Category Archives: SL elements


I learnt LOADS at the Machinevo workshop.  I am maintaining a google doc with my ongoing ‘tips’.  Here is a link to a downloadable word doc of ‘work so far’

The process of making a film in SL

The process of making a film in SL


• Prepare very short clip • Know exactly what you are going to say (e.g. script it) as it will be repeated several times from different angles • Number the utterances (makes it easier to direct)

Preparation of ‘actors’ (avatars)


o Wear ‘low’ animation to allow hand gestures when speaking (ideal for close-ups. . can be a bit unrealistic / irritating for full body shots.. use the low or medium AO  called ‘   ‘ to make sure there is some hand movement (I think the strong one is Over The Top!) Remove their usual AO usually

• SOUND: o Do a sound test to ensure all speakers are at same level… o adjust avatar volume by  hovering on the ‘I’ . if they are very faint, advise them to go into settings and check.  o If there is an echo tell them to use an integrated headset; if not possible, tell them to switch off their mic when not in use. o Tell them not to breath too loudly!

• SPEECH: o Model the delivery you want (speed, pitch, accent, emotion) o Deliver sentences clearly with a gap between each one (necessary for transitions) o Make a slight ‘hesitation’ or ‘fill’ noise before pronouncing the first word .. this ensures you hear the whole thing.

• TIMING : Tell then what to expect as you will have to turn mic off during filming .. (e..g count down 5 – 4- (silent 3 2 1)

• MOVEMENT – o show them exactly where to stand.  If there is a couple animation, NB ideally they are opposite people  (18o degrees) to start o Direct people on Animation Overrides o Direct people on how to ‘look at’ the people they are speaking to)shift + mouse’ o Tell people not to click on other things (to avoid arms going into the air) o Tell people not to move if possible

• APPEARANCE: o Direct people on their costumes (as realistic as possible – o check limbs to not show through when they walk)

Set Up Video Capture Software

1. Open up Fraps

2. Check settings: movies; folder to save; video capture; capture settings; recording inside and outside; hide the mouse; lock framerate

Preparation of SL / viewer interface

• Close any pop-up windows from other programs (e.g. oovoo) • Open SL • Adjust preferences (see list): sound from avatar; graphic high and include shadow etc` • For a ‘different’ look, choose a different sky preset (world / sky editor) • For a more realistic look, add lights and shadows, and ambient occlusion [graphics / general / advanced)



o Turn off your own mic before filming(but remember to turn back on again later!) o Clear screen of menus: Ctrl + Shift + F1 key o Clear screen of HUDs: Shift + alt + H o Mic on: count down ‘5 – 4 – 3- ‘ then • press key to capture –  actors imagine ‘2 – 1- – 0 and start top speak on zero. • Keep still – avoid using zoom / movement unless really necessary • Press key to stop • Do retakes from different angles E.G. o Film once with both speakers o Film once focusing on one speaker o Film again focusing on second speaker o Take close-ups of objects being referred to (while speech going on) • As soon as there is a mistake, stop the filming and say ‘stop’ – explain what was wrong. • Open folder • Watch and delete or name appropriately • Put copies onto another prepared folder

Making files smaller for sharing / editing

• Copy films into relevant folders (e.g. Machinevo / films • Make films smaller format by importing into Windows Movie Maker and exporting as wmv or avi for computer output (seee process below) • Open up Windows Live Movie maker • New project – name and save! • Import all films (add, videos and photos ….browse …) • Save as a project • Export movie (for computer … makes it into a wmv file)


EDITING • Open the project • Click Edit • Play films and ‘split’ after each sentence • Select variety of angles • Add caption (yellow bold shows up) • Add credits • Add title • Select transition for each frame (nb there is a drop down menu; ‘pan’ is a good one to give a smooth ‘movement ‘ to otherwise static filming) • Add music  (fade in and out; adjust volume to be below the voice volume) • Save movie (for computer … makes it into a wmv file)


Upload to Blip TV (username / password) [I tried Flickr . didn’t work?)


October’s resolution

I’m determined to use this blog more to make quick notes about what I get up to .. I’ve been learning so much recently! To remind myself what  I’m going to blog about, here’s a list (and in no particular order) – Burning Life – my new hair style – changing the colour of objects I buy – installing an internet radio on the plot – being politically and ideologically stretched by Italians and French – seeing amazing works of art and meeting an extremely talented, cloaked Italian artist  – visiting a magnificent, romantic sim – thoroughly enjoying Italianiamo – introducing butterflies and a variety of static but intelligent birds onto the plot – wearing high heeled boots (and the consequences of doing this) – changing clothes and avatars without getting embarrassed – using camera controls more effectively – dancing to a wide range of music at a very special bar where my resilience and sense of self esteem have been sorely tested by a special group of people (don’t worry, I won’t let on who or where you are!!)  

Karelia 'At Home'

Karelia shows off toned-down hair colour!

 – having – having my heart in my mouth as I watched one of my best friends undergoing various transformations (but I think she pulled through!) …better stop there for now!  I’m really looking forward to meeting Helen’s friends at the London Language Show on Saturday and Sunday.  I hope she can persuade you to come to my world to meet me and my friends!

Creating and passing on objects – nearly there!

I picked up a wordgrid from Dudeney Ge’s store on Edunation(he’s so generous) and decided to have a go at it.  It’s great!  You get to drag words to pictures.  There’s no feedback, so you have to do it with an ‘expert’ there .. but I could imagine a game where learners could discuss the answers as a group and use prepositions and imperatives to complete the grid collectively, then go on to compete to be the first to get a correct version (with the teacher running from board to board!!)

 Little tips for anyone else trying it for the first time: (this will all be obvious for any old-timers reading this!)

  • take time to read the instructions which come with it;
  • press ctrl+alt+T to see the ‘transparencies’ so that you can select the word easily
  • use the corner red and blue bits to navigate across the grid quickly (quicker than just using horizontal and vertical arrows)
  • always click the board to clear the pictures and the words before you take it back into your inventory(otherwise the words are left hanging in the air separately)

I then went further, and edited it for French. 

  • I saved the ‘original’ into a newly created folder called ‘wordgrid’,
  • I created a folder called ‘wordgrid French’,
  • I did a ‘save as’  and named it ‘wordgrid French animals’,
  • I created a new notecard containing a list of 16 words and named it ”words’ (-you have to call it words for the wordgrid to work),
  • I saved the card into the ‘wordgrid French animals’ folder,
  • I dragged the word list into the contents area. 

Et voilà – ça a marché!

Next step: to be able to package it up for passing on to others.

  • I created a little box (right click on the land / create / select object / click the wand on the ground)
  • I asked Helen to make a picture to put on the box in her world, (she’s actually quite proud of her creation – she used snagit to bring together 2 pictures and some text – and she’s featured her 2 cats!)
  • she uploaded it as a ‘texture’ into my world (File / upload …it only cost her 10 Lindens for this – about 5p in her world)
  • I added the texture to my box,
  • I dragged the wordgrid, the words list, a ‘give to all’ script, and something else into the box, (must ask Anna what the something else was .. I’ve lost it now and it’s not working!)
  • I checked the boxes to say that other could copy and modify but not sell the word grid

But now the sad news …..

While Anna was patiently giving me instructions, and was affirming that it had worked, we both got thrown out of Second Life, and sadly, I seem to have lost the box!  Of-course, we SL citizens are not fazed by this (!!!) so I did the whole exercise again.  But this time I forgot the ‘something else’, and so when I was showing off to my friend Gizmo later on, it didn’t work.

Watch this space for the answer!

Anna also passed me an object which allows you to organise your textures into little ‘mini-folders’ .. will really help to retrieve textures from pre-defined categories as I build up my bank of textures, and Anna says it has the advantage of constituting fewer prims.  I expect when I grow up, I will understand better what that means.

I’ll sign off now .. Helen has asked me to help her with an excel spreadsheet.  But I’ll try to upload a picture of my box first.