Give a gift to yourself: Draw and win!

Why is it that when I start shopping for other people, I suddenly see all these things I want for myself? Maybe it’s because I don’t shop very often or just that I’m spending cash and suddenly being thrifty seems sooo last year. Must. Control. Spending.

If you’ve had your eye on Manga Studio Debut, here’s your chance to get it for free and probably learn something in the process. Mario Kluser is having a drawing contest on his blog Mario LIVE! Just draw what you like (digitally or analog) and enter to win.

If you haven’t visited Mario’s blog and you use Manga Studio, you should definitely take a look. Mario has put a lot of time into making simple, easy-to-understand (and English is his third language!) tutorials for Manga Studio.

Read more about Mario and his Manga Studio tutorials here and enter his contest to win Manga Studio Debut. You could win a gift for yourself this holiday season without breaking your budget!

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What’s in a name? Super-powers I say!

I take names pretty seriously. I think you can tell a lot by a person’s name. I’m not sure it’s going to create their path in life, but I’d probably avoid naming a child or pet Satan. (Unless you’re really into that fallen angel thing.) Awhile ago someone in the office asked what the superhero’s name is in the Dave Gibbons poster. Y’know, this guy:

Manga Man*Gasp!* I had no idea! How can our super-hero be super without a name? So after clearing it with Dave, I thought we should have a contest! The rules are simple: Name our Manga Studio Man! Give our super-hero his calling card! Be creative, be silly, be serious, try to keep it PGish for the kids out there. Our fantastic staff will pick their favorites.

What will the winners get? I’ve got a copy of Manga Studio EX, and Manga Studio Debut, as well as 10 autographed posters by Dave Gibbons that I can mail all over this fine planet. You’ve got until 11:59pm PAC on October 28, so that gives you a week to concoct the best name for our hero’s job. You can submit your name here. Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

Update: You can only submit one entry, so think it through and be creative!

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Guess who’s coming to dinner next weekend? Dave Gibbons!

Holy Hannah! I totally forgot to tell y’all about the San Diego Comic-Con contest we’re hosting this week! I think all this excitement is melting my brain: You mean I get to go to SDCC? And you’re gonna pay me? Yeah, I have a pretty awesome job.

So Dave Gibbons is coming to dinner. And if you’re going to Comic-Con in San Diego next weekend, you have a chance to go with a friend. How righteous would that be? What would you ask him? Maybe where he got the inspiration for this poster? (It may or may not be the beginnings of something Dave will be signing at our booth 5353.) Or what it’s like to draw comics for a living? Or maybe if he likes icecream? It’s your call really.

sample poster

Just visit Manga Studio’s Twitter feed and retweet one of our tweets with #SDCC_DaveGibbons in it. You’re entered to win. It’s that easy. We’ll notify the winners on Friday.

San Diego Comic-Con, free dinner and Dave Gibbons? Now that’s something to write home about.

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Fossils in Aquazone

Like many kids growing up, I was fascinated with fossils. Dinosaur skeletons were awe inspiring, and I was always hoping to pull an arrowhead out of the river. (Sadly, they were just rocks.)

While I was looking at Aquazone the other day, I thought What is that ridiculous looking thing? Turns out it’s a Nautilus, which is Greek for sailor. It also has survived unchanged for millions of years, which lead many scientists to call it a living fossil. How rad is that?

You can check out this and other interesting facts and tips when you follow Aquazone’s Twitter feed.

Now available: Poser 8 SR3

Once in a while I get lucky and someone else does my job. Today is one of those days. Here’s a post from the Poser Product Manager Steve Cooper:

As service releases go, SR3 for Poser 8 is a biggie. It benefits from development time we invested in Poser Pro 2010 and plenty of user feedback. SR3 also includes something we typically don’t offer with service releases – new additional functionality. For a full list of improvements and features that are included with SR3, be sure to check out the ReadMe. It has a comprehensive list of all changes.

SR3 is available as a free updater to all Poser 8 users. It is a cumulative updater, meaning that it includes all application updater fixes from the first hot-fix through SR2.1. There are both Mac and Windows installers available on the Poser Updates page.

Here’s a little preview of some specific areas the SR3 updater offers expanded functionality:

  • Rendering Performance: Poser 8 SR3 offers improved rendering performance in several areas including strand based hair, 3D motion blur, raytraced refraction and texture caching. The graph below lists the rendering improvements over SR2.
  • Along with rendering efficiency, SR3 also offers significantly improved detail in Depth of Field and Atmosphere rendering plus more precise Indirect Light rendering. These changes may increase some rendering times slightly, but we feel the benefit far outweighs the slight time impact. In the Benchmark File Rendering graph you can visually compare render times for actual files in both SR2.1 and SR3.

  • Expanded Library Functionality: With Poser Pro 2010, we released version two of the new Poser Library and Content Management system. The Flash version of the new PP2010 Library is included with Poser 8 SR3; it will replace the existing P8 library and provide multiple column list views, improved search, improved drag and drop with auto-conforming and user customizable view settings.
  • Changing to conforming: To support more third party content, Poser 8 SR3 also includes the auto-conforming with scaling feature we debuted with PP2010. This allows conformed clothing to match the underlying figure’s scaling factors. There are also new conforming settings for each figure found in the figure’s Properties.

A quick note to Mac users: Be sure to have your serial number handy when first running your SR3 updated version of Poser 8. You’ll need to renter that serial number the first time you start up the application.

SR3 is a substantial update to Poser 8. We’re very pleased with this service release and are confident you will be as well.

Happy Posing!

Thanks Steve!

What’s your query?

In my former life as a waitress, I would often approach people who had been looking at their menus for awhile and say, “Do you have any questions for me?” It’s a good way to find out if they’re ready to order, someone has a food allergy or if they just want more time.

What I should have said was “Do you have any questions about the menu?” But I didn’t and so inevitably I would get questions about what my favorite colors were, who I liked to win the Super Bowl and what the winning lottery numbers were. I got that last one a lot, actually.

The Smith Micro Software blog has been around for a few months. Now that we’ve got the hang of it, we’re introducing a few new features. The first is the Question Jar. This little guy will take your inquiries. I’ll be doing my best to answer them, either through my own knowledge, or (more likely) by harassing my coworkers who know more than me.

I have access to all sorts of awesome information and brilliant minds at Smith Micro Software. If your question gets featured in the blog, you could win a $15 coupon to Content Paradise. You can also ask anonymously, although there’s no coupon in it for you. So…Do you have any questions for me?

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