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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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2016!

Despite the silly atomic body being busy fighting off some “cold germ” sort of replicators, I managed to make a New Year card! And this is it here!

(I decided not to spam it out to everyone on my friend’s list, ’cause that seems spammy; have I actually done that in the past?)

It’s been a nice low-key sort of year in SL (at least to the extent I’m willing to publicly divulge, mu-hahaha). Lots of things have happened in the world, and I have for the most part just sat (or flown or danced) in more or less my usual places, and smiled benignly at the thought that other people were doing them.

Also I have not written in my weblog much. :) But I am still here! And still infinitely appreciative of my SL friends, creators, people in AVs normal and lovely and ugly and wild, who make the world the amazing thing it is.

(And I will believe in Sansar / useful VR goggles / sustainable server-side rendering when I see them. I am so crotchety!)

Girl Dale notes that her hair actually looks much better than that, and the “capture depth” feature of the viewer camera works with limited success in the presence of alphas.

(Pretty background is the Neva River sim, somewhat the worse for my post-processing.)

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!

 

Watermoon_001

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:

Watermoon_002

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

Watermoon_004

(Hint: something about putting things into Coke…)

Spot the Pun in this one!

Watermoon_005

Witty, brightly-colored, and useful…

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

Watermoon_006

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

Watermoon_007

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

Watermoon_008

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

Watermoon_009

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…)

Canary Beck on Ambient Sound in SL

Although it is apparently based on a NWN article that I do not have the patience to read today (NWN is so often annoying; see prior satire), this piece by Canary Beck is well worth a read (and not long):

Ambient Sound in Second Life

and there is an optional pretty and instructive “Sights and Sounds of Basilique” video that you can watch / listen to.

I have a couple of “pretty nature sounds” objects that I tend to drop copies of onto parcels that I own, but I may be inspired this Canary Beck post to put a little more effort than that into it…  :)

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!

Mesh bodies, you say?

So about these mesh bodies...

That’s me in the demo version of the latest (or at least the most obvious when you walk into the store!) Maitreya mesh body (including the demo undies that come in the box).

I thought I should at least try out the Latest Thing so as to be open-minded. :)

It’s really quite nice; the mesh is much prettier than the standard SL built-in AV mesh, and since it doesn’t touch the face at all I still look like me there. Also it’s fitted mesh, so at least to a degree the overall shape is still me. Being still me has always been my main worry about mesh AV-parts, so…

(Friends have told me that they’ve had to tweak the underlying shape a bit, but not too much, to really get it just right.)

Classic non-mesh clothing that the maker hasn’t made a mesh-AV-applier for will still of course be a problem; I haven’t heard any convincing stories about how that will ever be fixed. But of course one isn’t obliged to wear the mesh body all the time. It could be just part of the arsenal.

As Evil Spock said, I shall consider it!