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Archive for the ‘Machinima’ Category

News from the University of Western Australia:

Transcending Borders Poster UWA 2014 3D Art

Transcending Borders Poster UWA 2014 3D Art

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is happy to announce the launch of MachinimUWA VII and the 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge, with a starting prize pool of L$505,000 each. The theme is ‘TRANSCENDING BORDERS.’ Sponsored by Tom Papas & SciFi Film Festival, LaPiscean Liberty & SL Artist, AviewTV, Taralyn Gravois and Arts Castle Gallery, TheDoveRhode and Peace is a Choice and S&S Gallery of Fine SL Art, Jon Stubbs & UWA Student Services, as well as The UWA Virtual Worlds Project. The prize pool sits at L$1,030,000 (approx USD 4,000). We hope you are inspired by this to create many wondrous works of art and film as you have been through the years! (Please note the major rule & special prize guidelines as well as the Audience Participation Prizes for watching the machinima.)

WHAT:
MachinimUWA VI Film Challenge & 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge. You may enter either the art challenge, the film challenge or both.

WHEN:
Entries Close at Midnight SLT 31st October 2014.  Winner will be announced in December 2014

THEME:
The theme is ‘TRANSCENDING BORDERS.’ Artists & filmmakers can interpret the theme as they see fit. Whether transcending borders between time and space, past and present, one nation and another, one language and another, a culture or civilisation or any other of the innumerable borders that present themselves as we navigate our lives. You the artist… You the machinimatogrpher…You decide.

WHY THIS THEME?
This theme was selected by Professor Ted Snell, Chairman Director of the Cultural Precinct, UWA and who inspired the very first of the UWA art challenges in 2009. This theme is in honour of the ‘Transcending Borders’ exhibition at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in 2014. This exhibition gave visual form to the developing cross-cultural relationship between South Korea and Western Australia using The Berndt Museum‘s collection of historical objects from Korea as a catalyst for cultural exchanges and collaboration.

MAJOR RULES FOR ART:
Artwork entered should be able to be interpreted by the casual viewer as being representative of the theme. Where the link to the theme is difficult to ascertain, this should be referenced in a notecard accompanying the work.

There is a 150 LI (land impact) limit with a limit of 1 entry per artist.

Copy/Mod/Transfer permissions are not a requirement, however COPY perms are appreciated.

MAJOR RULES FOR MACHINIMA:
There is no limit to the number of entries you may choose to send in.

The theme is ‘Transcending Borders’ and you may interpret this theme as you see fit, however the average viewer would need to be able to appreciate how you fit this theme (alternatively, please indicate in the notes how it fits in the film notes on the web).

Your machinima must be made specifically for this challenge, and this should be indicated in the opening credits ‘For The University of Western Australia’s MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders’

You do not have to film on the UWA sims, however this of course will be appreciated, and there is a Special UWA Prize which will be made available to a film which includes either Winthrop Clock Tower, The Somerville Auditorium or The Sunken Gardens.

4 mins 30 seconds is the strongly recommended maximum length, but this is not a hard rule.

PRIZES:
There is a prize pool of L$1.03 Million, with a L$500,000 each for art and machinima and at least 10 prizes in each. For Machinima, there will be a Special UWA Prize for the best machinima that includes Winthrop Clock Tower, The Sunken Gardens or the Sommerville Theatre in the Machinima. There will also be 2 Curators Prizes, one each for art and film. For the Curators machinima prize, this will go to the best film that features one of the artworks from either the current challenge or one of the winning works from previous UWA art challenges.

There are also audience participation awards for just watching the machinimas and submitting a top 10 list.

See full details here.

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The regions are open for another week, but the live entertainment part of the event is over, and the MadMan must return to his home in the future – in some style!

How do I find out more about the SL11B Community Celebration? sl11big-hunt-512
You can find out more by following the official blog, and by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out about the Big Hunt here.

SL11B Community Celebration GuideThere is also a Flickr page where you can paste your own images when the sims open. You make see some sneak images from the team before that so keep watching!

Or you can get the Guide – on the web or inworld.

Main site: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLBCommunityCelebration

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/sl11b/

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The MadMan talks about volunteering for SL11B Community Celebration. And gets a little confused about the role of the Press.

Oh yes … and there’s a moose too.

 

How do I find out more?

You can find out more by following the official blog, and by following on Facebook and Twitter.

There is also a Flickr page where you can paste your own images when the sims open. You make see some sneak images from the team before that so keep watching!

Main site: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLBCommunityCelebration
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/slcommunitycelebration/pool/

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Hopes Horizon. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Hopes Horizon. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 5th May at 2pm at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a viewing party of our new episode from Fantasy Faire 2014!

In this special show we look at some of the events that will be taking place over the course of the Faire.

We talk to Elizabeth Tinsley, the Faire organiser, about plans for the event (which opened on May 1st and is now in full progress), and to David Abbot about Fantasy Faire radio, and the fabulous Hunt. We’ll also be hearing from Amethyst Dovgal about the ballet (which you will see as part of next week’s Designing Worlds), and from Samantha Ohrberg about the exciting photo contest – where the winning pictures will be included in a real life calendar that will let people really take the Faire home!

The Faery Court. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Faery Court, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Finally we’ll be talking to some of the groups of roleplayers who are adding a wealth of interactive stories to this year’s Faire! We’ll be meeting the Pirates of Blackwater Glen, the Rickety Weasels of Wigginstead Mooring and the NeoVictorians of Asperatus.

The story of the Rickety Weasels climaxes today after providing a very lively opening to Fantasy Faire roleplay, but the Asperatus tale will be just starting later today. The Pirates and another group – the dark murder mystery roleplay of Sanctuary in Mourningvale are ongoing!

Please note that this episode was filmed while the Fairelands were still under construction – and the builders very kindly allowed us a very early peep! The Fairelands have changed in appearance since this episode was recorded (and photographed).

Wiggenstead Mooring. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Wiggenstead Mooring. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm for this very special exciting show!

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV, on SLartist or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds, on the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Sanctum. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Sanctum. photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

 

 

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We’ve talked about the Faire being a time to tell stories – and one of the ways we love to experience stories is through film and television – in our Second Lives as well as our Firsts.

And there have been some stunningly beautiful films created at Fantasy Faires in the past.

But it can be difficult to create films at the Faire when the regions are filled with people, and your framerate drops to … “What? What??? Oh I am so going to crash!”

So this year, we are going to give five Second Life film-makers/machinimists the chance to come into the Faire early and create their stories while the regions are still quiet.

Why only five?
Well, people are still building, and each film-maker will need to work with us to ensure that they are filming what is finished (or certainly ready to film!). And as this is the first year we have done this, we want to ensure that we are able to help you to the best of our abilities.

How do I apply?
Just contact Saffia Widdershins inworld or via email at saffia.widdershins@gmail.com by midnight Saturday 26th April.

Explain what you would like to film (whether you you want create a story with actors, an abstract pieces of a travelogue), and supply a link to a previous film or machinima you have shot.

 

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See the first of this year’s informational videos!

How do I find out more?

You can find out more by following the official blog, and by following on Facebook and Twitter.

There is also a Flickr page where you can paste your own images when the sims open. You make see some sneak images from the team before that so keep watching!

Main site: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLBCommunityCelebration
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/slcommunitycelebration/pool/

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Designing Worlds’ visit to the beautiful Dreamscenes is now on the web.

In this latest episode, we explore the Dreamscenes. Kayle Matzerath of Garden of Dreams has been creating his amazing Dreamscenes – a portable and expandable system of stunningly designed skyboxes – and landscapes for a number of years, and we have featured some of these as settings for shows.

In the Atelier, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

In the Atelier, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

His ability to move with the times and incorporate new ideas and developments in the platform has led to his latest creation (which I wrote about earlier in the year) the Atelier. And there’s a special surprise to be glimpsed through the windows here for all steampunk fans!

We also look at Kayle’s stunning work for Fantasy Faire.

The Library - another Dreamscene created by Kayle Matzerath, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Library – another Dreamscene created by Kayle Matzerath, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Here is this week’s show, ready for you to watch. Don’t miss it!!

As you can see – this week’s show contains news of Steam: The Hunt – a very popular event on the Hunt calendar!

Rosa and Cinders

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Pallina60 Loon has produced a beautiful video about One Billion Rising for Justice in Second Life.

The first half features some of the stunning art installations, while the second half looks at people joining the event.

It’s a great tribute to the event – don’t miss it!

Snapshot_029

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The Singularity of Kumiko (detail). Photo by Rowan Derryth.

The Singularity of Kumiko (detail). Photo by Rowan Derryth.

If there is anything to bring me out of my Second Life hiatus, it is a new exhibit by Bryn Oh.

I’ve got Ziki Questi to thank… she probably doesn’t know that I still follow her blog in my absence, and pop in to see the things she recommends as I can. It was through her blog that I saw a preview of Bryn’s new exhibit The Singularity of Kumiko last week, and like her, I don’t want to give too much away in terms of just what happens. As many will know, all of Bryn’s exhibits at Immersiva are game-like narrative adventures, and posting spoilers is something I refuse to do.

'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Suffice it to say, if you loved piecing together the the Rabbicorn/Daughter of Gears exhibits (which came together in her gorgeous machinima Standby), and others like the recent Imogen and the Pigeons, this one will not disappoint. In fact, the Canadian artist/puppetmaster behind Bryn Oh has just received a second award from the Ontario Arts Council to support this new work (the first supported the creation of Standby). Bryn credits the OAC for being forward-thinking in their approach to new media, and while this is certainly true, I also think it she would not find success if the work wasn’t so relevant to contemporary art practice, particularly in that she manages to make the virtual work available to a wider audience through film (machinima).

That said, in my opinion the best experience of the work still exists in the virtual visit, which is still problematic in terms of perceived access. I confess, the recent popularity of new narrative-based games like Gone Home and The Novelist has both excited and frustrated me. While I celebrate this attention to the art/game concept for a more mainstream audience, I also grit my teeth a bit thinking that Bryn (and others like Rose Borchovski and Rebecca Bashly) have been doing this so well in Second Life for years, and few people know. But perhaps that is a rant best left for a different post. Back to the exhibit…

Bryn oh at 'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Bryn oh at ‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Bryn yet again pushes what is technically capable in Second Life, employing innovative use of browser-based lighting controls to create a dramatic and intense visitor experience that is not without some peril (as far as our pixels selves can be in danger, of course). The psychological effect is very real, and certainly fun.

If am to be critical, the very thing that makes this new installation so innovative is also perhaps its one drawback. As Bryn explains on her blog:

This artwork will use some features in a unique way allowing for a quite different experience which, sadly, is fairly demanding on your computer. I have tested extensively and have found that most are able to run, while experiencing minimal lag, the artwork on mid range computers. To help keep lag minimized I will cap the avatar limit on Immersiva to 10-15. As with Imogen and the Pigeons, I am attempting to look at the virtual medium and determine what is unique about it over other mediums such as painting, sculpture and cinema. Then I work towards using those strengths to create an immersive experience that is specific to a multi user environment.

When you land at Immersiva, there are signs that tell you exactly how to set your lighting up according to which browser you are using (I strongly recommend Firestorm). It is a bit fiddly, but the instructions are easy enough. But as Bryn said, you will need to be able to use shadows, etc., which some computers might not manage. The choice to allow only a very small number of avatars at a time might also be frustrating to some… but if people can spend hours trying to get into events like FaMESHed to shop, then certainly being patient to see something so beautiful as this is manageable. And it really does help with the lag, which is important considering the multi-media nature of the work.

'The Singularity of Kumiko'. Photo by PJ Trenton.

‘The Singularity of Kumiko’. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Also, please: REMOVE YOUR FACELIGHTS. Bryn politely asks you to do this at the start of the exhibit, but even walking around last night in a media preview I encountered two people still wearing them to see or take pictures ‘because it was dark.’ It is SUPPOSED TO BE DARK. It’s moody as hell! That is the point, and wearing a facelight deprives you and others of the authentic experience that Bryn intended. Bryn in fact dubbed me the ‘Facelight Police’ when I griped to her about it, and I said ‘You should see me bitch out people using flash/touching the art in actual museums.’ So yes, please, take them off for this. Actually, just take them off period and never put them on again, ok? People everywhere will thank you. /rant

Whew. So, this fantastic new exhibit opens this Friday, 14th February. And it is definitely a fun exhibit to explore with an accomplice, especially as you might need the occasional rescue. But if the low avatar limit makes it hard to visit, simply wait a bit, I’m sure the exhibit will be open for quite a while.

And incidentally, if you’ve never tried Second Life but would like to see the kind of amazing art being made there, this installation would be quite the introduction. Drop me a note or leave a comment if you’d like an intro.

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