Sunday, October 28, 2007

Steampunk RL Trip

Okay, loads to report but not 'till I get back.

I'm off to Disney for Halloween (cos, yeah, that's like getting back in touch with RL) and 'Tribute' (for those who know what Tribute is) is in the can. I'll tell ya more about this when I get back. For now, if ya curious, keep an eye on the Twitter and I'll try and post stuff to Flickr as I have fun in the RL steampunk sim (pending being arsed with hotel WiFi) :-)

Have a good Samhein, and remember to toast the dead.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tribute Cleared & Caledon Studios

So, Tribute opens in 2 weeks. Had a review of the new sim with the boss at work today and (except for a few bits) he's happy for me to crack on. Actually, to be truthful, he was well chuffed.

Gotta say a big THANKS to Carricre Wind, Firiel McGann, Lapin Paris, Andr00 Darkstone, Posemaster Darkstone, Terry Lightfoot, his knibs, AB Shortbread, Brad Sabre, Sen Pixie, DALEK Drillon, Butterfly Laa, TheDove Rhode, Shadowen Silvera, Jimbo Perhaps, Desmond Shang, Emilly Ladybird and Ub Yifu, for their awesome builds, help, kind encouragement, coffee, and support. Just a few of the great people who stood behind this project and understood what we were trying to do. Once again I stand upon the shoulders of giants.

2 weeks,
SL Bloggers party. Still to sort the details with Zoe, but it's a go for opening pre official shin-dig (so cool my boss is up for the 'real' reporters getting in their first, cheers KP). 1 week, when I get back from my hols, then I can talk/blog about it :-)

Anyway, other news, I got a 900 prim plot now (with The Guvs blessing) in the new Caledon Penzance's sim. This'll be 'Caledon Studios' ("Lepus Gratis Cuniculus"), and will be my new base for machinima efforts instead of the old Mayfair Studios (which had lost it's isolation with the advent of Penzance off the north coast). This sim is well worth a look as soon as it hits the grid, I've seen the theatre and the high-street and it's a thing of textured beauty loving crafted by the hand of artist Ms. Persephone Gallindo. By the time I get back, it'll be time to get cracking.

Casting for the first movie will start around Christmas.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Beautiful: An SL Life Lesson

Saw this while trolling old Moby tracks (specifically lookin' for Natural Blues to prove the 'Christina Ricci as the toy angel' story to a collegue) on YouTube.

I'd forgotten this little beauty existed, but WHAT AN ANTHEM for the social scene of our beloved SL!

Recognize anyone? :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Steampunk Kelad

I feel a build coming on. Not enough hours in the day...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brain Power

This is either a worthy and elaborate hoax, or my Gibsonian dreams of a future virtual 3D meta-utopia are finally on the digital horizon.

Allegedly, SL punters can get their already overheated brains wired directly into a system that lets them control the virtual world with their very own thoughts.

This is the brainchild (on pun intended) of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at Keio University (who should, admittedly, probably be doing better things with their grant money).

In an abstract way, if just a teeny fraction of last months 525,000 or so users (well, av's, but who's counting) get their paws on this 'mind control' technology then we could see that ever elusive transhumanist ideal of a world wide mind made reality in the very near future.

Where do we start queing?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Davidson Confirmed

The BBC has confirmed that David Tennant's tenth Doctor Who will meet Peter Davison's fifth incarnation of the Time Lord for a Children in Need special on Friday, 16 November.

Tristram Farnham said: "It is an honour for me to be able to make the connection between the fifth Doctor and the tenth Doctor. However, now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on my shoulder, even if I can't do the buttons up."

Anyway, although there will be a series five, it won't be until 2010 and and it's doubtful Tennant will be piloting the TARDIS by then. He's off to do Hamlet with the RSC (July to Nov) so no full series for 2009 just a fist full of 'comedy' specials.

My opinion? Nice to see Davidson getting out and a classic format reprisal in a 2Dr's kinda way. Pity it's just for Children in Need , as we're doubtfull of any Gallifrey action. And a missing year of Who, well, to be fair I'm not that fussed (it's been bobbo of late) so long as what they do do doesn't smell as badly as the likes of "Love and Monsters", that thing at Yule with The Tate, or "Fear Her".

Monday, October 22, 2007

Classic Audience Stats

Funny one I spotted on the news feed today about the Classic FM Gramophone Awards.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra gripped a gong for 'audience innovation', and guess why? Yup, the inevitable.

The Phil gave a live concert in SL back in September. Sweet, good on 'em, however, according to the orchestra "9 million Second Life denizens watched the performance live on Second Life's own cable network".

Er, so that's me, you, shed loads of failed registrations and all our alts then? As if SL user stats weren't ambiguous enough.

Well, if nowt else, it's innovative mathematics.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Log off. Now!

Holy shit on a virtual stick. Ooooh, the drama...

CSI:NY goes SL (the episode is called "
Down the Rabbit Hole"). Brace for n00bs after this airs on Wednesday, October 24, 10pm et/pt. Loads of fresh meat for the Linden Labs grinder, incoming. It's Electric Sheep tho, so at least it'll look swanky. Obviously, it looks bugger all like SL except a few obligatory icons. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

CSI interactive 'crime busting' sims (click to see the vid) to come. Apparently we'll soon get the 'CSI: NY Virtual Experience', meaning show fans can create avatars, play gumshoe, wear low cut clothing, flirt inappropriately with workmates, leading up to the second part of this potential travesty that will air February 6th.

Electric Sheep are even creating a special, "easier-to-use interface" so less computer literate fanboys (and girls) have a chance at getting something done outside Help Island (which probably has potential for the future in itself).

Anyway, Not to worry, most of em won't hang around once they feel the lag, witness some anthropomorphised foxes going at it, wear a few boxed items on there heads, and see us for real.

Mr. Zuiker (CSI's creator) will apparently be giving the keynote speech at this year's Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose, if ya interested.

"Log off. Now!" I smell a meme :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Media Douchebags Explained

Hardly a fantastic bit of vid, but it turned up on Twitter and I love the irony of posting this to my blog...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Probably Moving

There's every chance we might be moving offices soon, so, while I had the camera in the office I re-immortalised the desk.

Strange, but the old pic of my desk on Flickr has had more visitors than any of my other pics. No idea why. Must be the tag cloud of obsessive boredom.

So here's how my work station looks today anyway. Did I mention how cool my job is sometimes?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Winners

So, festival done and Stolen Life won a plenty. The trailer is above. Personally I'm not sure it's actually machinima, correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, the stars were:

Best Story: The Snow witch - Britannica Dreams
Best Commercial: When the Postman spits twice - SL-Inworld Productions
Best Technical: Machinima Island - la.interactiva
Best Experimental: Cirque du Machinima: Cukoo Clock - Tom Jantol (which I loved)
Best Sound: Innocent Minds - James Dubose
Best Student: Machinima! with Officer Dan - Amorphous Blob
Best Series: The Grid Review - the ILL Clan
Best Visual Design: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions
Best Direction: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions
Best Picture: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! Sweet.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Here's the Tribute

Hi Carricre/Darkle, here's yesterdays footage of Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park, London. As best as I could.

Hassle me for the photos, I'll arrange them as we need them round the model for reference, and I'll start textures this afternoon.

It's a funny old grid. Who's idea was this anyway?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cribbed From the Beeb

Busy today, off to London to get footage for SL conversion (news soon), so cribbing this direct off the BBC news vine cos it's good stuff:

"A virtual character, or avatar, for all the virtual worlds in which people play is the goal of a joint project between IBM and Linden Lab."

The computer giant and the creator of Second Life are working on universal avatars that can travel between worlds.

The project aims to open up virtual worlds by introducing open tools that work with any online environment.

The companies hope to boost interest in virtual worlds as well as make them easier to navigate.

Character sheet

At the moment every virtual world requires a player or user to go through the process of creating an avatar that will act as their proxy in that online environment.

Typically, an avatar created for one world, be it a game or a system like Second Life, cannot move between these different virtual spaces.

The project started by IBM and Linden Lab aims to create a universal character creation system so people only have to create a digital double once.

While the character's appearance may change depending on where it is taken, its basic characteristics, such as looks and underlying personal data, would be retained.

"It is going to happen anyway," said Colin Parris, IBM vice president of digital convergence in a statement.

"If you think you are walled and secure, somebody will create something that's open and then people will drain themselves away as fast as possible," he told the Reuters news agency.

By making it easy to travel between different worlds the two companies hope to sharpen competition in the burgeoning market for online worlds.

Initially the partners will concentrate on creating a system that lets people move between worlds.

Later will come the universal character creation system that lets people create a single avatar to venture into online worlds.

The partnership was announced prior to the start of the Virtual Worlds conference taking place in San Jose, California, from 10-11 October.

Virtual worlds are rapidly becoming hugely popular. When the first Virtual Worlds conference took place in early 2006 only nine such cyberspaces were widely known. In 2007 more than 30 will be on show at the Virtual Worlds meeting.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Positive Words on Virtual Worlds

"It's kind of like getting your life back again, but even better in some ways," she said. "I've met so many people. I can walk. I can dance. I can even fly. Without this I'd just be staring at four walls. Mentally it's helped me so much."

Here's a nice article, positive for once, in todays Washington Post. True too, I've seen it in practice.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Next Weekend

The blogging has been a bit slow of late, as I've been chocca on the new sim for work (even in my spare time) and keeping my head down and feet firmly planted on the grid. I've also been trying to have a bit more quality time with the Mrs. Next weekend I'm gonna have a break.

Next weekend, AngryBeth is coming down so we can head to the First European Machinima Festival. Should be intersting. The festival, which is gonna be at De Montfort Uni's campus centre in Leicester, will show case the award nominations and winners, and some of the latest Machinima films and games trailers, and is expected to attract Machinima makers world-wide. The festival is supported by the Academy of Machinima Arts Sciences (AMAS) and will include workshops which will cover many of the aspects of making Machinima and associated legal and technical stuff we all need to know as a rapidly emerging art form.

/sighs. Oh yeah, I was just asked (again) what Machinima (pronounced ma-shin-i-ma) actually IS. It's making movies with videogames, the word being an amalgamation of machine cinema. A fusion of film-making and gaming, which is increasingly being used as one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of creating animation, has a rapidly growing following, fuelled in part by the enhanced visual quality of many of the most popular computer games. Pay attention, there will be a short quiz at the end.

Anyway. These special features have been selected from the films submitted for entry to the awards as the judges felt were of merit and therefore worthy of a separate screening, i.e., well worth checking out...

Beast - Binary Picture Show (UK)
Code Monkey - The Electric Sheep Company (USA)
Everwind - ARVF Productions (USA)
(G)News from Outland: Crisis at Da Portal! - Blizzard Entertainment (USA)
Inventing Swear Words 3 - Oxhorn Brand Movies (USA)
Morning Run Amok - Fling Films (USA)
New World Wonder - Planet Video (UK)
Obliviously Not Teaser - Frédéric Servant, Bertrand Le Cabec and Sébastien Savine (France)
Only - Zarathustra Studios (USA)
Running Free - Safwan Ahmedmia (UK)
Snacky’s Journal (Episodes 1-3) - Stone Falcon Productions (USA)

A total of 152 films had been submitted, with entries coming from a wide range of countries including: the UK; US; Canada; Belgium; Netherlands; France; Germany; Austria; Finland; Sweden; Spain; Croatia; Slovakia; Japan and Australia.

Professor Andrew Hugill, Director of De Montfort University's Institute of Creative Technologies: "We are very pleased with the number, breadth and global spread of the entries. The enthusiasm out there for the festival is contagious and it has been really exciting to see so many different countries involved in creating submissions." Here, here. Bloody good turn out and I'm looking forward to it :-)

The award categories will be judged by "a distinguished panel including: award winning author and Reader in Creative Writing and New Media at DMU, Kate Pullinger; Martyn Ware, artist and record producer, who was a founding member of the pop group The Human League and who also formed Heaven 17; and, Hugh Hancock, Artistic Director of Strange Company, and inventor of the word "Machinima"." Plus, Burnie Burns and Jason Saldana of Rooster Teeth Productions, makers of the popular online sitcom Red vs Blue (v. funny based on Halo), will perform during the festival. Burnie Burns: "Our plan is to make a hilarious special video for the programme using our world-famous, award-winning Red vs Blue characters and our trademark humility." Could be a laugh, I like a bit of Red vs Blue. I hope they need extras :-)

People wanting to attend the fest should head to and make with the registering. See you in the bar at lunch.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Machinimatographers Unite

The lovely Miss Iridium Linden has set up a mailing list and wiki for machinima enthusiasts, so if you haven't already joined the machinimatographers in Second Life mailing list, here is the link.

Here's Iridium's posting on the list and wiki.