Archive: July 2015 - Spinland Studios, LLC

Important Alert: Payments scam targeting web designers and other small business owners

  • July 31, 2015

I just received an email alert about this from my accounting company. Here is the warning: The scam: An inquiry asking if you accept credit cards before discussing any project details. This will be followed by a request for work on a rushed timeline. The prospective customer will easily agree to terms and a budget. They'll offer to place a large deposit and then ask if they can transfer funds to you that are destined for a third party. Once you agree to the project, this new customer will want to pay you with a credit card very quickly. Once you transfer funds to the third party the original...

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Story Boards? Not a Real Fan

  • July 30, 2015

Story boards are a staple of the animation business. They enable you to block out the important action sequences in a proposed animated story and, with animatics, you can even capture a sense of the movement that will go on in the actual piece. They are valuable tools to get a client on board with your concept and vision. I also don't like them. No, I don't toss the concept out the window, but I just can't get into traditional story boarding. I find the medium too stilted, too limiting, even with animatics. I have the de facto industry standard software for creating them, but it largely...

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Fantasy Baseball—Spinny Style

  • July 30, 2015

There's an up-coming art show in Syracuse at the Tech Garden. The theme is "The Boys of Summer," which is to mean anything related to baseball. My main focus for my for-pleasure art is fantasy and science fiction. I am a junkie for dragons, faeries and spaceship porn. Okay, you want baseball, I want fantasy themes—I can work with that. Here is my take on the theme. Your Fantasy Baseball team might be cool, but it will never be even a tiny fraction as cool as mine. Bonus content: here's a peek behind the scenes of setting up this render in Lightwave3D. Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech...

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Service Before Self

  • July 27, 2015
Service Before Self

The USAF holds forth with three core values: Integrity First Service Before Self Excellence in All We Do Today I want to beat the drum about the second core value: Service Before Self. When I was a youth going to religious schools, my teachers drummed into me the concept of "me third." In this philosophy, God comes first, followed by your family, and your own desires rank a distant third. While I no longer lay claim to any sort of religious world view, that lesson still has power for me. Who are you, that you should elevate your personal whims above those of everyone around...

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What a Probable Phone Scam Sounds Like

  • July 20, 2015

I recently entered into an arrangement with an online marketing agency to do some promotion on my behalf, including some search engine related stuff. The other day I received a phone call from what appeared to be a local number (I have no qualms about sharing the number, feel free to preemptively block it): (315) 215-2227. The caller was female, and had a thick, almost impenetrable accent (possibly from India but I can't be certain) and seemed to be reading a script and uncomfortable if she had to stray from it. The gist of what she was trying to tell me (I think I'm pretty good with accents...

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Nail Creek 3D Logo Revisited: Animation Time!

  • July 18, 2015

So, when we last saw our hero he was looking pretty toon but he wasn't very mobile. Well, that's about to change! For his first adventure as a "living" character I decided he should revisit the original logo but with a little story leading up to the static image. First things first: let's have him emerge from the water, Rambo style (but with a smile)! That sequence presented a problem: he's holding a glass of beer. How would that survive being submerged? Easy answer: it wasn't! CGI and animation are magic already, so it was a no-brainer to have him work a little hocus pocus to fill that empty...

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Giving Another Local Logo the “3D Treatment”

  • July 16, 2015

One of my favorite marketing tactics is to scout out local businesses with interesting logos and/or banners, create some fun 3D animated stuff around them, and then approach the brand owner with something concrete to show them. Show, don't tell. Armed with a demo piece that's directly enhancing their brand helps to make the demo personal and to bring the message home: this is what your brand can do! Let's go places with this! My latest target of interest is the logo from my favorite brew pub, the Nail Creek Pub & Brewery. The owner is already a web app client of mine and the bar at his establishment...

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Why Networking and Marketing Your Business are Critical

  • July 15, 2015

This evening I had the distinct pleasure of attending another Business after Hours conducted by the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. These events are great because on one hand they bring together hordes of local business people who by their very presence are open to being approached with a pitch, and on the other the venue is always relaxed, social and informal (and invariably wonderfully catered). This time around was typically fruitful and fun: I engaged several people in a position to do future business with me, and was rewarded with universally positive feedback and interest in my product....

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More Animated Logo Fun

  • July 8, 2015

I often joke that animated logos are the "gateway drug" for my Studio. It's one of the most affordable services I offer, and it's easy for prospective clients to see how animation can punch up their brand as they enjoy watching their logo fly, dance, and generally do crazy fun stuff. I can create them as an animated GIF file that goes on your web site exactly like any other image, or as a video complete with sound effects and a royalty-free musical soundtrack—heck, if you want, I can do it both ways! Once the primary 3D modeling and animation is complete creating the final product in various...

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RIP, Gerry Stroup

  • July 5, 2015

I just got the news today from my mother that someone who meant a lot to me in my youth passed away yesterday. He had already had one stroke which had debilitated him somewhat, and I guess the next one finished him. Gerry was a singer. Not just any kind of singer, he was an operatic tenor with a rich and vibrant voice that would make anyone stop and listen. His musical exploits included a stint in the Dixie Echoes, numerous appearances in various city opera presentations, and he is even prominently mentioned on the web site of the author Anne Rice. He also taught voice, and I think his last...

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