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Calling all artards!

Have I got a deal for you!

Project Messiah offers an industrial-strength, professional level 3D modeling and animation tool (it’s called “Messiah” because the code was originally developed to do special effects for the film Dogma. Or so they said at Boing Boing. It’s not listed on their film credits).

Serious professional tool. The basic edition is usually $599 and the pro version $1,195, but they’re trying a viral marketing experiment.

Sign up now and you can reserve a copy of basic for $10 or pro for $40. The deal is, if they reach a certain level of sales by a certain date, then everyone who signed on gets a copy at that price (and then the software reverts to its regular price). If they don’t reach that level of sales, we all get our money back and go home empty handed.

They won’t say what their intended level of sales is, or the closing date — but the progress bar has gone from 0 to about 50% on the first day, so it’s looking good.

Fair warning — animation tools aren’t fun toys to fiddle around with casually. Not at first, anyway. There’s a very steep learning curve just to get on top of the basics, and powerful computing needed to render any kind of serious animation.

But when you get the basics down, 3D modeling is the most fun I have ever had with my eyeballs. It’s fantastically engaging.

It’s like carpentry without all the splinters and blood and severed fingers.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting marketing idea. I’ve ponied up my forty bucks and we’ll see what happens.

p.s. If that’s too rich for your blood, there’s always Blender. It’s free.

p.p.s. A strangely hypnotic animation I did in 3DS. Also, my favorite comment thread ever. If I do say so myself.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 2:15 pm

When I started with 3D Studio — I don’t remember when, but my first version was DOS-based — I managed a fair mastery of all the main components. A decade’s worth of updates later and I understood what about six of the hundreds of buttons did. No shit. The technology just went whizzzzzzzzzzzz right out from under me.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 2:35 pm

Have you seen this funny food by state graphic?

For Rhode Island, coffee milk is a fair cop (a painfully sweet coffee flavored milk), though quahogs come to mind, too.

But they have Tennessee down for…tomatoes? Really? Why? How about Goo Goo Candy Clusters or Moon Pies?

I’m ashamed to admit how few states (particularly in the Midwest) I could pin a label on. And how many of them I could identify because I knew their special food.

But also there was food there, I don’t know what the fuck it is.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 10, 2011, 4:59 pm

California? The fruit cake state?

Has to be!

Comment from Mitchell
Time: February 10, 2011, 5:09 pm

I saw this deal mentioned elsewhere and immediatly thought of you Stoaty! But you’re right on top of it of course.

The buffet table is perfect for Nevada.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 5:23 pm

It’s up to 60% after two days. Cross your fingers.

Comment from jwm
Time: February 10, 2011, 5:56 pm

Best of luck with the 3-d tools. I tried Flash, and just added one more item to my list of failures. More fun than I was meant to have, I suppose.
On the food- California has two food groups. Remember that the Blue Meanies are heavily concentrated in a few urban, and coastal enclaves. They eat tofu, and arugula. The rest of us are Americans like everyone else. We eat barbecued meat, potatoes, and beer.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 6:22 pm

There’s a Flash clone called Vectorian that’s pretty inexpensive. They’ve mimicked all the Flash animation controls and keyboard shortcuts, but their schtick is that it’s more for animators and less for programmers.

I downloaded their demo and played with it a little, and it did FEEL a lot like Flash. But I think the time on my demo has run out, and I have a few too many toys in my basket at the moment.

Comment from Frit
Time: February 10, 2011, 8:07 pm

I always heard that California was the granola state; i.e.: what ain’t fruits & nuts is flakes! *giggles, hides* (And yes, I did live there for a couple-a decades. I like to think I was the cinnamon in the mix.) 😉

Comment from Frit
Time: February 10, 2011, 8:23 pm

P.S. I’m also taking the chance to get the pro version of the 3D software. The Dragon does a bit of 3D rendering, and this will be a lovely surprise for him. *Muwahahahahaaaa*

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: February 10, 2011, 9:27 pm

I remember that post, Stoaty. That mountain should have been named, “Peak Abu”.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 10:42 pm

McGoo! Good to see you! How’s Rancho McGoo coming along? (Dammit, I just don’t read my blogroll like I used to).

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 10, 2011, 10:49 pm

First of all, I drive a Mac. Secondly, I have no idea how to do stuff like that, and since I ain’t retirin’ soon (more’s the pity), I don’t have time to learn.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 10, 2011, 11:04 pm

Never mind, Nina. Looks like they’re holding this open for a month, and they’re at, like, 65% of goal after two days.

I think I’ll get my toy 🙂

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 10, 2011, 11:18 pm

Happy happy!

Comment from Spad13
Time: February 11, 2011, 12:16 am

Come on Weasel we all know carpentry would’nt be any fun with out blood and splinters. (severed digits I have avoided so far)
And I can’t wait to see the Zombie Reagan animations you will make with the new software when you get it.
The lefties can have their damn captain planet cartoons we can have Zombie Reagan eat his veggie brain.

Comment from AC
Time: February 11, 2011, 1:34 am

I gave my $40. It looks alot more like 3ds, of course I use Maya, but for almost nothing I will give it a chance.

Comment from Pavel
Time: February 11, 2011, 1:34 am

I got reasonably good at Poser once upon a time, and had the same experience as you, stoaty. The software advanced (they incorporated a sweet, sweet 64 bit rendering engine, for example), but the big problem was that I didn’t remember what all those damn buttons did after a while. It was like stepping into an airliner cockpit. Since then I have stuck to ascii art.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 11, 2011, 2:59 am

I don’t know Weasel…. some people just can’t be trusted not to use this kind of power for evil …


And once unleashed…. well

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 11, 2011, 5:14 am

Meh… Colorado.

DEFINATELY Rocky Mountain Oysters…..


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 11, 2011, 10:50 am

Hm. Looks like Messiah doesn’t come with a modeler. Recommended (to me) free or cheap modeling software: blender, silo, wings 3D, 3D coat, sculptris.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: February 12, 2011, 3:35 am


MFA (Master of Fine Arts): yadda-yadda fine arts, antique furniture reproduction and boot black shellac and wax finishes has served me well for the last 30+ years.

I still draw plans using paper, pencils and architects rules. Squares, triangles, french curves and compasses await my hand.

My thirty-sumpin’ partner is attempting…..(operative word: attempting!)…..to get me to learn Google “Sketch-Up”. I find it disconcerting.

Words typed on a keypad and thence appearing on some blog or MSWord.doc are a whole different deal. This shit, I understand. It follows the same pattern that I learned in 1961. My old Underwood mechanical typewriter keyboard was basically the same as this slick, black Dell digital.

Am I showing my age?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: February 12, 2011, 6:06 am


Nope. Not showing your age. At least not HERE, where it is not outside the bell curve. But your experience with manual typewriters appears to have been unusually benign. . .or you were an exceptionally fine typist!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: February 12, 2011, 8:42 pm

Interesting how viable it is to develop something new for a single project. Reminds me of the Thunderchild synthesizer developed for the War Of The Worlds musical (narrated by Richard Burton, and I highly recommend you listen to it only because I cannot command you to listen to it)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 12, 2011, 8:53 pm

I found Sketch Up a bit disconcerting, too. They’re selling it to concept artists as a way to mock up 3D quickly, but found I was always pulling something or pushing something I shouldn’t oughta.

Of course, that’s not exceptional for me and 3D. I did fine as long as I stuck to rectilinear things (which is, like, 90% of architectural objects) and spheres and shit. I got lost the moment I tried to make mesh objects.

I’ve just done it again. Playing with Blender, I deleted a rogue vertex and lost a whole face. Come back, face!

Ow, jw. Thirty bucks? And it sounds kinda…disco.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: February 12, 2011, 9:31 pm

No, Weez. It is excellent. Me and a buddy of mine listened to it at night (cassette player) on the way from Jacksonville, FLA to Pearl, Mississippi on leave, way back when. It is so fine. Burton’s narration is what does it.

The one song that made it to airplay from that musical was kinda sucky (“Forever Autumn”), quite frankly. The other songs were great.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: February 13, 2011, 9:12 pm

Moving swiftly through the waters
Cannons blazing as she came
Brought a mighty metal War-Lord
Crashing down in sheets of flame
Sensing victory was nearing
Thinking fortune must have smiled
People started cheering
‘Come on Thunder Child’
‘Come on Thunder Child’

Man, if the hair doesn’t rise on the back of your neck listening to that song from War of the Worlds, the Jihadists have won.

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