Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 VIDEO: BIZ: Avateers and all that. Job descriptions for video production in virtual worlds. AMP notes

Avateers and all that.  
Video production in virtual worlds.  
AMP Video notes
Avatar Media Productions (AMP)  has been developing standard practices for video production in virtual worlds.  For this video production to become a business, we will need job descriptions and contract templates.  Here AMP presents its current job descriptions.
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Job descriptions in the video business of virtual worlds

Note that the same person may take on multiple job descriptions.  The pay scale applies to the job that is being done, not to the person.

Screen Writer, Virtual:  Not a virtual screen writer, but a real screen writer who writes for video production that uses virtual worlds as a graphics engine.  Some things are easy and cheap on a virtual world set.  Some things are hard and expensive.  They are not the same things as in a real video production.  To write for virtual world production requires familiarity with the advantages and limitations of virtual world production. 

Director and Video Editor:  A person who specifies the details of each shot (camera angles and distances) and edits the resulting video clips into a finished video.

Avateer: A person who manipulates avatars for performance on a virtual stage or set (for video capture in a virtual world).  By analogy with puppeteer.  The avateer will not usually provide the voice at the time of the video capture, but may speak the lines so the mouth movements will match the speech provided by a voice actor.
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Voice actor:  A actor who speaks a part, generally for a video or audio production.  The voice is captured in an audio file, either as a recording on Skype or via a program, such as Audacity, on the voice actor's own machine.  The voice actor will normally provide the speech in advance of the video capture.  The video and voice will be mixed by a sound engineer.
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Virtual world performer:  A person who performs "live" on a virtual world stage or venue.
"Live," in this case means that the person brings his or her avatar to the venue, controls the avatar as needed for the performance, speaks prepared text to the audience, and possibly interacts with the audience either by responding to typed chat or exchanging voiced conversation. Performers may perform music, speaking parts, stand-up comedy, interviews,
extemporaneous conversation, and other things yet to be developed.

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Voice Director and Engineer (VDE). A person who captures the voice of a voice actor delivering lines to go into the video.  (See: Voice centered shooting plan, not what you expect. AMP video notes.) The VDE may direct the voice performance to fit the needs of the video.   Normally, VDE will also serve as avateer for video capture of the spoken lines, operating the character avatar and delivering the recorded lines for the camera.  This practice allows capture of lip movements that exactly match the speech, even when the speaker is in close-up.   The video sound track is captured, but used only to mark the location of the speech for placement of the recorded speech.
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Sound Engineer.  A person who gathers or produces sound effect files as required by the script, manipulates and adjusts the sounds as needed, and places them in the appropriate location on a sound track. The sound track will probably be a separate audio file created by the Sound Engineer and containing only the sounds at the appropriate times. The Director and Editor will place the sound track in the editing file and adjust the timing as needed.
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Emote Engineer.  A person who creates emotional expressions for avatars.  These expressions are usually controlled by a HUD.  The Emote Engineer may need to be present when a scene is being shot to assist in selection of an expression.  
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Camera Engineer.  A person who manages video capture.  Has a high quality video card and is able to use a flycam controller to get smooth pan and zoom.   Keeps a record of sun position and windlight settings.  Works with director to establish shot angles and distances.  Captures shots and makes a preliminary evaluation of usability.  Labels captured files according to instructions (Coding for audio and visual files. AMP video notes) from the director. Stores an archival copy of each set file locally and uploads a copy to the shared production drive.  
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Animation engineer.   A person who creates animations specified by the script.  The Animation Engineer will work closely with the Director and Video Editor and may need to be present at capture sessions that require a lot of animations.  
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Particle engineer.  A person who uses the virtual world particle system to create special effects as required by the script.  The particle engineer may be needed on the set when shots require special effects.
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Virtual Worlds Expert.  A person with general skills in technical aspects of virtual worlds-scripting, building, lighting, windlight, etc.  
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Set designer, builder.  Expert content creator with experience at designing sets for video production.
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Scripter. Person skilled at writing and modifying scripts in general.  Will probably have a good collection of scripts in inventory.
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Avatar Media Productions is a project of New Media Arts, Inc.a nonprofit organization tax exempt under IRC 501(c)(3).  You may be able to deduct contributions on your tax return, depending on your tax  circumstances.
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News and Notes

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Newcomer Help in Virtual Worlds

Education

How to handle a Hypergrid address 

From any Hypergrid-enabled grid, paste the address into the address bar of Firestorm and press enter. Or paste it into the world map search bar of any viewer, search, and click Teleport when the destination is found. If it doesn't work, don't give up. Try again in couple of minutes.  Sometimes the first try fails (probably times out).  And try again a few hours later. Some hypergrid destinations are offline part of the day. 
If you get an address like this: 
 hg.francogrid.org:80:Residence-09:/119/128/190     
paste it into the address bar of Firestorm, see if it takes you to the exact coordinates. 

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Video-Machinima in virtual worlds
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