Video and the big move

I told you this was going to happen. I wouldn’t hold up my end of the blogging bargen. I haven’t been able to post much the last week, between work deadlines and learning new ways to screen capture I didn’t have much time to reflect on the process.

Here’s what happened... Tim Harbough suggested that for non-inworlders to get a sense of what using the SL format would be like to present, I should shoot an inworld video showing the stage process with slides and audio. A great idea and one that I thought would be easy to to. My first attempts at shooting screen captures were using Jing, however I was getting non-consistent file sizes, some were coming back with 7 MB flash video sizes, and others were coming back with 400 MB file sizes. Not able to solve the problem in the descrepencies, I looked to Snapz Pro as a possible tool. I had made a demo run with Snapz Pro and then L1Aura Loire, a RL professional videographer, suggested another tool, iShowU HD because its capabilities of recording multicple takes without having to stop render each video. I found it bundled with Stomp (a video resizing compression program) for about the same price as Snapz Pro. I worked like a charm and within any hour I had six videos cut and up on this web site. The Help Video format is in Quicktime and I may consider converting it to flash for user ease but this works seamlessly with RapidWeaver, the website production software I am using. The help videos include screenshots of how a inworld conference presentation works, videos of how to sign-up for Second Life, how to use movement, instant messaging, friending, landmark, and group tools in Second Life. Take a look at them and you will see how easy it is to get involved.

The ‘big’ news is that we moved the CESL center, not off property, but just closer to the beach. We had noisy neighbors who were using open voice chat to communicate and it was bleeding into the conference hall. Not being able to control their use, we thought it was best to just move the building. Sounds easy, but frankly it isn’t. I had the help of Debra Hilra (building architect) and Leeah Vaher (interior design). I said that it was time to move, went to bed, and when I woke up, the building was moved. Debra also extended the shoreline and built a nice little island and pond inlet on the property.

Now we need to develop the announcement for this page and for CESNET-L and we should be able to announce on Monday, March 16, 2009.