Digital Artifacts

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Saturday tasks

Our second class focuses on the "technical stuff" of video editing. Because we have a wide range of experiences with using computers and different software in our group, I'm going to let you pick and choose from the tasks below to best suit your own needs or interests. These tasks are simply starting points, and you're free to move well beyond them.

By the end of this class, you should have created a very short movie using either Windows Media Maker (PC) or iMovie (Mac) to stitch together photos you've taken or found online, video clips you've created or found online, Google Earth clips created using Google Earth in combination with Fraps, or clips filmed within Second Life. Your short video must include a title screen and a closing screen. If you have time, muck around with adding a sound track, too. the movieyou make doesn't have to have anything to do with your final intended product.

1. Second Life machinima

  • Open the Second Life client on your desktop (it looks like a blue-green hand icon). If you're working at home, download the client onto your harddrive (PC and Mac) here:

  • Register a new account with Second Life if you haven't had a chance to yet, or login. Complete the newbie tutorial.

  • View some Second Life machinima here:

  • Explore the inbuilt video camera functions inside Second Life by exploring the different menus etc. Ply with camera angles and point-of-view orientations.

  • Play around with bringing a favourite poem to life using Second Life sets and characters (e.g., “Silver Bells and Golden Spurs”)

  • Or, play around with creating a music video set within Second Life or with creating a movie trailer for some as yet-unproduced film, based on bringing together recognizable characters or storylines from extant films (or other sources)

Public access places within Second Life you can visit:

Role-playing areas in second Life (compiled by Gary Hayes,
  • Sigil - Wild west roleplaying at Sigil (141,137,28)

  • Star Trek - RolePlay meeting area at Yulmu (213,72,79). Main RP area at Galaxy (165,89,103)

  • Star Wars - A wide range of (mostly scheduled, join the various SW groups) RP groups across several sims and builds. Main headquarters at Starfleet Sector001 (62,193,21)

  • Roleplay alley - Alston (196,11,501) - very poor design, a mix of spaces, good for groups to go cause hardly anyone around most of the time...

  • Elbow Room - Mare - always folk around, bar atmosphere, more social than rp, but many do the 'cheers' thing (personal RP)

  • Phasma (47,217,138)

2. Video edited remix films
  • Using Windows Movie Maker for PC (download free here) or iMovie (on Macs), experiment with creating your own video remix using extant video clips

  • Online film resources include:, Google Video,, Veoh,

  • Many online videos can be saved to your harddrive using Video Downloader or Keep Vid. You will also find you may need to convert some of the resulting file formats in order to be able to use them with your video editing software (e.g., Windows Movie Makers prefer to use all *.avi or *.wmv files; iMovies prefers *.mov files). We'll cross that bridge on an as-needed basis, okay (so email or Skype me if you get stuck).

  • Create your own live-action video footage using your mobile phone, digital camera or video camera

  • Remix involves bringing two different things together to create something “new”. So, if using your own family video footage, you might choose a favorite song to synch with the footage. If wanting to use White Stripe’s “I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends”, for example, you might want to find animated clips that logically “match” the song in some way, then weave these together in your video editing software.

3. Fraps/iShowU and Google Earth films
  • Although most Google Earth movies are made using Google Earth Pro (the not-free version) and an inbuilt filming function, movies can still be made using screen capture video software like Fraps and iShowU—along with video editing software like Movie Maker or iMovie

  • Experiment with making a movie using Google Earth as your main resource. If you're working at home, you’ll need to register and download the client software at: Otherwise, open the client on your desktop--its icon looks a bit like a blue and white beachball.

  • A free copy of iShowU (for Macs only) can be downloaded here

  • A free version of Fraps (for PCs only) can be downloaded here (the free version lets you film in 30-second chunks only)

  • You’ll find a tutorial on making movies with Google Earth here. work through this to help get you started.

  • Remember to focus on narrative. In the past, people i've worked with have chosen to represent their escape from one country and their immigration to a new one; to create a chronologically ordered tour of their favourite cricket grounds as a child; or to riff on the "Are You My Mother?" storyline using a popular meme; and so on. So, you might take the song “Workin’ 9 to 5” and recreate your day, moving from where you live to work and then wherever in synch with, say, the chorus of the song for starters.

Additional, more or less free, practical resources, tools, and software etc.


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