020 > Sprocket Science 3.0
A frame of the beautiful animation in the BBC TV production of ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy’ (1981). People often ask me if Tony animated the sequences. He didn’t and contrary to popular belief, they weren’t made using a computer. You can read how the animation was created by Betty Day, Dave Hall, John Percy, Kevin Davies, Val Lord & Rod Lord, here: http://www.rodlord.com

020 > Sprocket Science 3.0

TP was a big Hitchhiker’s Guide fan and I’m well chuffed that I’ve finally found a way of getting a reference into this documentary project.

Last week, I spoke to scanner-enthusiast Eric Jukes, who’s kindly offered to team up with me and have a go at making a couple of 16mm scanners, (one each). Eric’s also a computer whiz specialising in AI and Python. We plan to use a Raspberry Pi to operate stepper motors.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, he told me how he got into computers in the first place… It was all because of mice!

Image courtesy of London & Southern Counties Mouse & Rat Club.

Back in 1978 he needed a way of doing the mounting admin for his Mouse Club. He learned to program so that he could use a computer to help him with things like listing competition results and keeping track of membership fees.

So… technically speaking, this scanner project is only possible thanks to mice.

So… I’m going to name my scanner ‘Deep Thought’ (after the supercomputer created by mice in HGTTG).

Ha ha! Get it? Hmmm. Maybe this one’s just for me. Hopefully Eric also, (he’s still a mouse and rat fan).

Above: Mice appear at 1 min 27 secs. (Sorry, I uploaded a shorter clip but it was blocked.)

In other exiting news my friend Chris Forrester has kindly offered to help with scanner building.

Chris is Visual Effects Supervisor at Goldcrest Post and is going to have a go at doing some clever things with Python and Open CV re. image processing.

Thank you, Chris!

Right, I’m off to read this book, recommended by Eric. It’s very good. Thanks Eric.



Ps. This is my final scanner blog post for now. Hopefully we’ll succeed in making something. That’s the best laid scheme anyway. If we do I’ll let you know how we did it, so you can have a go yourself.

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