooting (eg. 30 frames/second). Opening up the aperture to allow more light means that the depth-of-field decreases quickly, and there is more chance of things being out-of-focus. I've actually found that my smaller Canon IXUS 200 IS is better for shooting close video, but it only does 720p. I also have a GoPro Hero Session 4, but I am still trying to work out the best times to use that. If I am going to do multiple shots, I will use a custom white balance. Using auto white balance means that the video could have a different colour cast between each shot, which makes editing later more difficult. Using other manual setting on your camera can also help to keep things consistent between each shot. Basically I avoid any setting that has 'auto'. If I want a static camera shot, of course I use a tripod. Even the cheapest tripod you can find is better than nothing. I have several tripods, and I think the cheapest cost me something like US$17 and is good enough for most purposes. The other tripods that I have are heavier (good for stability), extend higher (so you don't have to crouch to look through a view-finder), go lower (so you can get some nice low shots), and have better tripod heads (allowing you pan smoother). Having good lighting (whether natural sunlight or artificial light) is a must. If you are shooting using natural light, shooting on an overcast day avoids the harsh shadows from the sun on a clear sunny day. Usually the microphones built into cameras are pretty bad, so if you are trying to record audio along with your video, having an external microphone and/or audio recorder can really help. I have a Zoom H1 recorder (US$100) and a TAKSTAR SGC-598 shotgun microphone (US$30). These are fairly cheap, but do a decent job for their price. As with the video, for the audio I avoid anything that has an 'auto' setting. Lots of cameras will have an auto gain feature, but this just tends to make it harder to edit later as the noise floor keeps changing. For most of my videos where I spend time editing, I will get rid of the captured audio, and add a soundtrack and record a separate voice-over (after writing a script). I will normally record each line a few times so that I can pick the best version later. I used to use Adobe Premiere when I had a job where I had access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, but since then I have had to find an alternative. I wasn't able to get DaVinci Resolve to work on my PC for some reason, so I started using VSDC Free Video Editor. The free version does all the simple editing that you would want to be able to do, but the free version doesn't allow you to see the audio waveform from any sound tracks, so it is hard to line the audio up with the video. For one video, I did line all of my scene changes up with the beats of the music, but that was a lot of work as I had to find lots of clips that would fit exactly between the beats and not result in 'dead' parts of the video. I use Audacity to edit my audio before exporting it and putting it into VSDC. I have both open, and I adjust the video positions in VSDC, and then switch to Audacity to adjust the audio positions, and keep repeating this until everything is in position just right. A bit annoying, but at the same time these are all free programs, and you get what you pay for. When recording the audio, I make sure to include about 10 seconds of 'silence' at the start. This actually contains the background noise, and this 10 seconds can be used to create a noise profile in Audacity, which you can then remove from the rest of the audio, which cleans up the audio pretty well. For the audio, I will break it up into separate clips that can be moved around easily, and I remove all of the duplicate lines that I recorded, keeping only the best ones. I also apply compression to the audio, which makes my voice sound louder, but doesn't cause any clipping of the audio. I keep the voice-over and soundtrack separate so that I can adjust their volumes individually back in VSDC. VSDC has some built in export profiles, and I use the Web MP4 Highest Quality profile to export my video for YouTube. For any photo editing, I use Photo.Net, but I am thinking about trying out gimp. I miss having access to Photoshop. I used to use Avidemux to split/join up video and transcode it, but I can do all of that in VSDC now. One thing that I don't like about VSDC is that it doesn't pre-render any of the video, so if you have a slow computer like I do, the preview can be a bit jumpy. If you have a faster PC it should be fine. That is a lot more words than I thought that it would be, but I hope that it helps.
  13. @miguev - Thanks for posting those videos. I am subscribed to Smarter Every Day, but I don't remember seeing that video. Maybe it just didn't apply to me at the time, so I didn't pay it much attention. But yes, that is exactly what is happening. I didn't get any notification from Facebook when the videos where taken down, but when I checked a few hours later they were gone. Facebook recommends messaging the user first before filing a claim, but both of these users just ignored my messages. I gave them 24 hours, and them filed the claim. But in the future I think that I will just file the claim straight away. Brothers-Brick blogged about my videos ( ), and they embedded my videos, so I still get views for that. Now people on Facebook are just sharing the Brothers-Brick post, which is a much better situation.
  14. Hi all, sorry to resurrect a slightly older topic, but I have been having trouble with people stealing my videos recently and I wanted to seek your advise. I uploaded some of my videos to YouTube (https://youtu.be/YqCm709V1kw and https://youtu.be/DbPBwtX-BaE), but they have been stolen and re-uploaded to Facebook without my permission. The first one that I found (thanks to eldeeem on Flickr) had taken my video, stripped off my intro and outro, taken away my voice-over, used different music, and not provided any attribution/credit at all. I contacted them to ask them to remove it, but they ignored my request. So I filed a Facebook Copyright Infringement Claim, and the video was taken down within a few hours. I also looked at the other videos on their Facebook page, and a quick search of YouTube shows that they are not the copyright owners for (at least some of) those videos either, so I left a message for the original owners on YouTube in the hopes that they will also file a Facebook Copyright Infringement Claim, The second one I found kept my video intact, and even provided me with attribution, however they had still copied my video to upload it to Facebook without my permission. I don't think this second one meant any malice as they did give me attribution, however I don't think they realized that they breached my copyright either. As I am the copyright owner of my video, I am the only one that is allowed to copy the video. Anyone else that does it is stealing it. The problem with others uploading the video to Facebook or any other platform (apart from the copyright issue) is that I don't get any benefit from those views, such as more exposure of my YouTube Channel or YouTube Monetization. The first one had 1.1 million views on Facebook before it was taken down, but those people don't know that it was my video. As I currently allow my YouTube videos to be embedded, I would be okay if they chose to embed my original YouTube video or link to it rather than steal it and re-upload it, and then I would also get the benefits of the YouTube views. Has anyone else had trouble with their videos appearing on Facebook? Also, how do you find copied videos on Facebook if someone else hasn't notified you? Searching for videos on any platform is difficult as you generally only have the title/description/tags to search on, but if they changed these then the copies can be difficult to find. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
  15. I have a few videos on my YouTube Channel: Lego Technic Smooth Linear Gearbox - 6 Speed + Reverse Read the video description for more information. With 6 Speeds + Reverse, the gearbox ends up quite big though. A neutral gear can also be added, as shown in my 3 Speed + Neutral + PTO version of this gearbox: Lego Technic Smooth Linear Gearbox - 3 Speed + Neutral + PTO Again, check the video description for more information.