One of Second Life's most acclaimed journalists and machinima artists has a new project, and it'll give you some amazing insight into the kinds of people that not only use Second Life, but shape the virtual world around them. The Drax Files: World Builders by Draxtor Despres recently came out with its second episode, featuring the face of SL's 1920's Berlin (and NWN reader) Jo Yardley. Take a look for yourself after the jump.
If you're curious about customizing a Makie of your own from the comfort of your iPad, keep reading! (Update: Ridiculously wrong video link fixed, sorry folks! But hey, at least you know how to make Rice-a-Roni now!)
Meet Ami Yamato, a Japanese girl living and working in England... Sort of. You might notice something different about Ami, something not quite right. Although she's always shown in the real world in her YouTube videos, she is entirely computer generated and almost never acknowledges her digital nature. More importantly, she's incredibly congenial and fun to watch.
There's a lot of painstaking detail in her videos: shaky cameras, out-of-focus shots, poor lighting conditions and more are all taken into account to put this rather unrealistic character in an ultra-realistic frame.
Have I piqued your curiosity? Lucky for you, Ami recent posted a complete look at how exactly she produces her videos:
At first blush Vivacity Interactive's Splintered Rock might not seem much different from a lot of webcomics still in their infancy, beyond its use of SL for its artwork. Venture a little deeper and you'll see a surprising framework for a one-of-a-kind interactive storytelling experience with a serious RPG twist, which might even be helping to support a venerated sci-fi sim in SL. Here's what I mean:
Of course, I can't make a statement like that without doing a little
beginner-level modding of my own. Check out the side by side comparison above: on the right is my Makie just 7 days ago, and on the left is my Makie today. In my opinion they're worlds apart, and all said it only took a couple hours to bring a little life to a plastic version Iris Ophelia.
I expect eventually we'll see
tricked out badass night elf makies with expertly made armor, but since I'm not quite that talented this
article will be a great starting point for Makie modding even if you
don't have much experience. So, let's get started!
Overall, I really feel that Makies, as the online service is right now, in Alpha, are ideal for modding fans like myself... but they may be less than ideal for those who want the perfect doll immediately. Here's why:
This is an awesome hack that links Kinect to Second Life in an incredibly innovative way: Kinect reads the head movement and facial expressions of someone in real life, and those movements are translated into data which then dynamically alters a face sculpture in SL, composed of thousands of cubes. Created by an artist known in SL as Glyph Graves, he narrates this video above, featuring a friend who volunteered to demonstrate. This mixed reality sculpture has already been avidly blogged by a number of SLers starting with Chestnut Rau, but I begged Glyph to shoot this video, so we could see what was happening on the other side.
“It seemed like an obvious thing to do,” Glyph tells me, when I ask what inspired this project. “[Kinect] does face depth. I thought I could do it in SL. So I did.” The reaction in-world when he’s showed this to avatars has been pretty stellar: “Shock, amazement, some disbelief. Part of it is the potential it suggests for SL.”
To make it possible, he had to create a fairly complex interaction between Kinect and SL, read on:
Many thanks to Keela Latte of Club Republik for being a great metaverse DJ in both worlds. It was a hugely fun event, and as promised, I did indeed dance my ass off. That said, I do wish the mixed reality aspect came off better at the DNA Lounge: