Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Gashlycrumb Tinies

About a year ago I began building a recreation of Edward Goreys "The Gashlycrumb Tinies". Using little steampunk robot children of course. I had just wanted to practice building and you can actually see my skill improve as it goes along. I sat on IBM6 and Rezzable sandbox building it for what seemed like months and it was the first and last time I tried to watch my prim count. This was mainly because its not very polite to use all the resources on a sandbox.
Shortly after I finished Gashlycrumb, KK Jewell offered her sim Arcspace as a venue to show it (with a little prompting from Bettina Tizzy I think). Edward Gorey is a favorite of mine with his offbeat cryptic humour, and if you dont know his work then I suggest you look him up. I am going to leave The Gashlycrumb Tinies out at Immersiva for the month of August should you be interested in seeing one of my early builds.

I forgot to mention that last year a celebrity of sorts came to see the show. None other than the Angel of Death (who sounds a bit like Crap Mariner). Here is the Angel of Death meeting Nevill.
Angel of Death meets Nevill

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hotel Dare

Last night I went to the opening of a new Hotel Dare show. For those of you who don't know, Hotel Dare is Gattina Dumplings art project where previously each room in a Hotel would be given out to artists to build whatever they chose. Hotel Dare has had to shrink a bit due to high land costs which prohibit non commercial venues such as.... well... art. For this installation a collection of second life artists have come together to pay homage to the first life painter Ray Caesar (edit: these are 3d sculptures done in maya). The SL artists were Daniel Luchador who did the builds, KatatOnik Pidgeon and Marie Lauridsen who made the fantastic avs and costumes and Leetah Moxie and Autumn Hykova who made the hair for each av. The avatars who sat in costume for our viewing pleasure were Takashi Alekseev and Candle Hazlitt. In the machinima Gabby Panacek kindly got into the black dress with ravens for me so I could film, she actually fit in perfectly.
What was fun about this build was that as you came forward to look at selected pictures a script would activate sucking the avatar behind the painting into the SL build. The unfortunate problem with this was that I am a cammer and had no idea about this feature as my physical av didn't get close enough to be sucked in. I happened to meet Hern Worsley and Jojorunoo Runo there and heard about this feature through them. I hide virtually everything i make with only a few people ever finding out the hidden features so naturally I am not complaining about this, but for those of you who plan on going to see this show be aware there are builds behind the paintings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows

The Octobot

Each character on the Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows at Immersiva has a poem story. This is the machine poem for the Octobot.


All my friends
Are Charlatans
And videonauts
In dark nights
With search lights
Broken hearts
Are useful parts
Carry me
From the streets
And love me though
I'm obsolete

One of the thoughts i had about the robots on Immersiva is that they are also hunted for spare parts by salvagers. The programming that allows a robot to feel love would be quite valuable. While they are hiding and hunted they would dream of someone who would come to protect them. Perhaps another robot or even the people who ran the theme park long ago.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Composition of the Rabbicorn room

The eyepath in the Rabbicorn room

In a 3D environment it can be very difficult to lead the viewers eye around your composition. Having them focus on the things that are important over things that are secondary is a challenge. The viewer can look with a cam from any angle at your work unlike looking at a 2D image. But this same cam is a unique part of Second Life and should not be controlled. It is our most powerful tool and in my opinion more superhuman than our ability to fly in SL!. We can have an out of body experience at will and combined with profile check gain information about people a sim away. Anyway, this post is not about that. It is about composition.
Below is the first stage of the Rabbicorn story at IBM. What I want to do here is have the viewer's eye move around the important elements of the first scene. One way i did this here is by using inferred line and the eyepath. Generally, when someone's eye enters a picture, meaning where they look first and where their eye then travels, it is done in the bottom right hand side and moves counter clockwise. This is not always the case but it is fairly common. So in creating this composition I want to take advantage of this and cycle the eye around the composition over and over again.

Below at 1 the eye enters the room. The eye curves around and follows the angle of the gramophone. A natural tendency of the eye is to follow where things point. The gramophone points up to Bryn 2 in the picture on the wall. Another tendency of human beings is to follow to see what other people are looking at. In the picture Bryn is looking down and to the left. The viewers eye will follow this new path down the wings of the Bryn character and to the poem in her hand 3. Hopefully the viewer will now read this poem. Next the lower arm holding the poem curves the eye to the table top. The contrast between the grey table and dark shadow create another horizontal line across to the main character of the story 4... the Rabbicorn. If the eye continues past the Rabbicorn it will again be cycled by the gramophone. Also drawing the eye to the Rabbicorn is the light. It shines down from Bryn Oh to her creation. Furthermore, the light is the brightest part of the composition and as such will draw the eye more than other elements. So the Rabbicorn is highlighted and hopefully brought to the attention of most viewers. After a few cycles the eye tends to move out to secondary objects. The next object past the poem is the teleport to the next scene. What you might also notice is that the general eye movement over this composition creates a triangle or pyramid shape.
Gramophone -> Picture -> Poem -> Tabletop back to gramophone. This shape is considered a strong grounded shape. It gives the feeling of stability and weight. The relationship between these figures is strong and seemingly eternal. So to have the Rabbicorn leave this relationship creates the initial contrast in the story. It is something broken. If I had reversed the composition so that it were a pyramid shape resting on its point then the feel of the composition to the viewer would change to one of disquiet and instability. However I did not want that yet.

Now this composition can lose its strength once the viewers cam moves. So I have also tried to create a strong composition from above. To do this I have made virtually everything point at the Rabbicorn to draw ones attention to her.
The shadows from all the chairs and tables point to her. The gramophone, wings, light from above. Her colour is contrasted against the dark wall which again brings her forward to out attention rather than fading into the background. So while it is difficult to lead the viewer around in a 3D composition is it not impossible and they eye path is one way to do it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Rabbicorn Story opens July 10th at IBM3 sim

So here is the SLURL to IBM 3. It opens at 6pm sl time today

The Rabbicorn

hope you enjoy it. There is also a machinima inside so left click a TV later on in the story.

Quite some time ago I thought up a character called the Rabbicorn. Part rabbit part unicorn. I built up this whole story in my mind about where she came from and how. I sketched it out wrote down the story and then I promptly put it on the shelf and made the Gashlycrumb Tinies build for Arcspace. The Rabbicorn is connected to a variety of the characters I make, but to me she is one of my favorites. I had always planned on making this story in Second Life but I never had the space to do it properly. Immersiva is the world she lives in but to tell her story there would require me to delete most everything. So I was quite happy when IBM approached me to use one of their full sims for a project, and I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for.

IBM have recently become interested
in Second Life artists. And we can thank Tezcatlipoca Bisani and Jessica Qin for pushing this. Because of them IBM have made available two full sims for artists to use to build creations. I read some of the upcoming artists to use the space and they are brilliant. I really think IBM will be the new place to see artists doing mega projects.

The Rabbicorn story will open Friday July 10th. It is best viewed alone or with just a few people around. Because of my desire for it to be viewed this way, I have asked that the sim be limited to a maximum of 6 avatars. Now as you can imagine this is not a very popular idea. For one, people may find they cant get in and never try again. Another problem would be that the traffic counter will show few people coming to see it and might be interpreted as a lack of interest by SL residents in these shows they are staging. So if I can't limit the sim to 6 or so, and you find yourself in a laggy mass of people then please come at another time when it is empty. It really is meant to be seen this way. It has a mood brought on by the story, ambient sounds and being alone brings out the quiet mood of the story. Hope everyone can come to see it. I think its one of my best builds.