rant Spinrants Blog

Want to know the “Secret to success?”

  • April 8, 2017
Want to know the “Secret to success?”

Minor rant, inspired by some marketing email I ran across this morning promising the "Secret to mastering (insert skill here)" if I open my wallet. Folks, there is no easy button, not for anything that matters. Yes, there are tips and tricks to ease the journey, but the journey itself never changes: hard work, dedication, and putting in the long hours. There is no other "secret" to health, weight loss, mastering a skill...none. You can't get there via some short cut. You just can't. There: now you, too, know "the Secret." You can put your wallet away. Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech...

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Spinny Gets Political. Deal With It.

  • October 29, 2016
Spinny Gets Political. Deal With It.

So, this is going to be an overtly political post, but a locally-focused one. As always, this is my blog, not a democracy, and if comments cross my defined line I shall nuke them without warning or recourse. I spent an energizing, invigorating few hours last night at a reception for Martin Babinec of Martin Babinec for Congress. You know: the only independent running for Congress in the entire nation that actually has a shot at winning a seat. The one the establishment is trying to ignore, or overtly suppress. The one who is suing the election commission over their latest corrupt trick involving...

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Animated Vignettes: Short, Punchy, and Affordable

  • June 16, 2016
Animated Vignettes: Short, Punchy, and Affordable

Think it's impossible to tell a story in around 10 seconds? You might be surprised. Most individual event promos or specific messages share a common attribute: focus. When you have such an on-target message to share, one would expect you'd want the delivery to pack a punch; what better way to grab attention and improve retention than delivering it visually? Animated CGI has a reputation for being rather expensive, and in many cases it is—but not in all cases. We predict you'd be pleasantly surprised at how affordably we can create a short (target length is 10 seconds but we've been known...

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There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day

  • May 30, 2016
There is no “Happy” in Memorial Day

On this solemn day I wish to share these wise words from my son, who is currently serving. To everyone who would usually wish me a happy Memorial Day: Today is not about me, it is about those service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and are no longer with us to celebrate their accomplishments on our behalf. I am not dead (hopefully) so I am not in the same category as those deserving your thoughts and prayers today. Veteran's Day is the holiday that I would be a part of alongside everyone who is either serving now or has served. Please remember what today is ACTUALLY about,...

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Know Your Audience

  • May 10, 2016
Know Your Audience

Short rant. I was just invited to a webinar entitled, "What to look for in a marketing stack." I think first they needed to invite me to one entitled, "WTF is a marketing stack?" So much jargon out there being breathlessly pimped all over social media and via email blasts, while solopreneurs such as myself just click "delete" because we wear all the hats, aren't full time experts in your field, and have no idea WTF you're even trying to sell us. Learn your audience. Then kew. Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech branding and marketing studio in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York....

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Design Contests = SCAM

  • April 29, 2016
Design Contests = SCAM

There really is no better way to put this. What is a "design contest?" Imagine someone wanting a new logo for their business. They announce a "contest" and call for designers to submit (sometimes multiple) designs. Then they choose the "winner" whose design is used and whose designer gets paid for their time and effort. Everyone else? Usually they go away empty-handed. How by any stretch of the imagination is this acceptable? Does anyone think that professions like graphic design are somehow populated by people who are willing to contribute hours of uncompensated work on the off chance...

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Beware of Art Scam

  • February 26, 2016
Beware of Art Scam

If it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish, odds are it's a fish. After a bit of Googling today I'm seeing this sort of scam has been around a long time, but it was news to me. Here's how it went down: In early January I was contacted via email by this person: Kenneth Jackson kjackson1111@outlook.com The subject line was "ARTWORK PURCHASE" and the email went thus: Hi there, I'm an art lover/collector and I'm collecting a few pieces to design the living room and stairway in my new house.I came across your artworks and I find them captivating. I would love to have some of your pieces....

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Retopo For Fun and Profit

  • February 24, 2016
Retopo For Fun and Profit

In a previous post I went into a little detail about sculpting a model as though it were made of virtual clay in an app such as 3D Coat. I mentioned that, once you've sculpted in the desired detail, the next step (in order to return your model to a mesh that you can animate) is something called "retopology" (or "retopo" for short). Let's explore how that process works. In sum, you draw your new mesh over the top of the sculpted model and the new polygons adhere to its surface. Think of wrapping a dressmaker's dummy in cloth as you cut and sew a new garment. If that sounds tedious, you're right—but...

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Sculpting in Virtual Clay

  • February 14, 2016
Sculpting in Virtual Clay

A while back I wrote a post here likening 3D modeling to creating a model in virtual clay. Today I'm going to extend that metaphor by talking about a modeling technique that makes it all but literal. To set the stage, let's recap the structure of your standard 3D model: in sum, they're made of a bunch of points in 3D space that define the corners of a bunch of polygons, like this: In calculus a curve is approximated by a bunch of line segments that, if you make those segments small enough, starts to look nice and smooth. That was Newton's magic trick to make them computable and the same...

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A Little Peek into Where the Magic Happens

  • February 13, 2016
A Little Peek into Where the Magic Happens

Whatever's in the glass, make it a double. I had some down time this weekend which I've been spending tidying up my Studio. After I was done, and took stock of my now-decluttered digs, I thought it would be fun to share it with you. First picture is of my workstation area in general. The rest of my Studio is taken up by bookcases, filing cabinets and guitar stands and isn't nearly as interesting to see as where I actually do my thang. The monitor on the left is a 32" curved Dell. Apple has really dropped the ball on modern display technology so I had to turn elsewhere for a primary screen...

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