Archive for the ‘Weekly Log’ Category

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.

 

 

Week 10

Posted: April 1, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 10 Interactive Project

 

I met up with the Jabberwock Pirates on a Saturday evening in SecondLife to get some film footage of them walking the plank and doing some sailing, the results of which I have added to my PowerPoint presentation. This is available for viewing on the web at http://www.shellintons.com/pirates/pirates_pres.html

I learned many things whilst doing this piece of filming, mostly how not to do it. I found filming, directing and interacting very difficult on my own and without voice activated. This is something I would like to change if I do this again. It would be better to have the chat facility open so that I could talk to the people I am directing as I had to keep changing my viewer in order to read their questions and type instructions, which ate into filming time and meant that I missed some quite good shots as the on screen information (i.e. avatar names etc) were on view each time I tried to type in my instructions. I found that I missed so many parts of the groups interaction too, which is a real shame. I will check on the availability of voice in the Sim used and if I wish to re-shoot then I shall use that. If it is not available I shall find a second person who can come and work with me and use their avatar in world to give out my directions to the ‘cast’ freeing up my screen for filming.

The ‘cast’ or pirates of Jabberwock where brilliant and very patient with me, offering to let me re-shoot anything I needed to. They also showed an interest in what I was doing so I sent them a link to my SecondLife blog https://shellbyshelford.wordpress.com/ so that they could see what I was doing and why. When I next logged back into SecondLife I found that a couple of the group had read my blog and Antigua Jewel said it sounded really interesting which was good to know, if I can interest someone with no connection to me or the centre then this is surely a good thing.

The whole process took about an hour and a half, and I got some interesting, if jerky footage. Having chopped and edited the footage down, I find that I have enough to put together my proposed idea, and I have enjoyed the experience enough to want to do it again. I can see massive potential to SecondLife film and would love to do a really good job at it, so I do believe that machinima is something I may well get in to for future projects of mine, whether personal or commissioned.

As it stands though, if I have any interest in producing the game from a financial backer, I may well look to employing a company like WBA Advertising to shoot the footage I need. I would have to go to them for a quote on the job and weigh that up along with the professionalism and really nice filming they produce against my time and learning curve to produce the same quality of work. I would also need to code the games and then put the whole artefact together as a working game. there is the possibility of introducing a database which holds basic details of name, level reached etc, and a mobile phone game (which is a little more basic) for the students to download and play at home. I am going to need to source some help if I am to produce this game in a short timescale. Or I could learn at my own pace and produce the game eventually in my spare time, which given my current situation could be just this side of never.

The next step now is to talk to Janice form the local SpLD Centre and see what she thinks; as she is off sick at the moment I will be going round to her house next week to show her the presentation. I will see what she says about approaching an Educational Games manufacturing company with my concept and see where I go from there.

Week 9

Posted: March 20, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 9 Interactive Project

Mar 17 – Mar 23

After much deliberation, I have decided to have a go at filming for myself as was the original plan. I do like the work that WBT Advertising and Ina Centaur have done, but I wish to learn more about Machinima and would just prefer to do my own at this stage. I also felt like there would be a huge effort put into creating full scale productions when I only wanted to try it out. I do want it to look right but I don’t want to leave the direction in the hands of someone else.

With this in mind and considering the timescale I have left, I decided to fall back on plan B. Which, like all good plans involves believing that the right thing always turns up when you need it to. So I did a quick search in the SecondLife events calendar and found nothing of any use. I then did a basic (hopeful)‘Pirates’ search in the ‘All Categories’ section. This usually produces a whole bunch of Role Play areas which I don’t feel are appropriate and shops and ‘adult’ themed results. So I chose a shopping area and found a link to one place I hadn’t seen before. As it turned out, it was a very fruitful search. I (virtually) teleported to the area and had a (virtual) look around. I have kept a record of the conversations I had once I got there.

This is the point at which I had entered the Sim which I found via a link to in one of the pirate type markets on SecondLife. During the following conversation the ‘You’ comments are mine.

[14:28] jabberwock landmark giver owned by Angelina Snook gave you ‘jabberwock’ ( http://slurl.com/secondlife/Isle%20of%20Tao/34/57/24 ).

I noticed a pirate wench type avatar whilst I was having a look around the Sim. There are some nice buildings, some really good ships and a lot of attention to detail here. I also doesn’t look like it is used by the Goreans who Role Play on the lines of the Controversial books of Gor by John Norman. It’s not my kind of thing at all. So I decided to approach her about my project.

[14:41] You: hi

[14:41] kattails Teskat: ahoy

[14:41] You: i don’t suppose this is the place to ask for a bit of help?

[14:41] kattails Teskat: if i can

[14:41] kattails Teskat: what do you need

[14:42] You: I am doing a project as a multi-media student at Staffordshire Uni

[14:42] You: I need some friendly pirates for a bit of film footage for a game I am making for children at my local Special Learning Difficulties Centre, I want to make it fun for them as most of these children are 8-10 but using games aimed at 5 year olds.

[14:43] kattails Teskat: i will help if i can

[14:43] You: all i really need right now is to be able to be in the right place and right time to get some filmed pirate footage, maybe 5 mins or so of a battle

[14:43] You: and some walking the plank.

[14:43] You: it’s so i can pitch it to the people who make the games

[14:44] kattails Teskat: ok i can help with walking the plank

[14:44] You: but i cannot seem to get online when the rpg’s are going and i thought i should just ask around

[14:44] kattails Teskat: let me ask i f we can go on one of the ships

[14:45] You: thank you

As you can tell, some of the people on SecondLife are very friendly, and seem to like the idea of helping out but getting further than this can prove problematic, so I wasn’t holding my breath at this stage, but something about her made me think I could have found the place.

[14:45] kattails Teskat: you need to talk to antigua

[14:45] You: ok,

[14:45] kattails Teskat: she should be here

[14:45] You: thanks

[14:45] kattails Teskat: let me see we can find her

[14:45] kattails Teskat: come with me

[14:46] You: thanks

At this point I was pushing my avatar as fast as I could to keep up with Kattails through the Sim and I found myself admiring her very fast but sexy walk in an ‘I want one of those’ kind of way. I think I am spending too much time on SecondLife. We arrived at a Dock, complete with bar where we met Antigua Jewell.

[14:46] kattails Teskat: dam cocnuts

[14:46] You: lol

[14:47] kattails Teskat: oh she not here

[14:47] kattails Teskat: that me im her

[14:47] You: thanks

This was actually quicker than 2 minutes as time in world goes by faster than time in the real world. I forgot how quickly an avatar can be teleported about. We were joined by Captain Kurt at almost the same time.

[14:49] kattails Teskat: shellby this is antigua

[14:49] You: hi there

Jabberwock 1

[14:49] Antigua Jewell: Greetings Shelby

[14:49] kattails Teskat: she ‘s the one who can help you

[14:49] You: thank you kattails

[14:49] kattails Teskat: your welcome

I had previously made a note card with some information about me and my project so that it would be easier to explain to people about my project when I found the right people. You drag a note card over to a person’s avatar in world and they can chose to accept it.

[14:49] You: to save time, can i give you a note card, Antigua?

[14:49] Antigua Jewell: what can I do for you?

[14:50] Antigua Jewell: ok

[14:50] Antigua Jewell accepted your inventory offer.

[14:50] You: that kind of explains things better than i can IM 🙂

[14:51] Antigua Jewell: can u give one to the captain as well?

[14:51] You: hi

[14:51] You: np

[14:51] Kurt Jiagu: hello

[14:51] Kurt Jiagu: 🙂

[14:51] Kurt Jiagu accepted your inventory offer.

[14:51] kattails Teskat: i’ve got things to do i’ll be around

[14:51] You: thanks again

[14:51] kattails Teskat: np

[14:51] Antigua Jewell: you are from UK?

[14:51] Antigua Jewell: bye katt

[14:51] You: yes

[14:51] You: Stafford

[14:52] You: i’m a mature student at Staffs Uni

[14:53] Antigua Jewell: still reading 🙂

[14:53] You: np

[14:54] Kurt Jiagu: so basically you want to film a pirate battle?

[14:54] You: you really don’t have to answer me now, if you want to talk about it

[14:54] You: well yes. or at least parts of it

[14:55] You: and i need a few people walking the plank to use as a reward for getting a word right.

[14:55] Kurt Jiagu: well we could probaly do that too

[14:55] Antigua Jewell: 🙂

[14:55] Antigua Jewell: u gonna make me walk the plank Captain?

[14:55] Kurt Jiagu: aye

[14:56] You: lol

[14:56] Kurt Jiagu: and a few others

[14:56] Kurt Jiagu: 🙂

[14:56] Kurt Jiagu: mmmm

[14:56] Kurt Jiagu: are you sure our boats are what you want

[14:56] Kurt Jiagu: they are not the big ones we battle with

[14:57] You: they look fantastic, it doesnt have to be historically perfect for the ….

[14:57] You: hhmmm what’s the word, lol sorry

[14:57] You: facsimile

[14:57] Kurt Jiagu: well if i show you what we use

[14:57] Kurt Jiagu: then you can see

[14:57] You: ok thank you

[14:57] Antigua Jewell: 🙂

At this point Captain Kurt started pointing seaward and making sparks. The pointing is actually something that happens in world when you are trying to place an object.

[14:58] Kurt Jiagu: i cant rezz it here antigua

[14:58] Antigua Jewell: there is one there

[14:58] Kurt Jiagu: can you turn the build on

[14:58] Kurt Jiagu: please

[14:59] Antigua Jewell: it is on

[14:59] Kurt Jiagu: no its not

[14:59] Antigua Jewell: everything is ticked but edit

[15:00] Kurt Jiagu: ok

[15:00] Kurt Jiagu: my apologies

[15:00] Kurt Jiagu: 🙂

[15:00] Kurt Jiagu: coloff

[15:00] SPD Avenger – Raiding Sloop shouts: Turning OFF ship-ship collisions!!!

[15:00] Antigua Jewell: u can touch the boat Shelby

[15:00] Kurt Jiagu: raise

[15:01] Antigua Jewell: and click crew

[15:01] You: ah thanks 🙂

[15:01] SPD Avenger – Raiding Sloop whispers: Say ‘notecard’ for instructions or ‘raise’ to start sailing.

[15:01] Kurt Jiagu: raise

So I boarded the boat and accidentally set off a couple of cannons. Somewhere about here it seems worth mentioning that I am about the clumsiest person I know in real life, and I seem to have passed this trait onto my avatar.

[15:01] Port rear cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:01] Port front cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:01] Kurt Jiagu: if you click the cannons

[15:01] Kurt Jiagu: they will fire

[15:01] SPD Avenger – Raiding Sloop whispers: Say ‘notecard’ for instructions or ‘raise’ to start sailing.

[15:01] Kurt Jiagu: moor

[15:02] Antigua Jewell: dont shoot me

[15:02] You: i’m grinning lol

[15:02] Starboard rear cannon whispers: loaded!

Then I bumped Captain Kurt away from the helm, oops.

[15:02] You: sorry

[15:02] Kurt Jiagu: lol

[15:02] Antigua Jewell: 🙂

[15:02] You: that’s fantastic

[15:02] You: oops i am sooo sorry

[15:02] Kurt Jiagu: these are what we use

[15:03] You: it would be just the thing

[15:03] Kurt Jiagu: we could get a couple of these out here

[15:03] You: that’s really helpful

[15:03] Kurt Jiagu: and we have a plank on our ship

[15:03] You: timewise ;p

[15:04] You: would there be a time when i could just fit round you?

[15:04] You: and you wouldn’t mind?

[15:04] Kurt Jiagu: no

[15:04] Kurt Jiagu: as for time wise ………………….

[15:04] Antigua Jewell: im ok with that

[15:04] Kurt Jiagu: i`m in the UK too

[15:04] Antigua Jewell gave you Snapshot : pirate Island Of Jabberwock, Rivers Deep (27, 122, 2.

[15:05] Kurt Jiagu: #and Antigua is 4 hours behind us

[15:05] You: ty

[15:05] Antigua Jewell: let me friend u Shelby

This is in reference to the offering of friendship in SecondLife where you accept the offer from another user and you can then easily find each other again and check to see if they are on line and offer to teleport the other persons avatar to the area you are in.

[15:05] You: ah right

[15:05] You: ok

[15:05] Antigua Jewell is Online

[15:05] Antigua Jewell: ahoy Willow

At this point other pirates turned up, along with another ship and there was a mini battle with canons and flying avatars.

[15:05] Kurt Jiagu: but we here quite often #

[15:05] You: hey thanks for the pic

[15:05] Antigua Jewell: 🙂

[15:05] Willow Halfpint: ahoy

[15:05] Antigua Jewell: my pleasure

[15:05] Kurt Jiagu: maybe over the weekend might be best

[15:06] You: well i’ve got the filming stuff, so i just need to get on with it really

[15:06] Port front cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:06] Port rear cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:06] Port front cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:06] You: i still have to make the word game, lol and typically left myself behind on time

[15:06] Port rear cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:06] Willow Halfpint: were getting atacked here Kurt

[15:06] Antigua Jewell: well we are here

[15:06] Antigua Jewell: just let us no when

[15:06] Kurt Jiagu: so i see

[15:07] You: ok.7

[15:07] You: shall i get off?

[15:07] Port rear cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:07] Port front cannon whispers: loaded!

[15:07] Kurt Jiagu: he wont sink this though with that

[15:07] Kurt Jiagu: different systems

[15:07] Kurt Jiagu: lol

[15:07] Antigua Jewell: u need too!

[15:07] Antigua Jewell: be my guesst

At this point I fell off the boat and into the sea between boat and dock. This isn’t usually a problem as you just fly upwards and out of the sea. And because it’s virtual water you don’t even get wet. But to do it in front of people (even virtual ones) is just a bit sad and embarrassing. At least it would be for most people. I really want to ‘lol’ at my comment here which would be very appropriate in IM (Instant Message).

[15:08] You: lol sorry i keep doing that

[15:08] Willow Halfpint: OK lets get them

[15:08] You: can i watch?

[15:08] Antigua Jewell: your fine Shelby

[15:08] Kurt Jiagu: let me rezz another

[15:08] Antigua Jewell: sure…..you are welcome here

[15:08] Kurt Jiagu: off there a min willow

[15:09] You: thanks again

[15:09] You: this project means a lot to me really it’s good to find some friendly types on here

[15:09] Antigua Jewell: just tell us when so we can be prepares

[15:09] Antigua Jewell: 🙂

[15:10] You: ok

[15:10] Antigua Jewell: its not tooo mature here either

[15:10] You: well this weekend sound good, if you’re about

[15:10] Antigua Jewell: yes……we both should be

[15:10] You: i could do with a rough best time so’s i can get hubby to mind the girls though

[15:10] Antigua Jewell: ok

[15:11] Antigua Jewell: can Im me or the captain

[15:11] You: thank you is it more likely going to be in the evening or day time?

[15:11] You: wow!!!

At this point the largest ship I have seen moving in SecondLife, approached the dock and I had typed my appreciation before realising it.

[15:12] Antigua Jewell: hmmmmm thats a tricky question……..umm……let me ask the Captain

[15:12] You: i can pop on and of

[15:12] You: off lol

[15:12] Antigua Jewell: want to make sure that we both will be here and agree on time

[15:12] You: thanks again

[15:13] Antigua Jewell: im asking him right now

[15:14] Antigua Jewell: since he is on UK time too

[15:14] Antigua Jewell: LOL

[15:14] Antigua Jewell: he says anytime

[15:14] Antigua Jewell: grrrrr

[15:14] You: :p

[15:14] Antigua Jewell: men!

[15:14] You: lol i know

[15:14] You: well i can be on line all night from about 8pm

[15:15] Antigua Jewell: are we talking about Saturday or Sunday?

[15:15] You: or i can get my husband to take the girls out in the day

[15:15] You: oh either

[15:15] Antigua Jewell: let me ask him

[15:15] Antigua Jewell: im asking him

[15:16] Antigua Jewell: 8pm is 4pm for me

[15:16] You: well, i’m on late too and realise you are doing me the favour

[15:17] Antigua Jewell: im asking 8pm on saturday

[15:17] Antigua Jewell: ok…will that do?

[15:17] You: oh sorry

[15:17] You: that is fantastic

[15:17] Antigua Jewell: aye

[15:18] You: i really appreciate your time and help

[15:18] Antigua Jewell: no problem…its an honor!

[15:18] Antigua Jewell: what made u pick Jabberwock?

[15:18] You: aw bless you. i only hope it looks as good on screen as it does in my head

[15:18] Antigua Jewell: may I ask?

[15:19] You: it looks nice, and the poem is one of my childhood favourites

[15:19] You: ….

[15:19] You: which my dyslexic husband loves… hence the connection

[15:19] Antigua Jewell: ahhh I see…..

[15:20] Willow Halfpint shouts: dont you scratch my boat

[15:20] Antigua Jewell: I will im u if I have any questions

[15:20] Antigua Jewell: ok?

[15:20] You: i thought it might be nice to help the centre who helped him through his degree

[15:21] You: no problems at all. my email is on the note card too

[15:21] Antigua Jewell: its a very nice gesture

[15:21] Antigua Jewell: ok….I will probably have some questions

[15:21] You: it seemed like a small thing lol

[15:21] You: not a problem

[15:21] You: anything you want to know, just ask.

[15:22] Antigua Jewell: i guees we need to get some other pirates together

[15:22] You: aren’t you going off to fight?

[15:22] Willow Halfpint: ownage

[15:22] Antigua Jewell: and plan a battle

[15:22] You: if there’s anything i can help with please let me know

[15:22] Antigua Jewell: and we have a plank

[15:22] Antigua Jewell: is there anything else we need to do?

[15:23] You: nope not really

[15:24] Antigua Jewell: ok

[15:24] Antigua Jewell: sounds good

[15:24] You: thanks

[15:24] Antigua Jewell: sounds fun

[15:24] You: i’m hoping so. let me leave you to it and you can get on having some fun of your own

[15:25] Antigua Jewell: aye

[15:25] You: if it’s ok i’ll mooch around the shops a while

[15:25] Antigua Jewell: oh absolutely!

[15:25] You: hi kattails

[15:25] Antigua Jewell: explore

[15:25] You: thanks again., see you saturday 🙂

[15:25] Willow Halfpint shouts: get on here henry

[15:26] kattails Teskat: i think wandering crashed

[15:26] Antigua Jewell: aye

[15:26] You: will you thank Captain Kurt for me when he gets back ?

[15:26] Antigua Jewell: aye I will

[15:27] You: bye then lol

[15:27] Antigua Jewell: nice to see another Brit in here

[15:27] You: ty 🙂

[15:27] kattails Teskat: bye shelby nice to have met you

[15:27] You: ty kattails you too

[15:27] Antigua Jewell: we need the other ships

At this point I left them to the battle. I don’t really think I’m quite ready to give up huge chunks of my time to playing pirates online quite yet.

j2

j3

j4

 

It was only after this that I realised I had forgotten to take screenshots of the area. I had gotten so caught up in the whole sailing ships and firing cannons game. so I decided to go back the following night to quickly take some shots. I was approached by another avatar, a member of some ‘Surf Dude’ group but all dressed up in a tux. He rambled nonsense at me about me having eyes and how he could see me with his special eyes, and then pushed my avatar off the jetty into the water. He seemed to find this funny. I on the other hand saw it as an opportunity to try out my new right hook animation. I only wish I had been set up to record it. It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen on SecondLife and I wasn’t trying to be amusing. I expected something to connect and thought I might be able to get a reaction from his avatar. Sadly, no. The only thing that happened was my avatar did some funny dance round and through his avatar. In the end, I gave up, apologised for practicing my punch on him and said goodbye, then (virtually) flew off. I suppose being virtually pushed of a virtual jetty into virtual water is not the worst thing that could happen to a person, or their avatar.

j5

 

Log: Week 7

Posted: February 27, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 7 Interactive Project

Feb 25 – Mar 02

I am suddenly all excited about my project. I finally got to a point where I felt I had done enough research to approach the ‘professionals’ of the Second Life Machinima makers. I have been a frequent browser of the forums and joined the mailing list for the Machinima group on the 2nd Life (e)mailing list and I have been interested to read the various requests and comments that you get in this kind of mailing group. It has been a good way of being able to view some of the newest offerings by the group.

So I posted a request for assistance on the machinima forum on the 2ndLife website and also e-mailed it to the group on machinima@lists.secondlife.com

Within 2 days I had replies with offers of help, costumes and props from a few people, which I have included in my filed research/work folder. Among these people were Cecil Hirvi and AWM Mars (In World names) who are listed in the SecondLife Wiki pages under Machinima Content Companies. Which can be found at

 

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Machinima_Content_Companies


AWM Mars
said “Hello,
This is a very noble cause, and I think we can help you here.
IM either me or Pixie Tungl ingame please and we can setup a meeting to discuss details.”

 

As it turns out Pixie Tungl is the 2ndLife PA to AWM Mars who seems to head up the SecondLife Company of WBA Advertising. They make promotional movies in 2ndLife and also show movies among other things, it looks like a professional outfit and I am pleased to have had a reply from them. More information can be found on their website here

 

http://www.wba-advertising.com/

 

I have had replies from AWM on a forum thread when I said I was having problems with one of the video capture packages I tried. He was very informative and helpful then so I shall be making contact with AWM Mars and/or Pixie Tungl over the next couple of days to find out how we might collaborate over this project. This company seems to have done some good work and has quite a few clients and I am looking forward to speaking with AWM.

Cecil Hirvi wrote

“I can do a pretty mean, “Aarghh me mateys!” in voice.
-c”

I can only assume this is an offer of an ‘Actor’ for my project as Cecil acts in his own machinima. I don’t really mind what he does to help as I have seen the amount of films he has produced and I think it would just be good to have someone as well respected as he is in this circle along for the ride.

Cecil composes music, photographs, writes and produces in real life and is a machinima maker in 2ndLife. His online portfolio includes work for educational institutions and can be found at


http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?p=r&user=CecilHirvi&page=1

 

Log: Week 5

Posted: February 27, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 5 Interactive Project

Feb 11 – Feb 17

I went to visit Adam Soler’s shop and purchased some clothing for my avatar. I purchased his hoodie tops in for when I want to look preppy and one of his Vixen outfits. I know it seems silly but I really don’t like to dress my avatar in clothes that are too revealing. I spent a lot of time and some Linden dollars on a shape that seemed fairly ok and some nice hair. Well, a few hair pieces and an extra freebie shape and skin, just to ‘feel right’ when I am communicating in world. I haven’t been too prim about it but I wouldn’t feel right as a fluffy bunny when talking to people in a semi-professional capacity, nor do I want her to look like a page 3 model in skimpy clothes. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I struggled to choose something in Lookr. It’s all a bit hip and trendy! Never one to be labelled a fashion victim, I just couldn’t do it, so I finally went for the Vixen design outfit which is a pair of jeans with a long jacket which is not dissimilar to some of the stuff I wore before I got pregnant and fatter. I still wear that kind of stuff, just a bit baggier these days, which brings me on to how vain we are about our online personalities. I am really quite amused by it and by the fact that I also fell into the same trap. In fact I went as far as coming up with a reason to join up properly to SecondLife so that I could get money to spend on stuff. There are ways to earn L$ in world but they are time consuming and answering questionnaires to get a few pence really isn’t for me, added to that fact a lot of the available questionnaires are not for people in the UK.

I began roughing out the interface of my game in my sketchbook. I found an article in the .net magazine on using hand drawn elements well on a web site and having looked at the general title pages and interfaces of various games, I think I’d like to go this way with my designs as I think it may work well with the pirate theme.

Log: Week 4

Posted: February 27, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 4 Interactive Project

Feb 05 – Feb 10

As far as the character design has gone for the Discworld characters, I have been looking around for people to draw as source material. Seems everyone is busy these days. So I took a look through my partners photography collection, he is a photographer. I found a few images to use but this isn’t as easy as I thought it might be. I have let life get in the way of my drawing over the last couple of years, and I have been agonising over what style to do them in and how they should look. ~I asked Luke to show me some more of the artwork he liked and he found some images that helped. They showed the initial drawn character and the 3D character that was eventually derived from it. I really need to go back to him with something fairly quickly.

In my own project, and whilst I was mooching about I decided to pop over to Adam Fairhead’s SecondLife concern, Lookr which he runs under the name of Adam Soler, to see how he was getting on and what kind of clothes he was selling. I had been interested in Adams project from the beginning and it was thanks to him that I looked at SecondLife at all. I originally started to look at it as a massive ‘poser’ type program, where I could dress up a 3D character, position them and take snapshots to use to illustrate my work. But as things progressed and my research took me further into the realms of SecondLife I realised that here was a whole world of possibilities, if only I could find my niche. I was interested in finding out how Adam was getting along with his venture. As it turned out his new shop is very pleasant. It appears to be underwater but that doesn’t prevent the store from looking nice and modern, with places to sit and chat as well as the actual shop which has some really nice looking clothes for male and female avatars.

I did actually try to catch up with Adam in his store and unfortunately I had a problem with my system so that all I could see was my avatar losing its clothes and running off into the distance. I still haven’t worked out if it was just a glitch or a mouse problem, as this was around the time I began to have a problem with my computer mouse.

I have spent an awful lot of time searching SecondLife for a place to film in and I have come across some interesting people along the way some of whom have offered me in world friendship (for ease of future contact) and also offered their help if I need more help. I need to formulate a document to send around to the groups as a request for help. I have really had an issue with this for some reason. I think it was because I still feel so new to a lot of this and I needed to feel I can talk about what I want to do without looking like a complete newbie. The same really goes for your avatar too. I found the better my avatar looked the more time people were willing to spend talking to me in world. I guess what Adam said about that is true. I should possibly send him a note or e-mail to this effect. Although I have to say, if your female avatar shows any amount of flesh then you tend to get hit on by females as well as males, this can be really irritating but I found the ‘Kiss My But’ gesture quite appropriate when used with the teleport facility.

Log: Week 3

Posted: February 26, 2008 in Weekly Log

Week 3 Interactive Project

Jan 28 – Feb 04

This week I took some lessons from Luke on 3D studio max. I didn’t actually make anything but he ran me through the tools available and showed me the possibilities. He also showed me how time consuming it can be and just why rendering is one of those things that I hear complained about so often. Although this is an art form I would love to devote more time to, I do not feel that it would be appropriate to embark on that course until after I have finished my course work, at least for this Uni year. So I shall endeavour to learn some of it over the summer holidays and use available resources for the sake of my sanity and my Interactive Project.

I did some work with the camera controls in second life and also revisited the Silver Bells and Golden Spurs website to refresh my memory of what could be done.

It has to be said that my camera work is jerky and I am not initially very good at this. I can but persevere.