I’ve had an admiring eye on Project:Messiah for several years now. It’s a sophisticated 3D animation system, though it’s gradually grown some nice rendering capabilities, too, like sub-surface scattering, global illumination, and a hair system.
The latest version is messiahStudio5. In one version or another, the program’s contributed to a lot of film productions including The Tripletes of Belleville, Hellboy, Jimmy Neutron, Ghost Rider, the Harry Potter films and, well, more.
The developers are doing a remarkable thing with messiahStudio5 right now. In a sort of self-built Kickstarter type promotion they’re offering their software for practically nothing… but only if enough people sign on to buy at these prices.
So the basic version of messiahStudio5 – at the moment – could be yours for $10, while the Pro version is offered at $40. Their normal prices are $499 and $1195, so you can see what I mean by "practically nothing".
Because it is a promotion your purchase won’t be completed unless enough people respond. If the promotion fails your money will be refunded and, well, that’s that.
It’s easy enough to see that they’re relying on everyone who wants to get their software at these prices to go out and tempt as many other people as possible, in order to create a viral groundswell. Pretty clever, no?
Messiah’s strengths are in its rigging and skinning system. Since it also functions as a plug-in it’s possible to use its animation features inside another 3D application like 3DS Max or Maya. It’s well worth a close look, and you can bet that it’s not likely to be available at these prices for very long. How long? They don’t seem to say. But a graph on the sale page shows how close they are to the goal.
I’d have liked to launch it with a sonic boom and a tremendous plume of multi-colored and potentially toxic smoke… but due to local ordinances I’ve simply uploaded the new files that have jolted The Lair of the Clockwork Book into its new shambling, unlikely life.
Sort of thing.
Yep, after months of preparation I’ve just added the first page of my first serialized story at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. The next thirty-two pages are all loaded up and scheduled to post on Mondays and Thursdays – that’s only about a quarter of the whole thing, so obviously I’m going to be laboring behind the scenes as we go.
Here’s a link to the first page; this link, on the other hand, is one that will always display the most recent page of the story.
Because there’s only one page of Clockwork Book today, the new navigation buttons are ghosted. They’ll lurch into usefulness on Thursday, when the next page appears. The new comments system is all live, though. Um, muahahahaha, etc.
[tags]thrilling tales of the downright unusual, the lair of the clockwork book, retro future, illustration, illustrated, stories, fiction, serial[/tags]
It’s time for another mathematically perplexing T-Shirt sale at the Retropolis Transit Authority, Saga Shirts, and Hot Wax Tees. (This includes the brand new and remarkable Clockwork Book T-shirts).
Here’s how it works: when you place any order – that’s right, no minimums – the web site does a complex and bizarre computation based on the item you’re ordering and some stuff that’s way too confusing to try to explain. Then it takes a percentage off your order.
For dark colored T-shirts, it works out to 36%. For light colored T-shirts, it works out to about 29.4%. Or so my experiments told me… when they were still able to speak.
All you need to do to get that discount is to enter the coupon code FEBLUV11 in the shopping cart.
It’s all over at midnight (Mountain Time) today, February 5th. Not to pressure you or anything. But, you know, get clicking, would you?
I’m still counting down to Clockwork Book Day (Monday!), but "counting down", in this case, doesn’t mean that I’m sitting around and, you know, counting. Which makes me wonder why I’m calling it "counting down". But I choose to ignore that, and just press on*.
I’ve kept tinkering with the revisions to the Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual web site – from content-sensitive banners to new site banners to a new home page that I almost, but not quite, like a lot; but the rest of my time’s been spent on redoing four of the Clockwork Book illustrations at a much higher resolution for use as posters and archival prints; that’s led, along the way, to new T-Shirts, coffee mugs, and iPad cases because once I get rolling it’s pretty hard for me to stop. Even though I see that I’m doing merchandising for something that won’t be published till next week. Hey, whatever. Timey-wimey.
I’m really happy with the way the poster designs have shaped up. And as for the story itself, well, Monday’s coming. It’s nearly here.
* As the years go by, I find myself doing that more and more.
[tags]thrilling tales of the downright unusual, the lair of the clockwork book, retro future, illustration, illustrated, stories, fiction[/tags]