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Category Archives: Inspiration

Plurk has eaten my soul and I find it easier to work within a 140-character count, especially with keeping up with friends. Anyway I checked out New World Notes and they had a good link to a New York Times article on art in SL(tm) and RL. (Adia will be coming up with her opinion of Paper Couture’s Spring 2009).

Art in SL(tm) is fun. It presents a different perspective on what is art and how we experience it.

There are the 2D pictures that dominate Flickr and many art galleries around SL. Somehow I feel like this experience isn’t unique to SL. Yes the pictures are shot using SL, which can bring unique features to the pictures, that you couldn’t shoot in RL. But after awhile its kinda boring. You see a lot of the same themes running through the photos and it gets kind of cliche after awhile. However this doesn’t mean they are not works of art and they are low of quality, but somehow it isn’t the same as experiencing the artwork. Second Life(tm) is all about experience rather than just observing. Even in SL(tm) you can just observe the world around you. Just kinda look at things. But what is the fun in that. Where else can you walk through a painting that was created almost 150+ years ago and feel apart of what the artist was envisioning. SL is about doing things, whether that be dancing in the various nightclubs or building the house you want to live in.

I respond well to artwork that I can experience. I love wandering around AM Radio’s builds because they are so surreal, but somehow I feel more connected to the piece. I wander through these places that have this surreal bent to them, but they aren’t dark and in someways disturbing of Dali and Manray.

Chouchou is another one of those places where I feel so utterly connected to the art and the emotions that take over me is something I love to experience. While I try to capture the solitude and peace of Chouchou through my pictures, I feel like I come up short. It is a 2D image with some emotion, but there isn’t the essence. I guess it has a lot to do with the music that is being played, which is always relaxing.

Arahan Claveau will always be an artist on the grid that I know I will find an interesting exhibit/installation. His pieces always have a very shocking quality to them. While some people enjoy that kind of art, I don’t think I have ever been 100% comfortable with that. I know that art is about the response from the viewer, but I tend to prefer images that are happy or at most twisted/happy gothic, i.e. Tim Burton. But that is what Arahan is all about. He wants to evoke these feelings whether they are good or bad and not censoring it. Whatever the feeling, however, his builds are always good and I enjoy them. I haven’t been to see his more recent works, because I took a break for the art world, except AM Radio’s builds. The piece he has up in his gallery looks really interesting and I might go take a look.

Kinda piggybacking on Arahan, comes my issue with art. Art gets lost in translation. The artist’s intent of the piece is lost when it is just a series of seemly random things put together and you don’t know all the personal meaning behind the piece. And then there would be the Dadaist, who just put things together randomly and challenge the notion of what is art.

Actually writing this piece has made me want to build an installation, just for the heck of it. I would love to do something focused around religion because that is what I want to study. In someway I’m scared about offending people with my piece that I have in mind. As an anthropologist I have to be very careful about not offending people, especially those whom I want to study. But I guess I’m not designing this project as an anthropologist, but as an artist that has preconceptions about a certain religion and who wants to confront those and actually understand where they are coming from.

Anyway this is going way too long. Hopefully I will remember to post Adia’s opinion this week.

Balt and Adia

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Taken at Coral Springs. No editing.

So today I want to talk about machinima and Second Life(tm) because I found this great short that shows what SL(tm) is capable of.

So click here to see it. While I’m not a fan of crude humor, it was funny. I thought the technical aspect outweighed the writing. The character design was really good. The main characters looked really good and not like what I have seen. The textures were above-par and I really liked the glassy-ness of the eyes.

Now, there are a few others that I like, more with their story rather than their technical grasp. I can’t talk about machinima without talking about Lainy Voom/tracechops. My favorite SL machinima is her “Tale from Midnight City.”

There is something powerful in the way it is shot. The colors are all dark, the creature is beautifully designed, and the audio is done perfectly. Although the limitations of SL’s(tm) clothing rendering and animations kinda hold the short back. This is a classic piece though, despite the flaws. Her other machinima with The Sims 2 are amazing and worth taking a look at.

There are tons of SL(tm) machinima out there to take a look at and you should check just some of them out because it is worth looking.

Balt

So I got a plot on Plasma!!! So I decided on building a club called Mercury. Since I dj for fun at two clubs I thought it would be fun having my own club to play at, at least for a few times.

So the design concept is fairly simple, pulling from 3 sources of retro-futurism.

  • My first source is the Jetsons.

I’m really focusing in on the cylinders and rings that seem to dominate the designs on the Jetson’s buildings. Yes it is a bit cartoony but I think it works for the theme.

 

  • The second source of inspiration came from Disney’s Magic Highway stills

I love the minimalism of the design. Also the cell shading is fantastic and I want to incorporate that in some how, although I’m a bit lost on what to do for that.

 

  • Lastly the third source of inspiration came from the TV show Futurama, a cartoon, not for kids though, about Fry who freezes himself until the year 3000 and his adventures with his friends and co-workers.

I can’t seem to find the screen cap in question, but the group goes to a “retro” club where rings are retro. I think it was sort of mocking the Jetson’s because it is sort of a retro look today, and what the people in 3000 would consider retro if the rings were popular in the 2900’s. I guess that is why I’m using rings and curves in my designs instead of a more angular look.

As for the colors Im using so far, are red, white, and silver. I might add another color to bring it out of candy-cane land, but I don’t know which one to use.

While I only have the structure done, I will be adding decorations in a few days, all custom to the space. I think that I will be using reflexive architecture for the decor and then I’m doing a giant custom lamp that I think will look good in the space. Although I’m going to have to buy the furniture because I don’t have the skills to build curvy furniture. I will post some pictures when I get the chance, so until then.

Balt

I like design in all forms, lighting, theatre, fashion, architecture, and so on. I also am a big proponent of wiki based things. So when I heard, several months ago, about Studio Wikitecture placing in the top 3 designs and winning another side award for something I can’t quite remember, I thought that was really cool, because it really shows how people can collaborate in SL(tm) on really cool RL projects.

This got me thinking about the different types of architecture that have appeared in SL(tm). There are the basic RL houses that have made their way into SL. Lots of cottages, track-homes, lofts, and McMansions. But how many of them are innovative? How do they differ from RL houses in terms of design? Part of me says there isn’t a lot of innovation going on. I mean what can you do with a basic house design apart from the dominate house designs?

I guess you can do a lot of things. Since gravity really doesn’t exist, what about an upside down zygrat house, that would kinda cool. What about an abstract modern house that pushes the boundaries of what is beautiful, like this.

Architecture in SL(tm) is not just limited to houses. A large part of the innovative architectural design is evident in sim builds. Unique structures are always going up, some designs that are possible to build in rl and then there are ones that have to stay in SL(tm). One of those not possible in RL would be the Chou Chou sim. The, what seems like, infinite ladder that curves around above ground and into the heavens just floors me every single time I go there. Sometimes it is nice to see things, though, that are possible in the real world, but are impractical. I do enjoy going through complex castles, cyberpunk styled buildings, and other styles that would be either too big, expensive, etc. to actually build in RL.

But I guess I just looking at unique structures and analzing them.

Have you seen any really cool structures in your time in SL(tm)?

Okay, so I was browsing NWN, I came upon this post Help Design The City Of Yesterday’s Future Today.

It is all about creating the Vision of the 21st Century from a 20th Century viewpoint. Doesn’t it sound cool!? I’m thinking that this would be a good exercise in building and design. Ooo maybe I can get the HBlue team on board and do a group build, that would be killer.

While I would like to do something all cute and bubbly, I kinda want to do something for “The Wrong Side of the Tracks.” hehehe lol although doing something for Plasma too.

When I first looked at the page, I quickly thought of bubble ray guns for sale. Wouldn’t that be cool?! I’m a dork. lol Anyway I would make some cute ones and then some sick looking ones, but the only problem is how to script them because I have no scripting experience. ūüė¶

Anyway here is the link to the official site:
Rezzable Plasma City

Taken at Templum ex Obscurum. Unedited. Click the title to see the pics and to be able to click the SLurl(tm)! Enjoy!

Okay sorry for the wait. Here are some of the do’s.

 

Do…

1. Make wide walkways. This only applies to prim walkways. When I’m laggy, I look like I walking under the influence because I can’t walk straight. When I’m on a narrow pathway, chances are I’m going to fall off. Now if I can just walk right back on without any¬†trouble¬†¬†it is fine, but if it is too high to walk back on, well that is a problem. While I could jump, it is annoying to have to turn off my chat bar and then turn it back on. So normally I fly,¬†especially¬†if it is a high ledge that I fall off of. Normally I overshoot the walkway and I end up halfway across the sim. Now, if the theme dictates that walkways should be small, either make a railing or put up¬†invisible¬†railing.¬†

 

2. Go light on the particle effects. Nothing bugs me more than being in a choking cloud of floating grey things. Also it adds lag if you have ten million of them floating around the sim. Now I know that they do add that environmental effect to the sim, but they should be used as sparingly as possible. Also when I’m trying to take pictures sometimes the transparent textures don’t blend and cause a visable line and then the picture is ruined. Also nothing¬†frustrates¬†me more when the fog is in bursts and when you get the right amount of fog in the picture, the fog rezs more particles and the perfect amount of particles turns into more than you wanted.¬†

 

3. Light it right. Dark sims are hard to find your way in. I know that is sort of the point, but I get lost and it drives me up walls. If the theme is supposed to be dark and depressing, try working with colors that are in the pallet of the sim. Blues, purples, reds, and greens work well in creating a creepy atmosphere, but still light the way through the sim. Often non-traditional colors both give off light and keep the atmosphere dark and creepy. A good example of this would be the Hangars Liquides, where it is oppressively dark, but there is a lightness to it to. While the light here is used as a contrast, it almost amplifies the darkness while providing enough light to actually function.

4. Stick to your vision. While my comments are, maybe, worth a look improve your design, you don’t have to follow them if they massively change the design of the sim. While getting outside advice and collaboration, if done right, are good things, but they shouldn’t completely change the look and feel of what you are going for. But above all RESPECT and LISTEN to the opinions of the other people, if you saw Project Runway last night you will know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, the pics from my adventure to the temple place everyone has been going to will be up during the weekend.

Until then,

Balt

I love art history. It is going to be my minor along with Anthro as my major. 

 

When I was young I remember seeing a program on PBS ¬†that was the living art, where RL people are “painted” to look like the painting. And then I saw it again on Gilmore Girls, which I never watched regularly, and I thought that was really cool.¬†

 

Now if they could do it RL, can’t we do that in Second Life(tm). Look at the Van Gogh museum, where you can¬†immerse¬†yourself into his paintings like the billiard hall and the cafe one. And then there is Robbie Dingo’s build of “Starry¬†Night,” which was stunning, but not for public interaction, except for the movie.

 

Wouldn’t be cool to see some of the classics in 3D or at least a 3D version. We have the content creators to do it. Eshi, Dingo, and the other big names that I can’t think of right now. And each designer would take one piece or maybe collaborate on it to produce these works of art in SL(tm), while having avatars become the people in the painting or¬†objet d’art. ¬†Honestly that would be kind of neat.

 

The only issue I foresee in this concept would be translating the brushstrokes into the clothes and backgrounds. While I don’t doubt the¬†abilities¬†of the creators, the lines are what really¬†dictate¬†the shape of the form and if the lines aren’t right, the form changes. While I know it is hard to get the exact textures of the paintings, if they aren’t done right it can change the painting too.¬†

Then we have another issue, lag. Personally if there is high levels of lag, I leave and don’t normally return, SL5B, Burning Life 07, NPINRL exhibit on Rezzable, the various fashion fairs, etc/ If the backgrounds and props were 3D and depending on the style of the painting or objet d’art, it might need a lot of prims to build with. While some scripts would be used, for the most part, from what I understand, they would be fairly low lag. And then it comes down to how many people are on the sim and how much avatar rendering cost is being used. I would imagine, at least for the “art pieces” would have higher rendering cost because of the high resolution textures they would be wearing and then there would be the attachments. And then you have the audience. Hair is typically laggy since it does take a chunk of prims to make, and then there are those females that must wear some jewelry that is even more prims than their hair. After all that, you have the actual outfit. So there would need to be a way of enforcing the rendering costs, as to benefit the rest of the people on the sim.

This would also have to be on a big wide open sim, such as the Rezzable Sims, which are popular to host the variety of fashion fairs.

I think it would be fun to do in Second Life(tm). Hmm maybe I should do it over winter break. Hmm.

Balt

Don’ts

1. Overplant. By overplanting the sim looks like a jumble of weeds overgrown and trying to tie you into knots. If the sim is suppose to look like that keep it out of pathways and make it clear to the visitor that it is a walkway.

2.Don’t use a lot of high res images, especially on small set dressings. It is bad enough waiting for the prims to load and then you have to wait for about another few minutes for the textures to appear and then load up. Use smaller sized images when not needing as much detail, such as candles. If you need to use bigger textures to get all the details in on larger objects fine, but try to use them not as often.

3. Don’t create a maze. Create visible walkways so that way one knows which way is out. Also try to connect all the pathways so that way people can return to an intersection and then go another way.I know getting lost can be a good thing but frankly it can get frustrating when you can’t find your way back.

Anyway I’m tired and I want to sleep pt.2 will be up soon and some new pictures will follow