On effects and particles – How scripters add magic to Second Life

June 30, 2010 at 6:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Starlight particles

So you’re making a Second Life movie and your script calls for: CRAZY WILD SPECIAL EFFECTS. A car explosion perhaps? A building collapsing? Or maybe it’s just something simple, like the progress of a tulip blooming? If you’re a typical machinimatographer like me, you probably can’t really make those things happen out of thin air. And chances are, the typical scripting shop won’t have what you need. So now you have to make an important decision: Do it in post-production or get customized scripting? Either way is correct, and I’ll try to tell you about the benefits of each.

I recently was asked to be machinimatographer on a project that was predicting what a real science laboratory might look like a couple years into the future. The script called for some complex computer programs to be re-created and basically placed into the screens. We decided to shoot green screens and insert the technology at a later time in post. Choosing this option was probably for the best since it required a lot of attention to small details such as menus and commands that would be a challenge to coordinate with prims.

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I went a little paparazzi on #SL7B. Pics from my favorite booths!

June 22, 2010 at 3:50 am (3d animation, animation, Machinima, second life)

I guess you need a big cake to feed all the wonderful artists!

Going to Second Life’s 7th Birthday Fiesta makes me feel a peculiar way.. like peeling off (ok.. going into inventory and detaching) my flip flops and sinking my feet into the grass to people watch all the cool hipsters and their artwork. Every year, Second Life celebrates its birthday by offering a free plot of land to every artist, engineer, scientist, videographer, etc.- basically if you are part of a collaborative effort, you’re in! With that land, you can anything as long as it stays mature and reasonable, but you get a limited number of prims (basically, there’s only so many “objects” you can make on this land). In fact, the prim amount is so low that it’s hard to sacrifice. Sometimes, you have to go a little more simple with your exhibit. Ironically, I see a lot of people going all out too– What is their secret sauce??

Anyways, trying to view all the exhibits is overwhelming! A popular blogger, Dusan Writer once said something along the lines of this, that Second Life is the largest collaborative, creative venture on the planet. Where else can all these different types of people come together and show off their talents? You can visit each booth, and a lot of times you get greeted by the actual artist and they try to give you a lot of free stuff. I went a little paparazzi on the thing today and tried to capture my favorite booths. I’ll share a few snaps with some select words– enjoy!!

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The Visualization of Data– in Virtual Worlds!

June 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm (Spotlight)

One of the pages from our Storyboard

When I first met Annabelle Fanshaw (SL) to produce an animation video for her project, we instantly clicked. Ann’s goal? To show how much data effects our lives and can enrich us. She wanted to capture something to an extent that was not available to us in the physical world yet. However, the “Possibilities” of the virtual world made it easy to prototype her vision. In essence, the vision was to capture the “visualization of data.” I learned the importance of data and how much we take it for granted. It is not a coincidence that the video is called, “Possibilities” either. 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

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