We Are Moving

Dennis and Nolan have both moved to a new city. This means packing up everything and starting fresh on the other end. If you want to get a feel for the move you can take a look at map below. We have moved from Auckland to a city called Whanganui (pronounced one-ga-noo-ee), which is roughly 450km (280 miles) away.

You can click the button below to see the move on a Google map:

As you can see this is a major move which means we will not only need to resettle ourselves into our new houses, but also completely rebuild the studio.

As a result we ask that you please be patient with us as we get ourselves up and running again.

Although we are working to a schedule so we can be online again ASAP, unexpected delays can happen along the way. So please forgive us if we need to re-schedule a class release or a live lesson.

To keep you updated you can follow the studio progress below:

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Studio Rebuild Progress

26 April 2016

Today the movers delivered all our boxes.

As you can see the studio is basically a new / raw building so it doesn't have carpets or even a coat of paint on the wall.

Quite a bit of hard graft ahead of us....

5 May 2016

We carried all the boxes and equipment outside so we can paint the walls.

As the walls are still raw it has taken us a few coats of paint to get a good finish.

The studio is looking a lot brighter and bigger already. It is a 6 meter by 7,5 meter studio, so quite a bit larger than the previous one which means we are going to really love working here.

Check out Dennis' cool painting skills...

6 May 2016

The table we sit at is the heart of the studio so we need to build that first.

To do that we need to put on our carpenter's hats.

We build the table and the basic table top as well as the overhead beams which the cameras run along.

These beams need to be extremely strong and steady otherwise even the slightest bump makes the camera shake, ruining the video.

13 May 2016

Taking a leaf out of the movie industry's book, the table you see us working at in the videos is not a thick slab of wood. If you look at the previous photo you will see that it starts off as two cheap chipboard panels which are joined together.

We then cover the table top with laminated flooring panels to simulated the expensive wood effect.

The back "kick plate" is a length of decking which is stained to match the table top.

The "thickness" of the table top is just a strip of pine which is also stained to match the table top.

Everything is then varnished several times with polyurethane so it can withstand the paints and chemicals we use to clean up with.

As it has been overcast and rainy the whole week these layers of varnish have taken forever to dry :(, but the final effect looks lovely :)

14 May 2016

With the major construction work complete and the carpet installed, we can start getting the equipment into place.

We add the cupboards which house all our painting equipment as well as spare cables and electronics.

We also start to add the decor.

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17 May 2016

We have added blinds in front of the shelving to stop that area from becoming an eyesore.

Then if you look at the photo from 13 May you will see there is a box full of cables on the floor. These are the cables used to connect all the equipment together to make the whole system work. Most of these cables end up strapped to the underside of the table to keep them out of view. When we first started broadcasting the live classes many years ago, the amount of cable we used was roughly 2 kilometers (1.24 miles).

We have now been able to streamline the system so that there is now only around 700 meters (0.4 miles) worth of cabling. Still quite a lot, but we have added a few extra meters to each camera which allows us to be very flexible with their positioning.

The rest of the decor is now also in place so it really is looking very similar to the old studio now.

We still need to install the sound system as well as the cabling for Internet connection, then testing can begin.

23 May 2016

Over the last few days I have been laying a lan (network) cable between the house and the studio in order to get a wired Internet connection through to the studio, as well as doing finishing touches to the studio set up itself.

Today I was able to do a "coms" test to see if all the wiring work, etc. actually works like it should. You can watch the video to see the test and get a bit of a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the studio.

30 May 2016

The big wait for our ISP to lay the fibre optic cable is nearly over. Today they came to lay the cable from the exchange to the outside of the house.

To test the difference, I have done a speed test so we can compare after they have completed the indoor installation on the 1st June.

In order to broadcast a good quality HD live class we need at least a 5 Mbps upload speed.

As you can see the temporary Internet connection we have now will not even allow us to broadcast a standard quality class.

Just for interest sake, in Auckland our speed test was around 20 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up (we had a VDSL connection there for our tech minded members).

If you would like to do your own speed test to see how your Internet connection compares, you can click the button below:

2 June 2016

We are LIVE again, yay!!!

The fibre is installed so we have great speed - I have added the new speed test results so you can see.

The download speed is supposed to be at 200 Mbps, so I suspect they have added us to the default package instead of the top of the range package that a heavy Internet user like ourselves requires (uh, not requires, but wants, lol).

Then I have done a test live broadcast to see if everything is going out okay and that side seems to working great as well. You can watch the video for yourself to see.

There are one or two tweaks I need to make, like the audio which is not 100% synched to the picture, but these are just small software settings that need to be played with, which can be done as we go.

So thank you very much for your patience while we rebuilt everything, we look forward to seeing you in the live classes and online art lessons :)