Ok, I know it might not be visible, but tons of effort went into this on… first take a look - preferably high quality on YouTube (and if you’re there anyway, please favourite it or leave a sweet comment *grins*) - and then let me explain…
Shot at the Techra, PGA (OpenSim based Grid) & Crimson Shadow
“I’m going to machinima this!” was something that came up in my head all of a sudden when I noticed an extremely high frame rate on the PGA, so there I was, unprepared, with only a demo version of Fraps. Which lead to me having only 30 seconds fragments, of which some even got _lost_ somewhere on my disk. Stuff I know I shot, but can’t find anywhere. Then, next in line was Windows Moviemaker Moviebreaker. It would not allow me to edit anything longer than 90 seconds, well, I could edit it, but it would refuse to safe. So I had to make this one in 4 separate parts, and then glue them together and add the audio track. Hence, not much “alignments” between video & audio, sadly enough. There are 2 things though, that I take full blame for:
I left the “avatar names” hoovering above the avatars. Basically, because I have no clue how to turn that off.
I forgot to go into “full view without user interface”. Basically, because I forgot the key combination.
Ah well, next one will be better, I promise, especially if I can get my hands on a SpaceNavigator mouse thingie. ;) In the mean while, I do like the covers I did for Foolish’ “Sweet Home on the Mainland” and “Linden’s Lament” song. What you think? (If you wish to read more about the “Live in the Cornfield” show, or hear the full recording, hup over to my entry on the Rezzable Blog. *hums “Save the Drama”*)
Almost ready to send this one out to Sarina Dumart, Second Life Avatar. Hmm, yes, I know. It’s a bit mean. And all that. But a virtual girl needs to make herself a virtual living, right… . Digital blackmail is one of the ways to do that. We can’t all do SLescort work? What about Miss Dumart’s feelings, you say? Well…
She asked for this herself! I swear! Sarina Dumart knew exactly what was coming at her, when she submitted her photograph to the Second Life Picture Pile Up Flickr group! That’s right! ;) Picture Pile Up? Well, it’s kinda like “Photoshop Tennis” but then with Second Life avatars:
Second Life Picture Pile Up
After posting your unedited (or barely edited) image to flickr, create a discussion thread and post your photo for others to edit.
After posting an edited image to flickr, please add it to the pile-up photo pool and add it to the discussion thread for that pic.
It is essential that you add a comment to your photo about the group (so people don’t mistake the original work as your own, we want to give credit where credit is due). Make sure your photo description includes the following information: This photo was edited for the SL Picture•Pile•Ups group. See something you’d change? join the group, download the pic, and edit it your way. original capture by “name here”, 1st edit by “name here if relevant”, @nd edit, etc…
The Original Image by Sarina Dumart.
Picture Pile Up in short: An excellent solution if you yourself suck at Second Life snapshot post-processing, if you want to try something different for a chance, or if you’re looking for an avatar face that isn’t your own to massacre with dodge, burn and a clonestamp.
My “Second Life Picture Pile Up” version.
Why not use a Creative Commons license?
Only one thing disappoints me: despite being a Flickr based group, they don’t make use of one of Flickr’s strong points: the ability to tag your image as “creative commons”. They could drop the complete #3 of their rulebook, if they only stated “All Images submitted to this pool must be Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike”. No more fuss about “credit where credit due” as that’s included in the license and I’d feel safer editing a “creative commons” image than one that says “all rights reserved”. This way the person that uploaded the original avatar, could make use of the “derivatives” also, albeit it within the limits of the CC license (so for instance “only for non-commercial use”). Just my 0.02L$ though.
This is my submission for the Picture Pile up group, curious what y’all are going to make out of it:
Bullshit you say? Ok, ok, it’s just a sketch! But really, if you have a better idea for ‘Noob* Sorting’, share it with us in the comments! I’m curious.
Disclaimer: ‘Noob’, ‘n00b’ or ‘nubile young thing’ is never meant to be disrespectful. We like them - most of the time - and wish them a happy stay and a easy road to grown up citizenship of Second Life. (At least, if whilst growing up, they support the SLeconomy and purchase stuff.)
Keeping to the motto ’stick with your crew’ - and because I still feel quite guilty about decapitating him a while ago - I decided to do some effort and help Winter Jefferson with campaigning for Hottest Male Avatar 2008. Do you dig hansom, witty guys that aren’t afraid to leave bite marks? Then Winter’s the one to vote for! ‘Nuff said. Go vote!
Image CC Attribution Non-commercial No-derives so you can Plurk, Twitter, Rezz, Texture, Print, … our lovely Winter as much as you want. The version I have is large enough to do a desktop background, IF there is any demand for that (lemme know which dimensions you need).
When Eloh Eliot first released her skin’s .pdf files - how much more ‘full perm’ can you get? - ‘accusation hell’ broke loose in the Second Life Skin & Fashion industry: This would ruin business for any dedicated skin maker, chase their customers away and put them out of business. As today, there are is still a large amount of famous - and good skin makers in Second Life, charging over 1000 L$ for beautiful, well crafted skins. So the ’slash end skin business’ was probably something like all those people predicting the end of the world: probably they are right in the end, but they surely go the date wrong! On the contrary even, Eloh Eliot’s free skin psd files were an inspiration & knowledge source to many, teaching us great tricks and allowing people to build upon them. For instance: I used them often as an inspiration to shade clothing I made, pasting the free skin’s shadow layers and adjusting those to achieve exactly the effect I wanted. Thank you, Miss Eloh Eliot!
Splendor .psd skin files
Following in Eloh Eliot’s footsteps with a release of ‘free full perm female skins’ is Sezmra Svarog - or ‘Laurie Ellis’ for the humans - with her Splendor line. Sezmra introduces herself on sezmra.com: ‘I’m a pretty average girlgeek, and my SL name is Sezmra Svarog. I have spent over four years in Second Life as a skin designer. I owned and operated Nora BodySkins & Fashions from 2004 to 2008. Currently, I am now enjoying Second Life from a personal perspective.‘ Although Sezmra Svarog’s skins - opposed to Eloh Eliot’s free ones - are not ‘layered’ PSD’s, which means you can not as easily adjust them for your own purposes, they are still a lovely gift to the community: ‘The first skin resource I am making available here is a female skin called “Splendor“. This is probably the best skin I’ve ever created, and I am offering it to all of you Second Life, Open Sim, … whatever denizens to use as you see fit.‘
Miss Sezmra releases these .psd files - head, torso and legs - in three body shades accompanied by the following rules (suggestions):
You are free to use these files to create your own skins for your Second Life avatar, no matter what Grid you are using it on.
You are free to alter these files to create your own skins in order to resell them.
You are NOT encouraged to redistribute these files, commercially, as is.
Credit would be nice!
So as far as I can read, as long as you are no ass trying to make money of selling her .psd skin files off the shelve, you’ll be fine using them for whatever purpose you wish… . Nice from the lady, no? You can find the direct download link here, but I’m sure Miss Sezmra would love you to take a look around at her website, especially as she announces soon to come skin tutorials, accessories (tattoos? scars? bite marks?) and more Second Life skin resources. Yeey, I’m seriously looking forward to those, and I bet you are too!
This definitely falls under the category (done) ‘because I can’ (and for no other reason). Thank you to Miss Jubilant Quackenbush for letting me shamelessly dodge, burn, and layer mode on her very cute photograph of Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond! Oh, and I also masked, blurred, overlayered, liquified, … . The old snapshot effect is partially done using this action set for Photoshop.
A few facts on the Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond:
Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond is located at the Greenies Lawn (TP).
Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond is not - as many think a prince charming disguised as frog - but a Princess Charming! This little froggess (a female frog?) has an offspring, swimming around in the pond.
Clicking the Princess Charming will make her ‘kwaaak’, or whatever sound frogs make in English.
Sitting on Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond will make you kiss her.
Creator of this charming prim froggie is Miss My Mackenzie. Please applaud!
There’s a small hidden tribute in the Lady’s name. Any ideas to whom?
Copies of Lady Bartlok of Lawnpond are for sale in the Greenies Main Store & the Sandcastle at Greenies Lawn.
I know I’m seriously behind on blogpost*, but bear with me a bit longer, please: the thoughts are there, some of the photo footage is too, but the time to write those thoughts out in more or less grammatically correct English sentences that actually make sense to myself, lacks at the moment. In the mean while you’ll have have to do with this one:
In our Brave New Virtual World, sometimes, being tacky is obliged*** - or at least wished for. And I bet I’m one of the few people that can ask their colleague what they think of the ropes added in this situation, and still have a respectable job! ;)) Should I add that - despite my frequent whining - I still love my job? Oh, and that Miss Meral told me she loved the ropes? :D**
But … errrr… Can I haz opinions? Good, fun add, that fits SL, or did I take it to far? (I’m not easily offended, nor in the BDSM scene, and like it… but I assume opinions may differ. So I’m curious.) Vote: A. Tawdy (in a good way!) or B. Tawdy (in a bad way)>
* Sign #1 that you have not blogged for to long: mistakenly using a stroke tag, where you meant to say strike and then wondering why it does not work. *grins*
** But she’s definitely going to kill me for writing that down. :/
*** Ever hung out with Miss Veyron for a while? And yeah, I blame her for everything tawdry*****! ;)
**** Not completely virtually real. We’ve played with the scale and added some RL rope.
***** Considering asking her to help me shop for a nice ‘trailor trash’ outfit. Wonder who I’ll offend this time then. Pffff.
Yeah, that’s all for today. Summer temperature does call!
Certainly once, you have felt surrounded with reality in SL… a true moment of emotion, a real expression on a friendly face…. is the tagline for Koinup’s ‘One Second of Reality’ photography. The aim? Right, you can guess it already: To capture an instant of reality, and have viewers believe the photo was taken in RL. The challenge here is to share with the community what for a second seemed real to you. We hope you will go beyond still-life shots and try to show us emotions that are real, no matter where - Second Life - or what is happening. ‘One second of reality’ aims to find out where reality begins for you. Try to mesmerize the jury and make us believe the photo was taken in RL.
The winner of the “Jury Prize” will receive his/her work printed and framed in high quality format and the winner of the “Community Prize”, the coolest work in Koinup, will receive a complete package from Never 30 including a N30 studio, poses kit, lights… and more. Both winners will have the chance to participate to an exhibition in a RL gallery: LaCantina, located in the center of Paris. Winning photos will also be displayed on Orange Island (Orange 1, 195/134/30) for a minimum of three weeks.
Winners of the “Jury Prize” will be picked by a contest jury composed by Margharita Balzerani (curator at “Le Palais de Tokyo”, Paris, contemporary art museum), Marco Manray (photographer SL and author of the book “IO, REPORTER IN SECOND LIFE”) and ‘moi’.
In order to take part in this contest, you must have an account on Koinup. Registration is free.
The theme of the contest is “One second of reality”. The aim of the contest is to capture an instant of reality, and have viewers believe the photo was taken in RL. (As far as I care, this means you can have a Neko in there, as long as it looks real.)
The challenge here is to share with the community what for a second seemed real to you. We hope you will go beyond still-life shots and try to show us emotions are real, no matter where they happen.
Photos can be taken in-world using any available means (such as Second Life photo studios) except RL photographic backgrounds.
Photos can also be post-processed using programs such as Photoshop.
You are allowed to use tricks, and encouraged to share your technique. SLURL are welcome.
Photos should be submitted to the contest by posting them on Koinup. To submit a photo to the contest, please insert the tag ‘orangephotocontest’
Photos already posted on Koinup before June 9th cannot be submitted to the contest. Please submit new works.
The contest is restricted to Second Life residents and is a photography contest; artistic media other than photography are not allowed.
No brand logos or hidden advertisement. No sex, violence or offending contents. Black and white accepted.
Each participant can submit up to three photos.
Photos will remain on Koinup after the end of the contest.
My definition of ‘Real’
Of course, the ‘reality’ of a SL photograph lies in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder spends way to much time inworld, so I’m having problems with the real / not-real border. ;) BUT there are a few things that help me convince things are real:
Convincing shadows. Even when shooting with a softbox IRL, there _are_ shadows, they just are subtle. Regardless if they are subtle or over-present (film noir), make those shadows match! Second Life gives you total control about where the sun comes from (the height your avie finds itself, the time of the day, location of the sun and the height of the sun.) Use that! You even want to consider testing if the ‘Shadow’ branch client runs on your system.
Second Life tends to oversaturate things, giving them their comic/3D animation look. Try to start of with a hazy, foggy setting, and lessen the fog/haze until it’s just perfect. Better not enough gamma brightness than to much gamma brightness! It happens IRL photographs too, bleached out areas, but it’s not something that looks good most of the time.
If you are shooting indoors, you definitely want to put your ’sun’ strength to almost zero and the ‘ambient’ light up to compensate. Harsh shadows almost exist inside. Except if you have only one hard lightsource (extreme spotlight, or one sunny window.) If you have multiple light sources, you might want multiple (soft) shadows.
COLOUR TEMPERATURE! Back in those old real life photography days, you used to have separate sets of film & lens filters, depending on the colour temperature. This is - although or brain filters it out IRL - each type of light source emits a different coloured light. A good example is: shadow areas are blue, sunsets are yellowish. A good article about this can be found here. You can give a slight hunch of the colour temperature, but SL pushes it. Also, when doing for instance ’sunset’, it forces that colour temperature in extremis on the complete photograph although that does not necessary need to be the case, were it shot IRL. If you have two different light sources, you’ll need two different colour temperatures.
Reflections! Almost every object reflects in real life. Wearing a bright green sweater? Not a good idea! It will probably make your face look green. Your eyes? Right… they reflect light. If you have a metallic, shiny object, it is bound to reflect parts of the environment around it, and it’s colour on the environment.
Sense of depth. Depth Map + Lens Blur. Or manual blurring. Does not need to be exaggerated, though. This happens IRL when you shoot either a) Macro stuff or b) in Dark areas.
Motion blur. Definitely something that needs to be postprocessed. Only if you’re up to it! ;)
Step off the standard viewer wide-angle lens. Standard RL photography lens is 50mm. Press ctrl+0 twice. At least. (ctrl+9 to reset)
And there are more: round shapes should be round, shadow on clothing textures should match the atmosphere of your photograph, … . Guess you can’t include them all in one photograph, but I’m damn curious what people will come up with! Here are already some of the entries. Oh, and one final thing, obviously fake photoshop sun reflections in your photograph, are NOT the way to go! ;) To participate, go to the Koinup contest page.
We know you were all looking forwardediddly to the awesome performance from the Virtual Family Von Trapp at the Second Life 5th Birthday Event. Due to yet unknown technical issues there are some slight changes in the program. Normally, this should pass unnoticed to you, beloved residents. The children Von Trapp will perform on a different sim as Maria Von Trapp and Georg von Trapp. We kindly thank you for your understanding and believe this show at SL5B will still be full of awesomeness. Here are the new promo textures you may use. Please respect the ® in your Second Life®.
* Disclaimer: if anybody wonders, this is NOT an official Linden Blogpost and I am NOT an official Linden.
Found on Some Linden’s desk. This is a file I fear will never make it to the… hey, where did that blotter go? Aha. Incident reports.
The frustrations kept piling up. The final trigger? Waiting over 20 minutes to download the newest release client. This 20 minutes were spend on doing the preparation work. After that it was just quickly rezzing in-world to take the matching photographs. Which would not work because my Pandora animation HUD I need for the ‘play dead’ animation did not work. (Lindens?! Grrrr!) and I did not exactly get the shot I wanted because my shoe would not rezz either. And there were ugly black stripes on all my snapshots. And I crashed. Etc. Which started the debate between me an my owner: is this an actual virtual suicide, or a cover up by Lindens of the homicide and maybe even murders that they are committing on a daily basis? Mass genocide? Anybody? Ah, well.
I won’t do this for real. And my owner can’t stand the idea of having to pull the plug on me. But still, sometimes we both agree, that maybe the only thing they would still hear, is a letter written in - virtual, but none the less - blood.
PS. We’re feeling a bit more optimistic again today! ;)
PPS. Don’t try this in your virtual homes on damage enabled land!