Project Sci-Fi: Enter Your Machinima

The team at University of Western Australia continue their amazing virtual worlds work, hosting the machinima section of a huge undertaking called Project Sci-Fi:

WD Project: Sci-Fi Film Challenge (Australia) 2013 is a Competition run by Screen My Shorts Inc in collaboration of WD (S.E.Asia Ltd). We invite entrants of all ages, cultures and ability to submit original creative digital content and win a share of the AUD 10,000 (L$2.28 Million) cash and prizes (with at least AUD 1,500 / L$230,000 reserved for Machinima), and have their works exposed on the international stage.

Here’s the teaser trailer:

If you want to enter, check out all the details over at the UWA in SL blog.

SLCC 2011 Wraps Up: how about some machinima?

The Second Life Community Convention is over for another year and there’s certainly a lot more to it than the Linden Lab CEO keynote. Self-proclaimed ‘God of Machinima Reporting’ Draxtor Despres, has done a nice job of summarising the vibe and feedback of the weekend.


Also – check out the great wrap-up on the SLCC site.

If you attended yourself, did you come out the other end psyched as well?

Between Worlds: a Second Life machinima

This post originally appeared over at our sister site, Metaverse Health

There’s not a lot to add to the great description provided by the creators:

“Between Worlds: A Journey of Hope” is a machinima produced by Panacea Luminos of NY HealthScape (USA) filmed and edited by Aliceinthenet (UK) and written by Skylar Smythe (Canada).  The inspirational piece is a story of cancer survival and accessing health information, supports and friendship in the virtual world of Second Life.   We invite you to visit: to view the film and encourage your feedback and comments.

There’s four parts, which you can see below:

Man vs Second Life: the sequel

Back in July 2009 we covered Man vs Second Life, one of the funnier pieces of Second Life machinima around. At the time it had reached more than 50-thousand views on Youtube.

At that time its creator, Sean Krueger (Hugity) posted a further piece to YouTube stating the original piece was a school final project, that he was going to seek real video work and in between some interesting insights on the making of the film, he made some fairly judgemental comments on furries in particular and Second Life more broadly. That video from Sean Krueger has since been removed from YouTube and he’s now released Man Vs Second Life 2.

You can view it here, but a warning it’s not safe for work or kids:

There’s also an interview with Sean over at New World Notes with some behind-the-scenes insights. This is one funny machinima from a team with an ambivalent relationship with Second Life – which is probably one of the key ingredients of their success.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The USA’s National Space Society had their machinima awards ceremony last weekend, in conjunction with the University of Western Australia. There’s some superb machinima featured – you can view them all here.

Also, don’t forget to check out the May winners of the UWA’s 3D Art competition, or go have a look yourself in-world. The scope and quality of the work on the UWA sim never ceases to amaze me – it would now have to be one of the largest virtual world art repositories.

2. Mandy Salomon has a good piece on the troughs and crests of virtual worlds adoption by business and government.

3. Koinup have announced they have an app for the iPhone / iPad under development called Metaverse Wallpapers.

4. Speaking of iPhone / iPad apps: we’ve added some more feeds to our Metaverse Reader app, including the Second Life Grid Status feed. If you use the app and have a feed you’d like to see added – drop us a line.

5. One of those new-fangled web-based virtual worlds, Habbo Hotel, has just turned 10.

GnomeAir: one of Second Life’s funniest (casual) observers

Like a lot of people I love a machinima that provides laughs, and in recent months one of the highlights in that regard has been the work done by GnomeAir. His weekly updates on forays in Second Life pack a lot of experiences into each one, and there’s no shortage of cutting commentary on a range of Second Life aspects.

I fired off some question to the somewhat elusive GnomeAir to find out a little more about his approach:

Lowell: How long have you been involved in Second Life?

GnomeAir: Just started a month ago. I had watched friends play some, so I did know a few things before I started.

Lowell: What about SL inspired you to make machinima?

GnomeAir: I’ve been fooling around making YouTube movies for awhile. I’ve deleted a bunch because they came out scary. It seems to be a current thing. A fun way to express yourself. Something like 15 hours of YouTubes are uploaded every minute? Something like that. I just had an idea one day to make a Second Life account and film it. No idea what would come out of that idea or what I would film or say.

Lowell: Has the reaction to your work surprised you, and if so, why?

GnomeAir: I’ll just delete the comments that tell me I suck!

Lowell: Can you shed some light on how you go about making one of your episodes?

GnomeAir: The first ones I just entered game and played and filmed what I did. Nothing much really happens in those! Then later after I had played a few weeks a bunch of stuff would have happened to me so I just condensed it all down to highlights or lowlights or however you want to see it. Some videos I went on opinionated rants like the one about guys playing girls. So they were all different. Some came out better than others.

As far as the technical stuff, well theres two basic ways I can do them. Record the audio in advance and then film it, or film it first and then record audio. I use Pro Tools to do the audio. Its amazing program for making music or doing anything you want with sound on your computer.

I think for these Second Life episodes, filming it first works best. Put together a basic film sequence and story in Windows Movie Maker, after capturing the video with some other program. Then, turn on voice recorder (Pro Tools for me) and ad lib into mic as you watch the movie film playing back. Then you edit the audio taking out boring bits and pauses etc and load the sound into Movie Maker and tweak the film a little bit to match the audio. Ive done it other way around, make audio first based on what I did in game and then make the film part and it’s not as spontaneous, the comments etc, reactions to what is happening in video.

For example in video #6, there is a long sequence where I’m just talking about SL girlfriend and nothing is happening in video. That is a result of making the audio first and so I think the movie suffers. You are looking at dead screen and just having the sound tell the story. One thing about making machinima is you do learn movie making. You see what works and what doesn’t. For example, I’ve learned to go instantly from far away shots to close up and not to use zoom! But then, I’ve only started to think about these things recently. Most of the video is pretty messed up in these, but dont really matter with what I did.

Lowell: Do you have a longer term plan with your work or is it just a bit of fun.?

GnomeAir: Nothing long term planned just winging it. I have some other projects coming up soon like Comic Con, so I will be busy with those. I will say using Second Life to make machinima is unlimited. You can make the sets and the characters – no limits there.

UPDATE (25th July 2010) – GnomeAir has pulled all his videos from YouTube. An incredible shame – GnomeAIr if you’d like to contact us, we’d love to host them or somehow archive what was some great satire.

You can view all GnomeAir’s work here, or see the Second Life pieces below:

Episode 1:

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

UWA’s Machinima competition: beauty and success

On Monday the University of Western Australia in Second Life had a bash to announce the winners of its MachinimUWA Challenge. What started out as a L$10,000 prize ended up as L$215,000 thanks to the entries being viewed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson.

You can view each of the entries below, with the descriptions all provided by the UWA’s resident dynamo, Jayjay Zifanwe. If you take the time to view each, you’re likely to agree that the overall quality of entries has been very strong. I don’t envy the 12-member international judging panel for the decisions they had to make on the shortlist of thirteen. The final results were:


“The judges thought that this was an absolute firecracker of a Machinima with a brilliant and very different approach. This had wonderful humour, amazing visual effects, great quality of editing and remarkable camera control.”

Second Prize
BRADLEY CURNOW, Perth, Australia
MachinimUWA: Art Architecture, Research, Teaching

“With Bradley’s work, the judges felt this had wonderful velocity with fantastic cutting to music transients, an epic soundtrack and showed off the “4 main elements” to great effect.”

Third Prize
UWA Machinima Challenge Submission

“ColeMarie’s brilliant modern and edgy piece was another favourite. Responding to the announcement, she said, ‘I would like to thank all the artists involved in the creation of the UWA sims,and to UWA in particular, for this terrific opportunity to creatively express myself. To all my friends who gave me my space and understood how much working on this project meant to me, to JayJay for asking me to make this video, and Surrealia Anatine for getting me into machinima to start with. To energy drinks for keep me working late into the night, and Bryn Oh for ‘subtle’ yet threatening encouragements to finish this video.’ ”

Honourable Mention
The Heart of UWA

(video unavailable)

Honourable Mention
CHANTAL HARVEY, Maastricht, Netherlands
University of Western Australia in Second Life

Honourable Mention

University of Western Australia in Second Life

SOPHIA YATES, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA
The Challenge – Architecture, Teaching, Research Arts on the UWA sims

IONO ALLEN, Paris, France
Seek Wisdom

GLASZ DECUIR, San Sebastian, Spain
MachinimUWA: UWA in Second Life, Achieving International Excellence

NOVA DYSZEL, Toronto, Canada
UWA in SL Challange

UWA Jan 2010

(video unavailable)

SOPHIA YATES, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA
Second Life Virtual University of Western Australia

Details of Judging Panel

1. Professor Alan Robson (RL) – Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia
2. Professor Ted Snell (RL) – Director, Cultural Precinct, The University of Western Australia
3. A/Professor Wade Halvorson (RL) – Lecturing in Marketing, Business and Electronic Commerce, The University of Western Australia
4. Colin Campbell Fraser (RL) – Principal Adviser (External Relations and Advocacy),
Vice-Chancellery, The University of Western Australia
5. Kelly Smith (RL) – Director, International Centre, The University of Western Australia
6. Jon Stubbs (RL) – Director, Student Services, The University of Western Australia
7. Susana Willis-Johnson (RL) – Marketing Manager, The University of Western Australia
8. Dr Carmen Fies (RL) – Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at San Antonio
9. Torley Linden (SL) – Linden Labs
10. White Lebed (SL) – Lead of Burning Life Art Department, Curator
11. Raphaella Nightfire (SL) – CEO SW&MB Fashion Productions, CEO Evane Model Agency, Snr Writer Best of SL Magazine
12. Jayjay Zifanwe (SL) – Owner of The University of Western Australia (SL), Creator & co-host of the UWA 3D Art& Design Challenge

The final word from Jayjay Zifanwe:

“In the words of Torley Linden as he was being TP’ed out at the end of the ceremony to attend to Viewer 2.0 matters, ‘This has been awesometastic!’. Yes Torley. It has indeed.”

Beautiful Kate: the Second Life aspect

Over the past year we’ve had the absolute pleasure of playing a small part in Beautiful Kate, the recently released film directed by Rachel Ward.

You can read about the project in much more detail here. Here’s a short machinima we created to showcase some of the work done:

Man vs Second Life: a tale of disenchantment

A month or so ago, we featured a machinima called Man vs. Second Life, as our Machinima of the Week. It was a notable piece of humour and well and truly deserved the more than fifty thousand views it has received to date. Here is it in case you hadn’t seen it:

A little over a week ago, the creator of Man vs. Second Life, Hugity, posted a follow-up on YouTube to announce his departure from Second Life. What’s fascinated me with his near seven minute video is the mix of thoughtful insights on his creation mixed with some very judgmental comments about Second Life and furries in particular. His disdain for those who are regularly involved with Second Life is obvious and he looks forward to developing his career in “real video production”. Here’s the response in full:

What’s your take? What points do you agree with and what do you see as misinformed views?

Macarthur Foundation and Bartle interview machinima

Over the past few days I’ve been sent two really interesting machinima that don’t really fit our Weekend Whimsy slot.

The first is a detailed tour of the Macarthur Foundation’s island in Second Life, created by Draxtor Despres. The Macarthur Foundation is a US-based philanthropy organisation working worldwide, with a well established pedigree in funding virtual worlds projects:

The second machinima piece comes from Pooky Amsterdam, and it’s a two-part interview with MUD pioneer and games researcher, Richard Bartle. There’s some awkward moments and some glitchy audio in the interview, but that’s well and truly outnumbered by Bartle’s insights into a range of topics. I found his explanation on the wider societal motivations for creating a MUD fascinating (essentially he was railing against the propensity of British society at the time to judge people too quickly and the MUD provided an opportunity for people to be themselves):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Over to you on the Bartle interview in particular – were there any new revelations for you or points you disagreed with strongly?

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