Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Perchance to Day Dream

"Yoga is Union.
Yoga is first of all the union of the subject and the object of consciousness: of the seer with the thing seen.
Now, there is nothing strange or wonderful about all this.
The study of the principles of Yoga is very useful to the average man, if only to make him think about the nature of the world as he supposes that he knows it.
Let us consider a piece of cheese. We say that this has certain qualities, shape, structure, colour, solidity, weight, taste, smell, consistency and the rest; but investigation has shown that this is all illusory. Where are these qualities? Not in the cheese, for different observers give quite different accounts of it. Not in ourselves, for we do not perceive them in the absence of the cheese. All 'material things,' all impressions, are phantoms.
In reality the cheese is nothing but a series of electric charges. Even the most fundamental quality of all, mass, has been found not to exist. The same is true of the matter in our brains which is partly responsible for these perceptions. What then are these qualities of which we are all so sure? They would not exist without our brains; they would not exist without the cheese. They are the results of the union, that is of the Yoga, of the seer and the seen, of subject and object in consciousness as the philosophical phrase goes. They have no material existence; they are only names given to the ecstatic results of this particular form of Yoga."
from 'Eight Lectures on Yoga' by Mahatma Guru-Sri Pramahansa (orig. pub. 1939)
.:: DoL ::.
There is a subject that I have wanted to discuss for a while but exactly how to contextualise it didn't become clear to me until I visited the 'Daytime Dreams' region created by Dolphin Aeghin (.:: DoL ::.).
(click images to enlarge)
It concerns the relationship(s) between virtual art, education in virtual worlds, human relations expressed through an avatar and why some Second Life sims are clearly more "popular" and "successful" than others.
.:: DoL ::.'s work at Daytime Dreams manages to capture something which I think is important to the success of a sim and, by extension, important also to Second Life itself.
But before we address that issue, let us first take a detour and look at examples which empathetically are *not* what I am thinking of.
I remember being invited to one particular educational sim to listen to a lecture.
They had built a decent-enough auditorium in a semi-circle; seating was individual chairs.
Expect that the chairs hadn't got a "sit" in them. That is, it wasn't possible to actually *sit* in the chairs (except in a most deformed and ugly manner).
My point is, the educationalists who owned and built the auditorium didn't consider for a moment that avatars might actually want to *sit* in the chairs! To them, the chairs were architectural features necessary for a visual authenticity but, within a virtual world, totally redundant for actual usage.
So we all stood behind the chairs looking like vertically-stacked pilchards, watching and listening to the lecturer.
But the story doesn't stop there.
Because as the lecturer looked down upon us and pontificated about "the purpose of Second Life" and "how Second Life should be used" and "the future of Second Life and virtual worlds", I was thoroughly distracted by the fact that the guy looked like a complete fucking noob!
Worse in fact, because he had obviously attempted to do *something* with his avatar but had clearly decided "this just isn't worth the effort".

As I observed this lecturer's avatar and listened to his words, I realised that he had a massive "disconnect" between himself and his avatar; between the virtual world he purported to be an expert in and his actual existence within that world.

In short, it was clear to me that, although he was *in* Second Life, he wasn't actually *part* of Second Life - he knew nothing about its culture (or sub-cultures) or how people use it on a daily basis.
For me, he lost all credibility at the moment of that realisation.
Please understand, I am not talking here about some lofty point of philosophy like the "Augmentation vs Immersion" argument.
Rather, I am talking about much more down-to-earth things; I am talking about things that people do every day in SL, as normal activities.
I am pointing out that this educationalist lecturer was completely unaware that avatars *do* actually sit down in virtual worlds and that people *do* make judgements based on the appearance of avatars.
I am also suggesting that he had probably never danced in Second Life or hugged or had a blowjob or fucked.
Or felt the hurt and upset of one human being to another through the medium of an avatar.
Or comforted another human in distress simply by the act of two avatars cuddling.
Or broken another's heart.
Or had his heart broken.
He studies a tree but knows not the beauty of a forest; he knows the chemical composition of sugar but has never experienced its taste; he measures the distance to remote star-systems without ever being awed by its wonder.
Similarly, I was once in a club when a very rare bird indeed flew in - The Lesser Spotted Linden Employee.
A number of us said "Hi" or otherwise greeted her - no response whatsoever. I totally get that - she was at work and possibly studying region performance stats or whatever. Who knows what she was doing. But not a big deal regardless.
However, what was remarkable was she had absolutely no control over her avatar! She was walking into walls, bumping into people and even walked straight over a couch. One year in SL and she had no more ability controlling her avatar than a day old noob.
I kid you not.
It was stunning to see.
And as I watched her, I suddenly understood the attitude that must be so prevalent within The Lab that it resulted in the decision to remove surnames when registering for an SL account.
To them, Second Life is just a "technical" or "engineering" matter, a case of "instances of software and servers" or whatever.
They apparently have little or no understanding of the social implications of their decisions within Second Life.
The removal of avatar surnames has created a "class" or "caste" system in Second Life. This was predictable to anyone with any depth of experience of human relations. It is not nice or desirable nor indeed have any positive aspects at all - but it *was* predictable!
Expect, it seems, to The Lab. 
And worse, they show no signs at this time of either understanding or even caring about the negativity that that ill-fated decision has caused in-world.
How can this be?
I submit that the same malady that affects the aforementioned lecturer also affects some Linden Lab employees - they may well be *in* Second Life but they are certainly not *part* of Second Life.
There is nothing especially wrong with any of this, of course.
It just seems to me to be a very emotionally barren approach to virtuality in general and Second Life in particular.
Concretely, I am saying that these so-called "experts" are misunderstanding and missing out on experiencing the single most important aspect of Virtual Worlds - the capacity to conduct sincere and warm human relationships through the expression of an avatar.  
And that brings us roundly back to DoL's Daytime Dreams installation.
Because in most every aspect of this installation, we, as avatars, are able to express ourselves socially and emotionally.
This is not a "dry-as-dust" intellectual exercise  - it is sensual, moving and poignant excursion into avatar emotional expression.
In amongst the various individual artwork and installations on the region are discretely placed couples seating, couples poses and couples dance balls.
The overriding message is not so much "Please admire *my* work" as it is "Please admire *each other* while at my sim".
It is clear from spending quite a lot of time at Daytime Dreams (once before it was open to the public, twice since opening - a number of hours on each occasion) that .:: DoL ::. not only understands SL technically (building/scripting), and understands it artistically (as evidenced by this wonderful "newspaper rose", for example)...
 ...but she also understands it emotionally, socially and sexually.
And these things together - technical, artistic and socio-sexual - represent the runway to the zenith of experience in virtual worlds.
Frankly, I trust the opinions of an artist like .:: DoL ::. regarding SL far more than I do a lecturer or employee who can't be arsed to fully engage in the subject matter that they claim to be an expert in but nevertheless use to pay their mortgage.
You see, in my opinion, .:: DoL ::. has proven her credentials as an "expert" within virtual worlds by creating Daytime Dreams - I challenge the educationalists and Lab employees to prove theirs!
"Yoga is Union."
.:: DoL ::. has create a virtual space which successfully unites technicality, artistry and simple human connections and engagement.
She is to be applauded and thanked.
We sincerely hope that she will also be emulated.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



Rache settles in to her new role.

Corruption Is Bliss is the first chapter of "Maid In The City". In the tradition of Erotique Porn Productions, it's a porn movie with a little plot woven in.

I'm very happy to release again at . Obviously the site is building up still, but we want to help support it, and help it gather pace. Traffic may be lower, however you still reach the core audience of the SL porn community, we still get great feed back, and it was amazing to receive 11 ratings on the last movie. Showing although the site gets less traffic than NM, it is viewed by active, interested parties within SL Porn. We make our movies because we enjoy it, and to make our cast feel special, and to entertain the people who are interested in us within SL.

Blondes do have fun, but i'm not complaining..I did ok too!
If you know me, you know i like to tick a few boxes when we do a movie, we like to feel we've built on the last project, in at least some areas. Which is not always easy if one movie has space ships and cg effects, and one is set in a SL home, but i do feel visually this offers a lot. There are many elements in the movie which i have tried for the first time. Personally I'm very happy with how the movie looks. Ranging from soft and glowy and pretty, to some very graphic scenes in a dungeon!

Do i look like i'm enjoying it?
This movie contrasts so well, i love it. I think that keeps it interesting and fresh from start to finish. I always wanted to try and generate some styles and looks i was experimenting with in some photography and have it in a movie. I believe that's happened in some scenes of this movie. Building on the scenes i was happy to produce in The Widow, and Twice Bitten, i think this one looks very pretty in places.

Arwen really gets stuck in to her role.
The co stars appearing with myself and Arwen were just fantastic, and a pleasure to work with. Rache looked perfect for her role, and I'm sure you'll agree looks cute, and innocent and sexy all at the same time. Lunedor, well...she looks just stunning, and formidable! I could not believe we were directing her in her first movie, the shoot went so well she's a natural. Just like many people we've met, Lunedor is a friend we've spoken about including in a movie for a long time. So please be patient with us.

Still want to be our Maid???

Just when you think you have corruption is Bliss weighed up, as some soft glowy Lesbian movie, things change dramatically. Rache and Arwen's script sent my filming off in a totally new direction, and a visit to Lunedor's dungeon offers a fresh perspective and plenty of hot action to keep the movie exciting.

Lunedor welcomes Rache to her Dungeon. 
A nice cosy Lesbian threesome gives way to the excitement of a BDSM dungeon. As Rache's new "personal trainer" puts her through her paces!

I think we'd all be making a face like that.
Lunedor and Rache contrasted wonderfully well on screen, it was a pleasure to direct them for myself and Arwen. When i filmed in the dungeon i could have gone on all night, so many options and so many exciting toys and scenes to capture!

Maid In The City : Corruption Is Bliss, may not have space ships, or big effects scenes that previous Erotique movies have had, but i still feel it manages to be big in scope. And of course, it has the usual big sex scenes you are used to with an Erotique Porn movie. I feel i did Arwen justice too, making her look hotter than ever!


See more screen shots after the jump!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In our recent movie "Maid In The City : Corruption Is Bliss!" I was reminded again, just how Erotique Porn Productions has become used to using visual effects in movies. Even in movies where it does not look like they are present.

Pandora's Box. Zero G Sex Scene. Used a lot of green screen and effects techniques.
Even in a movie totally unlike Pandora's Box which was of course set in space and inside space ships and really call for visual effects, or in films like Pron. Every day movies set in a SL home can benefit from visual effects in post production too.

Here is a good example of a visual effect being used as a movie making tool in our last movie. The drapes surround a green screen, in a scene shot at one location.

At another location Serenity and Arwen are shot stood in a room where an earlier part of the movie was filmed.

This shot does not look like a special effect. Sometimes that's what is called for. Effects are about making the impossible appear on screen. That can be space ships flying around. Pure artistic expressions, Or even adding an actress into a scene who was not there at the time, or making a set look bigger than it actually is.

Here the two are combined, the doorway green screened, or "Chroma Keyed" out, the clip with Serenity and Arwen is then placed and revealed underneath. In fact throughout the movie the doorway appears to lead to the a joining room, even though they were two separate locations.

This allowed us to to create a more extensive looking set where there was none. It could have easily allowed a Director to shoot this above scene even if all three actresses were not online together. Which is a common problem when embarking on longer productions in SL. I even took the opportunity to experiment with blurring the two elements to fake a depth of field effect, like the Kirstens viewer can produce.

In our movie "The Widow" The Demon which appears in the Finale was filmed against a green screen. This was for several reasons, one was we had scenes which had to be perfectly lined up, and composing the scene in software and arranging the pieces on screen was was easier than trying to get every thing in one place in SL.  Plus the church setting was made quite dim for atmospheric reasons, meaning the black demon never showed up much against the surroundings.

Here you can see the dark demon is highlighted by an eerie red glow. Which was possible due to it being a layer in a virtual scene. The red glow makes the Demon pop out! It also matches the eyes and just looks fitting too. Also a drop shadow on the demon was able to be used as it was a separate element, just like you add drop shadow to a line of text. This above scene is composed of some stock footage of flames, a snapshot of the film set, and the green screen video of the demon. In all it made it a lot more exciting visually than just shooting a regular scene in SL.

Serenity Juneberry. xx