Saturday, 24 October 2009

All Burnt Out

Burning Life kicked off this week. Myself, Karma and Misa have spent the past 2-3 weeks setting up the plot and getting everything together for Raglan Shire's prescence, entitled Shoots Of Life.

Our plot is adorned with scorched-bark trees in a desert wasteland. From the branches of the trees hang pictures of fun and activity amongst the Shires supplied by many different members of the Friends group. The pictures are 'shoots', with a double meaning; they are 'shoots' in a literal, photographic sense, but they also double as tree shoots from the branches, the springing up of new life from the desolation of the surroundings. It suggests to those who may be disillusioned with one way of life can always find solace and a new way of life with another, tiny one.

It looks great, in my opinion. It's not over the top, but subtle. It's involving, but not in-your-face. Misa did some cool freebies for us to give away and others also helped out by supplying letters that spell out RAGLAN SHIRE around the sides of the plot. Despite only 3 people being allowed access to the Burning Life sims before the activity started, we've been able to make it a community event by having tinies from around the cluster submit pieces towards the set-up of the plot and Jane 2 McMahon has been hosting stories around the campfire in the middle of our plot; on the opening day, several of us sat around and discussed how and why we chose to adopt a tiny-lifestyle.

It only lasts a week. It's a shame, because there is so much to see and explore, but it also serves as a fantastic testament to the brilliant creativity that virtual worlds offer. I am pleased to be part of it, albeit a tiny part.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

JOUST: The Movie

Zephyr Pennell asked me to make her a video based around the amazing jousting system she and her staff at Lone Star Ranch have devised. I was only too happy to help her out, but as I thought about it, and watched some practice runs happen, it seemed that the crux of a joust happens with a split second: the hit. Factor into that that Second Life would invariably be lagged due to the number of people around, the number of scripts in operation, textures rezzing, sounds etc, it seemed less and less plausible that I would be able to do the system justice on 'film'.

I grabbed the opportunity to take a few shots of people at the closing event of Raglan Shire's annual Medieval Festival. The Joust has become an integral part of the festivities and I felt that if I didn't grab something then, I'd never really have the opportunity to get stuff for a while. To me, what made the event wasn't just the joust itself but the participants: what they were wearing, the range of outfits and colours, the types of avatars and their armour. So I used that as the basis for these two little videos. I edited them as though they were teasers for some medieval-themed epic, such as A Knight's Tale, some other medieval film about jousting. I hope Zephyr likes them!

[I also hope Zephyr likes the Lone Star Ranch logo I put at the front of the film too. I tried to get a texture sent over, but couldn't get hold of one, so made up my own and tweaked it a little in GIMP. Was pretty pleased with how it turned out, despite the fact that I edited it so that you only see it for 2 seconds!]

I called one the Green Teaser because the word JOUST is coloured green at the end, and the other Gold because I coloured it gold!