May 232009
 

A cross posting from JustVirtual but there has been lots of excitement about Second Life becoming a more ‘evocative’ engine (visually speaking) for at least 18 months with lots of posts and short demo videos. Recently the Illclan’ers posted an item suggesting we are quite close to having an official Linden Lab release here, Dynamic Lighting and Shadow Engine Coming to Second Life. They like me are also very interested in the ‘controlled’ lighting effects using artificial (isn’t it all?!) light sources vs the ambient ‘sun’. But for starters here is a quick ambient test video…

A quick exploration of some of my old builds which may not be there much longer! Using the Space Navigator and running Windlight in Day cycle mode (the sun and moon take a minute or two to do a full rotation)  to produce lots of moving shadows across the landscapes, people and builds. Rather than just show shadows I was keen to tie some ‘psych trance’ music into fast moving space navigator footage hence the constant movement – all shots took into account the timing with the shadows too.

The whole process was about 1 hour of capture, 1.5 hour edit and 2 hours on music track. Music was composed on Logic Pro mostly using Spectrasonics Omnisphere plug-in software ‘processor-eating’ synth.

I had access to a top end NVidia GTX280 high spec graphics card and quad processor machin so I put all SL graphics settings at max for once! The video was captured at PAL resolution using Fraps and the raw files edited using Adobe Premiere.

To have a go at this yourself make sure you have a top flight graphics card from NVidia or ATI and then download the Shadow Viewer client from Kirsten here or I believe a more recent one (that I used) from Boy Lane here. I am not sure of the widespread use of shadows given the grunt your computer needs to handle this, windlight, voice on top of all the usual networking issues – but for those with computer horsepower it definitely brings the place to life.

shadows_sl

Published & created under creative commons – attribution, non-commercial, non-derivative, 23 May 2009 in Sydney, Australia

My Second Life sim builds included: Esperance (AFTRS), ABC Island, Melbourne Laneways, Thursdays Fictions, Deakin, The Pond and others. (I would have loved to show some more commercial & arty builds but non-disclosure and all that!)

Feb 102009
 

A nice presentation from Pierre-Olivier Carles, who does a good job of talking about a key ROI for companies today, saving money by being greener but also getting ethical brownie points for being greener.  He talks more about the presentation below on the blog post on Stonefield InWorld entitled  ‘Virtual Worlds Make Companies Greener“. The highlight of the video for me is a very simple and clear look at doing business and life inside a virtual space. Enjoy

Jan 182009
 

An Australian project (initiated at a 2007 LAMP@AFTRS (Laboratory for Advanced Media Production) residential) called “Macbeth:What If” received further development/production funding from the NMC and the Australia Council. Project creator Kerreen Ely-Harper teamed up with producer Kate Richards and designer Angela Thomas to realise the original project, that built on the original project idea looking at the experiential teaching and awareness of Shakespeare’s works using Second Life. After a year or so of development they created an island in Second Life which also focuses on machinima creation in a rich virtual setting.

The video below is quick & cheerful, one-take, ‘Space Navigator’ Machinima and Music by Gary and the whole work was very similar in style and form to Thursday’s Fictions in Second Life, a MUVEDesigned project two years ago. Full credits for the Macbeth project below.

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Nov 122008
 

Gary Hayes Builds

Social Media and Web 2.0 is a lot about providing the tools and therefore the means for everyone to create content, that they believe others may want to see. I have personally created a lot of corporate, professional entertainment and music films over the years using high end equipment but now, like many millions around the world, find it a fun and satisfying process to be able to create films and stories in virtual worlds, aka machinima. (Quite a few are over on my personal virtual blog justvirtual)

There are literally millions of machinimas emanating from the likes of World of Warcraft, Sims, Movies, Halo, Second Life, Half Life and many more. Most are done for the love vs the money and some make it onto the big screen. For the creators it is about expressing ‘their’ world and experiences to each other but of course there is something else as important here.

Laurel Papworth talked recently about a machinima I did in Twinity and the ‘free advertising’ it offers for the brand or platform. For me it is also about creating an environment where simple tools encourage large numbers of people to come together remotely and do real-time, collaborative content creation for extended periods. It makes the world very, very sticky when they have shared creative goals and purpose – not just pre-constructed game play. Some may say game quests are social too and I believe when the players get ‘creative’ with the mechanic and ‘bend the rule’ together it certainly is.

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Sep 082008
 

As part of a commercial report on the evolving range of social virtual worlds I recently ventured into fifty plus worlds to sample the creative, business and educational potential. My video is an indicative capture of each world/environment as a seven minute video for 2008 posterity. It demonstrates how ubiquitous, popular and streamlined many of these spaces are becoming across the intraweb / ‘cloud’. With over 300 million frequenting or registering for the non-game based worlds over $900 million of new investment last year in 2nd and 3rd generation services there seems to be no stopping them.

75MB MP4 Download available at http://www.justvirtual.com/SVWS_2008.mp4

A few immediate things that struck me on my travels:

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Jul 082008
 

A video insight into the build process of the new Deakin Arts Education Centre Island built and designed by MUVEDesign’s Gary Hayes completed early 2008.

Jenny Grenfell, Arts Lecturer at Deakin said:

“This Deakin University Arts Education community in Second Life aims to stir the imagination. It is a world we create and create within. It is at once a work of art and a place to inspire, make, share and present art. Our presence in SL is both for performance and is in itself a performance.

Our Second Life existence is an extension of our involvement in the real world where we are passionately immersed in the practices of teaching and learning in our art forms of visual art, drama, music, dance, and media.”

Medium rez 105MB MP4 available here. Music composed and performed by Gary Hayes. These images with comments can be seen here.

Video, music & 447 Images © Gary Hayes and Deakin University

Below is the flickr slideshow embedded as an alternative

Mar 082008
 

Thursday’s Fictions built in collaboration with Physical TV has received much critical acclaim since its launch in mid 2007 here is a sample first 20 of voluntary comments delivered in-world. If you have Secondlife installed on your machine click this SLURL to go there now

One of the Five Must-See Sites in Second Life. Bettina Tizzy, NPIRL featured in New World Notes

Deakin

  1. MaYa Miquel – This must be the best sim I’ve ever seen in secondlife. And I’m playing for a while already. I totally love it. thank you!
  2. Dizzy Sparrow – This is a very interesting place and would very much like for there to be more… are you going to be building things for the other days? Please say you are! 🙂
  3. bebop Kohime – the most amzing place ive ever see in secondlife cant wait unyil the other tunnels are finished, thank you
  4. Vedas Enoch – This is by far the most interactive and fun thing I’ve done on SL. Great job!
  5. Trigit Amat – Congratulations! This is one of the most interesting and nicely done places i ve seen in sl! Keep up the great work, i ll come and see the progress regularly! Thank You from Trigit Amat (Trigital Vox)
  6. Lor Gynoid – Cleverly done. I applaud the imagination that went into Thursday’s Fictons.
  7. Kali Idziak – This sim is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for your efforts.
  8. Sinclair Bracken – I thought it was fantastic. I hope you’ll keep it here, and even add to it. I love the poetry, and the sense of mystery. Really wonderful. I may not have gone all the way, and it seems as if there’s more to experience, and one is left with questions, but it’s really great.
  9. Anni Aluveaux – Thanks for the experience, it was exciting.
  10. Jenene Lemaire – amazing build so far, please finish this, one of the best I have seen so far. I want to see this movie now as well. Never heard of it before visiting this sim. Really pleased to have found this.
  11. Kronos Kirkorian – Gary, Just came back to wander through this exhibit again. You’ve done a remarkable job here. Thoughtful, clever, insightful and compelling. You have become very skilled in the use of SL on many different levels. I hope you are proud of the effort, I have not seen anything in SL that comes up to the level of what you have accomplished here. Regards, Kronos Continue reading »
Jun 122006
 

© Gary Hayes 2006Give people very simple and highly social tools for producing and creatively sharing content and truly inventive things will happen. In a growing ‘easy to publish’ movement the current user generated, digital personalized content explosion will continue indefinitely – the creative big bang. A digital stills or video camera and a computer in the right hands has already demonstrated wonderful things can happen. Give anyone a pen and paper and a thousand works can be produced, books, comics, sketches, screenplays, personal letters, song lyrics and so on. Give them a simple way (blogger, wordpress etc) to publish their thoughts, opinions and journals onto the interweb and we end up with 44 million blogs and rising. Give them a place like Flickr to store, tag and share their digital photos and as well as a billion images, covering the state of the planet, we also find something the creators never thought of or intended – endless mashups, games and interconnections between users content. In fact the simpler the tool set, the more people can play with it, create their own rules and more importantly extend the environment. Most so-called interactive services or console games suffer from the been-there-done-that moment when the ‘story world’ is exhausted as I mentioned a couple of posts ago. Even some of the RPG online games suffer from this in that you have rule sets, repetition and actions you ‘have’ to perform to continue or rise up the ranks, whatever is your preference – this constraint hinders creative production. So what do you do when you get given a completely new world where the narrative and rules are unlimited?

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