Wednesday, March 2, 2011

#7 Marcus Inkpen




   Last year Aino Baar secured a place at the World Expo in China to showcase machinima.  In the end it was determined that over 2 million people passed through the Madrid pavilion where five four foot HD screens were showing film from some of the best SL machinimatographers, as well as people from other virtual worlds or formats.
     I was given five regions to create content or sets from which machinimatographers (if that is even a word) could film narratives.  This island in the machinima was built by Marcus Inkpen over a few months on one of those regions. His work ethic was phenomenal.  No complaining or flakiness, just a solid reliable builder determined to showcase his talents.  What he built was a perfect "set" for people to create a story on, but also an environment that engaged SL residents.  You couldn't help but arrive at the sim and imagine some kind of scenario that was happening.  The machinima above was how I interpreted it, but there really were so many options for people.  By coincidence, the main character I used for this machinima was one of the avatars built by Colin Fizgig who I had at #10.  Sweet serendipity. 
     This machinima is dark on my computer so some of the texture details are lost, but what I truly loved about the creation was Marcus's attention to texturing.  He painstakingly created numerous textures for this build with each one being quite beautiful.  The way he designed the sim was in such a way that regardless where you found yourself, whether it be in the house, the shanty town towers, bridge, water, tree or so on, you were given an environment to appreciate and one which you wish to spend time in.  One of the challenges for an artist in Second Life is to keep the viewer in your creation for as long as possible.  When looking at this medium, understanding that engagement is a huge part of the art experience, it is essential to allow the viewer to have layers that keep them coming back.  You need to create a reason for the viewer to become immersed within your work.
    We create within a 3D virtual space and designing it or composing it properly for the viewer to have interest beyond 20 minuites is a very important factor here.  What Marcus Inkpen did was design a beautiful well crafted space that suited its intended purpose in creating an environment for people to dream up a narrative for the World Expo. But he also created a sim that constantly had people visiting it.  People came and spent hours there.  That is really difficult to do and is a constant struggle for artists here.  Because of Marcus's understanding of this principle and his truly beautiful and imaginative build  his became one of my favorite builds from last year.

#7 from 2010 "Fuzion" by four Yip and Mescaline Tammas

#7 from 2009 - Madpea's swamp hotel
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