Sale Time!

June 28, 2007 12:36 am

While cruising through Renderosity recently I noticed with some alarm that they were having a Summer Solstice Sale, for one day only, on June 24th. I wasn't fooled, I knew this was really a politically correct way to celebrate the 89th anniversary of airmail service from Montreal to Toronto, or perhaps the 60th birthday of Peter "Robocop" Weller. My sources remain maddeningly unclear.

But I didn't worry too much about that once the reality of a huge sale on Poser/DAZ Studio-compatible characters, clothes, hair and props landed hard in my gut like the day-old Spicy Ham value meal from the buffet cart at SuperSaver.

I had only three hours before the sale window snapped shut, but I paused to take a cold, hard look at my current collection of rendering products; a look which was complicated by the fact that my computer is now powered by an exercise bicycle attached to a generator because of some trivial mix-up with the electric company. (Bills? Insufficient funds? When will these people cut the jargon and speak English!)

Generally I render science fiction themed scenes -- and manly ones at that! -- such as one where great hordes of alien ships are blasting a planet to bits ("Excuse me, anyone home?," 2005), or my Bryce creation with killer robots on the loose in New Techno City ("Robots,Smobots ," 2007). Did I really need the four year old product "Victoria 2.0's Frilly Glove Set" or the Windows 95-only product "Cutesy Hair for Prancer Pony"?

The answer of course is yes.

Well, actually the answer is no, I didn't need those particular products, but I think you know what I mean. There were clearly many, many items that I simply had to purchase. There was no other option. But with time running out I would have to start slamming items into my shopping cart with a celerity usually associated with the Harlem Globetrotters.

So, pedaling quickly to build up a decent reserve charge I began to make my selections.

The first item which struck a chord: "Blue: A Primary Color." This package promised the exact, precise, integer values for pure blue. Sure, I already knew the RGB numbers, but CMYK? I had to think. And what about HLS,  Lab, or the CIE XYZ color space? What did I really know about this "blue" anyway? Were my rendered images being subtly ruined by incorrect Alizarin Crimsons or by a scandalous shift of Blanched Almond to Burly Wood? The more I pondered, the more it became clear that this was the reason I'd missed out on Artist of the Year.

Granted, locating information about color space values on the Internet is as difficult as finding the publication date for the next volume of Harry Potter, but I panicked and "Blue: A Primary Color," at the bargain price of $23.50, was quickly sent to my Renderosity Shopping Cart. Admittedly, I panic easily; when given a choice between paper and plastic at the grocery store I offer to take everything home in my pants pockets. As for my 17 Barnes & Noble Membership Cards, the less said the better.

I did, however, decide to pause once again so that I could come up with a more coherent purchasing strategy. Unfortunately I stopped pedaling too abruptly and the pent up angular momentum of the flywheel propelled me headlong at speeds just shy of the sound barrier. I am happy to report that modern manufacturing techniques allow for a surprisingly high tensile strength in consumer quality LCD flat-screen monitors, although not high enough to keep my forehead from becoming slightly birefringent.

After mopping up most of the blood I considered my next project: a series of detailed images depicting a bleak, desolate future where an oppressive authoritarian regime of demons and aliens holds sway over a crushed remnant of humanity in an environmentally scarred wasteland. But with a light, whimsical touch.

With this in mind, I noticed an expansion module for the TN-9000 Scram-Projectile Planetary Defense Base which includes new textures to add lace doilies to the ion cannon point defense system, Grandma's plastic covers for chairs in the Quantum Assault Tank, and a variety of pastel window treatments to brighten up the Hyper-Kinetic Blast Chamber. I also noted that the latest version of the Draxillian Conquest Battle-Suit has a jacket made with a fine gabardine for DAZ's Michael 3.0. And I was quite taken with a series of espadrilles for Victoria 4.0 which make an exquisite match to the Thorax Armour of Nirgil, certainly appropriate for images of that Babylonian death god's horde relaxing at the beach between plunders.

But with the sale prices I just couldn't resist adding more. Sediment!: a background construction kit which shows subtle variations in middle-Ordovician strata that will be easily visible once Ultra-High Definition Video monitors become popular in the 2030s, simply screamed for inclusion. How could I ignore Xenoglaux, a new character that looks like a cross between Mariah Carey and a Long-whiskered Owlet. Or, Autoderv , a set of 2D billboards just perfect for renders depicting Indefinite Integrals. And there was no question that at $34.95 they were practically giving away the building props for the business district of West Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania. All of these were quickly added to my already bloated cart.

With time running out I rushed to the Cart to click Checkout and then Submit. After waiting several attoseconds without any response I clicked Submit again. Then again. And again. Finally after pounding down for the seventh time, my optical mouse flipped over and the laser slipped into a mode suitable for LASIK surgery. Before my retina overloaded I noticed that I had neglected to include the special code which actually applied the sales price.


Oh well, I was still very happy with my haul of new products, or I should say, my new purchase of six copies of each new product, even if it meant that I would be dining on a smattering of dry macaroni noodles each day for the remainder of the decade. After all, hadn't I had some laughs, a few tears, all the while learning that I needed to "always be myself" in the face of peer pressure?

Apparently not, I was simply overhearing my neighbor's TV as they watched the end of a very special episode of "According to Jim."

AnteriorLobe (Ron Kollgaard)

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July 2, 2007

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Article Comments

3Dillusions ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 04 July 2007

Your a hoot, thanks for the laugh, I too, look and scrutinize every product and say do I need this, and the answer will be Hell yes, lol.

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 05 July 2007

Just stand up and admit it. You are a MarketPlace junkie! But, you are in great company. I too went on a recent buying spree of 3D products that I really did not need, but "had" to have (just in case I might need them at a later date). With horror I watched the pie chart of my enormous hard drive go from a sliver to nearly half. With the money I saved from the sale, I need to spend it on an additional external hard drive just to store the products that I will most likely never open. I wonder if they have a "Clean House" program for overstuffed 3D closets? Thanks for the giggle, and I hope your head is heals soon. Dee-Marie

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