my humble abode

it's pretty.

i'm in second life again...

Object-Name: Fio's blogging laptop
Region: The Collective (283648, 294912)
Local-Position: (154, 140, 51)

blogging from my little house in SL, i've just put up pretty lighting and i'm showing my laptop off to steve blogstop

Video editing is hard :(

I entered this project with some enthusiasm as video is something I’ve been interested in quite some time but never really experimented with. But was a little worried about the group work side of things, wondering if there would be conflicting ideas or if I would be left whimpering in the corner as my work got trashed and twisted into something else. I worry too much.

Another concern was my insomnia, which insisted on me sleeping at stupid times instead of following a normal sleeping pattern, resulting in me being unconscious in bed while some of the lessons were taking place, and just generally making myself a bit stressed worrying if I was causing the group to fall behind. Once again I was worrying too much! Steve was very understanding of my little problem and never seemed too annoyed when I would show up at three in the afternoon.

But the group work itself didn’t really pose any problems, me and Steve worked well together and genuinely liked each others ideas, and listened to each others feedback. It was interesting to see his take on our idea, which was “anger at technology”.

While we were developing our ideas and getting used to using final cut, me and Steve worked on two separate films, which we were then going to edit into one film. Unfortunately we were supposed to be working in a group of three, but our third group member never made an appearance. But we still had a bit of a democracy functioning, the parts we both really wanted to be included (me – synthy sounds, scary growling man, “techno”, Steve – penguins, fade outs, explosions), were included in the final edit. And we both got a say on the final edit, we’re good friends so weren’t afraid to say what we really thought about the film.

I think our idea development could have been a bit more structured, it was more a process of each other exploring what the theme meant to us and then bringing our ideas together. I’m still having some difficulty with the idea of storyboarding everything first, to me it seems much more effective to try the idea out and see if it works then planning everything before hand, especially since we were using stock film and not shooting anything of our own. I think for the second part of this module where we actually shoot everything ourselves will have to planned a lot more, and not just knocked together on a whim. But for this section at least I think my approach worked well.

The programs we used for this project (Final Cut, DVD studio Pro) seemed a bit overwhelming at first, lots of confusing looking buttons and two preview windows and for quite some time not knowing how to get rid of the “un rendered” screen of agony and woe and the annoying bleeping sound. I found final cut very frustrating to use as a new user, although the basic functions were easy enough to figure out, wanting to make something specific happen or just preview the film without exporting it all was confusing. Hopefully all this frustration will pay off in the second part of the module.

If I was to do this project again I would like to have been able to attend all the lessons I missed from being unconscious, I do have a sense of not really being there for this project which annoys me as I’ve still worked hard. I would have also liked to had a little more time if possible, and seen if I could get myself to storyboard my ideas and maybe even do it in a group.


was anyone else...

actively brainwashed by McDonalds during their childhood by this game?

i've been playing it on my sega emulator today and admist all the gleeful memories of spending days of childhood illness shooting slimey monsters and evil squeaky beavers, it all seems a bit sinister.

look! when he stands still he blows bubbles and chews his gum. he even looks pissed of at you sometimes.

the game has an environmental theme (McDonalds trying to be ethical about brainwashing young innocent minds maybe?) in which the two characters you can choose from, Mic and Mac (thoughtful, must of spent hours brain-storming) run around the place shooting a squirty gun at things and yelling "AWESOME!!!"

The first three levels are set in a toxic world, in the second set of levels hard helmeted beavers throw logs at you, which seems a bit silly because surely beavers would want to protect their habitat from the nasty malevolent living axes which try to chop your skull open. there's also nasty plants that spit at you and wont die. I'm sure there's other levels but i often get bored at this point or die, i think it's an ice based world, i got there once when i was a kiddie, i was very bored with tonsilitis.

but now i'm all grown up, my tonsils were removed when i was nine and feel a bit used. i loved this game, and it was just a nasty marketing ploy attempting to make me eat crap food. although i still feel a sense of joy and self worth when i complete the levels and Ronald McDonald is there with a flag waving me in, my childhood innocence is gone and i see him for what he really is. A weird creepy clown who hangs around with young kiddies promising them a good time whilst making them obese. i've always thought he's a bit creepy to be honest.

but atleast ecco the dolphin isn't trying to sell me anything. even though the bad thing that happens at the start used to give me nightmares.

i still hate talking to the other dolphins though, they say stupid things, so i just ignore them and eat fishies. i've never completed this game, it was far too hard for me as a child an although it experienced a short come back when i was a young teen and finally had my own telly in my room i still find it much more fun to just swim around eating fishies, seeing how fast i can go before headbutting the coral reefs and doing flips in the air. the furthest i ever got were the ice levels, and i'm pretty sure i just used google to get the cheat codes. still this game is really pretty, and the sounds are creepy but great, but i hate the noise he makes when he's hurt, i genuinely feel bad.
it's a pity i have such a short attention span.

i'm gonna go play sonic 2! YEAH.


why i shouldn't edit

whilst eating starburst.

everything ends up speedy.

why do i get more done when i spend a whole 3 hours working on stuff as opposed to a whole day?

what i did yesterday

me and steve are working on two seperate videos, which we are then going to combine into one, and then move bits around and edit them some more.
still at the stage of working seperately-ish, so this is what i've done so far.


personal development brief thing

i've decided to do the "design a website which creatively demonstates a typical day in your life" brief as i'm really itching to do lots of web design type stuff again. i've been trying to get my fix in my spare time with my personal site when i can be bothered to sit infront of my screen and not log onto second life, but i'm really wanting to experiment a bit more, and need a bit of incentive.

i want to take this oppurtunity to make myself learn more code, probably something along the lines of XML or a java based script like processing (program used by brendan dawes, from magnetic north and that bloke that did that book "analog in, digital out" which you should go and buy.) i also find his abuse of FTP and PHP (which is in the book but i can't find in on the site) and amazing interactive snow globes interesting. and since it's supposed to be about a day in my life i want to experiment with what kinds of information i can put in to my site through different inputs.

i also want to see how i can possibly combine / make something nice to look at and maybe click from all my different sites / presences. try to possibly make something as ugly as a myspace page into something nice. maybe make records of what i'm doing when on different sites to make pretty things.


little something

i did today

our idea is "anger at technology", trying to encoporate some of the ideas to funky synthesizers.


evaluation thing yup

To be honest I found this project a little overwhelming, and I always tend to make too much work for myself anyway. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to do anything too “gamey” or obvious. I think the main reason I’m not much of a gamer (apart from being poor and a short attention span) is because the main games market seems to follow the same formula over and over again (lets kill things!!). I find virtually killing things as amusing as the next person but I really wanted to try to stretch the brief, and see what else is possible. So I created a little world to explore, with no real story or character to identify with.

It shows in my feed back from my crit / exhibition. It’s positive but a bit confused. I think some people didn’t really know what to do, which was just wander around and click things and see what happens. One person commented they couldn’t see how my branch / tree was an island, which is fair enough as I really tried to push what the idea of an island was. I think a simple help page or a quick intro at the start might have cleared up the confusion.

I think the sound design and animation have worked well, even though I would have liked to have experimented more with both. The idea for the tibetan singing bowls came from a discussion during one of the tutorials where people suggested that I use koto or other kinds of eastern sounds, unfortunately all I could find that really suited my game were the singing bowls, and a couple of tingshaw mp3s. Which I think work really well, I love how the sounds build up as you move along the branch and reverberate.

My original idea for the visuals was to have three or four different modes for viewing the world, starting from a barren branch where you could make the flowers bloom in either 3d, vector or wireframe modes. I decided to abandon this though and just do the 3d version as I was already getting sick of using flash at this point, I’m using the excuse that this is a demo version! Another thing I’ve let myself get out of doing because this is a demo are the animations for the flowers on the other half of the tree, once again I was getting sick of flash.

But I did make myself (kinda) work out how to use context free, which is a little program that makes images from maths. One of the flowers spurts out a branch / growth / pretty thing when you click it, which was an animation I made in context free. I still don’t really understand how to use it, my maths skills are appalling, and I was already learning action script at the time, so I was a bit overwhelmed on the scripting side of things.

Overall I’m really happy with how this has turned out, I’m just going to stay away from Maya and Flash for a while. Well, maybe not Maya.

geisha love


video idea research... maybe

i want to do something like...

but more "techno".
steve wants explosions.
i want the guy thinking about sausages.
oh yes.


geisha geisha geisha geisha geisha geisha geisha geisha

i need to find something better to do on a friday night.