Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Passions of Black Swan Fashion Show machinima by Rezzable

Friday, May 09, 2008

Prepare for the Worst - Christian Aid week Machinima

Last year I've written a number of blogentries on NGO's getting into Second Life, such as the Red Cross, Disabled Sports, Flying Doctors, the MacArthur Foundation , Dance 4 Life and a few others. It's fundraising 2.0 time again, as I noticed a nice machinima produced by an organisation called Christian Aid.

At their blog the machinima is introduced:

This year’s Christian Aid Week advert highlights the work we do in helping people prepare for the worst. You can’t stop a hurricane, but you can help save lives by funding stronger buildings and installing early warning alarms. It’s just one of the ways Christian Aid makes a real difference to the lives of millions of vulnerable people across the world. Help us continue our work by supporting us this Christian Aid Week: please donate what you can.
I'm not sure in which virtual world this machinima is shot, but I like the way they've used a virtual world to show the impact of a hurricane, although right now one would probably use shots from Birma / Myanmar suffering from last week's disaster.

To find out more, visit the Christian Aid website / blog.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Real Life Cities revisited: Brussels, Utrecht and Brugge

One of the trends in 2007 was the creation of Real Life Cities in Second Life. Most of these sims were MDC showcases providing a home for their community. Quite a bit has changed though at a few of them.


In July I blogged on the Belgian city of Brussels (Bruxelles), which housed a grand casino in the Royal Palace. I needed a clear Belgian sim as a decorum for a machinima and went back to Brussels to find it completely changed. Probably this is due to the gambling ban Linden Lab imposed, but the current sim is an assorted mess of prefab homes.

After a bit of a search I found another Brussels (Capital of Europe) replica in a quarter of the Edmond sim, which looks a lot like Brussels, but is of a far less quality. It mainly is a sim full of basic square prims laden with textures.


For the same machinima I went in search of Utrecht, but found it taken down. The MDC Evident evidently has overplayed its hand on this one.


In July I also blogged Brugge, another Belgian city which at that time was at the early stages of construction, but had a promising look. Now it's finished and looks marvellous:

The only problem I have with these sims is that they're so heavy on textures that it takes ages to render the graphics at high resolution. So forgive me for a couple of snapshots of bad quality when I grew too impatient to wait for the screen to fully rez.


I received an update on Brugge:

Hallo Veejay, ik merk dat je op je blog over brugge spreekt. Er zijn namelijk 2 sims met Brugge. Virtueel brugge heb je besproken de eerste keer (sim = Belgie), nu heb je een "ander" Brugge besproken. Het klopt dat Virtueel Brugge
voor mij een showcase is als MDC. Meer info op en

which reads: There are actually two sims that are Brugge builds. This one is one the Brugge sim, the one in the older blog is Virtual Brugge, build on a sim called Belgique and is build bij Louis Platini

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

First European Machinima Festival

Right after the Virtual World Conference (10-11 october) there was the European Machinima Festival in Leicester ( 12-14 october). No less than 3 Second Life production went home with a price:
  • BEST COMMERCIAL: ‘When the postman spits twice‘ (SL-Inworld Productions)
  • BEST TECHNICAL: ‘Machinima Island‘ (la.interactive)
  • BEST SERIES: ‘The Grid Review‘ (ILL Clan)
‘New World Wonder‘ byPlanet Video and ‘Everwind‘ by ARFV Productions were also part of the official festival selection. This year Second Life is rapidly gaining ground in the machinima business.
Number of Award winners by platform:
  • Second Life: 3

  • Sims II: 1

  • MotionBuilder: 1

  • Halo II: 2

  • Half-Life II: 1

  • 3D Game Studio: 3 (same machinima)

With 3 awards the machinima 'Stolen Life' was the big winner of the festival. The machinima's initials SL haven't got anything to do with the platform it was produced on. 'Stolen Life' was produced by the Australian company Nanoflix.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Smirnoff meltdown

After a hard days work I needed a drink. Usually I turn to whiskey, but tonight I was invited to grab one of the last available Vodka's by Smirnoff.

The above picture was taken by TerryAnn Antonelli when the sim was complete. Now it's slowly fading away as global heating devours the ice. Only the ice castle still stands, but no one is really sure for how long. Today, tomorrow or next week this build may be gone completely.

The Smirnoff sim has been around for only a month or so, originally set up for the sole purpose of making a machinima (which isn't out yet I believe) and now melts away just as many many other things come and go in Second Life. At least in machinima and some blogs a bit of its memory will survive.

More pictures by TerryAnn Antonelli


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More on CSI

Here's some more on the CSI gig which Electric Sheep is pulling. During the future of entertainment session I asked Sibley and Reuben if Machinima were now going mainstream, and if the grid was ready. Is Second Life capable of handling this mass media attention?

There's gonna be 16 million viewers. Not all have internet, not all have the needed hardware. Some will fall out due to long downloads, some will get losts with the introduction stuff. But there will be thousands of people logging into Second Life on the 24th.

This is an outstanding opportunity for the Electric Sheep Company to promote their new viewer (see Second Life Insider). Taken into account that your average SL sim is maxed out at 50 visitors, Sibley hinted at hundreds of sims being lined up to feed the masses. This hint may bear some truth and Linden Lab may be holding back capacity to blow out on the 24th. As it stands right now, the sim-auction center is completely empty, no Islands on sale at the moment.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, September 06, 2007

HBO buys rights to Second Life machinima

The Dutch producer Submarine sold the television rights of the documentary 'Molotov's Dispatches in Search of the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey' to the US based HBO group. According to a spokesman of Submarine HBO is paying a 6 figure sum for the documentary and is planning for Oscar nomination for best short animation movie.

The documentary is cut into 10 short episodes and will be televised in the Netherlands by the VPRO sometime in 2008.

What's Molotov's about?

In January 2007, a man named Molotov Alva disappeared from his California home. Recently, a series of seven video dispatches by a Traveler of the same name have appeared inside Second Life. In these dispatches Molotov Alva encounters everything from Furries to Cyberpunks to Neo-Luddites to Sex Slaves to the King of the Hobos, Orhalla Zander, who becomes Molotov's guide as he searches for the creator of their brave new world.

Video link to the first episode. Link to documentary project home page, and more on Molotov's "first" life here.

The Submarine press release: (both Dutch and English)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Second Life as an Artist Center

Earlier this year we saw a van Gogh exposition where you could walk into one of van Gogh's paintings and June saw the coming of Brian Eno's 77 million paintings to Second Life to name a few. Due to its very nature Second Life is becoming a haven for artists, like Paris was in the days of van Gogh and Monet.

This very nature is Second Life is its incredible freedom that makes it so easy to create new things, a freedom that can't be found to this extent in any other virtual world. Second Life gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself inside art, to participate instead of observe. Several studies of Second Life have reported that a large part of Second Life's inhabitants have backgrounds in creative professions. These creative artistst were among the first settlers to conquest this paradise and have a long track record but many new artists start to explore Second Life now as well, as a creative platform in which they can let you experience what could only be visualised on canvas before.

One of these artists with a long track record is Robbie Dingo, who just came up with another sublime machinima (a movie shot in a virtual world) to show the incredible potential of Second Life. On his blog he introduces the movie:

"Ever looked at your favorite painting and wished you could wander inside, to look at it from different perspectives? Spend a single day in one of mine, from early sunrise on a new day, to dusk when lights come on in cosy homes; through a peaceful night, till morning."

Find the links to this incredible movie here. For more detail on how this was put together, have a look at this article by Wagner Jame Au over at New World Notes).

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 29, 2007

Geek Meet aftermath

After today's official Geek Meet was over several interesting discussions came by on other Metaverses and SLCC convention 'standards'- or rules of engagement whatever you wanna call it.

Especially noteworthy was Moo Money's emphatic speech on Teen Grid.

"It's a sad state of affairs over there, they're the forgotten grid with a terrible economy. The Lindens rarely visit and there is barely any teen owned islands. I had to get an educational sponsor, Global Kids, to say it was okay to be on their island and then I had to submit to a FULLLLL background check, including 10 year address history.

They can buy 3x the amount of items for what we pay for one here. This leads to teens stocking up on items before they transfer over and selling them for profit which makes me so sad, it breaks my heart.

I don't know about the rumors of TG joining MG, BUT once age verification is in place, LL basically opened the back door for them to come in. I spoke with a few that have said that if their friends all migrate over, they'll have no choice but to do it as well. They don't want to be alone.

They keep their inventory, but their friends list is wiped, as well as calling cards, groups, and landmarks. Some of the teens are just as good or BETTER at building and yet they can't even make a decent profit on their furniture."

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Metarazzi down the drain

Earlier this week Second Life's premier Machinimist Moo Money noticed the metarati on twitter and within a few hours it became a pretty good row. It was living the fastlane for metarati-TV - though forced to take the first exit.
Within a week the project has died and the site's been taken offline. Moo Money was kind enough to snapshot the site, so here's yesterdays news and todays reality.

related articles:

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 25, 2007

Metarati Blogwars !?

Since Moo Money noticed the metarati paparazzi (or metarazzi) on twitter there's been a stir over it. People started looking at me, hence my waver yesterday, now conspiracy theories are getting about. Some seem to be thinking Jerry Paffendorf to be responsible since there's gossip he's leaving ESC (nah).
  • Here's Nick's piece of mind:
    Eric Nails it on the Shite Those fuckwits over at remind me very strongly of a few 'pro bloggers' im aquainted with. I so hope it's not who it looks like, cos that would be a dark day for the Mertaverse. Eric Rice summed it up nicely here: Red flags everywhere!
  • Spindoctor Eric's post:
    It’s 3 am, I’m exhausted and JUST learned about this nonsense with I started to write a post about my thoughts on it (and trust me, it was not pretty at all), but I can’t organize paragraphs anymore at this hour. So here’s the ultra short version– the longer one will come after I get back from a day at LEGO Land...

Ordinal Malaprop is of the opinion that we shouldn't pay any attention to it at all, which should probably be the way to go... but I hope to see who's behind it anyway. The Spindoctor seems to have a few leads and I'm waiting to see if it matches with my shortlist of Top-3 suspects.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Transformers launch in Second Life

Early june I reported that there weren't enough bots in Second Life as it is. After the copybots and landbots Hollywood thinks it's time Second Life sees the Autobots and Decepticons coming. Hollywood kindly asked me to hold my thoughts for a while, but now it's an official release.

The moviepromo is build by Silverscreen (who are also responsible for Die Hard 4 and a few other goodies) and is build in the sim Sector 7. It's an enormous build and they had less than 400 prims left when they'd finished.

The first pic is a Bumblebee avatar, though contrary to the original series it ain't a beetle, but it's a real American Chevy (must be a sponsor thingy). The second one is Megatron captured in the deeps of this huge build.

The build is actually a sort of double-decker sandwhich with dark sci-fi autobot HQ looks at the bottom with lots of tunnels, (press) rooms and such. The top level is the more cityscaped area with a huge dam - a centerpoint in the upcoming movie.

I was planning to say something sentimental on the Transformers, but it would be a copy of Moo Money's remarks at the Second Life Insider, so here's her view:
"I'm not much of an action fan, but Transformers is a throwback to my childhood, so it's a must see for me. When the time came, Maxwell Lisle appeared to moderate the event and the journey began. First up were Michael Bay, executive producer of the film, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer. After that, some of the cast members were interviewed, including Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, and Tyrese Gibson. The film premieres on July 2nd, so don't miss it!"

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 27, 2007

SL Event overkill

Tonight it's been crazy. I've been buzzed by everybody telling me they're at the greatest event of this weekend... I'm getting a little crazy here. This is definately gonna be my last blog for tonight.

Online Machima Film Event

After visiting the Venice opening, I briefly visited the Online Machinima Festival, which showed a number of Machinima Films. With Machinima being a rather niche corner of the Second Life community, the crowd consisted of various illustrious residents.

Elf Haven Contest dance & music

Then I popped it for a quick glance at the Elfen festivities on the great Elfen Contintent to enjoy a whole different feast. Since I was just coming from a classy event, my 'black tie' ensemble fell slightly out of tune. With over 50 residents attending it was a wee bit laggy though.

World Park opening; World Trade Center and Live Music

Finally I shot in for the opening of the World Park, holding the World Trade Centers. A quick survey learned that it isn't the first sim to hold the WTC, but rather the 3rd or 4th. However, the sim was neatly build, but enourmously laggy due to the more than 75 residents listening and dancing to great live music.

Well, I guess I'll call it a day today ;)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Aimee Weber

Aimee's one of the sexiest names in virtual content creation. She's a social butterfly that traverses the grid with grace. She entered the metaverse early 2004 and rapidly became one of the top designers.

Being very mediable, the web is littered with articles and blogs about her, but she's been a very prolific builer in Second Life as well. She rocketted to stardom which does seem to take its toll:

Some jobs are done quite sloppy and like big time celebs she's very much into charity right now with projects such as Second Life Relay for Life from the American Cancer Society, The United Nations Stand Up Against Poverty and (very Gorish) National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association.

What remains is the fact that she comes up with original ideas, contrary to Rivers Run Red and the Electric Sheep Company, and it's the ideas that keep SL in motion. She's been active in the fields of clothing design, virtual education and simulcast events (such as the 2006 solar eclipse)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Machinima is a new form of filmmaking that uses computer games technology to shoot films in the virtual reality of a game engine. Rather than picking up expensive camera equipment, or spending months painstakingly tweaking even more expensive 3D packages, Machinima creators act out their movies within a computer game. We treat the viewpoint the game gives them as a camera - “Shooting Film in a Virtual Reality”, as we've been known to put it in their more slogan-high moments – and record and edit that viewpoint into any film we can imagine.

First class examples can be found at the official website:

Aimee Weber's Tour of the Solar System
Aimee takes you on an educational tour of our Solar System. This movie was made entirely within the Second Life platform and has been credited as the first use of machinima for education.

In a marriage of Machinima and virtual education, Aimee takes us on an informative tour of our solar system. Starting with Pluto, Aimee's own voice serves as our tour guide as we zoom smoothly from planet to planet, pausing only to catch some stunning details, learn new facts, or thrill to the movie's soundtrack. This movie is actually only a part of a larger educational project Aimee has been working on in recent months. The sets for this movie spanned the entire length of a sim and in some cases (such as Saturn's rings) the builds consisted of thousands of prims!

Watch the movie:

Labels: , , ,