Seanachai Quote

"Do you really think there are no larger answers to the small ones we can supply? Miguel, we know there are answers for everything. Unfortunately, we know very few of them." (Alexis Paninian to Mitchell Campion following a 4 minute teleportation from Paxton, Ohio to 3XNorth, 3YEast and 150Z off the Coast of Spain, circa 5/28 & 3 weeks, OSB airdate 4/7/1959).



Monday, January 30, 2017

Storybuilding Soup: Blender, Unity3D, Sine Space, Uru Inspiration

Why Back to Storybuilding Brantley Shaft No. 3 Yet Again?

For a very long time, years since spring of 2006, I've wanted to build my explorer tale.  Imagine that Ruby during a period of despair about cavern life accidentally climbed under the fence (not far from the sign)  and found a path leading to somewhere.  She follows that path until she reaches an entirely new story about what other enterprises (some nefarious) are being built about 3 miles from the cleft.  When she returns to the cavern a few days later with a story tell, no one believes her.  The fact that no one believes her is no matter for Ruby.  It happened all the time.  Still does. 
What Ruby wanted to investigate further is whether exploding pellets, Matt R. Dutton and his Uncle UwigorLongears, the Down Under Tea Company (longevity herbal remedy dependent on cavern algae), the International Historical Consortium (IHC), and the Diego family ranch, Agua Del Lago De Granja have anything to do with one another?

But how to build it?  So its my adventure ever since to find a way.  Step by step, because while I love all the games that Cyan develops, including Obduction, my dream that Uru will someday be revived again.  Not only for what is, but also for what could come after what is.  And if the Cyantists don't appreciate my sentiments enough to try yet again, their decision need not stop me from pursuing my decision to "write" the story, regardless of whether I am of D'ni origin or not.

While the Open Sim platform proved rich in inexpensive educational opportunities for the beginner, it did provide me with the advanced lighting and interactivity that I needed for building my illustrations to drive the story, Brantley Shaft No. 3 and the mystery that makes use of the environment that it required.

So finally a few weeks ago I found a way to do it.  At least I think I have.  It's a start. 
The process continues to be a challenge.  No doubt it is going to take more than a week or two to add my Blender knowledge (always a learning curve) to what I can learn about Unity3D.   What is the same or different?  But it seems to be take shape.  I am actually excited again to finish the mysterious story. 

The Plan
Unity 3d Platform
Blender Render Modeling and Texture Painting
Blender Cycles for Surfaces/PBR
Sine Space for Display and Development - Community

1.  Learn how to build/surface at least 5 elements weekly.  Spend the rest of my time doing something else like tapestry, knitting or crochet. 
2.  Listen/Overhear conversations with the Sine Space Community.  Contribute when I can to the technical user side of the story.
3.  Keep writing and developing the Brantley Storyline (develop 2d images or alternative ways to lead explorers through the story.
4.  KEEP AT IT no matter the distractions or criticism.  Use criticism constructively when I can, and so long as I am able to keep moving along.

Friday, March 4, 2016

No UV Unwrapping with Blender's Texture Paint Options

Not only am I working on Brantley (for years now), but I am still trying to determine how best to tell my children's story, Violet's Lost Words.  I knew for this story I would need to learn how to sculpt from scratch and with my own reference drawing.  Then I would need to retopo the sculpt. 

Earlier this month I started working on an exercise, when I realized I could interpret it for my own purposes.  Meet Fergus, who materialized earlier today.  Of course the sculpting is only phase 1 of the process.  At over 500,000 triangles it not going into the world.  I will need to use Bsurfaces to retopo it.  If the LO poly version comes out well, the texture painting can be transferred through the baking/mapping process to the LO poly (apx 500) version.  I will post again when I see how it goes. I am hoping to get that done by the time we start the Bsurfaces discussion.  No worries, the retopo lesson is far less complex than Fergus.

If the head makes it through the process, I will need to build the body with a similar process and rig it.  I don't predict too many issues with the rigging, if I use the SL bones and shape keys.  At least Fergus is a human  like avatar and and not a quadruped. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Joy of Texture Painting (3D Immersion Storytelling Assets)


Coming Soon
storybuild object assets
For this year's series of classes I've been trying to write out and nail down the workflows that will eventually help me to produce a series of texture painting programs.  I want the experience to be fun and stress free, so the workflow needs consistency.  These programs will not be produced as traditional tutorials.  Instead I hope participants will either build a model from scratch and follow along, or start the painting and effect process with a completed model.  No modeling  - Only the painting and the magic.


So far we've produced hats, tablecloths, curtains, and fancy lamps.  Before the season is over we expect to create nearly all the props a story needs including characters and character clothing.  Nearly everyone of these items can be hand painted or cycled with hand generated textures. 
Characters and Costumes

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Building Storybuilding Assets witth Blender Only Tools

It is time for the Waymarker 88221 School to open for Season II.  I want the experience of learning and sharing OS and Bender building to be fun and storylike.  The participants need to feel welcome and stress free.  If they feel like they are part of their own story, improving their building skills or leading a class for other builders, it should write itself.

One of my objectives is to create storybuilding assets in the same way a game creator designs game assets - mostly lo poly, so there is plenty of server left for the participants to use, and interesting to see.  Inspiration I expect to come from all over Open Sim.  There are so many wonderful builders.  So all that needs to get done is unpack the how the building gets done and direct the participants where to find the best work.  The results of that process will be the plot.

The best part will be to continue learning while we tell our stories (me too).  This week I wanted to build a lamp that required box modeling, no more than two lo poly pieces, loop cuts, extrusion, manipulation, uv unwrapping to a single map, texture painting and cycles baking.  The outcome is whimsical and colorful, and will work well to explain how much I want learners to relax and enjoy the process.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We Are Waiting For You On the Cusp

It seems like it took forever.  12 years of developing a process for storybuilding with virtual reality technology.  And finally we are not so lonely anymore.

With those billions of dollars on the horizon 2018-2020, the band wagon is being loaded with the folks (entertainment corporate sorts) who have the wherewithal to get things going.  I am not one of those folks, but my heart and soul is in it.  I would like to live long enough to see it happen: the wider acceptance of a new storytelling medium using digital and immersion arts.  From poetic tales written across clay tablets to novels and film.  Now at last we readers will enter the stories we tell for as long as we like, experience the triumphs and pitfalls, and be out in time to have dinner with our families or get a good night's sleep in our own cozy beds.

So it isn't new.  In the fall of 2003 I made my first leap into these stories.  My person got imprinted with the best of all artistic environments and engaging backstories when I discovered the D'ni cavern with others from everywhere.  I met my best friends there.  I was invited to my first online wedding.  I started writing my first branches to the story already there, and I started a radio podcast and machinima company with seven other digital pioneers that aired monthly and included interviews with the Cyantists at Cyan Worlds.

Over the years I decided to learn how to tell and build stories too.  Not an easy task for a public school teacher, who had other pressing matters to manage, but I knew retirement was right around the corner.  I would have the opportunity to work at the job I loved full time.

In November at collaborative project (Immersive Edge) I worked on with 20 plus other artists from everywhere locations,will launch.  The producer and writer for the project asked me to do a 10 minute presentation on what goes into storybuilding.  I did not hesitate to accept, but I knew that meant the presentation had to be tight, honest and informative.  No monkeying around.  And the best place to start was to research what was out there, because a year ago I could google all day long and not a thing showed up.

Today I found two articles I want to use.  Because I think it will be interesting and potentially helpful I am going to ask others what they think storybuilding or storyworlds are.Within the next couple of weeks a definition and summary is sure to come out of that process.  Maybe now we can nail it down, so all those rich folks who think this has never been done will know it has been done, and we are waiting for them to arrive on the cusp.

Articles to Read from today's search: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3046634/how-hollywood-is-learning-to-tell-stories-in-virtual-reality
and https://storystudio.oculus.com/en-us/news/