Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Simplexity

There is a method where a builder can place video over every object in a sim which uses the same texture (provided they have media access under the land tools). So essentially if you put a jpeg of a donkey over half the prims on your land, then tell the land to play a specific video for everything using that donkey texture then you will have streaming media all playing the same video over many surfaces. Its pretty neat and I've actually used the same method to put video over the actual ground textures with the intention of using this as an addition to fog. So the actual land you are standing on can also play video, imagine a combination of a movie of swaying grass combined with swaying prim grass. There are only so many hours in the day unfortunately.
I don't know of a great many artists who use this technique, Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield come to mind and Tuna Oddfellow has had a popular event for years called the Oddball which also does this. I can remember Thoth Janzen using this technique ever since I met him when I was a Caerleon artist a few years ago. I think I bump into him once a year or so, and this time it was at NMC Campus West -- The Aho Museum for a new build of his called Simplexity. Its a really dynamic build which is part kaleidoscope and part dance party. A really interesting connection though is that each of the several videos he used in the build come from the demoscene. The demoscene appeared on the Commodore 64 computer ages ago and grew with the appearance of the Amiga and Atari. When software was "cracked" the teams who did it would often leave a type of tag or cracktro at the start letting everyone know it was them who pirated it. They would try to make the cracktros look impressive by manipulating the graphic capabilities of those computers.
These old computers all apparently worked off of very similar code which the average user could get a hold of. People would create graphics and compose music to go with their creations. Each artist trying to outdo the other with awesome videos while also attempting to show superiority of one computer over another. It seems there was a huge loyalty to ones commodore or amiga, similar to the one sided rivalry between Apple computers and PC's. I don't know how many times I have been told by an Apple user that my computer sucks, but it shows the depth of loyalty marketing and a good product can create.
Second Life is an open source medium, so doesn't really need to be cracked (however I think some of Thoths demoscene videos are on megaprims which is a form of software crack)and it contains the ability to quickly create great fractals using alpha textures rotating over distorted sculpties or prims. I could really see a new demoscene being born in Second Life with competition against other platforms ranging from Open Sim to world of warcraft. People creating real time video compositions for bragging rights. Second Life would naturally kick everyone else's ass, but imagine 45 000 prims with video on Open Sim compared to the 15 000 SL offeres builders. Using a combination of machinima and fractals alone could create some really amazing musical works.

When you go see Thoths work be sure to sit on some of the chairs he has set up as they give you a variety of perspectives with which to view the work.

Come see Thoths work Simplexity here

Also I came across not so much a tiny but rather a micro avatar built by Lomgren Smalls. I nearly stepped on him. I put him at the end of the video below.

Simplexity from Bryn Oh on Vimeo.



Save Space from SaveMe Oh on Vimeo.

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