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Using Second Life to create movies

Here's a silly video I created for a contest at work:

Feel free to vote for it, because the top submissions get an iPhone. 

Tools used:

I must have spent 15-20 hours on that video, primarily on sound effects. While working on this, I discovered that sound effects are very essential, but if they're good no one will really notice them. I.e., making something look and feel natural is a lot harder than it looks and isn't appreciated unless there are no sound effects.

If you notice, Helen's voice is distorted in a way as to make it sound as if she's coming through a digital line. My voice is distorted to reflect the environment I'm in, there are environment sounds like splashes and vehicles, etc. This all required a lot of work, but you can barely 'notice' it while watching the video. You just expect these things to be present.

Second Life is a great tool for creating the stage and environment. Inside its interface, I used existing Second Life places (e.g. the Midgar Final Fantasy Island) and dynamically created iPhone look-alikes (see if you can spot it). I also adapted an in-game laptop to display a fake webpage, and created a weird/fake server rack on the fly. I only scratched the surface, but you really can create just about any environment you imagine. This can be very helpful for fun videos.

I can't harp on Sony Vegas enough-- that tool is wonderful. I happen to have the $50 home version of the tool, but it's possible to get effect and codec plugins from the professional version and they work there, too. (The primary limitation being 3-4 video tracks, and 3-4 audio tracks, which I've always worked around. Professional versions allow unlimited tracks, I believe.) With Vegas, I was able to create overlays, manage sound effects, apply video rendering effects, pan/zoom, etc. If you enjoy video editing, I highly recommend it. I studied video editing in school for a few years (winning best editor awards, even), and I'm in awe of how far digital editing has come. I'm ten times more productive with this software than with a top-of-the-line editing deck from 8-10 years ago.


Posted via web from Imported from http://mattie.net/blog

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