Octoburn is coming

Burn2’s big annual festival begins in Second Life in just two weeks.  It’s been two years since I posted anything here – that’s far too long, so I’m restarting the blog.

Since I haven’t been posting here for a few years, you may not know my background.  I’ve been a Burn 2 Ranger and Lamplighter since 2009 and I’ve been active in SL since 2004.  I wrote an examiner.com column about SL for many years until that news website folded.

I also produce machinimas.  While you’re waiting for Burn2, here’s the URL of my YouTube machinima playlist, which contains machinimas from past Burn2 events.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1VrIZkyyQ&list=PLjmnI8tnskmgnK3aWenTkxxDoBi5N6zcX


LUMIPro lighting system for photography/machinima

I first got a LUMIPro in 2011, when creator Stefan Buscaylet gave it to attendees at the 2011 SLCC. I was impressed enough with its potential in Second Life for lighting models and actors that I wrote a review for examiner.com, but I didn’t have an immediate need for it and eventually forgot about it.

LUMIPro photo
The red, green, and blue balls provide three point lighting. The projector light is at top. All lights can be moved and disappear when you’re ready to shoot.

Until last week. That’s when the possibility arose of being hired to film a machinima in SL. I planned to make my usual light projector prims for lighting the set until I remembered the LUMIPro. My copy was five years old, but it might still work. To my amazement, when I opened the HUD, it automatically upgraded to the current 2016 version. Very nice. It turns out that owners get free upgrades for life, even owners like me who got theirs for free at a convention.

I’ve done a lot of lighting in community television and I have a Master’s in Broadcasting, so I have some lighting experience. The LUMIPro impresses me. It not only allows me to professionally light a model or talent, I can do it without rezzing any prims, which allows me to use it anywhere that photography or machinima is permitted, even if I don’t have rezzing or script rights. There are several components to the system:
• Three point lighting with presets of Butterfly, Rembrandt, Rim, and Split, but that can be configured in any way you need
• Projector lights with gobos
• Works with up to eight models
• Includes standard color gels
• Holds up to about 350 poses
• Can control model eye movement

After opening the LUMIPro HUD, you can give a set of lights to up to eight models. You can be one of the models. Each set of lights includes red, green, and blue balls that serve as three point lighting sources and one projector. You can move the lights around to adjust your lighting, change factors such as color, intensity, and fall-off. The gobo can be used to simulate effects such as light coming in through a window. When you’re ready to shoot, just click ALPHA on the HUD and the lights disappear.

If you have rezzing rights, you can rez additional projector lights.  You can also change the models’ poses and control their eye movements.

I highly recommend watching videos on the LUMIPro website lumipro.blogspot.com and on YouTube. If you’re like me and have disabled face lights in your viewer, you’ll have to enable them before LUMIPro will work. This caused me some frustration before I realized it. You can try a LUMIPro in SL by teleporting to maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Phenomenal/228/148/1501.

I’ve only been using if for a few days. If anything happens to change my so far very positive opinion of LUMIPro, I’ll update this review. I have not been compensated in any way for writing this, other than being given my original LUMIPro in 2011 as an SLCC attendee.

Religion, Robots and a Second Life: Apocalyptic AI

“One thing that really surprised me is that there are people in Second Life who think of their personalities in that world as distinct from and potentially severable from their personalities in conventional reality. Some of the folks whom I interviewed think (or at least talk) in terms of identities that are separate from their “primary” or “other personality.” It is a fairly unique form of self-consciousness and I enjoyed learning from the people willing to share with me.” (inteview with Robert Geraci, author of Apocalyptic AI,Shelflife@Texas (University of Texas at Austin), May 10, 2010) Read