Here Comes Peter Cottontail, hopping past 100,000 views!

It’s funny how serendipity happens when you’re least expecting it. My Second Life machinima video “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” has just hit the 100,000-view mark, making it one of the most popular Second Life videos ever. There are others more popular to be sure, but it’s right up there. Thank-you all for watching. Having entered a number of Second Life machinima video competitions, and never having won a single prize, I find Peter’s popularity very pleasing.

Also pleasing was the way I made the video. It was a cold, lonely, depressing Easter weekend a couple years ago, so I “hopped” into Second Life and started racing bunny carts around. A few friends joined in, and soon we were doing wheelies on the hills in my home, “the Bay Area,” zooming through the sky, and squealing around the wrong way on the seal racing track. Just for fun I started filming all the antics.

Then I dressed up as a psychedelic Petter Cottontail avie and started dancing. I filmed that too. I threw the video together on Easter Sunday, added a soundtrack of an old vinyl I had of Rosemary Clooney singing “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” and put it up on YouTube. It took off immediately. I thought it was a flash in the pan and would die down, but its popularity has continued steadily over the past couple years. Of course, Easter is Peter’s primetime, and he hopes you’ll all be watching. He’ll be watching out from the screen, twitching his psychedelic ears, and thanking you all for making him the Bunneh Star! Thanks everyone.

A Machinima that Makes Me Wish I Knew Polish

Believe it or not, here is a lovely machinima video enactment of the fairytale Hansel and Gretel – in Second Life! I don’t understand a word of it since it is in Polish, but I still watched all 11 minutes, 54 seconds of it. I know nothing of its maker, Borysjestem on YouTube.

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Playing Second Life on the iPad

The #1-coolest thing about playing Second Life on my iPad using remote access technology is that the touch interface works inworld. You can move your avatar around and do most actions just by touching and swiping the iPad screen. I’ve spent the past couple weeks playing with SL iPad-style, via the remote access app Splashtop, and I have to say it’s fun.

Here’s a video I made filming Second Life on an iPad 4, accessed from my iMac, using a digital camera to capture the iPad screen. See my avatar walk, run, dance, fly, tp, sit, take snaps, change clothes, use AOs – not to mention hug and kiss! -all on an iPad 4, just by tapping and swiping the screen (and typing IMs on an external keyboard).

How It Works

Let’s be clear upfront: This is not a Second Life app running on the iPad. Second Life currently does not run directly on the iPad. This is Second Life being accessed on the iPad remotely from a computer (in my case, an iMac), using the remote access mobile app Splashtop. This is a productivity app designed to let you access anything on your computer from your mobile device – so you can be, say, out on the patio with your iPad, and access any document, photo, video, or software on your tablet, via your wireless network.

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Singin’ in the Bay…coming to a theater near you!

This is my response to Strawberry Singh’s challenge to make a movie poster starring your Second Life avatar. Bay has been in quite a few machinima, but you may remember her best from her big screen role in Singin’ in the Bay. Thanks, Berry! I fell in the water far too many times during the shoot, but it was worth it. Continue Reading “Singin’ in the Bay…coming to a theater near you!”

No Shadows in Second Life on 2012 MacBooks? Here’s why

Update April 28, 2013. Woot-woot! Firestorm has enabled shadows for the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip in their latest Second Life 4.4.0 viewer release!
(but not yet on the standard Linden viewer)

My 2012 Macbook Air went a little shadow-crazy when she got the news, as you can see below. lol  Thank you, Jessica Lyon, Whirly Fizzle, Tankmaster Finesmith — all of you wonderful developers at Firestorm! I can now see shadows on my Macbook Air — and so can all the other retina 2012 Macbooks with that chip. I named my little Macbook Air “Shadow” when I first got her 8 months ago, and now she can finally see her namesake! Continue Reading “No Shadows in Second Life on 2012 MacBooks? Here’s why”

Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …

You know those horrible pop-up ads that seem suddenly to be on every single video you click to watch? These are the result of Youtube video monetization. A Youtube user somewhere has agreed to let Youtube run an ad on his video in return for a little money.  These ads are suddenly everywhere because in April of this year, Google dumbed down its partner program to include almost any Youtube user who is willing to monetize his or her video. To become a Youtube partner now, all you have to do is monetize one video and abide by the Youtube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. The Gold Rush is on. Continue Reading “Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …”

My youtube family asks the hard question: “We’re real, aren’t we?”

I’m about to take on a full-time job, so I gathered my Youtube family together tonight to talk it out. They’re the creatures I’ve created, loved, nurtured, given a home on my Second Living Youtube video channel. They’re worried I won’t have enough time for them anymore. I am too. Tears and lots of kleenex. I explained the realities of the real world to them, how I have to work, how hard it is to find work now, how glad I am to have found a “real” job. But I’m not sure they understand. “We’re real, aren’t we?” they asked. “What about us?”

My steamy travel diary, from Second Life to Steam

Here is the steamy travel diary I promised you all a couple days ago when I wrote about  Steam’s impending partnership with Second Life and its effect on Second Life machinima.

First off, I have to disappoint you all by reporting that I encountered no hacking, meanness, insults, or mayhem while in Steam, despite dire warnings from the blogosphere about what those Steamers are like. But my calendar tells me there are still a couple weeks before the September 5 Second Life/Steam nuptials. That’s when the real mayhem is expected to break out in our tidy little Second Life gated community, when 40 million gamers try to crash in all at once. I have a different take on this, siding with the comment on a blog I can’t remember (sorry!) who said something like: “I imagine the Steamers will take one look at Second Life, say LOL, and move on.” But still, I’ve got my Steamroller ready to roll to the scene of any mayhem that should arise. I promise prompt uploads to Youtube. Continue Reading “My steamy travel diary, from Second Life to Steam”

Full Steam ahead for Second Life, and that’s a good thing for machinima

A lot of Second Lifers are getting steamed up about Steam, now that Linden Lab has announced it will put a portal to our little backwater enclave of Second Life up on Steam, home of 40 million gamers. D-day apears to be September 5, at least that’s what Valve, the technology company creator of Steam, says here. This has a lot of SL residents worrying we will be overrun with griefers, gun-toting hulks, and general mayhem once the “Portal” opens.

One of the more thoughtful posts along these lines comes from Darrius Gothy here who predicts that the rush of gamers into SL will erode our world into a “poor reproduction of a well-crafted 3D online game” and move SL toward game play and further away from the “My World, My Imagination” ethos. The more alarmist posts like these from Prokofy Neva here and Crap Mariner here predict griefers, mayhem, and even a shooting rampage down the Destination Guide yellow-brick road (that’s from Crap, who else?)

Well, after reading all this exciting doomsday stuff, I had to head over to Steam to check it out. What is missing from these analyses, I think, is the fact that not only will Steamers be joining us, we’ll be joining them – if we want. We will have a new playground with amazing technology, distribution structure, mentoring, and 40 million new friends to play with. 40 million! Steam is just as much – in fact millions of times more – of a community as SL is. The complexity, brilliance, and technical skill of the Steam community is dazzling.

What’s a Pansy Hopper like Bay Sweetwater doing on Steam?

Now don’t get me wrong – anyone who has watched my machinima, like Twinkle’s Journey and Pieces of My Heart, knows I’m not exactly the shoot ’em-up, mow-’em-down stereotypic gamer. In fact, when I first began talking about Valve’s new Source Filmmaker software a couple months back, one Second Lifer who shall remain nameless asked what a “pansy hopper” like Bay Sweetwater was doing on Steam. I never could figure out what a “pansy hopper” was, though I loved the name and will definitely use it for a character in a machinima someday. Even after thumbing through my urban dictionary I still don’t know what it is, but it didn’t sound complimentary. Continue Reading “Full Steam ahead for Second Life, and that’s a good thing for machinima”

My star gets a little bling

Yobee, the robot co-star of my latest machinima Pieces of Your Heart and its outtakes spinoff Broken Pieces, won his very first prize today. He is so excited. He attended the “Sci-Fi in July” screening last weekend sponsored by machinima and media company AviewTV. Despite his shyness and avoidance of the paparazzi (read about it here),  he entered the CosPlay (costume) competition. To his astonishment, he was informed today that he won the 3rd place prize – among all those creative machinima makers and amazing costumes! Here is the portrait that won him third place.


He asked me to accept his award for him, as he is shy and, being a robot, not very good in English. He was also afraid they would ask him to talk in voice, and his voice is … well if you’ve heard it in my machinima, you know … umm, I’m trying to be kind here … it’s sort of like a machine that needs to be oiled. Anyway, Yobee was over the moon with his win and very excited to see his one-of-a-kind trophy, made by Doe Silverspar, when I brought it home.
Continue Reading “My star gets a little bling”