As regular readers will know, I love very natural and / or whimsical regions. I also love to see the amount of artistic expression store owners put into the region / parcel surrounding their store. It’s for this reason I was originally drawn to Cours, the home of Vitamingirl’s “🙂 BCC” – although I’m ashamed to admit that after my first visit, I didn’t actually get around to writing-up a post.
Well, now spring has arrived, and with it Cours has had something of a redesign which again demonstrates Vitamingirl’s creativity. The store now sits at the top of a hill and is reached by stone steps leading up from the arrival point. Heading off across a watery landscape is an old, broken railway track, inviting you to explore the region.
Follow the track across the watery landscape and you’ll find a locomotive, seemingly determined to make its way off across the Linden Sea. Elsewhere is a Romany caravan and a table set for tea where you can sit and chat or simply watch the world go by. Not far from the locomotive sits a windmill.
This is a minimalist build which is extraordinarily picturesque. The waterlogged areas, bright with yellow rapeseed-like flowers, both frame and separate the “islands” scattered across the region into a series of linked visual vignettes which beckon to the newly arrived traveller.
As well as the 🙂 BCC store itself, Cours is also home to the three house-like shops of Adelia, ADTL, and Honey Pang, all of which offer the window-shopper even more reason to drop into the region.
All-in-all, 🙂 BCC offers an enjoyable and very photogenic destination.
Back in October, I looked at the Machinima Open Studio Project (MOSP), a full sim environment on LEA20 created by Chic Aeon as a part of the 2012 Artist-in-Residence series and for use by machinima makers and photographer across Second Life. As noted at the time, I thought the installation was a superb idea, and was saddened to think it would be vanishing as the new Artist-in-Residence series got underway.
However, rather than vanish, MOSP has been moved to a new location and given an update. The new location at LEA7 features a revised ground-level layout and a host of new features which are again open for use. If you have any interest at all in machinima and / or photography, I can’t emphasise enough the value of this resource and the opportunities it presents for film-making and photographic work.
The most obvious updates brought to MOSP are at ground level – obvious, because that is where you arrive on teleporting. While the railway track from the original is still there, the landscape has been re-worked and Chic has added a number of buildings which can be used both independently of one another, and in combination to tell a story, film a promotional video or as sets for the photographer.
These aren’t the only changes either, so when you arrive, do spend time at the information area, where you can pick-up an introduction to MOSP and a folder of LMs to all of the facilities – you’ll need them! And if you’re concerned about the landing zone being smack in the middle of the scenery – always remember that the derender option in most TPVs can neatly hide it from the camera’s eye when filming.
Up in the sky, the sound stages are still available for studio-based work, as are the corporate offices, which again could be used for studio filming as well as offering other opportunities. Also in the sky are a number of new themed sets, including a desert complete with old fort and camels and a rural / farm scene. These sets are also mach larger than the sky sets from the original MOSP and provide even greater potential and flexibility of use when filming, either as standalone feature or in combination with other parts of the faculty. There’s also a viewing theatre where MachinimUWA, LEA and MoMac machinima can be watched in a unique three-into-one environment.
MOSP offers a 20-minute rez time for those who need to use props and the like, and as the environments are open to being revised or updated, it is best to contact Chic herself regarding any projects which may require the using the MOSP’s facilities over a period of time to ensure a set isn’t updated or revised if real life means that filming has to be broken-up over a period of time.
Chic went to great lengths to ensure the best possible filming experience could be enjoyed at the original MOSP, particularly with the placement of the studios and specialised scenes places well overhead to avoid as much lag as possible and thus ensure good frame rates. The same care has been exhibited here as well, and the sky scenes positioned such that all can be used independently of one another and (providing you adjust any high draw distance downwards sufficiently) at any time of day without shadows from those above interfering with any filming.
For those wishing teach others about machinima or photography (or indeed start out in either), MOSP also now has a dedicated classroom area, and there is an open invitation to those wishing to run classes to contact Chic and enroll in the MOSP group, where they can be given a teaching role and announce events.
Whether you’re looking to film you own romance, mystery or adventure story and need some additional locations or you want to have a number of ready-made sets for a photo shoot or are looking for studio-style or indoor sets to film a scene or two, the Machinima Open Studio Project more than likely has you covered. This was a superb resource when Chic first opened at on LEA20 last year; now, with the move to a new, permanent home at LEA20 MOSP stands to become a an outstanding and unique faculty for film-makers and photographers alike. Chic is to be commended for bringing it all together and working so hard to extend MOSP’s capabilities. Kudos as well to the LEA committee for ensuring MOSP has a home at the LEA following the end of the 2012 AIR series.