Archive for the ‘Virtual worlds’ Tag

BBC London 2012 Machinima Trailer


Back to the Olympic theme as the fortnight of the London 2012 Games winds down.  Here’s the teaser commercial the BBC was running before the Games began; I was lucky when the Beeb’s embed code wouldn’t work in WordPress, because it forced me to search it up on YouTube, and find a full-length version.

The great thing about this, besides the sheer spectacular beauty of the entire concept, is that it’s all done in the box as a machinima.  There isn’t a live frame in it anywhere!  It wasn’t filmed in Second Life; I’d love it even more if it had been. The idea, of course, is that the whole of London, and even England, is the backdrop for the Games.  You have fishing trawlers laying down lane floats for swimming; boxers in a ring at a cargo port; runners racing down an East End street (with the finish line in front of a shop with the sign Photo Finish); a gymnast doing floor exercises on a pedestrian bridge in the City; an athlete using the south-shore beaches as her sand pit for the long jump….  And all around in the background, you see the upper edges of the Olympic Stadium, showing that the whole country is watching.  Take a look at this thing — you’ll get the idea.

The BBC liked this so much that they use still and partially animated concept frames at the bottom of each of their Olympic Web pages.  If you want to see them (a few of them pop up only rarely), run off to their site and go to the bottom of each page.


Fallen Gods, the seller of high quality fantasy and science-fiction skins, maintains an archipelago for roleplayers to explore. The store is under my feet here, but I’m focusing on the lands above!

Virtual Hallowe’en Photo Contest Results Announced!

It took a fight — as much with my computer as with the quality of the submissions.  After my previous notice, the blasted box decided to die again!  this time, though, I think we have it; I’ve installed a new C: drive, cloned Windows onto it, and pulled the old D: drive out of the loop.  So I’ll take a chance, and say, in the words of the immortal Bullwinkle, “This time for sure!

The Around the Grid Virtual Hallowe’en Photo Contest had a lot of good offerings to sort through and decide which ones would make the final cut.  Then, after that, how to order the final cut (grin).  But the job is done.  I gave myself until November 9 to make the decision, allowing for RL schedules and other things; indeed, with my computer in the shop for a time, it looked like it might be necessary to go way beyond that to just have a chance to even start reviewing the entries.  Things lucked out, though, and it’s time to announce the winners.  For those of you reading from the front page, click on through to read the results.

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Update 2 on Hallowe’en Photo Contest

With about a week to go before the Hallowe’en Photo Contest closes, I now have 49 entries on the Flickr Wizards and Sorcerers group, and a whopping 68 entries at Koinup.  I can see quite a range of talent demonstrated here, and choosing the winner may take a little longer than anticipated.  Please don’t be surprised or dismayed if the winners aren’t announced before, say, November 3 or 4.

There’s still time to get an entry in.  Please read my original article, and then go for it.  You’ll have until 12:01 a.m SLT (Pacific Time) November 1 — or until I check the groups and close the contest on the 1st — to get your photo in.

Hallowe’en Photo Contest Update

Entries are coming in for my Virtual Hallowe’en Photo Contest.  So far, I have 16 submissions in the Flickr group, and 33 in the Koinup group.  And there are some definite keepers in the selection — I won’t say which ones are catching my attention just now; you’ll find out when the judging is over.

There’s still plenty of time to come up with a masterpiece and win the contest.  Read the rules here if you haven’t already, and get cracking.  (Or shooting, actually, as in with a camera.)  Remember, there’s some L$6,000 in prizes for Second Life entries, and fame and glory for all contestants from the various virtual worlds!

Apparent Plagiarism of Virtual World Photo Work on Koinup

While cruising Plurk tonight before finishing up another article, I ran across a long conversation thread begun by Strawberry Singh, one of the excellent models to be found in Second Life, and well known as a public face for the couture house of Zaara Kohine for some time.  It took me by surprise, and was rather dismaying — an account holder on Koinup, the European photo site for exclusive virtual-world work, has been scarfing photos from others, posting them to their account, and claiming them for his/her own.

There was no reason to doubt the word of reputable Residents, but a good journalist checks, and I try to be a good journalist.  Following the link took me to an account named “15love,” and right on the front page were two photos skimmed off blogs, one by Berry and the other by Dailyn Holfe(Note:  in monitoring the account, Dailyn’s picture, which was cropped to remove her name, has disappeared; Berry’s is still up.) Other pictures were attributed to The Sims and IMVU, but the graphic style was clearly not from those worlds.  Some pictures appeared to have been simply slapped into the account without even taking the effort to rename them from the “hash”-style file name automatically assigned to the original by the Koinup system.  I clipped out screenshots, which I serve up below.  (My apologies for the peculiar formatting of the page when you see it; click through on the link.)

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2010 Virtual Hallowe’en Photo Contest

We had such success with the Oscar Fashion Photo Contest back in the first part of the year that I’m gonna do it again, but on a new theme!

It’s mid-September, and we’re heading down toward Samhain, that time when “when the walls between the worlds grow thin, and spirits of the Underworld walk the earth. A night of masques and balefires, when anything is possible and nothing is quite as it seems.”  At this time of the turning of the year, we lean more toward the magical; the sorcerous; sometimes, sadly the demonic.  A lot of the photography in the various Grids echo the tendency, and so this photo contest will be centered on Hallowe’en and mages and spirits of the land.  The rules:

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Koinup and Flickr Photo Groups

Shooting snapsWhen Koinup opened up the groups feature, putting them on a nearly even keel with Flickr, they satisfied a pent-up demand.  There was an explosion of group creation within just the first few days, most of them open to more virtual worlds than just Second Life.  This has tapered off with time, of course, but new groups are still formed periodically to organize the rich diversity of images and imagination available in the Metaverse.

I’ve founded a few group in my time on Koinup as well, including some in the early rush, focusing (of course) on my particular interests.  Gee, I wonder what those are?  (Laughing) No, though, not entirely hair and fashion.  There are a few others as well!

If you’re curious, or (even better) if you have something you want to add to them, why not check out the following:

I’ve also created a few groups in Flickr.  (I do more in Koinup in that sense, as the landscape is not so crowded there; this avoids repetition.)

Please stop on by and check these groups out; they’re not all me and my photography!  And, if you have some shots to share and you’re a member of the appropriate service, add them on in; if you’re not a member, join up!

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Posted September 27, 2009 by Harper Ganesvoort in Meta, Photographs

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Contact Sheet 15

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life and other virtual worlds. Images used in this article are used under permission of the owners via their participation in the Creative Commons license; otherwise, all rights are reserved. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required blog, Flickr, Koinup or Snapzilla page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, (as well as comments here), if you have an account on the appropriate service.

Suggestions are appreciated; please send descriptions and links to me by in-world IM, notecard, E-mail to, or leave a comment below. I can also be reached on Twitter (Harper_G) or Plurk (Harper G. — include the period!), but the message may get lost in the luminiferous æther.

NOTICE: Some of the photos/links may contain nudity. Viewer discretion advised.


I was planning on putting an article or two on something other than art/photography between columns of “Contact Sheet,” but the in-world news isn’t cooperating with me (grin).  So here we go again.

Incidentally, I’ve set up groups on both Flickr and Koinup for collecting all those artists whom I feature in these columns.  If you’d like to see the entire “gallery” at one stroke (or as much of it as the owners are willing to add), click on the links.

Another thing:  in going back through the old columns to invite artists from Flickr, I discovered that I used to link to their profile, either on Flickr or Second Life.  It seems like a good custom to revive, and so I’ll try to do that where possible.  In Koinup, that means basically the person’s home page, since they don’t seem to have another place to say anything about themselves in detail.

In order to get the Koinup group rolling, this column will be purely from that service.  Most, if not all, of the artists whose work you’ll be seeing today will be new to “Contact Sheet.”  Welcome to them, and I hope to see more good work in future!


Costumes —

phaylen works in Second Life, and appears to do both commercial photography as well as artistic and personal shots.  In the first shot, a trio of ladies are channeling the days of Marie Antoinette and her court, possibly in the replica of the chateau at Versailles, and they do an excellent job of it.  The second is titled Witches of Avalon — possibly Avilion, in this case — but the first thing that came to mind for me was The Witches of Eastwick.  It’s not an inappropriate comparison, actually, although the book and film were set in modern times.  Here, the costumes are definitely mediaval in character, and the ladies look ready to weave a spell or two in this woodland setting.


Next, Eves Rodenberger gives us Hunting Chicks.  This does not look to be part of a series (yet), though the title is surely referring to the model, not the quarry.  The fantasial heroic female is becoming more popular, especially since Mercedes Lackey’s Velgarth novels.  I’m most familiar with those, and so the character that comes to mind is Tarma shena Tale’sedrin, though the resemblance doesn’t truly occur here.


Mermaids are popular avatars in Second Life.  bark Aabye combines this with smashing costume pieces by Tekeli-li, and gives us this view, one of a series.  The model is Kyota Spitteler.  You’ll be seeing much more from bark in future, as she’s done a batch of monochrome images I intend to offer samples of.


World of Warcraft makes its debut in “Contact Sheet” and Around the Grid, with this image from Maiyya called vrykul Ice Maiden.  I have no idea of the ways WoW works, so I don’t know what powers this warrior has.  Some sort of cold effect is implied here, however.  The aurora in the background only emphasizes the concept.


This WoW avatar is called Azzurra, and the appelation is appropriate.  Arowhena shows her in a throne room or place of ritual; judging by the glow in the subject’s eyes, this must be a place of Meaning to her.


Closing out the collection for this column, Magggg gives us our first image from The Sims, entitled Ruled by Darkness.  This subject shows that, no matter how beautiful the package, imbalance in the soul has its consequences.


That’s all for tonight.  Please remember to leave comments on the artists’ works if you have an account on Koinup — and comments are welcome here, too!  Also, if you know of anyone whose work I should take a look at, Plurk me at “Harper G.”, send me a tweet on Twitter at “Harper_G”, or send E-mail to

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Koinup Now Has Groups!

Old hands on Flickr are familiar with the groups option available to them.  With a free Flickr account, you can add a photo to a maximum of 10 groups, or 60 with a paid account.  However, Koinup, another player in the photo world — and one devoted exclusively to pictures of virtual worlds — did not have this ability.  You could set favorites, make contacts with people whose streams you wished to follow; but there was no easy way to share your work jointly with others of a similar interest.

However, like in the government, change has come.  Koinup has added groups ability, and the mavens of that service are beginning to add new groups as we go.  I’ve started up an area for those interested in B&W/monochrome photos myself, and considering doing a group for evening gowns — although the community on Koinup appears rather more art-oriented than “commercial photography” like fashion modeling.

The one problem with Koinup I can see is their 1.5 GB space limit.  It’s somewhat offset by the potential for meeting people from systems other than our own Grid, such as The Sims 2, World of Warcraft and several others.  If you’re interested, visit Koinup and register for a free account.

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