Week 8 Interactive Project

Posted: April 13, 2008 in Weekly Log
Tags: , , , , ,

Mar 03 – Mar 10

Today I had an online, in world meeting with AWM Mars of AWB Advertising, along with some of his co-workers. Well it was 9pm GMT or 1PM SecondLife in world time.

I had intended to dress my avatar in one of Adam’s Hoodie tops and the jeans I got from his store, but as usually happens in my house, someone needed me for something at the last minute and I hadn’t thought to prepare by dressing my doll, sorry avatar earlier in the day. So I ended up using my current outfit and just getting on with it. I’m not sure how much more comfortable I would have felt in another outfit, as I had enough problems getting to grips with the concept of a professional meeting in a virtual space without really worrying about the way ‘I’ looked. At least I remembered to remove my wings. Although at some point soon I shall have to sort out my inventory in SecondLife and create a few easily interchangeable looks for my avatar, so that I can easily switch in future.


Me in the virtual meeting with WBA Advertising.

Very impressed with some of the work they have done, and they have work which has been shown on MTV and also done work for Loreal. They are currently working on a music video for Linkin Park.

I have also looked at some of the movie footage you can see via their website and I have to say that they can make a really good quality stream. No pixilation, no juddering, just smooth good quality video.

This shot doesn’t show the streaming video but AWM took me from the boardroom to the video screens during the meeting.

Cue, me to make a complete Newbie fool of myself! I couldn’t follow him down the spiral staircase because I couldn’t see it properly and in my haste I completely forgot how to interact in SecondLife at all. It took me around 10 minutes to deal with setting up my voice chat and then, embarrassingly, I couldn’t watch his video without downloading and setting up QuickTime. Which I duly did and then had to log off, restart and log back into SecondLife. All the time, AWM was really patient and seemed to take on board the very evident ‘newness/newbie’ of me.


Screen shot example of my IM embarrassment


At some point after my meeting I looked at this screen capture and noticed Adam had been online. It is amazing just how much attention you give to a person’s avatar when you are in conversation with them in world. It’s perhaps just as well I was on voice chat with AWM Mars, as I often leave people hanging on the Instant Message programs and IM in SecondLife. I suppose juggling 3 at once is more than us old timers should be capable of.

Whilst I was talking to AWM I made a few very short notes on the conversation, which was not the easiest thing in the world as I was already concentrating on not getting distracted whilst holding the conversation

I noteiced that although the original offer of help seemed a charitable thing that he mentioned the commercial aspect quite a lot. He did seem very interested in commercial aspects of my project. I suppose he doesn’t want to get ripped off, working for nothing and then me making money, but he keeps mentioning a worthy cause and then commercial aspects. I tried to explain that if I managed to market the idea then I would be looking to pay for a service, and in the meantime, I wasn’t expecting freebies just reasonableness.

He asked me to send a proposal so that they can get back to me with more information and a proposal of their own.

We also talkied about the best resolution for shooting footage and the type of hardware they have to cope with the file sizes. I have to say I was quite impressed. The only other person I know (personally) with a Quad Core machine running terabytes of memory is my partner who is a photographer and digital imager. So it was nice to be able to talk about that with some kind of first hand knowledge. Well at least enough to make it sound like I knew what he meant.

I also had my first proper conversation about the Windlight Veiwer. This is another viewer for SecondLife which makes it look prettier and somehow makes the atmosphere look different. WBA use windlight because it makes their machinima look better. After this conversation I resolved to load windlight on my main pc and see how it looks compared with my laptop. It is apparently easily customisable and you can create your own look to any given inworld area.

After they shoot the movie footage AWb edit and apply some effects to it and render it down into a previously agreed format. AWM reckoned on making about a 60 MB file for a 10 min film and talked about Jpg compression logarithms’ which is the point at which he kind of lost me. Although I do remember thinking I must look at the flash import styles to see which would be best.

AWB also use ‘Crazy Talk’ which is a way of animating ones avatar to look like it’s talking. I think this kind of thing would be best left alone, or at least left to those who know how to right now, as I do not have the time to learn how to use that

Some of the bigger names that WBA Advertising have worked with are Loreal and Linkin Park and their work has been seen on MTV.

Although they look like a professional outfit, I really wanted to at least do the filming myself. It just seems like the right thing to do. So I shall think carefully about the meeting and what I actually want to do about it.




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