AutoAwesome Animates Winter Pictures from Second Life

You can get animated falling snow and twinkling lights from Google+’s AutoAwesome in your Second Life winter and holiday photos. The pictures that are picked don’t have to be from the real world – they can come from virtual worlds, game worlds, scans from old scrapbooks, even stills from movies- anywhere really.

Google Can Make Snow Fall and Lights Twinkle

For the holiday season, Google announced (on a Google+ post, of course) two new AutoAwesome features – falling snow and twinkling lights that they will add to our photos – for free! The way it works is you upload qualifying pictures to your Google+ library, and Google behind the scenes will turn them into animated gifs with either falling snow or twinkling lights. All you need to trigger the falling snow is that you have some snow in your picture. To trigger the twinkling lights, you just have to have some bright lights in your picture, like a Christmas tree.

And Here Are the Pix to Prove It!

I’m going to post a few samples here, but if you want more, visit the AutoAwesome community on Google+. Everybody proudly posts their pictures there, and there are lots of good tips too.

Here’s my first Auto-Awesome’d pic: a holiday family portrait in Second Life. Below it is a pic of some beautiful winter trees that caught my eye in my friend Willow Graysmark’s sim Serenity Sea.

Family Holiday Portrait

 

Twinkling Trees AA

 

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A Dream of Snow


 
Put the stillness of deep winter together with the peace of Japanese meditation and you have Jac Mornington’s new sim, A Dream of Snow (Yuki No Yume). I have hardly left here since it opened a few days ago; it is that lovely, and there is so much to see and do.


 
I’ve spent a good deal of time sipping tea on a meditation pillow watching the snow fall. I’ve also sat on the dock and watched the ducks float by on the lake. I’ve watched horses thundering by in the woodland hills, seals bark on the frozen seaside, cranes dancing in the icy meadow.

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Walk through Robert Frost’s snowy woods, in Second Life

I’ve built a snowy woods in Second Life where you can walk around inside Robert Frost’s much-loved poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”  Come visit! You can also get a sled to ride around on – and snowballs, skates, and hot chocolate too. It’s my Christmas present to all my blog readers and friends in Second Life. I think of it as a sort of 3D Christmas card.

In case you’re not familiar with Second Life, it’s a virtual world where you can make yourself an avatar and visit worlds of your and others’ imagination, for free. I have lived there now for four years in the sim of Farhaven, which is where I built this little woods. To visit my snowy woods, just register at Second Life, pick an avatar for yourself, then click here and choose “teleport.”

Snowy Woods

I first got the idea of building this woods when I was laid up with a foot injury four years ago and couldn’t walk. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to walk again, and it left me dismal and frightened. I had heard about Second Life, and I decided if I couldn’t walk in real life, I would build a snowy woods where I could walk virtually. I had always been fascinated with the idea of being able to walk around inside a masterpiece, be it a painting, a poem, or even an idea. So I built my woods four years ago, with painstaking attention to detail, which took my mind off myself.

My body healed, as bodies often do, and I am now fully recovered. I looked back on the memory of that little woods and decided to build it again this year. I have built other “Poem Parks” over the years, but it has always been my favorite. So I give you: Snowy Woods 2.0. It’s similar to the first one, but there are a few changes. Just as there are in me, and probably you as well.

Also, please don’t miss Farley Crabgrass’s wonderful video of the the woods four years ago, called A Second Life Winter’s Night. He filmed it in my little woods, and I was so incredibly moved by it. I loved my little snowy woods, but to have someone else say it was beautiful too, and then to put it in a movie, I was over the moon. I watched that video every day for quite awhile. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate and a moment of relaxation.

It is a rough time in the real world. Some people ask: How can you play around in a virtual world when there are so many problems to solve in the real world? I do it for relaxation and inspiration. Also, it awakens a soft poetic dreamy side of me I find so hard to touch in real life. It’s not a substitute for reality, it’s an accompaniment.

May all your holidays be merry and bright, and may the peace of the season accompany you.

The Lonely Snowman

The snowman had his first real date,

He waited long, he waited late;

She never came, and O he felt

His snowman heart begin to melt.