Second Life Provides Virtual Empowerment for Independent Live Music

April 30, 2007

I read an interesting article in which describes how independent music artists are about to stamp their mark in Second Life.

As an avid independent music follower I find it interesting that the Avatars representing the band members will be controlled by Ninetendo Wii controllers in a concert streamed from a live video format as well as a presence in the virtual world.

We are looking forward to the day when the acceptable graphic formats are improved and ready for our 3D Walkthroughs and 3D Renderings.
Pop / Rock (2007-04-30)
Second Life Provides Virtual Empowerment for Independent Live Music
New York, NY. (Top40 Charts/ Sanctuary Records)
– NYC Indie band Buddahead described by CMJ as a cross between Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, and Verve, have teamed up with to provide a unique live music experience.
On May 10th, Buddahead will play a live set of new music from their upcoming sophomore release at The Canal Room, one of Manhattan’s first broadband wired clubs. The live audio and video streams from the concert will be streamed into the Morpheum and the Vesuvius Sims in Second Life. Second Life attendees can watch both live video footage of the show and the band’s avatars, which (in an experimental attempt) will be controlled by Nintendo Wii controllers.

“Second Life has emerged as a cutting edge way to merge technology and social media,” said founder Adam Broitman. Inspired by visionaries like C.C. Chapman and Jay Moonah who have leveraged technologies such as podcasting to further careers of independent artists such as Uncle Seth, Broitman thought it would be cool to do something similar leveraging another cutting edge technology.

“After viewing dozens of Second Life concerts, I wanted to up the style quotient and introduce events to people not aware of Second Life and Virtual Worlds at large” he added.

Second Life, owned by privately held Linden Lab of San Francisco, debuted in 2003. Basic membership is free once the Second Life software has been downloaded from, which also provides the tools for new members to create their unique avatars. Second Life also has its own currency – The Linden – that can easily be converted from U.S Dollars and provides purchasing power within this booming 3D world. To see Buddahead at Morpheum Sim is however free.

“Second Life is an amazing tool for indie music. Rather than having to deal with company executives or trying to find a vendor location to present new music, you can build your own and develop your own distribution method to thousands of new listeners,” says Nexeus Fatale, a Second Life DJ.

Fatale who is also a Second Life music promoter names Astrin Few, Frogg Marlowe, Cylindrian Rutabaga, Flaming Moe, and Jaycatt Nico as the most recognized and respected artists in Second Life, even though more mainstream artists such as Ben Folds, Suzanne Vega, and Duran Duran have also tried their hand at performing in Second Life The Second Life aspect of this show is taking place on Morpheum Sim, a Second Life island owned by Morpheus Media and created by The Vesuvius Group, an international collective of techy-creatives working together in Second Life on collaborative projects that make a difference. Morpheus Media, an Interactive New Media Agency with clients such as The New York Times and A&E Television Networks is backing the event as a case study of how to use emerging technologies in creative marketing.

“While social media is not a new concept, it is my contention that social media is beginning to be realized to a much larger degree in light of the growing appeal of 3D virtual spaces such as Second Life. As a musician and a media practitioner seemed like the perfect marriage of communications, technology, marketing, music and community. I challenge anyone to find a more exciting combination,’ says Adam Broitman the Director of Emerging Technologies at Morpheus Media.

New York Indie band Buddahead described by The New York Post as “Top Grade Rock” immediately signed on to perform at the first ever event. Kia, the bands frontman explains, “Having podcasters, bloggers, or MySpace fans, playing your music, writing about you, or adding you to their profile simply because they like the bands music is the highest and most respectful form of flattery. The greatest reason for taking part in Second Life or other emerging platforms is simply that it allows closer interaction with fans without any corporate involvement.”

“Besides,” Raman adds, “now I can have an avatar that is much cooler than me!”

Buddahead will be joined at The Canal Room on May 10th by Shock Radar, another indie New York band, and Ray Ellin, co-founder of comedy site Daily Comedy show., the company designed to help its members discover the best New York has to offer, has already signed on as an event sponsor.

Transforming 2D photos into 3D models

April 28, 2007

Here is an interesting post from ComputerWorld Blogs.
I had read about Microsoft’s version of the same type of service a few weeks ago. We have already started planning how this technology can be integrated into 3D Walkthroughs, 3D Renderings, and 3D Floor Plans to create an even more realistic final product.

By Ian Lamont on Tue, 04/24/2007 – 3:02pm
Courtesy of StumbleUpon, I happened across an interesting service called Fotowoosh that purports to turn 2D photographs into 3D models. The demo is very cool — check out the European street scene with the church and the tree, and you’ll see what I mean.

Further, if this technology (or one like it) can be integrated with other 3D modelling tools, the impact on a number of industries will be profound. Imagine a FPS game based on actual street scenes, a la Escape From New York. Or a virtual world based on real photographs from a specific time or place. Or a Web-accessible 3D real-estate demo created from standard digital photographs and a floor plan.

The Fotowoosh technology works by some sort of training scheme, according to the “About” page:

Mathematically, it is completely impossible to reconstruct a 3D scene from a single image. And yet when we humans look at a photograph, we see not just a plane filled with color and texture, but the world behind the image. How do we do it?

We believe that this amazing ability of humans comes from years of experience of living in a highly structured world, in which most scenes consist of vertical objects resting on a ground plane. Our insight is that if we can just figure which parts of the image correspond to ground, vertical surfaces, and the sky, we can often construct a simple 3D model of the scene. Our approach is to learn the structure of the world and the appearance of geometric surfaces from a large set of training images. We can then apply that knowledge to new photographs. If we can determine where the vertical surfaces contact the ground in the image, we can recover the depth of those surfaces (up to a scale), giving us a 3D model.

To create the final result, we simply texture map from the original image onto the model.

TechCrunch reports that Fotowoosh uses VRML, and also notes that Microsoft is working on a similar technology called Photosynth. However, when I tried the Photosynth demo (warning: bad installation and clunky UI) I was unable to discern any 3D effects in the images used. Rather, it looked like a way to navigate around a 2D environment pasted onto a set of coordinates existing in a 3D space.

Selling a home with video

April 27, 2007

On the heels of the four part series from Inman News here is a story that was released in today’s NY Newsday. While I believe that video will definitely gain popularity for marketing higher end homes I still maintain that the majority of brokers will continue to 360 visual tours, 3d walkthroughs, 3d floor plans, 2d floor plans and photos on the majority of their listings.

You Can Find the Full Newsday Article Here>>

What video production companies have to offer

April 26, 2007

Here is the last part of a 4 parts series from Inman News highlighting the increasing use of video on real estate property listings. I find it interesting that companies such as WelcomeMat have introduced a chaptering tool that lets agents highlight scenes they want buyers to see. This touches on one of the previous objections of using video as viewers potentially would have to sit through a 2-3 minute presentation before they could see the areas they were really interested in. I predict we are going to see the evolution of 3D Walkthroughs to a more interactive presentation.

You can find the Full Article Here>>>

Companies, agents break into real estate video

April 25, 2007

Here is an exerpt from an article in today’s Inman News exlaining how video is the new way to gain a competitive edge in the marketing efforts of real estate companies and agents.

Personally, I believe video will be used much more than it has been in the past due to the onlslaught of easy and inexpensive methods of posting video to the internet. However, I still think still think people want to see and interact with actual photos, 3D Renderings, 3D Walkthroughs, and 360 visual tours.

Part 3: Real estate technology buzz
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By Matt Carter
Inman News

Editor’s note: In an increasingly competitive marketplace, brokers and agents are trying new things to gain an edge. In this four-part series, Inman News offers a look at new tools available for Realtors, including online communication plug-ins, online video and single-property Web site marketing. (Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

Make them yourself or find somebody to shoot, edit and host ’em — but don’t miss out, believers say: video is an easy way to set yourself apart from the competition in real estate.

You don’t have to hire a professional or go to film school to make use of video. The ability to shoot video in digital format and edit it on a computer has turned the process into child’s play — literally.

But there’s more to it than walking through a listing capturing some footage and posting it on YouTube (no-no’s in this video: “blown out” sunlit windows and rooms cloaked in darkness; occupants and their possessions at every turn, and a heavy-breathing cameraman who gives the whole thing the atmosphere of a slasher flick).

With a little bit of effort, it’s possible to get good results shooting your own video. And there are a growing number of videographers who will do the work for you at surprisingly affordable rates. At the upper end of the scale, there are professional production companies capable of producing broadcast video that’s good enough for TV.

For the most part, agents and brokers are using video in two ways: to promote themselves, which brings them clients and listings, and to sell individual properties with videos that accompany listings.

Ellen Wasserstrom, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Bernardsville, N.J., had her husband shoot a video for prospective clients, plugging her experience and marketing skills.

The video — accessed by clicking the “meet Ellen” button on Wasserstrom’s home page, is not slick. She and her boss are filmed against window blinds and a blank wall, and a distant microphone picks up the sound of their voices reverberating around the room.

But the video gets its point across, and Wasserstrom says clients have taken note.
Read Full Article Here>>

Virtual World Websites Looking more like Actual Real Estate Sites

April 22, 2007

It seems that almost all of the “virtual worlds” that are popping up offer the opportunity to make real money investing in virtual real estate. I find it interesting that some of their websites are actually being designed more and more like “real world” real estate sites. Here is an example>

It seems like it would make sense for to put down the monopoly board and get into the virtual game.

Virtual World Websites Looking more like Actual Real Estate Sites

April 22, 2007

It seems that almost all of the “virtual worlds” that are popping up offer the opportunity to make real money investing in virtual real estate. I find it interesting that some of their websites are actually being designed more and more like “real world” real estate sites. Here is an example>

It seems like it would make sense for to put down the monopoly board and get into the virtual game.