Sunday, July 31, 2011

H.264 Codec - The Porn Producer's Friend

All the screen captures accompanying this post are from the H.264 720p Encode of Pandora's Box.

I'm afraid this is a techy post, not very hot and sexy at all, but i hope ultimately it will pay off! letting us see more sexy images and bodies on screen in great HD details!

H.264 is the name of a video codec ( in other words, the format you render, or save your video in when your project is complete. ) . With connections getting faster, and many of us now used to HDTV, Blu Ray Movies, faster PC's and all round higher quality, H.264 has emerged as a industry standard codec for downloading HD video online.

There is nothing worse than seeing your project looking so great on your own system, then having to have to shrink the video file, reduce quality, or settle for a poor second best when you upload, and show it to the world. H.264 could well be the answer to your problems.

I have told several SL Porn Producer's about this and passed on URL's. A stunning example of high quality via this was HaileyMarie Redrose's "Sultrina". Even though her project was a two part movie, the H.264 Codec still allowed her to present 15 minute plus running times in amazing 720p HD Video. So, i thought it was time to actually try it myself. I'm very lazy on this stuff, i read about it, tell others, but don't actually do it myself.

Also, i firmly believe we can make our SL Porn scene better for all by sharing these tips, and tricks, and helping each other. Maybe you read this knowing all about it already, but some may not. the same may go for some tricks you yourself use, I'm sure some of us don't know them, and we would be very happy and grateful to hear them.

Unfortunately, only half of Pandora's Box remains on my PC in HD, but i still felt it would make a nice first H.264 codec test. Amazingly, this codec is rendering video at higher quality, than the lower resolution copies i uploaded to Naughty Machinima at lower file sizes. An eight minute plus section of the movie came out at under 80MB. Which suggests you can produce a 20 minute plus movie in 720p HD Video for upload to Naughty machinima, keeping under the 200mb file size limit.

The H.264 encoder won't effect any of your present movie making set up. You just need to download it, install, and run your finished movie through it. It's free, and you can download it here...

I've been mentioning HD Video, but you'll see many options for the final file, including 3G video for mobile phones, smaller Internet video, Standard Definition, as well as 720p, and 1080p options. There is no configuring, or complicated, screen size sett ups or bit rate settings. Just load your final movie file, select the finished option and encode. I would highly recommend using the "Standard Definition" selection for any non HD movie, to bring it in under Naughty Machinima's 200mb limit without any loss in quality. Any 20-30 minute "SD" project will be able to be uploaded using this method.

I'm so gutted....i could have presented our movies in this way, but missed out. But i guess this is an ever evolving process, we learn and include things always, to make our projects better. I hope this can change how our movies are released in future, and i hope it helped you too. :)

Serenity Juneberry. xx

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reflected Projected Textures and Quinn Ying's Magical Mirror Ball

Quinn Ying and I have known about projected textures for some little while.

    (click images to enlarge)

I posted a test/demonstration video of the technique back in August 2010 and used it extensively in 'Sex With Strangers' (0:36 - 0:49; 1:09 - 1:21; 2:03 - 2:22; 4:15 - 4:45)

The important thing to understand about projected textures is that it is a graphics effect, dependant on one's graphic card and your graphics settings in 'Preferences'. It is not enabled by default.

The effect created by projected textures is empathically not the same as that prim property that is controlled by the LSL (Linden Scripting Language) function 'llSetTextureAnim' Or, in layman's terms, "projected textures" should not be confused with "animated textures".

Whereas an animated texture only affects the surface face(s) of the prim it is associated with, a projected texture literally "projects" (or "beams", if you prefer) out of the originating prim and affects the lighting of other nearby objects and avatars in a manner that is analogous to a light beam. Note, that the technique can be used with *any* texture and this is what makes it significantly more useful than prim lighting.

Projected textures can be used to create a number of innovative effects, an example of which is Quinn's Magical Mirror Ball pictured in this blog.

As you can see from these pictures, Quinn and I (and our clothing, [or lack of clothing, in Quinn's case]) become illuminated by the coloured "light beams" (projected textures) as they rotate and revolve. The effect is dynamic and in real time.

Last week I became aware of the latest evolution of projected textures - the ability to reflect projected textures on high-shine prims!

Excitedly, I IM'd Quinn with the news.

I was not entirely surprised when Quinn replied that she had independently discovered this new effect herself, as part of her own experimentation.

"Yes, it is possible", Quinn told me, "I've noticed that yesterday :) At my place I have a spotlight pointed on a sculpted sofa. Setting the sofa texture shininess at "high" i noticed that it reflected the spotlight light."

Quinn tp'd over to my sim, bringing a demonstration unit with her. For the record, I was using 'Firestorm' and Quinn 'Kirstens'.

In this last picture, two prims have been set to high-shine. Ringed in purple are the reflections of the projected textures.

Expect to see 'Reflected Projected Textures' used soon in a Quinn Ying Production near you!


Monday, July 11, 2011

'PRON' and The Art of Machinima Storytelling

'PRON' is the newest SL adult machinima bearing the "Serenity Juneberry" hallmark of quality and distinction.

Jointly directed by Emeelee Rage and Serenity herself, the film opens with a smart and sleek After Effects composition set to the beat of The Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams'.

This opening sequence sets the scene for what is to follow - a phantasmagoria of colour, sexual imagery and story telling.

Whilst Serenity directed the opening and first five minutes of the film, Emeelee took firm hold of the director's rein to steer the actors through the action scenes that follow.

Collaboration is never easy even at the best of times, but Emeelee and Serenity seem to have negotiated the many pitfalls and pulled off a near miraculous sharing of the directorial responsibilities.

The film concept is broadly based on the popular 1982 science-fiction film 'Tron' -  a computer user is enticed into a neon world of digital adventure. We follow a digitalised Serenity as she searches for the the Grid-Babe, played by Arwen Juneberry.

However, in contrast with the 1982 film where nerds and geeks get to play at being cool, in 'PRON' we are delighted to have an array of gorgeous and sexy avatars in various states of undress.

Starring alongside Co-Directors Serenity and Emeelee are Louise Silverweb, T413, Ivori Faith, Alyssa Drechsler, Stryker Ninetails, Natalie Xenga, Jinx Jiersen, Rayven Baily, VanHelsing Svoboda, Booya Bombacci, Haylie Joles, Elizabeth Firelyte, Dsfargeg Batista and, of course, the inimitable and beautiful Arwen Juneberry.

A lot of time, effort and love has gone into the making of 'PRON' - and this is evident is almost every scene and scene transition - but the film sets themselves definitely deserve singling out for special mention.

Designed and built by Louise Silverweb and Serenity, the sets - and indeed the actors outfits - constantly reinforce the iconic 'Tron' neon imagery. You are never left in any doubt that Serenity and the glamorous beings she encounters are denizens of a digital world.

The story presented in 'PRON' is a fun and rather clever re-working of the aeon-old "Initiation Story".

Whether it be Osiris entering the Otherworld,  the descent into Hades, modern interpretations like 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' or a thousand and one other variations, the story is always the same.

In initiation stories, the protagonist is forced to descend into a dark world (representing the Unconscious) where s/he encounters various strange and wonderful people, beasts and animals (representing various unconscious unresolved conflicts, complexes and confusions). Only by successfully negotiating with said beings can the protagonist continue on to eventually meet the Loved One (representing, of course, wholeness and resolution).

And so it is with 'PRON'. Our heroine Serenity willingly submits to the unknown experience of the digital world in the hope of becoming reconciled with her Ideal, the Grid-Babe. But, to do so, she must first pass through the portal of The Cyber Clit Club having satisfied its patrons of her worthiness.

'PRON' comprises two parts (of approx. 17mins and 14mins) and uses a text-based narration technique. The text is clear and legible and for the most part does not interfere with or obscure the visual aesthetic of the film.

This is important. The danger of text-based narration is that perfectly fine visual images can be ruined or obscured by misplacement or mistiming of text. Like everything else in 'PRON' it is clear that thought and effort has gone into the narration and, as a result, the story is able to be told with the minimum of disruption to the viewer.

However, due to the very nature of the medium, text-based narration inevitably causes some lose of immersion, just as it does while reading sub-titles on a foreign-language film.

To some extent, I submit, we need to ask ourselves whether we are writing a book or making a movie. Both are equally valid forms of storytelling but they do not necessarily make natural bedfellows.

Machinima is a very new art form, and the adult/porn genre a relatively immature but rapidly evolving expression of that art. The next logical step, it seems to me, is making voice the staple diet of machinima storytelling - as has already been done to great effect by Rysan Fall and other directors - but also, as alluded to by Peter Greenaway in a recent lecture in Second Life, voice itself could well merely be a stepping stone, and one that may in fact itself be left behind...

I keep hoping to see a visionary machinima maker - someone who uses the medium as the message. At present we are only seeing other art forms rewrit - the short-form feature-film, the music video-clip, the catwalk presentation, the dance-movie, the documentary-fiction with commentary - it's related of course to a loop of what you want is what we can produce for you - but I am truly full of excited hope that it is coming - an increased demand for new and better tools by machinima makers will increase the soft-ware and even the hardware thinking.
As artists, we should be looking to how we can develop machinima as an art form beyond the comfortable familiarity of the book and the blockbuster feature film.

This is, undoubtedly, a tall order but it is also almost an inevitability. It will not be a smooth, gentle growth but rather an evolution consisting of fits and spurts with terrible tantrums and hurtful growing pains.

But, please consider, most every new art form and most every new technology has been, is, fuelled by "pornography" (or erotica or libido or sexuality etc).

Personally, I cannot think of a single reason why the newly developing Art of Machinima should not also be fuelled by adult film makers. Can you?

Even now, in its early stages of evolution, we can see individual adult machinima directors taking the first tentative steps out of the comforting watery-womb of familiarity onto the more uncharted shores of experimenting and artistry - I refer you to the work of Hitomi Crystal, Quinn Ying and Aleeah as but three examples of an ever increasing pool of talent - but, ever leading the vanguard, few would disagree, is Serenity Juneberry.

Whereas 'Pandoras Box' should certainly be considered as a milestone on the evolutionary path of adult machinima, 'PRON', I think, could be characterised as one of numerous essential and important rest-stops where we can review how far we have come, survey the surroundings, take stock and prepare for the next step of the journey.

'PRON' takes a story line and runs with it to its logical and sexy conclusion. It does this with class and style, with humour and love. Emeelee and Serenity have done a very fine job of co-directing this movie.

I believe that every individual involved in the creation of 'PRON' has the right to feel justly proud.

So, without further ado, please allow me to present to you Serenity and Emeelee's 'PRON' (Parts 1 and 2):

Pixie xxx

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jinx's Sexy "Pron" Shoot


Jinx Jiersen captures Serenity and Arwen Juneberry's sex scene in Pron.

I featured some of Jinx Jiersen's amazing photography on my "Making Pron" post. Now i'm showing you the rest including some of my favourite photo's i have ever had taken in SL.

Jinx grabbed these shots as EmeeLee shot the movie. These were not static poses Jinx could set up perfectly which makes his work here even better in my view. Jinx manages to capture lots of sensuality, and erotisism in his pictures here, which we had to shoot a movie to get across...So i think that's a real tribute and just why i love these pics so much.

Thankyou Jinx for these, and all you did for the movie project. *hugs and kisses*

Serenity xx

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making "Pron" - Part 2

With Production Photograph's By Jinx Jiersen.

I began this article over at mine and Arwen's Blog "CLICK HERE"

Now a few more details...

A little like Pandora's Box, Arwen and myself's last sizable movie project. "Pron" is set loosely in a familiar Sci Fi universe. This one is definitely not made by Disney though!

EmeeLee Rage came to me with the story and idea. I'm grateful she stuck to her guns and filmed her sections, because they have turned out so sexy! Myself and Arwen both enjoyed just being actresses on Emee's shoots, something we've only ever done together once before. With Emee filming the main sex scenes, it left me able to experiment, and shoot a special effects laden opening to the movie and set up the story. However, you know me, i did manage to sneak in a sexy little scene of myself! I could not let Emee have all the fun!

Louise Silverweb, my business partner at Erotique, and fellow Erotique Porn Productions team member made a superb movie set. I also constructed one, which gave us a private permanent "lot" to shoot in. Which was needed for the week long big scenes shot by Emee which saw the large cast of guest stars arrive and get filmed for some of the most exciting sequences i've seen cameo actors or extras ever take part in.

I'm proud to have taken part in this project. It will be released later this week, and i hope you enjoy the balance of story, sexual encounters, and hopefully some eye candy on all levels, actresses, actor's, and visual effects.

As a small little tease ( so unlike me! ) i am posting several of Jinx Jiersen's "production" photographs here accompanying the article. These were taken by Jinx as myself and Arwen were filmed for the "Pron" Movie. They are fantastic photographs, Jinx is an amazing talent and i can't believe how he made us look.

More to come through the week!

Serenity. xx