Recently it has gotten some attention again and was shared on Italian and Russian websites, which made the view counter jump up again and just now it reached 20.000 on Vimeo alone!
That is quite impressive for a video that isn’t about trolling, people having babies or doing the hanky panky.
I’ve written before about how I think we need to make more Music Videos made in Second Life because I think they are an excellent bit of publicity for our virtual world.
And this video has proven that point.
20.000 views, that is a great excuse… for another view!
Imagine being able to bring your 360 degrees camera into Virtual Reality, just set it up in the club, house, park or city that you’ve build yourself in Second Life, record it and then share it online with people from all over the world.
Let them get a taste of where you live in VR, let them look around and even give them the feeling they’re actually there by looking at it with their VR headset.
This is now possible!
Yesterday Electric Shepherd from Vimagine (who also worked on the ‘Virtualize it’ documentary for ‘Der Spiegel’) and Draxtor Despres came to 1920s Berlin to test out an amazing 360 degrees camera to film the, as far as I know, first 360 degrees video shot Live in Second Life in real time.
The camera rig was made by Arduenn Schwartzman (of Warbug fame), it has audio and video syncing capabilities and all recorded tracks are then aligned in post production.Even though this is still just an early test, it is already very impressive.
I can imagine short clips like these made in sims all over Second Life being used to show outsiders what life in our virtual world is like and the things that they can experience there.
Because these can also record busy events with lots of people and with many things happening at the same time!
Not only are these just fun videos on youtube, but they are very impressive when viewed through the Gear VR, the Cardboard VR or other headsets.
And not just that, it will also allow me to show off my sim in a whole new way to people who may not have tried Second Life, don’t know how SL works or who don’t have a computer that can handle SL.
And imagine making a full length machinima with this technology!
We could be making 360 films while people in RL have only just experimenting with it.
Once more the people in SL are groundbreaking.
You can see this pioneering footage here;
(not all browsers support 360 degrees video)
Some technical details send in by Draxtor;
We are simulating a goPro Rig of 6 cameras, filming each with 1080 by 1080 (which is already too low = SL can handle more but we need the screens for FRAPS to capture it that high, working on it!!)
I filmed this test myself so there is no syncing which means the Zeppelin dissapears into the cloud at one point: to do live action in SL we need to film at same time.
Syncing is no prob: we have an automated system made by Arduenn Schwartzmann which syncs the six cameras with sound and a visual cue. But again = we need to figure out higher resolution = who has the computers to make it happen, are the colors in sync as well, is the SL lag an issue when aligning the cameras later on (f.e. a dance or fast car race or airship battle etc).
I am working with spatial audio on a RL project so next step will also involve inserting some sounds and dialogue which is spatialized.
All in all the workflow we have is SUPER FAST = plop down the virtual camera rig in SL and shoot, export, stitch, correct = DONE = faster than RL 360 !!!!!!
Big benefits of SL for this = inserting virtual sequences into a RL 360 video = much faster and easier than constructing it via other CGI options because you can film it in REAL TIME and the assets are all there. Yes maybe render engine less able than Unity or Unreal but a LOT easier and ultimately not worse than RL 360 at this point in the game!
And this article wouldn’t be complete without this earlier 360 degrees video in VR experiment by Zuza Ritt;
It has been picked up by a few websites and shared on Facebook and twitter, reaching an audience beyond those who know and use Second Life already.
A nice article about the video was published on ‘The Creators Project’, you can read it by clicking here.
They have close to a million ‘likes’ on Facebook and amongst these readers quite a few were impressed even if some were surprised to learn Second Life was still even around.
One viewer commented;
I’ve been meaning to uninstall Second Life from my pc. Good thing I didn’t.
On twitter the video was also shared and received a few wonderful compliments;
@RoblemVR@1920sberlin Beautiful piece of art to be experienced. infact this kinda aesthetics are essential & also the missing piece in vr
This shows the power of well made, good looking machinima but of course also of networking and social media.
People are impressed and intrigued, not just with our 1920s Berlin sim but also with Second Life still being around and looking this good.
It also shows why it is so important to try and offer as many users as possible a visually pleasing experience when visiting Second Life.
Right now a minority get to experience our virtual world the way it looks in this video.
Having graphics set to ultra and shadows on is something many computers can’t handle.
That is why I hope Sansar will be able to do that for more users or that LL will at least offer a streaming service.
Some time ago I spotted an avatar wandering around Berlin who looked familiar, I don’t own a television and generally don’t watch daytime tv shows anyway, but I also don’t live under a rock and realised that this man was Dr. Phil, the psychologist and tv show host.
I was amused but also intrigued, nothing personal, but why would anyone want such an avatar and why was Draxtor Despres hovering around him?
Photo by Jerry Avenaim
Soon I realised that this Dr. Phil avatar was being being run by the real Dr. Phil, or at least someone from his tv show team.
They were filming inside Second Life for an upcoming episode.
I was rather cautious about what the episode would be about, most shows are about people with serious issues (or just a lack of self-control) and their topics can be rather sensationalist.
Nevertheless I decided to have a chat with the Dr. Phil avatar, because if the episode would be about what I expected it to be about (something like, help my husband spends all his time in a virtual world doing hanky panky) I thought this could be my chance of at least reminding them that some of us use Second Life for quite interesting and responsible things.
Having worked in the TV business myself I am well aware that nothing of their visit to 1920s Berlin and their chat with my might be used, or even edited in such a way that it supports whatever they want it to support.
But at least they had the footage of me telling them about what I use SL for, if they decide to use it or not.
Anyway, I soon learned that Ebbe Altberg (AKA Ebbe Linden, CEO of Linden Lab) was also interviewed by Dr. Phil and Ebbe knows how to handle himself when talking to the media.
And with its several million users, it could be a nice bit of PR for SL.
Let’s hope that we can make people realise that too much of anything is not good, but if you are addicted to gaming Second Life could offer you a way to at least be more creative and social with your computer and even try and make a living on it in stead of just spending money on games where you run around shooting everyone.
Even though that can be a lot of fun.
I am a hardcore gamer myself, have been since the early 1980s, maybe even late 1970 when my parents got the famous tennis game pong.
I can spend many hour in a row playing if I get my hands on a brilliant new game.
But eventually I get tired of it and want to go back to making my own world in stead of enjoying one someone else designed for me.
In the end gaming is just entertainment, just like watching tv, being on Facebook or reading books and yes, all those pursuits can be damaging as well if you spend 20 hours a day doing them, although you’re less likely to end up on Dr. Phil with those addictions.
Most people watch way too much tv and well, someone who reads literature all the time generally doesn’t upset anyone.
The first videos the Dr. Phil show has put online so far seem to share with the world that not all games are bad and Second Life seems to get some positive attention, being described as the good side of gaming.
Still, I can’t help but be a little worried about how our virtual world is going to be portrayed to the media, will we be part of the problem, or part of the solution?
The description of the episode does not bode well.
Won’t Work, Won’t Go to School: “My Son Just Wants to Game All Day”
Sarah says her 23-year-old son, Justin, is so consumed with playing video games that he dropped out of college, can’t hold a job and is neglecting his health — losing more than 50 pounds — and she fears he’ll die if he doesn’t stop. Sarah says she has tried cutting off Justin financially and giving him ultimatums, but he always finds a way to continue gaming to excess. Justin admits he can play 16 hours a day — sometimes lasting up to 30 hours straight — and says he would rather live in the virtual world than the real world. What could be driving his behavior? And, has his hobby become an addiction that could eventually kill him? With the help of Dr. Rachael Ross, co-host of the Emmy Award-winning show The Doctors, Dr. Phil opens Justin’s eyes to the potential health dangers he faces. Will it have an impact? Plus, how can Justin regain traction in his life?
Well, we will be able to judge for ourselves this Tuesday when it is going to be aired on American tv.
If someone finds out where the rest of us can watch it, let me know in the comments below.
Or perhaps, someone can stream it inworld!
Linden Lab published the following announcement regarding this upcoming episode, you can read it by clicking here.
There is a little preview online on the Dr. Phil website that you can see here and Drax put a video snippet on youtube as well;
The show has also started using hashtags on social media to start the discussion around this subject.
This gives us a chance to target his huge audience.
So it might be a good idea to start using the tags #drphil #gaming2excess to show people how you feel about Second Life.
And twitter Dr. Phil directly by using @DrPhil and @TheDrPhilShow.
According to the media, I should be using Second Life for all sorts of wacky kinky pervy stuff, but I’ve found something a lot more exciting… time travel!
For the last 6 years I’ve been recreating a 1920s Berlin neighbourhood, in the progress gathering a wonderful community of people from all over the world who bring life into the narrow streets and small dark courtyards.
We’ll be celebrating the 6th anniversary of our sim at the end of this month and for almost all its existence we’ve managed the pay the tier, so I guess I’m not the only one who thinks Second Life has a little more to offer than what it’s reputation seems to suggest.
When I first started The 1920s Berlin Project, I realised the sim, just a tiny skybox back then, needed a hotel, a place to stay at.
I wasn’t sure anyone would want to actually rent a home and live there permanently (Oh how wrong I was), and a nice hotel where you can rent a little room to live for a few days would be more interesting.
The Zum Nussbaum building as it looked in 2010
After some research I found a nice looking building that wasn’t too big and an actual building in Berlin, with my very basic knowledge of how to build, basically walls with pictures and alpha texture windows, I recreated the first building for the sim that was based on a RL location.
Because of its age, the Zum Nussbaum has become a much loved little corner of our neighbourhood, people enjoy sitting there and chatting, having a meal and for many its tiny, dark, damp rooms were the first place they could call their own.
And although I rebuild it once or twice, it clearly was an older building.
As part of my massive “mesh Berlin campaign”, I’ve been meshing, and in many cases improving and rebuilding all the Berlin buildings from scratch.
Drawing by Heinrich Zille, 1922.
Most of the time meshing a building means that its land impact goes down but it actually looks better.
But sometimes I don’t care about the land impact and just want it to look great, even if that means the land impact goes up.
I especially feel that way when I am building something that is an actual RL building or that I just really really like.
The Zum Nussbaum (Or Zum Nußbaum) restaurant is one of those buildings.
Originally build in the 16th century, it was destroyed by bombs in 1943 and rebuild in the 1980s.
But that didn’t keep it from becoming one of Berlin’s few typical old fashioned bars.
Unfortunately for me that meant that most modern day photos of the building were pretty useless for reconstruction purpose as the modern rebuild version doesn’t look much like it looked in the 1920s.
So all I had to work on were old photos, pictures and paintings.
Together with the building next to it, I think I succeeded pretty well in making the building looked like the way it did before the bombs fell.
Someone alive back then would at leas at least recognise it.
So, after 72 years people can once more head over to the Zum Nußbaum restaurant for a good cheap meal.
‘A German Tale’ tells us the story of an old man looking back at his childhood in Berlin.
I’m extremely excited with the end result and proud that Ole picked the city I build for this production.
In RL I’ve been to Filmschool, owned a tv/movie production company and have been a writer and director and I’m very impressed with this video, it makes me wish I had the time to start making machinima myself.
I started the 1920s Berlin Project because of my passion for history and saw in Second Life a way to share and even contaminate people from all over the world with this love for the past while at the same time teaching them a few things while learning new things myself as well.
This film does the same and I hope it grips you the way it gripped me.
It brought tears to my eyes, not just because of the story but also because I’m just so happy to see my Berlin used in such a way.
Enjoy this first episode, and of course, on behalf of everyone in 1920s Berlin; frohe Weihnachten!
Although design is not really a subject I usually get excited about, (unless its historical stuff of course), I have been very impressed with LTD because it is stunning.
The team behind it, led by Editorial Clarity, has done an amazing job.
It would not look out of place on the shelve of a RL magazine kiosk.
Not just the pictures but also the layout, the look, the ‘feel’, is spot on.
If you’re not a LTD reader yet, you’ve been missing out.
So I’m very proud they asked me for their November/December issue.
What made it extra special were the wonderful pictures made by Absinthe (aka sinontherocks Resident) that I’ve uploaded (with her permission) onto Flickr for you to enjoy there.
Check them out by following this link.
Ebbe Linden, CEO of Linden Lab, has been testing out the Oculus DK2 compatible Second Life viewer and hopes to have it available to us all early next week!
He was seen last night running around 1920s Berlin testing this DK2 viewer there, because we build that sim to RL scale and have been trying really hard to make a visit there an immersive experience, it has become place where Oculus wearers go to test out the VR experience in SL.
Ebbe spend about a hour in our city, walking around, chatting to people and doing a lot of looking in different directions.
Ebbe Linden talking to a few locals at Der Keller in 1920s Berlin. Pictyre by Eloise Schiltzen
We really should help him find a nice mesh 1920s outfit!
Ebbe also wrote about the DK2 viewer on twitter;
This is quite interesting news for everyone with a DK2 Oculus Rift.
Sadly I am not one of them, I even had to give my DK1 back and I can’t afford to buy the DK2.
Yes, this is a subtle hint; “SOMEONE GIVE ME A DK2!”.