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About etown

  • Rank
    MoGraph Regular

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  • Location
    Chi Town
  • Interests
    Thrash'n and relax'n

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  • About Me
    3D artist running things his own way. Living the dream.
  1. CrashPlan is a great offsite alternative. We have 1 terabyte backed up on there and it's very inexpensive compared to the others. Software and support has been pleasant as well.
  2. Anyone know the studio that is creating the new 3D hotels.com commercials? Thanks
  3. Built a massive PC rig this year as well. My issue is with PC cases and how they all look like they belong in your college dorm or a laser tag office. I've found Silverstone has a few nice models and they use some awesome thermal designs (don't know why everyone rotates the mobo since heat rises). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163202 Comes in aluminum for all you MacPro lovers. If anyone else knows of some pretty minimal cases please let me know. I'm not looking for a cheap case.
  4. I love mac screens, but hate mac hardware (and I grew up on mac quadras and performas). My studio does have a newish pro tower and a brand new mini, but I built a beast of a pc for a fraction of the cost (intel extreme, dual gfx cards, ssd, blu-ray, 32 gigs of ram). I can't live without my shiny aluminum apple toys, but I can't stand the bullshit wait and lack of industry progression. Who wants to start a pc company that is the best of both worlds, but doesn't look anything like Boxx?
  5. etown

    3D Mouse

    Yes, this issue affects countless of us 3D artists and just about anybody at a computer these days. I've found that the best combination is a large ergonomic mouse and a Wacom setup. I got to a point where I was thinking about switching professions, but then I realized you just have to limit yourself to certain hours a day and good sleep. Workers comp doesn't even cover this anymore, too many people with these issues. Love this mouse: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Natural-Wireless-Laser-Mouse/dp/B000KA7PD0/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&srs=2529902011&ie=UTF8&qid=1363627778&sr=1-3&keywords=microsoft+natural+mouse+7000 Lots of breaks and arm massages. Heating pad in the evening works great too.
  6. I'm almost 2 years in. Everything stated above is invaluable information. Keep overhead very low and work in a second bedroom/small space as long as you can do it. I was working in my server room for the first year, which usually was around 85 degrees (90+ in the summer and couldn't afford the volts for AC). Not fun, but starting a new business is not fun. It takes a shit load of hard work, focus and perseverance. You will doubt yourself, you will get depressed, you will drink a lot, but keep going and it will pay off. Make sure you surround yourself with other business owners who have done this before you and made mistakes and ask them lots of questions. Oh ya, don't forget to get lots of exercise. This really saved me during the stressful days and still does. I'll go play hockey during the week and not think about anything business related. Good luck!
  7. So.... I seem to be spending a shit load of money on my legal dept. these days. The best advice I ever received about contracts was never sign a standard contract. There are some wild contracts out there, and if not read properly by a professional, can ruin your small company. That being said I'm always looking for a great lawyer who has experience in our creative field. I currently pay $325 an hour and I can't say I want to keep spending that amount, considering I'm spending 1/4 of my week now dealing with legal matters. Anybody got some fantastic lawyer that doesn't cost and arm and a leg and knows our biz? I don't think location really matters these days. -e
  8. Looks like we're starting to get some mograph love this years with state sets. I've tried it and it's pretty pimp. Unfortunately, I have to wait months before my plugins catch up. http://area.autodesk.com/3dsmax2013/
  9. Looking good Ken -- is the .sof filetype an Autodesk - Adobe thing or could this be something implemented in say Nuke?
  10. Great thread -- figured I'd share my farm as well 6 Shuttle's boxes running 3.07 Ghz quad cores + 8gigs of ram (this seems to be plenty of ram for what I've thrown at it). Bought 'em off of Newegg.com and assembled at home -- super easy. Cheap and kinda dependable Acer Windows Home server with VPN connection (I can grab my licenses through my U-Verse modem gateway when I'm on the road). I definitely would recommend a central storageserver with some sort of server software. I use CrashPlan offsite backup on this baby, which is great for peace of mind. I use one of the servers as my license server and render mananger. That way if your main workstation goes down everything is still running. I would not recommend using your main workstation as anything except a production station. If it fails or whatever you can get back up and running fairly quickly. Oh ya -- don't skimp on a good APC power backup unit and electrician. I started frying servers when I maxed out my electrical.
  11. I usually go with the five fingers.
  12. Face time is huge. I've been building my studio for about a year and nothing works better than talking with a potential client face to face. Emails and other related communication got nothing on the good 'ol fashion hand shake.
  13. Start a micro brewery instead. There's more of those in Chicago these days than studios. Hmmmm... I should be doing beer ads.
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