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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Towards the Future

It is early in December as I write this but will publish it as the year adds another number to itself -- which by chance is my rez day (early in the morning I was birthed; not bored at midnight *wink*).

There have been plenty of changes in Second Life this year, some of them affecting machinima production and photography. Mesh bodies have become the norm among many groups, heads are making their way there. We look "better" some folks would say or "spookily real" as others comment.

I have always put an emphasis on production values -- in real life or virtual. One can certainly make a very good machinima without Windlight, mesh and all the newer additions to Second Life, but adding them ups the Preeetty Factor and I like pretty.

We are losing the University of Western Australia yearly contests. We have lost Month of Machinima. There are a few other contests on the horizon (Mad Pea, Firestorm) to give us themes and shake us outside our boxes a little. Or of course we can simply do our own thing.

The New Year is my personal favorite holiday; a turning of a giant page in the book of our lives. What might the next year bring?

I have a couple of ideas for MOSP. They will either turn out or not. I don't worry about that; there is always another path with its own twists and turns. Perhaps a better path than what we had planned.

Sansar should open this next year. Originally touted as a better Second Life, it seems like plans have changed there too. So my concentration, for now, will be here. What would make OUR world better for machinima?  Facial animations come to mind.

With the new animated heads capable of what might turn out to be to be planned facial animations running by scripts with a few clicks, it seems clear that the next big step forward will include -- well let's call them "talking heads" LOL.  And with the new facial bones we will be able to tell our stories with a look.

Imagine within the next year stores that sell scripted animations for various animated heads. Now wouldn't that be something? 

Our props keep getting better and better. Be sure and hit The Arcade yards sales to pick up wonderfulness at rock bottom prices. A RL friend asked me the other day where I got that great military uniform for my last film. I told him I bought it at a yard sale some time back. It was great and I was pretty sure I would find a use for it. And of course it was transfer *wink*.  This month I got REALLY lucky and found two sets of matching surreal telephone poles at LESS than the cost of playing the machine.

Well, damn -- now I have told you my secrets!

That's OK. It's a new year and who knows what it will bring.

Friday, December 18, 2015

News of the Top UWA winners



This sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Congrats to all.



Issued: December 18 2015
PRESS RELEASE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE     
MEDIA CONTACT
Rahimah Rasith, LIt Up Festival Online.
rahimah23@gmail.com

UWA Challenge Machinima Stars Commissioned for Lit Up Festival in Singapore

As a virtual door closes a real life one has opened for the top three winners of the final University of Western Australia Machinima Challenge VIII. The diversely talented machinima makers have each been offered a commission to create something for a cutting edge live literature digital arts festival in Singapore.

Kobuk Farshore, Tutsy Navarathna and the third-placed team of Lilia Artis and Haveit Aeon will collaborate with the Writers Centre, Singapore and its seven year old flagship festival .

The lucky artists may also get to travel to the tech hub of South-East Asia in November 2016 for the launch of their new films.

“This will depend on funding, but we hope they can come and give talks, workshops and participate in panel discussions on the relationship between virtual art and the real word.”

She went on to say that the machinima makers will hopefully get to meet up in person with their Singapore collaborator Chris Mooney-Singh who is providing original material for the three projects. In SL he is better known as Singh Albatros, back in world after a long spell having completed a doctorate in Creative Writing from Monash University in Australia.

Ms Rasith also went on to say that the Writers Centre, Singapore, a non profit organisation was glad to support SL artists in world and out world.

“In a sense we feel we have been passed the torch by Art Challenge director Jay Jay Zifanwe and the University of Western Australia."

“Its a creative alliance. Following UWA's lead we hope to execute other in world events and stream them live to Facebook,” she added.

More infomation can be found at:

http://www.litup.sg

Sunday, December 13, 2015

UWA Awards Ceremony

There were plenty of attendees at the last awards ceremony for the University of Western Australia -- or at least for the yearly reign of challenges.

While I really wanted to make it into the top five, sixth ain't bad at all.

From the UWA blog:

Sixth Place (L$5,000): FOLDING TIME, by Chic Aeon of Corvallis, Oregon, USA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLHaq63E2fI

"Since "Shades of Gray" UWA has played a large part in my artier Second Life  endeavors. I am sorry to see the contests end but happy that the University's presence will continue. There is a season for all things, and MachinimUWA has had an impressive one." Chic Aeon

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

UWA News

I had been wondering,  but had no inside intel.

From a post just now on the UWA blog:

WHY IS THIS THE FINAL ONE? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR UWA?
  • The UWA sims will continue
  • FreeWee Ling will take full control of art at UWA, and will continue to run art events as she has been over the years
  • NOT the end of UWA in Second Life
  • IS THE END for the major international art and film challenges that have run annually since 2009
  • There may be special art or film events if funding is secured to run those specific events (or is a large amount of funding is suddenly available to UWA for work in virtual worlds)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Heads Up - the Next Generation of Mesh Heads

Now this post is for the guys --- or of course those of us that become guys when needed for our films :D. Either way there is an impressive new mesh head out from Akeruka (wish I still blogged for them *wink*).

Three dark skin tones. Lots of facial hair options and very impressive animated facial expressions. Imagine what you could do?

Strawberry Singh who is VERY into all heads mesh made a nice video to show how things work.  I have no plans that need a forget me not male lead, but you might.

Here is the link to the video.

  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winter Goodness

Wayward

We are moving into winter territory, snowy seasons, whites and contrasts; a magical time.

What's on the horizon?

LEA Land Grant applications are still open for the January to June time.

That means you have a month and a half to take in all the goodness (and film) of the existing LEA sims. There are some impressive installations this round.

There are still a couple of weeks plus to watch the UWA films and turn in your guess list of the winners. You might even get some holiday spending money out of the exercise. You will surely learn some things from watching.

There is another event in the works but it is still in the foggy stage, so I will report when I know more and if I think it would be something of interest to you guys.

Enjoy November!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November

It's getting cold in my real world. It is snowing on my sim in Canada (Opensim), but still sunny and green on the mainland in SL.

Forty-two entries in the Pursue Impossible contest! A good showing. I encourage you to watch carefully and learn from the works of others.

I have decided not to try and pick the winners this year. There are way too many variables to shuffle and it is doubtful that I could come close to what the group of judges decide. So that is one less "competitor" for you guys. Awards are to be given out sometime at the beginning of December VERY early in my morning so I may or may not be in the audience, but I definitely look forward to seeing the competition results.


Cafe Society on LEA28 is supposed to come down Sunday or soon after so if you want to take some shots to put in your "I might need this sometime" file, now is the time.  I actually haven't heard anything official about the new winter session at LEA28 or the ending of the current one, so I will leave things up until I do. The quietness is a little disturbing and I hate empty land *wink*.

That's my update for now. 

Go forth. Make great stuff.

Practice your skills.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pursuing Improvement

The UWA entries are almost in the can. With thirty submissions already, it is a good showing -- and a perfect place to look for hints on how you can improve YOUR machinima.

I noted growth among the veteran filmmakers -- smoother flow, interesting (and new) effects seemed to lead the kudos list. This is a perfect time to pick your favorites, not for the UWA viewers tournament -- but for yourself. Was it the theme or the story that drew you in? The smooth camera work and interesting angles?  After you FIND your favorites try discerning why they won your personal contest. See how improving your skills in that area will improve your work overall.

There were also some notable (at least to me) reoccurring areas that many folks could choose to work on, and I do not remove myself from that list. So let's look at those problem spots. They are NOT new ones *wink*, which tells me we need to keep reminding ourselves.

And of course if you are completely happy with your work and wouldn't change a thing? Well congrats and get back to filming!

EDITING:  Editing is my favorite part of the process. I can get lost for hours amid the film clips, filters and transitions. Getting the timing "just right" (always a personal preference) can give one an outstanding creative high. Unlike chocolate, no calories are involved.

Is less more? Not always, but TIGHT is usually better. You don't need ten seconds of a mountain sunset view to get your point across. Three will likely do it. OR have another scene superimposed to add some interest.

A well-known game producer has had to go back and cut the fat from the current project. It was painful, but the team found that they actually had a much better product with LESS. If you are asked to tell your story in about 4:30 minutes, see if you can't actually do that. I bet you can.

Watch the FLOW of your film to see if the viewer can understand what you are trying to say without getting bored and going out for tea. 


ANIMATIONS: Getting our virtual bodies to move as we would like is tricky in Second Life where most of these films were made. Hands IN bodies rather than ON hips is not a good thing. Elbows hitting inside legs (a common occurrence for long armed Chic) is just as bad.

You have some choices to fix this -- perhaps four.  You can move the pose balls around in a couples animation (or adjust the individual placement menus within furniture or props) so that the people fit. 

Sometimes though your actors aren't anywhere near the proportions the animations were design for. You can find another animation, resize your avatars a bit to make the animations fit OR shoot from a different angle.


SMOOTH CAMS:   I read once when I was just starting in machinima that you shouldn't have too many camera movements. If you think about it, they are rarely seen in TV and movies. The article said that they made your viewers dizzy.

Now I don't know about the DIZZY part of the equation, but they could certainly make your film seem BUSY.  And jerky cams definitely pull your audience away from the flow of the film.

There are two fixes for this. One, you can do the zoom and pan within your editing software. This is often the easiest (and sometimes the best) choice.  Two, you can turn on Camera Position Smoothing. In Firestorm this feature is on an easy to adjust slider in Phototools (a button) on the Cam tab.

At the bottom of the panel you will see a Cam. Smoothing slider. The default is 1. I usually use around 50 or so (you don't need to be careful as it isn't that fussy). Note how SMOOOOOOTH your mouse moves things! Be sure and turn it back to the default when you are finished.

If  you don't have a viewer with easy access to this feature, you can set the number via the DEBUG panel. 

HORN TOOTING:  Now this is a person prejudice but I am going to add it in here. I do have an issue with GIANT announcements at the beginning of the film -- ones with the filmmaker's name in five inch high letters. The intros that go on for 30 seconds are also not good in my book. If you make a good film, folks WILL know. If you do not -- well you probably don't want them remembering - LOL. Sorry, couldn't help that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I think I have made some improvement in the last year although some of my early films are still noteworthy -- at least in my book. I have improved the flow at times and due to the availability of better props, wearables and animations my production values have remained high. I have definitely improved my voiceovers (all those tutorials helped with that) with the one in Folding Time being my best to date.

I marvel at some of the effects folks accomplish but in the end I am a simple gal and a simple filmmaker. If you look at my first notable work, Shades of Gray and compare it to my last, Bookends -- you can see that things haven't changed too much for me. My tools are of higher quality, but my methods and focus are pretty much the same.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kudos Well Deserved

Vilvi Rae & Iono Allen  films were chosen for screening at the Veteran's Film Festival at the Australian War Memorial. These exceptionally made machinima were prize winners in the last UWA contest. 

* No Man's Land

Butchery

Sunday, October 25, 2015

One Week for UWA

We are getting down to the wire in the UWA contest. Many of the top award winners in the past have presented their works. The field is still small. I am the only one so far who has entered more than one film, and my second (while apparently better in many minds *wink*) wasn't really planned.

These are my unedited thoughts :D.   I am a big girl now and I answer only to myself.

****************************************************

There are a few more folks that may have entries; I am watching for them. But looking at the current entries I am still a bit confused. Tutsy's film will likely win. Not only is it intricately presented, but there is that "he always wins" thing in the minds of some judges. That isn't a bad thing. It means that he has repeatedly given us exceptional work.  I doubt too many judges would "not" vote for his film simply because that makes them look less than -- well let's say aware. 

This is not a new scenario -- and indeed it is a fair thing to honor past accomplishments. That is how some politicos stay in office so long. Do a good job; reap the rewards and oftentimes deservedly so.

Even though there are fewer entries this season there are some exceptional works. This is not a clear cut year for me though. Sometimes it is SO obvious (perhaps only to me) who the winners will be that making my list is a breeze. Not so much this year.

I wonder how much themes are weighted in the deciding process. Some have been well thought out, others I have a hard time finding the reference to "Pursue Impossible". Production values? While I am a big proponent of pretty, I find that one of my favorites had no windlight or shadows or high class mesh -- it made up for it with heart.

Then there are the technical issues. Most folks wouldn't notice but as a filmmaker I have an issue with hands going through bodies and poses that really don't fit. It draws my attention and takes me away from the film. I am sure that I am in the minority here; many people would never notice. But still, those film-making choices shift my enthusiasm some.

We didn't see too many films that needed "snipping" in that too long on the same frame way. That made me happy. There are some that lost my attention at the beginning. You know what happens then? They drop off my list.

And there is a VERY GOOD POINT there -- one that I don't always remember or perhaps simply don't worry about in my artistic pursuits. You really have only about thirty seconds to convince someone that they want to continue watching. Maybe a little more on a good day. So make your first impression count. If you have a twenty second this-is-my-brand-and-I-can-do-Flash intro? You have almost always lost me. I want to see your vision or a hint of it. I want to know what the film is about and if I should stick around and spend my time  watching.


Just my opinions for what they are worth.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Judging Not Judgment

Less than two weeks before UWA closes for entries. I suspect there will be a slight flutter towards the end; it usually happens.

Simplistically it would seem easier to judge this year -- with fewer entries and all. But I am not so sure that is true.  Ghost Race is a bit of a wild card.  A bit like pitting apples and oranges against each other, it is difficult to judge how it will fit into the mix. The playing field isn't the least bit level. Will that have folks moving it down in the listing when they vote? Very difficult to say.

Tutsy's Death of Death entry was masterfully produced and edited. I am not sure that I "liked" it in the basic sense of that concept, but I certainly appreciated the skill it represents. I especially applauded his creativity in cleverly sidestepping  the  "made for the UWA ..." obligatory text. I was actually afraid that some people would not enter with that mandatory addition. And indeed, some may have chosen not to.

The gals across the ocean presented a masterful work this time out. Their films are always interesting and inventive but this one seemed -- well, "smoother" is the word that comes best to mind. It flowed in a very pleasing manner leading the viewer onward in the viewing journey.

Another film that caught my eye was the Wright Brothers film.  No shadows or fancy windlight, no frills at all really, but the cartoonesce depiction was filled with heart, told the story well in an entertaining manner and kept viewer interest  -- at least mine.

There are so many things to look at when judging a work. Concept, depiction, cinematography, editing --- it is indeed a long list. I haven't decided if I will send in my guesses this year. Some years, in my mind anyway, the choices are clear.

This year (so far anyway) not so much.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hanging


As promised I will be hanging around the fountain at LEA28 this Sunday between noon and one SLT. If you want to chat about machinima, ask questions or just play in the water -- stop by.  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bookends Filmed at Cafe Society



As I was finishing up Bookends, I had to smile at myself.

I am sure that most folks will assume that I built the set at the Art Farm "for" Bookends. In actually the plot came after the set.

When I entered my bid for a quarter sim area for six weeks I promised to make a film using the set. I planned a very brief film. Then after a miss-start with a day's worth of shooting discarded, I found my rhythm. The short film turned longer, a wider theme came into play and I entered the result into the UWA contest.

As the shooting schedule progressed, I added criteria; I decided to film in each area of the set. In reaching for that goal, the film began to tell its own story. The vintage automobile took on a staring role,  becoming an anchor point throughout time.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJz4NL-Uz7g

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Filming - Overlays - Happy Accidents


I spent a few hours filming today over at Cafe Society. I have a lot (a LOT) of footage to sift through. In the middle of the shot list (well honestly there is NEVER a shot list for me except a vague plan in my head) a friend arrived in corporeal form and I needed to pause for a couple of hours.

In the real world of course we can't do that. I remember way too many times when shots were taken at sunset with fingers crossed. They almost always worked out.  Still, I did not want to lose my light so I left myself on, asked my actor to do the same and told him I would call him if and when he needed to move. I frequently ask friends to plunk themselves down on  pose balls and get on with their day.


As five o'clock rolled around I felt I had the story, it was time to call it a day, pack up and hope for the best. Sometimes I spend awhile shooting, sometimes I am done in five minutes. It all depends on my mood. For whatever reason I was in a "savoring" mood today and took my time. I hope it works out well.



Before I closed my viewer for the day  I took a screenshot with the windlight setting JUST in case I needed some additional footage.

And, a happy surprised greeted me as I closed down the SKY panel, a beautifully lit nighttime shot (the lead photo) with exactly the same placement as one I had taken a few minutes earlier. These can fade into one another using an overlay and transition. OR they could turn out to be useful somewhere else.

Whenever serendipity hands you a present it is wise to take advantage, nod and whisper "thank you".

Monday, October 5, 2015

Filming Day One


I started filming today.

I have a plan for the most part. I even made voiceover files for the central part of the film. As usual my original plan grew and morphed into something else. It will undoubtedly do that a few more times before I am finished.

I shot footage a Cafe Society LEA28 and The Gray Child (photo above) at LEA15. I encourage you to take a spin around the art sims as there are some really beautiful builds this round.  

And don't forget you have until the end of the month if you want to submit a film to UWA.

 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Additions


There is a new prop over at Cafe Society. It was just too much fun to keep to myself.

If you have ever put together furniture out of a box, then this one's for you.  Be sure and OK the attachment connections in this animation.

Just derender if it is in the way or your shot.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA28/49/101/25

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cafe Society - Come Create


Cafe Society is open!  It was fun deciding what to include. I tried to make many areas to spur your creative ideas.

From the notecard which you can pick up from the poster at the entrance.
Cafe Society runs Fall Session 1: September 26 – November 8 at the Art Farm Coop LEA28

Read more about this term here: http://edies.farm/art-farm-fall-session-1/

Make a film
Tell a Story
Produce a Play


The set is made and already folks have added their touches. You can add yours too.

30 minute rez  or join VB Friends group for a longer time. If your set is specific to your film (genre etc.) it will probably be best to delete your props when you are finished. 

For filming of course remember DERENDER so that you can film what you want and not what you don't :D.

When you have completed your film made partly or wholly at Cafe Society, upload to SL Artist and send the link to Chic Aeon (IMs or notecards are both fine). I will then add your film to the screens at the entry area.  Note that if you typically upload to YouTube or Vimeo, you can just "suggest a film" at SL Artist, no need to upload again. 

Films need to be MODERATE in nature.


If you want to give a performance, pick a date, make a poster and add it to the wall near this poster OR send the texture to Chic Aeon. 


There will be periodic discussions (in text so that non-English folks can translate) and they will be announced in the VB friends group and also on the MOSP blog - http://machinimasl.blogspot.com/

That's it. Go forth. Have fun.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Milestones and the Future

Like many of us, I measure my life in relation to milestones. School, marriage, jobs, homes are often the indicators when I look back. I celebrate 4000 posts on my fashion and design blog soon; reflections of the distant pass have been the norm lately.

It has been almost two months since MOSP LEA disappeared from the scene. I do miss it. At the same time it is very obvious to me that my choice was a good one for me -- and perhaps for some of you too.

I have ventured out more, become involved with new people, groups and activities -- seen more of Second Life than I have in many years. There is something about comfort; it can loll us into complacency -- at least it can for me.

At the same time, some recent adventures reminded me why I started MOSP in the first place. Putting down a set for filming (another director's shoot; I was just a minor player) I found -- much to my surprise -- that scripts had been turned off in many of the sandboxes, rules had changed in others and the whole grid seemed to be without voice the day of our taping.

As filmmakers will, we did a little fast footwork, moved over to my can't-get-there-unless-I-want-you-to building pad and continued onward. Two participants with major computer issues, we did well. Gold stars for perseverance and trust in the gods (well, on my part anyway).

So --- pluses and minuses for the disappearance of our always there - always places to rez and film sim.

*******************

A busy gal as usual, I have been blogging, getting my ducks in a row retailer wise on several grids and even taking a little time for exploration.  Since I was one of those folks mentioned earlier with a computer on death's doorway -- I am treading gently while my new faster than a speeding bullet desktop arrives at the end of the month. So far, so good and finger crossed much of the time.

And that brings me to NEWS.

Actually I have to smile because AFTER I sent in this proposal (and took it back :D) I committed more or less to being a first adopter on a new platform (not Sansar). So that busy girl got a little busier -- but hey, there is no TV until October anyway.

Cafe Society

You can read about the project here.  

A new filming area with echos of the full sim city but with some new additions and definitely smaller, you will be welcome to film there AND show your film when completed. Your masterpiece doesn't need to be completely filmed on the Society Set in order to commandeer one of the media on a prim boards and share it with the world -- a couple of scenes will do.

When I was in the throws of creativity, writing the proposal a month or so ago I was remembering a play that I went to long, long ago with a girlfriend. I remember the theater. I remember the set. Do I remember the play?  Not a bit. I guess I was always a set designer at heart.

The FUN part about the event was that the audience sat WITHIN the stage and the play went on around them. So if you are a live performer, that would be a fun premise to contemplate.  Everyone is welcome.

The set will be about a quarter of a sim and present itself as an old world - any time any place locale. I have an idea for MY short film. We'll see how that works out.

I see that somewhere in my enthusiasm I scheduled meet and greets and conversations. If you ever wanted to corner me on a bar stool and chat about movie making -- here's your chance. I will be showing up *wink* and if no one else does, that's OK. I always have inventory that needs straightening.

There will be loose topics but no lecturing. My ideas are just that -- MY ideas. I certainly don't have the answers for everyone. If some of you are filming -- especially on the Society Set -- and want input on your "dailies" we can do that too.

So that's the news and the future so far as I know it. There will be another announcement toward the end of the month if all goes well. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing some of you over at LEA28 for Fall Session.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fame Fortune Consequences


It has been a year.

You can read that two ways of course, and in my case both are true. Lots of filming, a bit of producing, a little "acting" (well really we DO need to put that in quotes). I am smarter on many fronts and have learned  many things from working closely with other arty types.

I have two things wandering around in my head at the moment.

One concerns the "me" in Chic. Even when asked to create a director's chair with my name on it -- that became a consideration. Plain, flashy, colored, neutral? Big letters, small letters, fancy or plain?  Our choices tell much about who we are --- or at least who we perceive ourselves to be.

After some contemplation I took a middle ground approach. Handmade organic fabric, grunge letters of a darker tone and medium walnut wood polished in a well worn shine.  Letters not too big; my sense of self is sturdy - my ego not as enlarged as you might suspect.

That same quandary arose when deciding what to wear.  My wardrobe as well as props list is magical you know. Sooooo many things can come out of that small trunk or medium sized trailer.  I went with a typical look of today, a mix of classy, sexy and casual -- actually one of my favorite real life looks long ago -- silk and jeans. Scratch those super high hells in real life though. OUCH!

I finished a film for UWA. You may have seen it, may not have. I am very happy with it; very little I would change even at this later date. There is a but of course. I have another idea roaming around in my head. It is harder, it is complex and it is very likely going to be used by someone else. Do I work on that and see what happens or consider my part done in the UWA contest?  

New props that would fit into the story are appearing on my doorstep -- or close enough that a couple of click and a few lindens will have them joining the clutter in that props trailer. That leads me to believe that continuing is a good path to take.

Still thinking. We'll see.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Animation Hud and a Hint of a Future Project


Last week seems to be a blur -- at least in my memory. Lots done. Plenty more to do; I have been busy.

AND with all that was happening, I forgot to tell you about a new product especially handy for filming folks, an animation hud from Dutchie's.  I was reminded of my forgetful nature today when I realized it might come in very handy in an upcoming shoot.

Not it isn't "my" shoot, I am simply a participant. And hence, it is not my place to sneak out any info. But I will say it sounds like something you will ALL want to watch. And I bet that got your attention.

While I am a pretty free-flowing machinima maker -- that film and see what you have and let a mixture of muse and mystery define the film in the editing sort of gal -- THIS film is very much like a real life production.

We will all be gathering from separate corners of the world. Quite a few continents are covered for sure and I will be meeting some folks that I have "known" for awhile but never actually met. So that will be fun.

Meanwhile, just in case you have been lazy, this might get you inspired to get out and shoot some virtual celluloid. Here is the link to my fashion and design blog post .


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Best Layed Plans

Is that how you spell that?   I never really get it right.

ANYWAY.  If you dallied getting over to pick up the curved screen (see previous post) it is now either gone or remade and since it wasn't full perm, no longer available. If there is a story there I don't know it all.

BUT, I am sending the original screen (it is big so don't rez it inside a tiny house *wink*) out in group. A very pretty plant that I just finished is included in the box too. Those of you still in the group (and amazingly hardly anyone left), check those archives.

Sorry. Had no idea this would happen. :D  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Curvy Stuff

















I have always wanted to make a curved machinima screen. It isn't difficult, unless of course you don't build. Those of you that have other skills besides that hammer and nails thing can pick up this screen along with instructions at the Art Farm Coop on LEA28.
 
Look for this poster standing to the side of the screen. Click and receive info on how to watch the film, the screen and instructions for how to get the URL for the file you want to watch.


And of course there is a story behind all this.

I was wandering around looking at art and saw that the performance and machinima section at the Art Farm Coop was pretty much vacant and sadly so. Well we couldn't have that.

Since I had just finished my UWA film, I indeed had something new to share.

Yep, a short story.

Now the screen is designed to work with films up at SLartist.com. The plus side of that of course is the absence of ads.  I have not found any way to actually get a film to stream without downloading first (hence the instructions in the poster as it is a bit tricky). But it plays beautifully and I do like that big curved expanse. It somehow puts you in the film a bit more. The notecard for getting the URL from SLartist is also in the box.

So if you want to try it out, just come over and pick up your copy.

Later note: this reported works for MACs when some do not. That's ALL I know *wink*.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Workflow


I have been making a lot of tips and tutorials this year, mostly on Blender. I am guessing they are up to around 100 by now.  Along the way, my small fan base mentioned that they really appreciated workflow tips. Now everyone needs to find their own workflow and hopefully it keeps improving over time, but ...

As I was exiting filming mode for the day I took another screenshot of my settings for the just completed scenes. I have already edited the footage and placed much of it in the film in a VERY approximate spot, and I am hoping that I have all I need. But you really don't know  -- or "I" don't know anyway -- what idea might come along and you will need to produce the look.

I did this same thing when I was over filming at UWA last week and now I find it will come in handy as I indeed need some new shots of old favorites and it would be extra special goodness if the Windlights matched.

So that's my little mini tip. It is always good to keep your outfit in a folder too. Since I used what I was blogging, I already have a record (yep, lazy lazy gal!).


Sunday, August 2, 2015

What is YOUR Impossible - UWA machinima challenge

It's time for UWA's themed machinma challenge!

This season the theme is PURSUE IMPOSSIBLE.

Both 3D art and machinima are part of this event and as a filmmaker you can enter as many times as you like.

You have until the witching hour on All Hallows Eve -- so three months.



Now in some ways I have left you a little high and dry with my exit from LEA7; I do realize that and it weighed heavily on my decision to leave. But there are times when you really DO need to take care of yourself and this was one of those times.

When I closed that door I also gave up MY foremost building and filming area. And yes, it has been an adjustment. Happily I found a large lot with hefty land impact allowance and $1 per prim cost. A lovely waterfront house that doesn't count against my LI is a bonus. (My best RL friend has always contended that I have the BEST "land karma" and it seems to be holding true.)

I now have a fairly good sized building pad up in the sky where I can build my own sets.

Some suggestions for those that don't want out of pocket expenses while conforming to the official photo and machinima policy for post LEA7 filming include:

  • Filming on Linden Public Land
  • Filming on LEA sims (1-29   core sims and Aritist in Residence sims)
  • Building your own sets in the LEA5 sandbox (group tag needed for sets to stay longer term)
  • Think minimalist. Some of the best films made have all taken place on one set.  
  • And one I came up with before I found my new personal "sound stage" area -- build over on the beta grid mesh sandboxes. They are cleaned rarely :D and you can upload and build from your inventory (a new password gets your current inventory there in 24 hours). Take copies often and you should be fine. I may even do a bit of building there. Free is good. 
There are of course machinima friendly sims, some have been mentioned on this blog in the past.  And asking the land owner for permission sometimes works -- especially if you can send them to your previously made videos.

Be creative. Make great stuff.

I look forward to watching your films!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Juxtaposition


full sized shot here



  [juhk-stuh-puh-zish-uh n]    noun
 
1.
an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
2.
the state of being close together or side by side.
 
What do we see here?
 
a half-smoked cigarette -- some matches that indicate boredom or pensiveness -- a pose that hints at thoughtful sadness.
 
A picture can tell a story. The more details within the picture? You got it; the more of the tale is revealed. Now there will be times when telling too much too early is not the best choice. But other times? Hints along the way as your drama unfolds may just what is needed to keep your viewer interested.
 
 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

MOSP Takedown Update

As of Saturday 10 AM the full sim city and ground level are the only two levels operational at MOSP.  

I am taking the rest of the weekend off from the packing as it is a tedious and sad job.  But those two levels are available for photos and visiting over the weekend. The full sim city is scheduled to come down Monday and the ground level and Tuesday.

So visit while you can and again thanks for all the good memories.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Packing Up - Saying Goodbye

It is always difficult to say goodbye to places that you love. I have done it a few times in life -- both real and virtual. It doesn't get easier.

But there are memories. And new horizons with adventures to come.

I started packing things away this morning. Yes, a little early. I am always early; just how I am.   Taking down is almost as big a job as putting up -- well, not really but when condensed into a week rather than years, it seems so.

With a long history of moving under my belt, a strategy is in place. 799 pixel photos taken of the locations (the size that Blogger doesn't count in your server use) are already up on a special reference page -- just in case I need to find something in the future. No copy items are in their own folder.  Coalesced groupings are packed under their locations.

You just never know when you might need an astrolabe for a photo shoot!

As you might surmise, my inventory is vast. As I have been moving over to my new Asphyxiation Point home these last weeks, I have been reminded of all the items I loved and lost track of. I "found" the clock featured in one of my films the other eve. It was a no copy item so not in my inventory. It is now happily on my entryway wall and looks very much at home there.

There will no doubt be a few more ah-ha moments along the way. 

I am taking down the least used areas first.  The city will take much of a whole day and the ground level the same.  I am also deleting the photos in the NEW gallery as the areas disappear.

But still watch your step -- especially if you are coming in from a landmark. You might find yourself falling through the air.

Here  is a list of the departed areas. This will be updated daily for those of you still visiting.

AND of course if you are filming somewhere still, let me know and I can work around that. 


I have said goodbye to:

Camping
White City
Steampunk
Subway
Dark Gothic
Industrial Loft
Dungeon
High Corp Offices
City of Lost Souls
Spaceship
Deep Blue Fantasy
Rainy Day Skybox
Sound Stage 1
Sound Stage 2
Cherry Blossom Romance
SAGE
SOIL
SAND
SNOW
Country Road
New
Classrooms
Machinima Screening



Monday, June 15, 2015

End of an Era

Almost three years has passed since the Machinima Open Studio Project appeared on the scene. That pretty much IS an "era" in virtual reality where time moves at a much speedier pace. Those many months have been filled with creativity and enjoyment. I am pleased to have helped and encouraged hundreds of machinimatographers and many thousands of photographers -- giving them an ever changing landscape with which to create their stories.

But -- and you knew there was one coming I bet -- all things have an ending. MOSP will be coming down mid July. That means those of you in the midst of projects have most of a month to get your ducks in a row and film in the can. I will not be dismantling for three weeks and the full sim city and ground level will be the last areas to disappear.  So get out your cameras and film any places that were on your list that you just never got to.

There are no real life problems. I am both happy and busy -- and I am not going anywhere. It is simply time to shift gears, move along and leave room for the next great idea.  There are plenty of people who have dreams. Happily I have had the chance to make mine a reality.

This blog will remain and I will likely put forth some philosophy or random thoughts from time to time. I may even make an instructional video for the new kids on the block; so many simple things can make filming a pleasure rather than a chore.   The inworld group will still be around too. One never knows what may transpire in the future. A new version of MOSP might appear -- say in SL 2.0.  There are no PLANS for that, but we just don't know what will be happening in a year or two. 

I thank you all for your participation in the MOSP project. I have enjoyed seeing the films blending your ideas with mine. And I have learned from you also.

Take care.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Integrity

  • adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
 
Are you true to yourself?
 
Are you true to your work?
 
We each -- hopefully -- have a set of personal limits; ones we will not cross. We have goals we aspire to and truths we believe in. Our work reflects those parts of who we are.
 
Directors are special folks. They take a story and make it their own.  True, the writers are the backbones of a film -- without a plot there is no story, only pretty pictures and a sound track. Yes, a few prose often work their way into the mix. 
 
Directors -- in both real and virtual lands -- take that story and bring it to life. Characters are added. Complex back-stories devised. Scenes mapped out. Footage filmed. 
 
Somewhere in the process, the director is called on to make choices. Should they go with what the "money people" want or what they believe is the true tale?  Can they push their characters into alternate roles for the sake of box office proceeds?
 
In machinima we don't often have to make those decisions. We are the masters of our film's fate. We tell the story we want to tell. But now and then other energies come into play and we are forced to choose -- for the film and in reflection of our belief systems. 

I believe in truth.

I believe in honesty.

And sometimes choices are difficult.
 

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Summertime Fantasy


New in SAGE, a floating house with -- wait for it: an ANCHOR!   A perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Let your characters enjoy themselves in this lovely pastoral setting.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dreams and Schemes and Other Times and Places

Sometimes we need to tell the backstory of our characters.

What made them the person they are today?
What motivates them on their journey?

There are a variety of ways to give clues to a time change -- or even a dream sequence. The film can turn black and white, go into "old time vintage movie mode" if you have that option in your editor, sepia tones? Sure.

Anything to give a hint to change of place or time -- or both will alert the viewer that their are gears being changed.

I was watching an old TV show this evening. Lots of action and too much killing for my personal tastes, but I was looking with a directors eye. And what I saw was interesting. Instead of "memories" become faded or dim -- in this case they became supersaturated? It was as if the memories held more power than the current reality. And indeed, I suspect that was what the director was trying to impart.

So when you are faced with a time shift, it might be good to remember that memories aren't always faded. They can be fast and furious. They can push us over the edge as needed for the storyline. ANY effects change that alerts the viewer to a different timeline could be affective -- it just depends on your story.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Production Values


State of the art production values have always been high on my criteria list. The prettier it looks on film, the happier I am.

Sometimes we have to cheat a bit and use special effects to mask a less than perfect shot. We can only work with what we have. Happily the availability of great props just keeps getting better.

There is a new sauna in the parklike greenery area at MOSP. Lots of room for TONS of your friends and a big party scene. Now, remember -- swimsuits or towels (I vote for towels if you have them; much more authentic) are needed as this is a "M" area :D.

There are plenty of lovely accessories for cutaway shots!


Find the new sauna in SAGE.

Monday, May 25, 2015

New in Sand


While the ancient camels have disappeared, there are new niches to explore in SAND.  Exotic?  You betcha.  Inside tent walls can be changed for color and pattern.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Planning you Film

I wrote this on a Google Group the other day but thought it important so reposting here:
Just a general note to machinamatographers out there and of course just my personal opinion.

HOWEVER you film and edit is your choice. Experimentation is important as we each have our own methods -- or will find them eventually.

On a typical movie, scenes are not shot in sequence -- they are shot for convenience, actors available and locations available.  So you might be shooting the last scene in the movie in week two. Actors need to prepare for this, know the storyline and be willing to be the "me in the future" if needed.

The only film (movie) that I know of that was filmed sequentially was "ET" and that was to give the very young child actors a sense of continuity. Likely, that was an excellent plan.

Since I know Shin already has film in the can (who knows how much? Not I ) this isn't going to be a sequential shoot.

I guess my general advice to all is that if you have an idea for a scene that seems good, then shoot it. Not everything shot makes it into the film. Sometimes, it makes it into another film (ya never know). And sometimes some spectacular footage just doesn't FIT.

THAT is disappointing. But as a director - editor you need to do what is right for the film.

And this little bit of prose was SO important I am going to paste it into a post for my machinima blog for the future LOL. THAT works.

Do your own thing. Enjoy the process. Smile.

Those are my personal rules!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Being the Leading Lady


I have never actually been in someone else's film until now. It is an intriguing position. "Stand on the second step please.  Here are some studio lights to wear."

No idea of the story line when I was invited. No idea when filming began. The sets are impressive, homemade for the most part. The lighting is mysterious. Where will the story lead? I have no clue. But you can bet I will be one of the first ones to click and see what happens.

Darkness. Mystery.

Works for me.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Learning from Masters

I don't often mention videos here, but this one has a lot we can learn from.

While not pointing out too much, because then you wouldn't be watching on your own, note both the movement and the music changes to see how they add to the feeling of being on a journey, a quest.


Second Life of Pi by Sam Lowry (Hawks)

Follow this link to find the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3sIcIuFDYs    (Note that I spotted one naked mannequin in the mix - so you are warned :D.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Land Grants are Open


lea29 - Mistero Hifeng

Once again it is time to submit your applications for an LEA Artist-in-Residence Land Grant. Find the information you will need as well as any questions you may need answers for here:

http://lea-sl.org/form/lea-land-grant-application-round-nine

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Under the Microscope

It is difficult for most artists to critique their own work.

Too involved with the process and the time spent, slight flaws get swept under the rug -- whether from ego or expedience.  We can all improve our skills and there is something that can be built on or eliminated to make our work better; that's my point of view anyway.

Getting out a magnifying glass wasn't necessary in my case. A quick review of my films and my memories of making them tell the tale. When faced with four or five minutes of a story, weariness comes into play. Filler shots find there way into the tracks so that the film can be complete.

It happens fairly often. And yes, there is a better plan.

My current film in production is of the music video variety. The story is one of the songwriter, the footage follows the lyrics. Even though I have many shots in my head and files in the can, I have decided to build this film in sequence.

That isn't my norm, but I believe that in making that change AND paying attention -- I can leave out those empty filler shots. They can be replaced with quiet scenes that reflect the story.

So take a look at your work from a distanced perspective and see if you can discern the places that need improvement. Once you know what to fix, it is only a matter of attacking the problem from an alternate direction.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Crowd Scenes


Crowd scenes are tricky. Getting enough folks together, in costume, on time; setting marks etc.  I remember one real life shoot of a Halloween party in a diner. Not enough actors showed up so everyone moved over to be RIGHT in front of the camera. Later, with a costume change, they became the other side of the room. We are a tricky bunch, the architects of fantasy.

This is a test photo for an upcoming shoot. All the actors are bots, even "me".  Frame rate holding at 31 without shadows. There were five other bots active and not in this scene when I tested. They could be turned off of course for shooting in this direction.

What am I looking for in this test shot?

Placement:  The girl seating needs to move over a bit. The tree in the background needs to move to the left a tad.

Order of importance:  I want people to see the heroine first (beige short jacket), then the male in the middle-ground in black and then the bartender. It is important that the background characters don't distract too much. The only issue I see is that girl in the chair again who needs to turn a bit so that there is less hot pink collar showing. 

If the shot is long enough viewers should take in all the characters eventually; if shorter then they only need to have the impression of many people in a crowded club.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Upscale Partying


New in the city, a brick converted warehouse abode with lots of great windows and skylights for shadows. And a very upscale bar with many single poses (lots of styles for guys in this one). 

Find them at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA7/180/197/3016

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Windlight and Silhouettes


It is easy to forget about still shots.  Lost in the process of capturing the movement, perfect moments can get set aside.

This was taken at the end of an adventurous filming session involving new and untested tech -- not exactly an afterthought; there is a plan. One of course that can get set aside should a better idea emerge.

The original shot was missing grounding shadows to anchor the bike. The hill in the background claimed too much attention. If you have some photo editing skills you can fine tune your still frames adding extra effects in your video software should that be appropriate and wanted.

This isn't the final edit of course. Those shadows (and lack of their partners underfoot) aren't the least bit correct. But still, the idea is there. I can go back and see where shadows would actually be and adjust accordingly.

We often think that the actors "must" be lit to their best advantage. Facelights help accomplish this; rezzed lighting globes can do that job also. But sometimes, all you need is a good pose and some striking Windlight.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Additions to SAND


The  Voronoi House has been sitting up in SAND for-e-ver, empty and forlorn with no appropriate furnishings.

Well all that has changed. The apocalypse never looked so good. So get your grunge on and your storyline written and get over and do some filming.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Working with Actors

Escape To Tomorrow (working title)

I don't often film with other folks. Frequently the characters in my films are me in another form. Sometimes they are avatars of friends who plop their virtual selves down on a pose ball or a piece of furniture that I can control and go on with their day.

I have had experience directing with real folks though and the ideas are the same -- and coming in useful on a current project. So I thought I would share a few tips should you decide to do some filming with others.

As a director (most likely working without a production crew) it is your job to have everything ready for the actors. They are supposed to be the "talent" and while you as director ARE running the show, you certainly can't do it without the folks in front of the camera.  So ---

* Know what shots you want
* Set up the shots and decide on the camera angles before your actors arrive
* Get your lighting set
* Make sure all props are ready to go
* Know what your actors were wearing in previous contiguous scenes if that is relevant -- that continuity thing.
* Depending on your capturing software, you will not be able to type to your actors, so either voice chat, Skype or a group call might be needed. OR make sure your directions are clear before you turn off your interface.

The more you have done BEFORE folks arrive, the faster the shoot will go and the happier you all will be.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Find Your Shot


I was filming this morning. I had set up a scene within a new story video. I captured video, took still shots and generally had fun. I was trying to broaden my style a bit, looking for different angles.

It was great fun and I have a collection of shots to choose from.  Since I had such a good time, I thought some of you might too.

The spot is here.
Adjust your Windlight.
Find your Angel.
Take your shot.

Feel free to add the link to your photo (or film clip) to this post. Or you can add it to the Flickr group here


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Last Call for Camels


All good things ---

The archeology hut and camels will be retired soon to be replaced with some exceptionally nice ruins from the upcoming Fantasy Faire.  The ships of the desert have had a good run with many photos taken but it is time for something new.

If anyone is doing extended filming in this spot, please contact me (IMs go to email or comment on this page) and we can arrange something.

Just a heads up!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Apocalypse Anyone?


New in SAND and perfect for any end times filming -- a fallout shelter prop.  There is no interior but think of the possibilities.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Camera Angles



A short video on camera angles.

A little philosophy, a few examples and some chatting -- well of course there is chatting! Filmed on the Country Road at the Machinima Open Studio Project, Second Life

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Everyone Has a Story

New in the full sim city

A budding machinimatographer mentioned the other day that while he could most likely learn the filming and editing part of the craft, he was unsure if he had the creative skills to tell the story.

While there are many kinds of machinimatography (event filming, documentaries, work for hire) that don't need an imagination to complete, I do believe that we EACH have at least one story to tell -- likely more than that.

It doesn't need to be lofty or arty or even that complicated. Here is an example that came to me as I placed this new industrial traileresce studio in the city.

I grew up in trailer parks. My dad's job was stable but transitory. We moved often, sometimes with just a few hours notice. 


That trailer park life was a strange one. People rolled in (sometimes literally as the homes were tiny then like 8 x 45 feet) and out and the landscape changed often even as we were standing still for awhile. 

One of my most vivid memories was the evening practice of a male neighbor. When I would come home from a date. He was always there outside watering the lawn. Yes, even at midnight. Truly odd.  

Was he protecting me? Was he spying on young and lustful kids?   Either way -- there is the beginning of a story there.    

Find a moment or a memory and go from there.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Take Two


It is has been obvious for some time now that folks would rather read what I have to say than look at photos of "new stuff". This isn't just about this blog, it is about them all -- and honestly that makes me happy.

Not the ego type of happy; I really have never gone there. But it let's me know that some folks out there are thinking -- always good in my book. They may not agree with what I write, but they can use the ideas as a springboard to their own pondering.

So I am taking a bit of a turn on some of my blogs, including this one. Yes, there will be pretty photos but there will also be words. You get to decide how wise they are and how much they reflect your beliefs. Even if is a 180 degree difference -- that's good too.

Here we go.


I published a new video today.

It was a remake of one I did in 2011 and while the previous version was "fine for the time", it was so not exciting by today's standards. I had grown; software had improved. Put that together and hopefully the new version made some strides into betterdom.

I spent two days (yes two almost eight hour days) editing this film. I LOVE editing, but after a few hours with only 30 seconds accomplished I kinda hit a wall. I was getting antsy. I wanted to BE DONE. I wasn't having fun.

I sat myself down and gave myself a talking to. "You really DO enjoy this process. There IS no hurry. You are here to LEARN this new software." You get the idea. Amazingly, even though I knew it was a ploy to get myself  back on track -- it worked. After that I simply played. I learned. I took chances (saving often with different filenames) and I explored what could be done with my new tools and new personal knowledge.

I had some clips that I had sliced from the original film and the soundtrack file. I had been taking some partner shots (thank heavens for friends who will let you borrow their bodies for the sake of art) the last week. New footage from my OpenSim build was in the mix. I had no plan. I never do.  I let the footage tell the story, picking the best shots and putting them together in a tale that was unforeseen as I began.

What I found was interesting. Well, OK. Maybe I knew it would turn out that way; it often does. But still it is quite amazing to me. The story that revealed itself was mine. Well, not all mine of course, but there were some very fascinating parallels when I listened to the sound track while watching the visuals.

Is film-making therapeutic? Undoubtedly. Just like painting and poetry, sculpture and acting. We learn unexpected things that we were afraid to tell ourselves.

Yes, I do know how to make storyboards. Yes, I can write a script. But I have found -- that for ME -- the best approach is to let the story tell itself. Find your best shots. Move them around the timeline. See what unfolds.

It was a good two days work. I learned a lot on many levels.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New in Sand


I have been sluething for primmy stuff lately. It's a bit like gold mining at this point as most items are now mesh and low land impact. But I did recover enough so that there are 500 available prims again for rezzing.

In the process a few decor items have disappeared and this new, very quaint artist's studio is now up in SAND.     There are some fun and different props inside, so get inspired!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Windlight Videos

The last week has been spent making and remaking Windlight video tutorials.  The first is VERY basic and meant for first time users but the second and third might be of interest. These use the Firestorm Viewer but much of the information relates to other viewers.

Below that are a couple of my favorite Windlight settings that you can download and install in your skies folder (a little bit of techiness needed for that :D).  


*** Videos ***



First steps in understanding how to change your Windlight skies and see the world as YOU choose.
Working with Windlight - Making Your Own Skies




How to set both your viewer and your Windlight settings to show shadows. Info on ambient occlusion and shadow clarity.



Hard to believe but it has been six years since I made all the "Places" Windlights that are now in many third party viewers. I had been thinking of putting up more settings -- especially ones that works well with materials (normal and specular maps).

Here are two for a starting point.

MOSP - Cloudless
MOSP- Sound Stage Shadows



Monday, March 30, 2015

Beachside Bar


I think I'll just stay here forever. Well maybe not.   

HERE of course is down by the beach.  It is still Autumn here and may remain so as the colors are lovely. But even if you need a shot with surf and sand in mind, there are closeups!  


These topical drink givers will add some props to your shoot. Venture into the water, the raft, the life buoy -- lots of choices.

Come film!

Friday, March 27, 2015

In the News - Techie Stuff

2010 seems a LONG time ago!      Hovering in pose from  Diesel Works

I hate posts without photos and I am still on "enforced vacation" until tomorrow. Yes, it WAS hard but yes I DID take most of a week off.  My house is much cleaner, I did lots of sleeping and some gardening and even a time out with a friend at the French PASTRY shop (yum).

*  I am anxious to return though and I do have some plans including a remake (well let's call it a whole overhaul as I am much smarter now) of my Windlight and Shadows tutorial. That was one of my very first videos and the current version is REALLY bad. What is worse is that there is still a lot of traffic to it (ouch!).   So updated with more info and SO much better voiceover.

*  OTHER important news on the horizon is that The Lab has apparently fixed "hover" on the official viewer. Since the Firestorm crew was reportedly instrumental in regard to improvements I suspect the advancement will appear in the next FS release. (No official info on that; just a hunch.)  This will be a big plus to both machinimatographers and photographers.

*  Also in the news, there is a move to remove "restore to last position" at the server level in Second Life. If you use it often, and want the option to remain in third party viewers, you can add your input onto this thread.

*  My last bit of info to impart is that I am working on a series of video building tutorials that a few of you might be interested in.   These are basic prim building. I have Blender tutorials also and they all can be accessed from the GRAND TUTORIAL LIST.  Even if you don't plan on being a content creator, it is always nice to be able to make some sets of your own.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Romantic Spring

Spring is on the way for those of us in the northern hemisphere.  And there are few places that speak more of Spring than the Cherry Blossom Romance area at MOSP LEA7.   

This extremely cute, romantic, nostalgic, European bicycle planter adds a special touch to the garden area. Great for shots with kids or lovers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Slow Revelations

I enjoy a mystery. Not the who killed Miss Plum in the library with the hatchet kind, but stories that keep us wondering.

Why is this happening? Who started this trail of events? That unknown element keeps me watching -- often intently.

We don't have a lot of time to tell our stories in the few minutes that comprise our pixelated tales, but we can still follow the intent of some highly regarded films. "Momento" and "Sliding Doors" come to mind.

In the machinima world, the best example I can think of if Hypatia Picken's Cloud.

For me, there is something about having secrets revealed slowly that leads to the enjoyment.

Perhaps a thought for your next film.

It is for mine.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Filming Spot


Need a realistic outdoors with vista to film in?  How about LISIPARK.

The owner, Blitz Rage, sent me a message inviting you. Filming OK is also in the land tab. There is a very real feel here and the diner is much fun. So stop on by and explore. Who knows what ideas might be sparked.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Underwater Wonders


If you haven't visited the underwater grotto at MOSP, you might want to take a peek. A new jellyfish has found a home and makes a very pretty photoshoot. I also tweeked the ground terrains some and there is more sand -- at least as much as there can be at the moment :D.   So venture on over. Both snorkel and mer outfits are acceptable attire *wink*.