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Member Since 14 Jul 2007
Offline Last Active Today, 02:31 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 3D Mouse

Yesterday, 06:24 AM

"Navigate" and "Fly" modes control the cams, "Move" mode controls the selected object.


Which one model you get? How are you getting to these modes? I don't have mine in front of me at the moment, but I feel like I toyed with every button and setting without ever running into this.

In Topic: External GPU for Octane - Connected to imac - possible or not?

Yesterday, 06:22 AM

Im a windows guy, so I don't know too the specifics too well, but have read its possible. I know thunderbolt can only handle 1 or 2 per thunderbolt connection depending which the spec the port is. The speed is theoretically the exact same as a PCI connection. Thunderbolt is essentially external PCI. 


Someone with more mac experience will have to advise whether SLI works on a mac or not. 
My understanding is that you have to get very specific cards that os x will work with. If that is true, options may be limited as Apple becomes more married to AMD, which may be a much larger problem in the future when its time to upgrade the card. Maybe OpenCL will be more standard by then, but its a gamble.


The primary issue I see is in how the video cards would receive power. All of our cards (titans & 680s) each have direct PEG8+PEG6  connections required, which come off the internal PSU. This all amounts to a needing a fairly large box to house everything.

I have all kinds of concerns about cooling/blowing up expensive graphics cards........

You have to try really, really hard to blow something up. The only way these things completely fry is by throwing a ton of extra voltage at the card or cpu as an overclocking measure. Since you are on a mac, you don't really even have the option to. If anything overheats or has any type of power irregularity, the computer usually just does an emergency shut-off to avoid damaging hardware.

In Topic: Are you a business?

18 February 2015 - 03:00 AM

LLC since 2008 here. I'm not a CPA, but do use one, as well as a bookkeeper. Perhaps a different incorporation type would be better (I have been told to consider converting to an Inc.) but its a whole fiasco to change things at this point. I incorporated when I started freelancing only because I was under the impression I had to in order to freelance. I don't really shop-hop anymore, but having an established business entity helped me grow to get things like my office, business credit line, and business credibility with larger-sized 'direct' clients I probably wouldn't have been able to land otherwise. It allows for a DUNS number, business credit report, and other things like that which do come into play when applying to be a verified vendor to a medium-large sized business.


Any single-member (one person owns 100% of the shares) is automatically considered an S-Corp "pass-through entity" in taxes but its nothing you really have to make note of for when it comes time to check which box you'd like - just choose LLC if not going the Inc route. You, as an individual, will still be paying self-employment taxes on top of federal and state income. Self employment taxes seem fairly brutal @ 15%, but the only alternative is to put yourself on payroll and pay employment tax @ 17.5%. Those numbers may have changed a bit since I last looked, but I doubt any change could be anything significant enough to make the point invalid. Point is, incorporating does not reduce your personal income tax rates.


If you are looking to lower taxes, sadly, incorporating as an LLC can only increase taxes. Not by much, though. Really, only the state minimum corporate tax which is $800 / year in CA. 


There are other costs to consider, though. City business taxes, which are at 1.5% in Los Angeles unless you fall under the creative exemption and gross receipts threshold. If an incorporated freelancer works on-site at the clients' location, legally they are supposed to require that they carry their own workers compensation insurance. Thats rarely enforced, but I consider having business insurance with a workers compensation package as a wise thing to have anyway. A minimum policy ($2 mil coverage with $35k / year workers comp for one person) runs about $1,200 / year. This will also be required if you want to start leasing office space, lease equipment, etc. There are other costs, but those are the ones that are on the top of my head now.


All of that said, there are plenty of reasons to do it, with one of the best things being how it forces you to do proper accounting. Its a pain in the ass, and takes a bit of time out of your week but the benefits of properly writing off expenses are enormous. You can write off things as a sole proprietor, as you do now, but a business entity may give a layer of protection and legitimacy from any suspicions the tax man may have. 


I recommend it. It just forces you to think more like a business, which doesn't hurt.

In Topic: Transitioning to another career

16 February 2015 - 06:06 PM

Hey Beaver, have you given any thought to using your newfound accounting chops and experience in our industry together, as an EP of a shop? A good EP that is part accountant, part salesman, and has a good understanding of our world is a very, very difficult find. They tend to work Banker's hours and make a good percentage.


I got so burned out I went into accounting. What was always draining for me was the need to be creative "on demand" for whatever job. Some people have an amazing ability to do that but I can't. I switched to a field where it's more about problem solving; where progress is more quantifiable, and I'm really enjoying it.

In Topic: Looking for sound design/motion graphics collaboration

16 February 2015 - 05:08 PM

I have a spec toy commercial we did that I can throw your way if you'd like. The sound is already done, but you are free to re-do it.