Thursday, 23 June 2011


Chaffro says: So, SL8B is in full swing, and whilst wandering I stumbled across a might impressive build by claudia222 Jewell, which in turn directed me to find this video on YouTube. I'm not sure if Claudia also produced this video, but it is of one of her works at least. I like this film though. It's paced nicely, the shots are gently done and the transitions work nicely too. Not entirely taken with the music, but it does lift the film into a different realm of sorts, in that it makes it a more dream-y and whimsical video; I can't help but think that with a different, perhaps more ominous sounding score, it would have a very different effect entirely!

Two paws up!

Pyewacket says: This is a wonderful build and lovely machinima. This particular creation is magnificent when viewed from a distance - and a few more long shots would have been welcome. Complex sculpts suffer under close scrutiny - and the depth of field function, even though very well used here, makes this stand out too starkly. Other than that, nicely done.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Virtual Popcorn At SL8B

We gots a Drive-In Theater at SL8B - featuring the World Of Outstanding Tiny Machinima. WOOT! Click here for your ticket.

Watch machinimas on the big screen from one of our magically one prim "Toadsters" (made overnight by our great friend Toady Nakamura when we realized we were going to use up our prim limit with one car. Thanks Toady!)

If for one of possibly thousands of reasons the video won't play for you inworld, clicking on the red stripped pole to the right of the screen (or here) will bring you to our playlist of tiny centric machinimas on YouTube - or clicking on one of the posters hanging on the fence will bring up a URL to our featured films.

We'll be having informal machinima making Q&A's during the celebration and will post the dates here and on the official SL8B events calendar. So, if you have any questions, come on over and we'll try to sort stuff out.

As you leave, don't forget to click one of the posters hanging in back of our marquees for a landmark to the Raglan Shire Tiny Traveling Circus.

Monday, 16 May 2011


Here's another UWA III entry, this time by Veruca Vandyke entitled 'Escape

Chaffro says: Again, another great example of where less is more. I like the simplicity of the room that the female character is in, yet despite its relative simplicity, I love how stylish it is - lots of subtle detail in there, and the purple frame is a great focal point. The sound effects in the film are perfectly done and really lend themselves to the feel of the whole thing. It's very well lit too; for a film that spends much of its time in tunnels, the lighting is nicely balanced and again adds to the atmosphere. My only criticism would be the pacing - I think some of the shots where there isn't much going on could be trimmed by a few seconds here and there, but at the same time, that could be turned into a positive; it does add to the 'unsettling' feel of those underground sequences.

All in all, a nice little movie! Two paws up!

Pyewacket says: Escape is an engaging machinima - from the clever opening shot, to the use of sound to confuse time and place - Escape is a delightful expression of pure imagination.

Veruca Vandyke's talent is obvious. What she needs is better camera options. So, here's a hopefully helpful machinima tip. Grab hold of a USB game controller and head over to the Second Life Flycam Wiki. Expect to spend quite a few hours setting up the parameters to fit your comfort zone, but it will make all the difference in your camera options.

Two Paws WAY up!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Second Life Month of Machinima - LEA

Machinima making is a lonely process. We either have the UI off and can't hear what anyone is typing - or we're offline editing. It's not unusual for many of us to be more familiar with a persons You Tube ID than their avatar's name.

During the few years machinima has been around in Second Life, attempts have been made amongst ourselves to open common lines of communication - both to help promote our work and to have others to talk shop with. Unfortunately, and probably because machinima is so time intensive, this never got very far. So, when the inaugural Month Of Machinima, sponsored by The Linden Endowment for the Arts was announced last month, the announcement was greeted with cautious optimism. We're dealing with SL - ya know?

The story so far: sometime during the last week of April, 13 avatars received a notecard announcing that they had been selected for MoM - and their films would be screened inworld on May 4. On the morning of May 4 there was a hurried notice on the Linden blog to "c'mon down" to the show.

As usual, the event was packed with all the machinima makers that didn't get selected. We might want to scratch your eyes out - but we're all in this boat together. And that was it! Not even a blurb from Hamlet Au (sorry Hamlet - but these days you're the go to place for this stuff by default). Seems there's no Endowment in the LEA - but maybe calling it Linden Arts would have been a bridge too far.

Lab Promotion? Some of us received our monthly Linden Sandbox thing, which featured a new machinima by Chantal Harvey - one of the LEA Judges; a "Look of the Month" featuring Toxic Menges - one of the inaugural machinima artists; and a link to a separate You Tube channel for the rest of the inaugural artists. I've been acquainted with Chantal and Toxic for a long time and their work is some of the best Second Life has to offer. They didn't deserve being the butt of The Lab's appalling social tone deafness.

So, since somebody has to make a fuss over all the sweat, tears and sore bums suffered from crouching over this art form called Second Life Machinima - here's our Four Paws Up tribute to the Inaugural Machinima Artists of the LEA.

- Pyewacket

To Inhabit A House Of Uneasy Chairs' by Hypatia Pickens.

'The Unkempt Hair Of The Dead' by Penumbra Carter.

'Attack Of The Robots' by Osprey Therian.

'The Disease: Outbreak In Here' by Ole Etzel.

'Paradox 34' by Nasos Psarris.

'Karma Kong' by Daveypup Nirpaw.

'Nighthawks' by Frankie Rockett.

'Dreamer's Journey' by Rocksea Renegade.

'Oh boy, what a MESH' by Draxtor Despres.

'Toxing' by D'Lish.

'Coloured Pencils' by Steff Ling.

'Without Words' by Toxic Menges.

'Oscar Goldberg Speaks Out' by Crap Mariner

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

MachinimaUWA III - A Journey into the Metaverse

Here's a new movie from Tutsy Navarathna.

Chaffro says: I want to steal this man's computer! This is the sort of film I'd love to be able to make! Full of vibrancy, wonderful use of effects - both post-production and in-world - and a beautiful blend of live-action and machinima again. This is the sort of film the Lab needs to be using to promote the platform, as it captures the majesty and wonder that one can bring, create or even just visit in Second Life absolutely perfectly. The narration is beautifully nuanced, the music choices and locations are inspired; the whole thing is a fantastic example of a well designed and finely crafted piece of art.

Two paws up! Way up!

Pyewacket says: Chaffro pretty much said it all. Gorgeous Second Life cinematography, inventive story line and the narration is first rate. The only drawback I saw in using so many live human images is that it really highlights how primitive our avatars still are - but maybe that was intentional. Just stunning!

Two paws up! WAY UP!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Rain

Here's a little musical number from Aleph Newman as part of his 'Crowman' series.

Chaffro says: I love the bravery of this machinima. Essentially it's one long continuous take, which I know from experience is a daunting enough task to carry off successfully, but to also do it in 'first person' in Second Life is amazing; I'm going to assume that the walk was rehearsed several times before he hit the Record shortcut button!

The use of the weather effects is subtle enough not to detract from the character and the slow pans are really effective with giving the viewer a great sense of perspective. It's a shame it's so dark though - it's effective to start with, but I think some of the details of the build get lost in the darkness. Overall though, I think it's fab!

Two Paws Up!

Pyewacket says: Considering all the restraints that were called for in the project, nicely done.

I found camera motion distracting - not sure if it's a follow cam or an adjustment to the SL camera - but we have few options for first person. Like you, I think it's a bit too dark - but the rendering is first rate. Nice find Chaff!

I gives it a One Paw Up and look forward to Aleph Newman's future work.

Rusted Gears

Here's a UWA-entry machinima poem by Bryn Oh.

Pyewacket says: For some time now, Bryn's machinima has been evolving as an additional dimension of her in-world art, and "Rusted Gears" is arguably her finest effort yet. As if the usually autonomous disciplines were insufficient to express what she needed to say, Bryn has woven strands of words, music, movement, sound and form to strike a universal chord. This is poetry at it's best.

All the visual effects in Bryn's work are created in-world, no post production - and her mastery of the platform is unsurpassed. Particularly impressive was her handling of the UWA Clock Tower. That solution was there for all to discover - but it took Bryn to see it.

Two Paws Up! Way Up!

Chaffro says: Autonomous disciplines? Is that like the Laws of Robotics? I've no idea what you're talking about. Anyway, I like the transitions, it's nicely paced and the minimal quality of the whole thing retains your attention and makes you watch. And it's got music by my favourite Icelandic post-rock band, Sigur Ros, so it has a whole lot going for it.

However, at 1:27 the poem reads "but you left me for" which is GRAMMATICAL SUICIDE! She should've said "but you left me", which has enough impact enough on its own, and then included the 'for' at the beginning of the next sentence. Until then each sentence has a stand-alone quality, but I know why; the next sentence - "emotions true" - looks better as just two words, but for me that single decision has ruined the whole experience for me! That aside, it is the perfect example of how 'less is more' and for that, it rocks.

Two Paws Up!

Pyewacket Says: I meant that painting, music, poetry etc - sometimes called disciplines - are usually done on their own - autonomously - but that Bryn has the talent and skill to mush them all up together and make something new - and even better.

Poetry dun haz grammars, silly!

Chaffro says: Well, it should.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

筑波大学 計算知能・マルチメディア研究室 プロモーションムービー

Here's a video for a University in Japan from Neighbour0018.

Pyewacket says: Look what talent, skill and imagination can do with Second Life! Astonishing work. Like watching a Porsche zoom by while you're waiting for a bus.

Two Paws Up!

Chaffro says: I like it! It's like a cross between Battle Royale and The Matrix. Not sure the girl at the end properly conveys a smile, but I do like the mix of live action and machinima and the effects are fab.

Two Paws Up!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

We Review You!

Here we are, Pye and Chaffro, trawling through another session of much-overlooked or much-overhyped machinima. Popcorn's a go-go!