A virtual museum done right

So there’s always been lots of talk (and perhaps somewhat less action :) ) about how virtual worlds are potentially great delivery vehicles for education, and schools, and museums, and all like that there.

There are a number of different ways to approach the idea, from wild “pretty much Not Possible In Real Life” things like that amazing and/or disturbing Virtual Schizophrenia build from the other year, to simple “upload my 2D art and put it on the walls of a virtual room” galleries, to novel interactive things that are about other things and that are yet to be built.

As an example of how to build a virtual museum about real-life artworks and artifacts, I can’t recommend highly enough the Peter Vos Museum in Second Life, as covered briefly in these two notes in NWN, and as covered most visually and memorably in this Yesikita Coppola machinima:

The machinima is very well done, and if for some reason you can’t get to the museum itself, by all means watch it.

But if you can get to the museum yourself, I’d suggest doing that first! Or at least second. :) I went the other day (and then got sick and almost forgot that I’d wanted to weblog about it), and am glad I did.

I knew nothing about Peter Vos before visiting the museum, and now I feel both fascinated and well-informed, as well as having come home with some nice souvenirs. The museum is a lovely build, perfectly fit to the purpose, and taking advantage of the SL environment in subtle but effective ways; the lighting is dark with focused lights, as a museum should be, the synchronized slide projectors are definitely synchronized slide projectors, making just the right soft sounds, the little peepholes that let you examine some of the smaller works close up are perfect little peepholes, that zoom your default camera position right in where it ought to be, while making your avatar bend in just the right “museum visitor peering into one of those little peepholes” pose.

About the art itself I won’t say much; it should be experienced. :) Nothing conventional, many many birds, and considerable surreality.

(The story behind the museum, the connections between the artist, the museum builder, and the machinimatographer, are quite a story in themselves, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself also!)

I would commend this both to anyone as a museum to be visited, and to anyone thinking of building a virtual museum (or gallery, or school, or…) as an example of one very effective way to do it. It’s just one point in the (big!) space of possible approaches, but it’s a very well done one, and definitely worth a visit.

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“Unmindful” The Movie by Natascha Randt & Karima Hoisan

I will take a LITTLE credit for parts of this, mostly my expertise at not having any particular goal in mind :), and a nice “make a ball look like it’s rolling without risking actual physics” script that I did. It’s a great movie, and a great sim; experience both!

Digital Rabbit Hole

On July 16th, I posted here in my blog, about a new world that Dale Innis and I were beginning to build on Kitely – Virtual Worlds on Demand, called, “Unmindful” See post:
As I said in the post, it was an experiment, to prove or disprove something I had come to believe: “You don’t need an idea to create…ideas come…all you need to do is start.”

So we started off  with no ideas about what the world would be, just making sort of odd stone structures, with off-sim wind turbines, and a parade of wild animals standing on rugs moving in a figure-eight. That was our first part of the build, but then unmindful to how the focus even began changing, we shifted in a very different direction. I had the concept, but I promise you, if it weren’t for Dale, we would never have pulled this off. (Have…

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A poem, and a painting, come alive

It’s been my pleasure and privilege to be part of another of Karima Hoisan’s amazing Kitely sims, based this time on one of her lovely poems.  (See previously The Hudson Line, based on the Hudson line, and In Your Head, based on your head (well…).)

The poem is here, and the artist’s own posting on the sim is here; I urge you to follow both those links, and then experience the Kitely sim for yourself, if you do the Kitely thing at all. (And if you don’t, maybe you should; it turns out you’re still allowed to use SL, too! /grin ).

And in the meantime, here are a couple (more) pictures, as further incentive:

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Doing the scripting for this sim was great fun, and I hope there is at least one thing that makes you scratch your head and think “How did they do that?”.  Most likely it is the result of Ms. Hoisan and I racking our brains for a few days trying to figure out how to get a particular effect, and then when it seemed impossible her saying “I don’t suppose we could…?” and me smacking my forehead.  :)

WaterMoon Breeze: stuff and scenery!

I haven’t done one of these Neat Things I Found In SL posts for awhile, both because I have been just hanging around the Rise and other familiar places a lot, and because when I do find new neat things, I am too lazy to organize about a post about them.  :)

The other night, though, I followed the usual SL chain of nice pointers and coincidences to WaterMoon Breeze, the sim and build and inworld store and probably also home of MenuBar Memorial, who (among many other things) made the wonderful crazy 50s-style Lucid Dream Together poster for Chasing a Butterfly, the machinima we posted about here the other week.

Turns out this MenuBar feller has some Mad Skillz, and his stores (inworld and marketplace) contain some Really Neat Stuff.  It’s Old SL stuff in the best way (crazy, fun, creative, offbeat, brightly colored), but also extremely polished. Not only can he script and do amazing things with particles (more on that below), but he also does graphic design like a person who does graphic design, so the offbeat brightly colored things actually look good!

 

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See?  How brightly colored and well-done?  And there is a smart umbrella, and a Breedable Pet Rock, and Weather Devices, and all sorts of things!  Here are more of them:

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Bird-things, and water-things, and all kinds of things! And if you aren’t careful, some things that sort of, well, explode…

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(Hint: something about putting things into Coke…)

Spot the Pun in this one!

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Witty, brightly-colored, and useful…

There is also a long swaying bridge up to a mysterious floating island…

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with interesting things up top which might include, say, a zipline to get back down…

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and at the bottom, naturally, a Hieronymus-Bosch-based merry-go-round.

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In terms of buying things so far I have mostly bought this amazing Orb

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which I have installed at one end of the Park in the Rise (as pictured) where I can sit and alternate between zoning out and wondering how the heck he does it.  (Just when I think I have a pretty good feeling for how particles work in SL…)

So that is that!  Another example of craziness and creativity in SL, for your consideration.

(Oh, and I still have a marketplace store myself, come to think of it!  But I never add anything to it, and no one ever buys from it, so that works out…)

UWA time again!

I know, all I ever weblog about these days is machinima.  That is because I have already weblogged about trying on clothes from Sn@tch, the other main thing I do in SL these days :), and I can’t imagine that you want to see more and more postings about that.

Anyway!  It is time for the annual University of Western Australia themed machinima and 3D art contest thing again, and as usual I will highlight the entry that I made some small contribution to!  It is of course by Karima and Nat, and is of course wonderful.  :)

I will not say anything about the premise, because it is so delightfully revealed in the film itself.  See also Karima’s post on the subject for more insight and background.

There are no doubt lots of other extremely worthy entries, which we should all attempt to find time to watch!  But right now I must rush off to continue the ongoing RL battle with entropy.

(There’s an interesting question: does SL, or the virtual worlds in general, have any inherent entropy, not counting what they inherit indirectly from RL?  Probably so; for instance empty land with rezzing turned on gradually accumulates trash.  Expand and generalize.  But first watch the machinima!  It is on the You-Tube, so you can even Like and Comment and generally social-media about it.)

Drax does Machinima!

The Drax Files, which is a great collection of SL – RL videos / documentaries about interesting things, almost none of which I have actually managed to watch, has recently done an episode about various SL machinima-makers, which I saw an early version of that was very good, so I bet the final one is too:

(Why, you wonder, did I get to see an early version?  Because one of the featured machinima-making entities is the redoubtable team of Karima and Nat, to whose creations I’ve had the privilege of making various scriptish sorts of contributions.)

For more thorough coverage :) see Karima’s writeup and Nat’s German one.

Definitely worth watching!

Follow Your Road…. All The Way To Success!!

I know I mostly reblog other people’s things these days :) but it’s because they are cool. This is another Karima and Nat machinima, this one with a great RL aspect to it. I was one of the actors again (in a bigger role even, he said modestly), but what those two, and the RL band, have done with our actors’ posing about is really amazing; watch and enjoy!

Digital Rabbit Hole

Costa Rica's Own..Home-Grown BandCosta Rica’s Own..Home-Grown Band

(Version en Español aquí)

  This isthe case of the hottest new Latin Musical group,” El Combo Style,” from my home country, Costa Rica. Really, just keep doing what you’re doing and share your talent with the world!
I love a good cause, and for me, people with artistic talent, dedication and humility are always a good cause.
The first time I heard this group, was in some studio recordings from the University of Costa Rica.
Even though the quality was not the best, I saw, felt and most importantly heard, the talent of this very tight and charismatic band.
David Mendez who plays trombone and maracas, (blind since early childhood) and David Jimenez (singer-guitarist) are part of the backbone of this band. D. Jimenez writes all the songs and lyrics and D. Mendez  along with Gerson Rodriguez on keyboard make all the musical arrangements…

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