Jan. 6th, 2010

tugrik: (Default)
And now I have dead-arm. Owie. But heck, I'll take it.

I've been waiting for the shots to become available in my area for months now. I tried to go to one of the big city-sponsored clinics but with 6+ hour lines and nowhere for a big guy like me to sit while waiting... wasn't happenin'. My doc's office ran through their supply and barely covered the children and pregnant women, so all others were denied.

Finally this Monday Walgreens got a ton of them in here in the bay area. My local one didn't have the syringes until today. By 10am this morning I'd gotten my shot. It cost all of $18.

I know one person on my LJ list and two friends of co-workers who have died from this flu. I highly encourage getting vaccinated. Also, huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] skorzy for posting about this earlier last week.
tugrik: (Default)
So, Avatar crossed that 'uncanny valley' barrier just enough to make full CG characters believable and easy to watch. This just reinforces my thought that computer graphics don't have so much of a "long way to go" as they do "a long way they can go". As more people experiment with new ways of rendering it's only going to get better.

Case in point: this is one film I need to share. I won't embed it because it's best watched directly on Vimeo's site in full-screen HD.

The Third & The Seventh

It's a simple piece about beauty-of-place and architecture from a photographic point of view. The first few minutes are a little over-heavy on the rack-focusing effect, but stick with it; it gets even better.

If you have trouble believing that it's all CG, just watch some of the composite breakdowns. :)

It just breaks my head that this thing is 100% CG. And it breaks my heart that I don't have the ability to do this level of work myself. The worlds I want to show you...
tugrik: (Default)
My order finally came in from the stamp-equipment supplier. It took a whole 10 days to get here on the Slow Boat from the MIdwest, feh.

In any case -- I now have the ability to make 0.80" round stamps. Here are the first 10 designs to be given to LJ friends who requested.

A few things I've learned:

  • 1.5 drops of ink in the base is more than enough. Eesh.
  • Big solid areas don't look so great. They cause the ink to 'bridge' over smaller pits. Outlines are the best for small stamps.
  • 6pt is about the smallest font. The 'feastofdreams.net' on the 5th stamp isn't legible (it's in 4pt).
  • The higher the detail the harder it is to make a good impression. The "Hello Kzinti" (#6 in the photo) is hard to get a good impression on due to fiddly edge bits... but you can if you try. Different inks may work better.
  • Round-edged things that match the round-edge of the plunger work great. #'s 7,8 and 9 are wonderful to work with, stamp-wise.
  • Thin things in the middle are the hardest to use (again, #5). This can most likely be solved by making a circle around the design.

Most importantly, I've found the most labor-intensive part isn't what I expected: laser-cutting a disc of doublesided tape, peeling it, sticking to the die, peeling the other side, sticking to the plunger. As a result if I'm just making a few stamps for someone, no problem... but if someone is ordering 50 to sell, I'll send them the component parts (cut die, pre-cut tape circles, the stamp-body) and let them assemble them on their own to save money. Otherwise I'd have to charge too much for labor.

For the moment if you just want me to do one stamp of this size and have reasonably ready artwork, I'd charge $5/ea (more if I have to do a ton of art-cleanup for you). But if you are ordering in a batch the price would go down since I only have to do the art-layout once. If someone did a 50-piece order, for instance, I'd probably only charge $2/ea. And then I'd have the design on-file to remake them at the bulk price any time you wanted.

Next up: working on standard 1" x 3" full sized wood-block holders, to make more normal stamp sizes.

(For the folks who recognize their stamp up there: either see me at FC to come snag it, or send me email at tugrik@gmail.com with your snailmail addy so I can send it to you if you won't make the con)


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