Monthly Archives: April 2012

Research for the final project 3

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We have decided with Mino to meet every evening in Second Life in preparation for the final project to discuss our plan and meet with people who hopefully will help us finalize our showcase.

Yesterday we planned on the next steps that we are going to take in order to complete our goal. Both of us have meet interesting people who we would like to involve in our project. We created a plan of action for today which was e-mailing those people to get some more informations about them and to ask for a permision to use their art in our showcase. I have already e-mailed Rob Barber and I am hoping to get a reply soon. Regarding the look of our presentation, we decided to create a You Tube video with our slideshow and hopefully an audio commentary. Also when we were talking about our backup plan we decided to create another presentation similar to that of Sitearm from the last class. I have already contacted Sitearm asking questions regarding his presentation and how it is done and currently I am also waiting for his response.

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Research for the final project 2

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Over the course of last week I continued my research for the project and tried to carry through my plan of actions I had made the week before. I contacted all the people that I thought could help me but as I discovered it was not that easy. I received very few responds but I will not stop trying. However, on the positive side, I was able to contact a person who was very important for my research, that person is a  SL and RL artist – Rob Barber. We spent few hours discussing his work and how is it inspired by SL. Here are parts of ours conversation from that meeting:

[14:08] anu55: The reason I’ve asked u if u could talk to me about your work is that i find it very interesting and beautifu

[14:08] Rob Barber: Thank you….

[14:08] anu55: plus the fact that u r crating both in  rl and sl

[14:09] Rob Barber: Hmmmm it is more complicated then that..

[14:09] Rob Barber: I work with 3D Software..

[14:10] Rob Barber: SL does not give me the quality i want..

[14:10] Rob Barber: That has to do with bandwith and the amount of information that is needed to build up an SL image on your screen

[14:11] Rob Barber: The software i use produces so much information that SL would simply not work if with it

[14:12] Rob Barber: The reason i cam on SL is that is saw a documentary about SL

[14:12] Rob Barber: and was stunned.. seeing my art on TV and is was moving

[14:12] Rob Barber: You can imagine that i wanted to particpate

[14:13] anu55: ofcourse

[14:13] Rob Barber: Still SL influances my art

[14:13] Rob Barber: not by techniqeu but by what i experiance here

[14:15] Rob Barber: Shall i continue?

[14:15] anu55: that’s also what I wanted to ask u as I already mentioned in my message to u last week we are prepering this project for our virtual module and the topic that me and my project partner have chosen is the differences and

[14:15] anu55: simmilarities in sl and rl

[14:15] anu55: please do

[14:17] Rob Barber: First.. In here (SL) people tend to show who they are.. or better who they are whitout the boundries of RL (social or law ot whatever)

[14:18] Rob Barber: That does not mean everybody just freaks out.. but they tend to be more authentic

[14:18] anu55: i have notice that too for the past few weeks

[14:19] Rob Barber: Yes.. So i talk and listen en look

[14:19] Rob Barber: *and

[14:19] Rob Barber: and sometimes i notice things that are worth concidering as subject for my art

[14:20] anu55: could you give me some examples?

[14:20] Rob Barber: One work particular is completely inspired on SL

( …)

[14:39] Rob Barber: Let me explain in broad lines what my work does…

[14:39] anu55: alright

[14:40] Rob Barber: Paintings in earlier times are very often scenes from several sources

[14:40] Rob Barber: Religious or mythical or politics

[14:41] Rob Barber: That story telling vanished from painting

[14:41] Rob Barber: Meanwhile the world changed

[14:42] Rob Barber: and many other story’s occured

[14:42] Rob Barber: They can be paintend… but, different stories need pictural shapes that fit on those stories

[14:43] Rob Barber: Well.. i am actual a classic painter.. brushes paint and so on

[14:43] anu55: I wanted to ask u that too

[14:44] Rob Barber: But painting and composing stories along the way is very complicated

[14:44] Rob Barber: So i started to look for a solution

[14:45] Rob Barber: and rejected photography immidiatly

[14:45] anu55: why?

[14:45] Rob Barber: Becuase that brings in to much realism

[14:45] Rob Barber: For instanse..

[14:45] anu55: alright I understand

[14:46] Rob Barber: when i take photo of someone.. the whole personellety comes whit it

[14:46] Rob Barber: i wanted a more general approach..

[14:47] Rob Barber: not the individual person.. but a representative of an  type or group or atmosphere

[14:47] anu55: i get that

[14:48] Rob Barber: Someone made me aware of the possabillitys of 3D Software

[14:48] Rob Barber: and it was excactly what i needed

[14:48] anu55: what kind of software is that?

[14:48] Rob Barber: Poser..

[14:48] Rob Barber: and late i used Vue

[14:48] Rob Barber: and now i combine it all in Cinema 4D

[14:49] anu55: the names are complitely new to me

[14:49] Rob Barber: It is a highly specialised skill

[14:49] Rob Barber: So i needed to study

[14:49] anu55: that sounds as very complicated and difficult proces

[14:50] Rob Barber: and i needed to find out a way to make it work for me

[14:50] Rob Barber: And it gave me all the benefits i needed to explore this storytelling with images

[14:50] Rob Barber: Now….

[14:51] Rob Barber: It was all started as a process to create paintings..

[14:51] Rob Barber: and however these images are perfect.. they lack a certain expression..

[14:52] Rob Barber: So now i have reached te point where i am painting again..

[14:52] Rob Barber: Telling stories with the aid of 3D

[14:52] Rob Barber: and giving them the xpression of painting…

[14:52] Rob Barber: That is my art

I found that conversation very interesting furter on we talked about photography as well and the ways of self expression but the most important thing is that the more we talked the more intriguing it was to me, I started to realize that SL really is something much bigger than I had expected and it has so much to offer. I have to admit that my first impressions of Second Life was that it is only a virtual game, that people come here just for fun, what I did not know was that there are so many people that get much more out of it. Second Life really can be what its name stands for it can be an extention of personal expression it gives new possibilities and offers a new and fresh approach to things that people do in real life. People like Elfy, Jaynine, Rob and many others basically all of the people I have met until now are artists and creators and they transfer their passions interests and work into the virtual world to explore it further and find new ways of expression. As Rob Barber told me, he found new inspirations in SL. I’m very happy that we had this conversation not only because it was so intriguing but also because it was a big step forward in my project. I hope we will meet again soon because there are still so many questions I would like to ask Rob and also I would like to get his permission to use few of his paintings from RL and SL to include them in our slideshow during the presentation to show differences between creating in both realities and also to elaborate on how both of them can influence each other.

When it comes to a slideshow I have to say that I found it difficult. I did some research on how to create and stream a slideshow in SL but there was so many answers and solutions that I started getting lost. Here is a link to a page that I found most helpful and easy enough to understand: http://openvce.net/openvce-dev-present but still I had some questions and doubts and I would like to be sure and to know very clearly how to do it correctly. For this reason I found our last guest lecturer Sitearm Madonna extremly helpful. His presentation was very interesting especially when he spoke about virtual tools, multiple identities and multiple connections but the main thing was his relevantly simple way of explanation how to create a prestentation, stream slideshows and videos in SL. In addition to that, I got his e-mail address in case I encounter any difficulites in creating our showcase.

 

Research for the final project

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Starting my research for the final project I decided to go back to all the people I have met in Second life to learn from them and get some help. Last week I was discovering SL with Itzi and we met with Jaynine who we know from her Thousand  Rooms performance that took place few weeks ago. Jaynine was very helpful, first of all, she taught us how to save and share landmarks with other people, and also as she is a performer I thought that it would be a good idea to ask her how to get a place for a performance having our presentation in mind. Here is a part of our conversation on this subject:

[17:14] Ania: I was wondering how does it work to find a place to perform ?we need to do our presentation at the end of the module and I wanted to ask if we have to pay for a place to use it?

[17:14] jaynine Scarborough: no, not necessarily

[17:14] jaynine Scarborough: when is the end of the module?

[17:15] Ania: in may I’m not sure what day yet

[17:15] jaynine Scarborough: at this moment we re trying to find a new place. when its thewre you can make the presentation there, no problem 🙂

[17:15] jaynine Scarborough: ahh may.. till then no problem

[17:16] Ania: that would be great!:) thank you

I was wondering how to get a good place to perform and from what I know and from what Jaynine told us, what happens ussualy is that people have to rent a place in order to perform in it. I thought it was really nice of her that she proposed that we could do our presentation at her place. I think it was a good and very motivating start. I also thought about costumes that we were suggested to wear during our presentation. When I was visiting The Help Island I discovered some really interesting ones like for example a plane costume. This is just an idea but I thought that speaking of how virtual life can be different from the real one, the fact that one can be dressed as a plane shows the difference very well. I have also e-mailed Minerva Breda the designer I had met a while ago and I have spoken to Rob Barber who is an artist. I got some interesting landmarks from Rob and he invited me to see an exhibition of his artwork. The next step that I am going to take is to e-mail Rob and ask him a few questions about his art and how it is done in Second life and also about his experiences in Second Life as we are trying to focus on the differences and similarities between RL and SL. And finally, I am going to meet with other people I have met and try to meet new ones and contact Sitearm Madonna.

Me wearing my new plane costume.

Teamwork

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‘ In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively. People recognize, and even assimilate, the belief that “none of us is as good as all of us.” ‘ (http://humanresources.about.com/od/involvementteams/a/team_culture.htm)

Working in a team means being able to engage yourself with a group. It also means being able to compromise and understand each other, to respect each other’s work and time. The main thing is that a whole team agrees on one plan or goal and works together effectively to achive it. According to another source an effective team consists of team members who have: ‘

1. A common purpose and clear goals

2. The necessary skills and resources

3. A common approach to work

4. The willingness to share information

5. Trust and support in each other

6. The ability to work through conflict

7. The willingness to take responsibility for team actions.’ (http://www.practical-management-skills.com/what-is-teamwork.html)

In my opinion all of the above mentioned thoughts are very important to make teamwork effective. It is also challenging as pople are individuals and it is not always so easy to make everyone work equally or to agree on the same ideas. Nevertheless, every team member should consider the above mentioned statement: ‘none of us is as good as all of us’ beacause thinking this way makes us realise that a team which works well is much stronger and gives more potential than an individual person.

Sources:

http://www.practical-management-skills.com/what-is-teamwork.html

http://humanresources.about.com/od/involvementteams/a/team_culture.htm

PBworks & Google Docs

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In order to work on our group project we were asked to create an account on pbworks or google docs.

Google Docs definition- ‘ A family of Web-based applications from Google that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, forms creation and online storage. Launched in 2006, documents can be uploaded and downloaded in Word, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text formats. Spreadsheets can be uploaded and downloaded in Excel, OpenOffice and comma delimited (CSV) formats. Files can also be downloaded as PDFs.’ (http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=Google+Docs&i=57240,00.asp)

PBworks definition- ‘ PBWorks is an online collaborative tool where anyone can set up a wiki to manage a team and ensure that the team can work together well and produce excellent results. It’s a service where businesses can host their own workspaces to manage certain projects and work together. It is a wiki site where several people can all interact in the same workspace and adjust what is happening. ‘ (http://www.appappeal.com/app/pbworks/)

I set up a workspace on PBworks first. It took me some time to find out how it works but gradually I started getting used to it. The work space I have set up was meant to be free of charge, at least this is my understanding of the following statement: ‘Create a free, personal workspace for non-commercial use.’ (http://pbworks.com/products ). Today I received an e-mail from the central desktop saying that my trial has expired and in order to be able to use my workspace I need to upgrade it for a cost of 49$ or 99$ a month. I read through the PBworks website again to check if I missed something when I signed in but I found the same informations stating that the basic workspace is free and available to upgrade anytime ‘

Basic

  • Hobbyists & Clubs
  • Personal Use
  • Productivity
  • Classroom accounts
  • Basic email support
  • No data export

FREE

Select

Upgrade any time ‘ (https://plans.pbworks.com/academic)

I have never use this kind of a workspace before so it is possible that I did not understand some aspectsof it correctly even though the terms seemed clear to me. I have decided to create another workspace in Google Docs this time to work on our project. Google Docs seems to be much more user friendly than PBworks and it was much easier for me to start learning how to manage my documents because of its layout similar to Word, which I am familiar with. Now that I have tried Google Docs it seems to me that PBworks is more confusing and less straightforward than Google Docs.

Sources:

https://plans.pbworks.com/academic

http://pbworks.com/products

http://www.appappeal.com/app/pbworks/

http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=Google+Docs&i=57240,00.asp