Sunday, January 2, 2011

Media, Machinima and the Virtual Runway: The Rise of Fashionista in Second Life

A link to a recent article written by Phylis Johnson for SCAN Journal of Media Arts Culture about virtual world fashion, particularly the Second Life fashion industry.  She references many of us involved in the arena, as well as detailing demographics about it's participants and figures.  Scan is a project of the Media Department @ Macquarie University, Sydney.

My fashion machinima work was referenced in the article as well as written below.

The Machinima Evolution
"In Second Life, content creation skills, such as mastery of advanced graphics and production software, can be used in creating advertisements and machinima. One relatively new SL fashion designer, Scarlett Niven (Digital Image 2010), is also a 'machinimatographer'(where machinima and cinematography) who promotes her own designs through her original machinima, typically still and motion shots of her designs in various poses. She produces small promotional vignettes for fashion designers. The SL videos, produced for television streamed in-world and posted on the Web, are created through the process of machinima.

 Evolving from the concept of machine cinema, machinima was originally spelled 'machinema'. This type of production moves beyond traditional 3D animation to capture motion in real-time interactive environments of game worlds, single or multi-player. Machinima began as short movie clips of the early action shooter games and transitioned into artistic or cinematic expression that has found its way onto mainstream television and movies. Technically, it relies on the engine of the virtual game for its capture of images and motion.
Machinima is unique to particular virtual worlds, with certain stylistic differences originating from the different platforms. Machinima can originate within a virtual world environment like Second Life, or it might originate outside of a game platform as in MovieStorm, which is intended as a controlled virtual film set. Debates revolving around the definition of machinima are quite common (Hancock & Ingram 2007; Lowood 2005; Marino 2004; Nitsche 2009a and 2009b), as the medium evolves and expands its applications. One limitation is, how does one create continuity among actors and events? In Second Life, for instance, the range of facial expressions and movements are only as sophisticated as the availability of in-world animation permits. Most machinima works are under five minutes, but that might not always be the case as filmmakers seek inexpensive means of producing feature films."

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