Old toys re-discovered

In another life-time, before I went into Second Life, I used to love tinkering around with After Effects. When Xia made me do that huge computer environment cleanup last Fall, I discovered all my old video files and had quite a chuckle. But also sometimes I was impressed. I have had no education in cinema or video, can’t even shoot a decent photograph – let alone a moving image – but somehow, on rare occasions I seem to have done OK.

When I found out that they had extended their deadline, I took that as an omen and decided to submit “body parts” to Ars Electronica this year. Not that I stand a snowball’s chance in hell, given how unbelievably selective they are but what the heck, I’m going to do so anyway! So, part of the application requires a video, it is in fact compulsory. And that made me go into SL and shoot a machinima of “body parts”. First effort ever and I had a very hard time doing it.

But then once I had the whole shebang in After Effects I started really enjoying myself. Of course, my skills have grown somewhat rusty and After Effects has certainly progressed from back when I last accessed it, but nonetheless, I think that I will be doing more of this. One incentive is also vimeo and that HD thingy which they have going on over there. It does require a pro account but I can probably swing to that. Just want to get a few more under my belt before I go the extra mile, but I am sure that eventually I will do so.

Another thing I loved to do, before my SL days left me virtually no time for anything but going in-world and the obligatory photoshop stuff, was making music. I had this wonderful visual score writer called Easy Beat, which is sadly Mac only (yup, had a Mac until about 4 years ago, then ditched it. I was only using it for that one app, the last 3 or 4 years it was around). But I also had quite a few nice PC music softwares and again, sometimes I would surprise myself with the outcome. And not just mashed up sound (which I also loved doing btw) but I even “wrote” scored pieces. Don’t ask me how, I just somehow did. I would “paint” the scores/chords onto this interface and then move them up and down and listen and then tweak some more. Spent days and weeks with this – almost missed a plane once! And I have decided that I will be doing some more of that as well. Bandwidth gives me the impulse to do so. In the olden days no one but me got to see or hear any of this.

So here it is folks: My very first SL machinima:

Note: For lack of a “significant other” who would have made “body parts” really meaningful Grapho and I are the ones in this video. So, it is weird… Me and me. And no, I am not really all that narcissistic. I really had no choice: Like I said, the video had to be made for the submission. I was certainly not going to get on the pose balls with all and sundry: It has to be someone special – not necessarily a lover but definitely someone close. So, I had no option but to do it by myself.

Me, myselfe and I…


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