Some refreshing Friday inspiration

When it comes to deadlines, sometimes I need a reminder, a little inspiration and a bit of incentive. (Coffee works really well.)

I’m using this blog post as your reminder for the weekend: you have until Sunday night to submit your art for our Poser image contest! This week’s theme is Best Woman in a Temple with a Sword or Fairy Image.

Here’s your inspiration: This image Fae Folk is one of my favorites in our Poser Facebook gallery right now. (It’s not been submitted to the contest; it’s just inspiration.) Send us your fairies and WINTWAS!

And here’s your incentive: The winner will receive Poser 8 or Poser Pro and get their art featured on the blog! So it’s like money in your pocket and free advertising. What’s not to like about that reward? Sorry, I couldn’t figure out a way to give out coffee via blog post ;)

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to check out the upcoming themes for the image contest!

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Show Poser 8 some love

vote for poserI’ve never been a huge reality TV fan, but I will admit (with a minimal amount of shame) that I voted for a particular American Idol. She was so awesome and entertaining that I felt she earned my vote.

Poser 8 may not sing pop songs in different outfits in front of a panel of celebrity judges, but the cool thing is that it could! So if you think Poser 8′s earned it, show us some love and vote in the MacUser Awards! (And don’t be intimidated by all the personal info the site asks for; you don’t have to fill it out to submit your ballot.)

All of us here at Smith Micro say thanks in advance! Without all of its users, Poser would have never made it on the ballot to begin with.

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Let’s play giveaway! Who wants Poser?

If there’s one thing I’ve realized in this job, it’s that I love to give things away. All of the people who have won Poser and Manga Studio and iPads have been stoked! And happiness is contagious, so I like to be around it as much as possible.

So when we started talking about the Poser 15 year anniversary, we wanted to go big. Trust me, it’s gonna be huge. But that’s next month. I couldn’t wait that long to give something away, so we’ve decided to start a little early. For the next five weeks, we’re having a weekly image contest. Each week will have a different theme, like portraits, and the winner will receive a copy of Poser 8 or Poser Pro 2010.

Each week you can submit an image based on that particular theme for a chance to win. Our stellar web team will pick their favorite — we’re looking for the best use of Poser’s strengths. (Hint: lighting is key!) Here are the categories for each week, so you can get started.

8/23-8/29: Best Woman in a Temple with a Sword or Fairy Image
8/30-9/5:  Best “Faces of Poser” Portrait/Headshot Image
9/6-9/12:  Most Unique Poser Image
9/13-9/19:  Best Self-Portrait Image
9/20-9/26: Best representation of the 15 years of Poser

Here’s the legal mumbo jumbo: You can enter one or all of the themes.  Images should be made with Poser. Enter using the Image Submission Form, but you MUST note that you are entering the blog contest of the week in the Additional Credit, Figures or
Content Shown

Images must match the theme for the week that they are entered and be received during the submission period and by the end of Sunday Pacific time.  You cannot submit images in advance for future weeks in the contest. (Sorry about the boring stuff, but it’s gotta be in here somewhere!)

The winner of the week will be featured along with their image the next week in the blog and will also receive a copy of Poser Pro 2010 or Poser 8. It’ll be really cool to get a closer look both at images made with Poser and the artists who create them. I’m really excited!

The coolest part is that the best is yet to come. Our anniversary prizes are making me super jealous of whoever wins. But that comes later ;) Let the image creation, giveaways, and happiness begin!

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Poser Pro users spoke and we listened!

The last part of July was a pretty big whirlwind for a lot of us, what with San Diego Comic-Con and Siggraph back-to-back. Steve Cooper, Poser product manager worked especially hard showing off all the things that can be done in Poser.

He must have some amazing images made with Poser on that iPad!

But we’re back to business as usual (or close to it anyway) and Cooper and the Poser engineering team had a chance to address some things in the latest Poser Pro Service Release.

“We were able to get back down to finishing up some work on Poser Pro 2010’s support for Maya 2011 via an updated PoserFusion plug-in. This is provisional (beta) support at this point, meaning that we are currently only able to handle uncompressed Poser content in Maya 2011,” he said.

“Older versions of Maya can handle both compressed and uncompressed Poser content. While we wanted to provide level support across all versions of Maya, we received lots of requests for the update and decided to release it so that our users can work with Poser Pro 2010 and the newest version of Maya.”

Way to put your nose back to the grindstone Cooper! Poser Pro users: Download the SR 1.1.

Poser knows: Don’t hassle the Hoff

When I have an idea, I’m very quick to write it down. Visual artists are more apt to sketch it. Others use props (like salt shakers or cell phones) to get their point across.

But what happens if you’re pitching an idea to a super-awesome celebrity? Say you want to sell David Hasselhoff on riding a giant bus through San Diego during Comic-Con. Drawings on the back of a coaster might not work. You probably wanna use Poser.

Comic-Con Hoff Parade

Gary Randall produced this illustration with Poser when he sold David Hasseloff on the idea of singing on top of a bus for Comic-Con. I think it’s pretty convincing. Did it work?

Gary Randall and his Poser illustration have come to life!

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Some news IS good news!

While some people may believe that no news is good news, I disagree. One of my favorite things is receiving mail. Sometimes opening it can be a bummer, but the initial letter in my mail box always makes me smile.

So I was thrilled to send letters (I can call e-mail a letter, can’t I?) to the winners of our comment contest over the past week. We selected seven winners at random, one commenter from each blog post.

As you can imagine, they were equally as excited. OK, maybe a little more excited than me: “Oh wow! How exciting! I’m bouncing in my chair now!”

Poser pro mad maxine

I won?!? I'll take...this one!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated in the comment contest. It was a lot of fun. (And it really stroked my writer ego to see those 80-some comments, even if we were giving away software!)

As a thank you for those who didn’t win the software, you can take 10% off at Content Paradise. The coupon code: 3ATrebec. As in 3 Alex Trebecs. I know! I like Jeopardy too!

Bonus: One more question, more chance to win!

Generosity is a good thing. On Friday, a bunch of us volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County. It got me in the giving mood.

food bankSo I’ve got one more question you can answer this weekend for an extra chance to win! What is it that is missing from your art life? If you could have it all, what would that mean? More ways to sell your art? Easier software for digital art? Cheaper art supplies? An endless supply of danishes? (OK, I’ll admit, that one’s mine.)

Answer by midnight tonight in the comments and have the opportunity to win Poser Pro, Anime Studio Pro or Manga Studio EX!

Oh! And be on the lookout for another blog post about our volunteering experience. On top of being really rewarding, it was righteous fun!

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Tutorials: Learn the easy way

A friend was telling me how his son wouldn’t wear his helmet when he rode his bike. And wouldn’t you know it? He fell and scraped the side of his face. Now he wears his helmet. Lesson learned.

Not all lessons are so painful. Take learning Anime Studio, for instance. You can find loads of tutorials online like this one.

This leads me to the final question of the week for our comment contest: Do you use tutorials online when you learn? What specific tutorials would you like to see for our software?

The contest will close Sunday at 11:59 p.m. I’ll contact each of the winners next week by email. Thanks for answering my questions this week. It’s a lot of fun for me, and it’s been really eye-opening.

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Multitasking makes the (virtual) world go ’round

I’ve been reading loads of different news that says multitasking is bad for your brain. And then I’ve read in other places that it’s good for you. It’s hardly something I can avoid as my occupation involves managing multiple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

But when my brain hurts I just watch something cool or moving, like this animation made with Anime Studio.

Fernando Leal made the music video for Deep River Running that, after a quick Google search, has a MySpace page, a Facebook page, and a YouTube account. Each are good for their own thing, especially if you’re into more than one type of art.

So the question(s) for today is this: Do you dabble in more than one kind of art? Do you visit different social media or sharing sites based on those types of art? Or are you more into promoting or sharing one kind of your art?

Answer in the comments and get a chance to win Anime Studio Pro, Manga Studio EX or Poser Pro. Thanks for playing!

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Something old or something new?

Lately I’ve been paying a lot of attention to reviews and comments (go figure!) on different blogs, forums, sales sites, etc. I’m stoked to say that iTunes listed SendStuffNow in its New and Noteworthy section. Score!

new and noteworthyThe funny thing I’ve noticed about some comments is not everyone likes new stuff. And sometimes I’m one of them: Even though I have a Kindle, I can’t stop with picking up books. I just like paper!

So here’s the questions of the day for our week-long comment contest: When it comes to your art, do you stick to the whole If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it adage? Or do you try out the newest software, tablets, sharing sites, etc.?

Answer in the comments and win some sick animation and comic creation software!

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