Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lainy Voom and the Art of Machinima

The Virtual World is a hybrid place and each person is presented with the same tools and platform base from which to work from, each virtual environment presents a new challenge, each has its own nuance and ways to interact within its own community – the journey is an exciting pioneering opportunity to create, with pockets of truly unique and diverse work being cultivated. Limitations can be overcome; imagination and ingenuity are key factors in this process. What is fascinating to me is to watch the evolution in each creative area unfold in the most interesting of ways. I would like you to consider this notion however - as you make and experiment your way through to the other side of your computer screen ; remember that aspects of virtual worlds are ephemeral and documenting the process is an important part of our Virtual History. In a blink of a virtual eye it can and does vanish, so take the time to record it in a way that suits you best & share it with those who share your passion and maybe those who frown upon this virtual culture of ours will be compelled in some way to think again? We each play our part and the history making is for us all. We are a community collective after all.

'Push' Machinima by Lainy Voom

The Machinima work of Lainy Voom is exceptional and a great example of evolution within this particular creative field; showing both great skill and vision; the attention to detail and timing is truly captivating – the flow when watching draws you deeply into a seamless but ether real world, which feels to me like watching a visualisation of a dream recalled, at times it's almost haunting. Lainy has definitively set a new bench mark in the virtual world of Machinima. I am curious by nature and wanted to know a little more .... Trace Sanderson aka Lainy Vroom is an independent visual artist based in the UK, whose is focused on animation captured in real time within virtual worlds and also game engines. She started creating “Machinima” in 2004. I have long been fascinated by her work - If your curiosity is twitching then go here to see some more or her work and have your fill, and oh of course yes, please read on!

Stills Image from 'Push' by Lainy Voom

Q1. Tell us in 6 words what best describes you.

1. Down to earth
2. Direct
3. Opinionated
4. Stubborn
5. Loyal
6. Idealist

Q2. What brought you to the Metaverse and how did you get here?'

A. A friend had asked me mid 2006 but my computer spec at the time would not run SL, then when I bought a new computer in February 2007 she asked me again and I jumped right in. I wandered around for 2-3 days, not really thinking Second Life was up to much. A couple of weeks later I tried again and decided to film something, that is when it really "clicked" into place and I began to realise I could literally do anything I wanted, create anything. That kind of freedom I wasn't getting from using game engines, which is what I was doing before. Game engines have so many rules, they box in creativity (at least for me).

Q3. Push' made a huge impact on the Machinima community recently, visually it has an immediate & dynamic appeal - what is the story behind this ? Is it more than an amazing eclectic visual collection - Does it tell a story?

A. It began as an experiment, what would happen if I just started filming something, not analysing anything and just making the first thing that sprang to mind. I tried to let the film grow organically by itself. It's more a stream of consciousness exercise than anything with hidden deeper meaning. Towards the end of the filming process it began to become more contrived, I ended up scrapping all the later footage in order to bring it back to the initial experiment.

Q4. If you could change or improve anything to access the virtual world better what would you say or do ?

A. I would improve beginner access to Second Life. I've explored as many virtual worlds as I can get my hands on and all of them have better designed noob access than SL. One of the best I think is VSide, where the player learns how to use the avatar, the menu, how to purchase items, change the way the avatar looks, use emotes/animations all in a private space before being let free on the world proper. This really helps to build up confidence and something I think SL lacks on the starter island. It does not surprise me that so many people drop out at the initial stage with Second Life.

Q5. What or whom do you think has been your biggest influence in the Metaverse and why?

A. The content creators are my biggest influence, I would not be creating machinima without their work inspiring films or enabling the films to be made in the way that they are. It is the biggest reason I use SL to make films, and not other machinima specific engines out there.

Q6. How do you see the progress of visualization in the Metaverse?

A. Quality and realism will continue to rise as long as hardware/software/engines keep up with each other.

Stills Image from 'Push' by Lainy Voom

Q7. What are you working on right now?

A. I have some commisions I'm working on right now, but after that I'm working on another poem.

Q8. What tools do you use when making Machinima and what would you personally recommend?

A. I rarely use any tools other than Fraps to record, I would recommend learning how to frame and use avatars before learning how to move the camera around. At least that is how I began doing it, it will not be the same for everyone.

Q9. In your minds eye if you close your eyes right now, what do you see?

A.I see a huge stack of books I haven't managed to read yet!

Now Lainy you have the opportunity to ask yourself 3 questions ... anything you like

Q1 & A - Lainy, will you ever get round to hoovering the house this week?
Q2 & A - Lainy, do you fancy another cup of tea?
Q3 & A - only two questioins asked ! ack to control your own destiny if only for a brief period (Poid)

Stills Image from 'Push' by Lainy Voom

If Machinima interests you then please check out the various groups hosted on Koinup by clicking here.

Until next time here on Metanopsis!

Poid Mahovlich
Poid Mahovlich - blog spot


sororNishi said...

......"remember that aspects of virtual worlds are ephemeral and documenting the process is an important part of our Virtual History'... well I agree whole heartedly.... I think this is one of the most important things we can do...

Austin said...

Great post Poid! Finally someone who knows what they are talking about. Looking forward to reading more. I agree with sororNishi it IS very important.

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