A GUIDE TO BEGINNING FILMING IN SECOND LIFE PORN
( With screen shots from our movies to give you a break now and again! )
In the last paragraph i suggested the best way to insure you're always cast and getting regular movie roles was to make the movies yourself and become a director.
I started in 2010, shooting a movie in a skybox i made at my club. I'd seen Amykitten's movies around 2009 and thought they were very cool. I put the project on the back burner and came back to it and finally did it in the summer of 2010. Probably like you i thought it was beyond me and it was too hard. But the truth is, if you can frame a decent photograph in Second Life, you can become a movie director.
What you'll need to film SL Porn.
First off, you'll need "Fraps" click here, and get the free trial version. it's what the vast majority of SL directors use to capture video in SL. And it's probably the simplest bit of software you'll ever use. I don't believe the trial version has an expiration date, it just has limited features compared to the full title. So you can begin your directing career just with a free Fraps program.
How to use Fraps.
go about your SL in the usual way. Start up fraps. In the tabs along the top of the fraps box, Select "Movie" and then select the destination folder you wish to send your clips to. And if you have an average or below average PC or laptop, select the 30 FPS option on the right of the box. If you have a super computer ( you lucky thing! ) the sky is the limit and you can set it to 50 or 60 FPS. Then reduce the fraps box. Once you've reduced it, It will display yellow numbers in the top left corner of your SL viewer. I have seen very decent SL Porn movies shot at 15 FPS, and know many directors who manage on this lower end. If you have high end software such as "Sony vegas" or "Adobe Premiere". You can also "Fix" slow frame rates to some extent, by "Speeding Up" the video, and experimenting with that.
Now frame the scene you wish to film, just as if you were going to take a snapshot in SL. If it's a sex animation, or dance, watch the whole animation through its sequence and make sure you have your scene nicely framed for the whole duration of the anim. Once you're satisfied you have it, simply hit "F9" on your keyboard. This turns the numbers at the top left of your viewer red . Red numbers means you are now recording video files in Second Life, and they will be saved in the folder you selected earlier. ( make sure you have no gestures attached to the F9 key or you'll maybe do a chicken dance or shout whoohooo instead of filming. ) Keep going until you have all the scenes and clips you want. It's as easy as that.
Editing Your Movie.
If you're a windows user you will have "Windows Movie Maker" on your PC or Laptop. If you use a Mac i belive you have IMovie? But whatever you have you already have editing software right now sitting on your machine. If you don't have it then you should be able to go and get your free copy, just google it. Some great movies have been produced on these free editing suites. My Sexiest Award for best director and sex scene came from a movie edited in Windows Movie Maker.
Most editing software is set out in the same way. You'll see an import option for you to bring in all your clips you shot with Fraps. Below the space allocated for your clips you'll see a time line ( a row where your clips will go ).
You simply add your clips to the time line by dragging and dropping, in the order you want them to run in the movie.
( Sorry mac users, my writing regarding editing software is all windows based. but I'm sure imovie is very similar. )
If you watch any RL movie or TV show you'll notice scenes do not abruptly run into each other. One way to avoid this is to fade, or transition between your clips. In windows movie maker where you see "Time line" bottom left, you'll be able to switch to "Storyboard" this also shows you the movie you're building in a linear row of clips, but it's in thumb nails, and you'll also notice smaller boxes between clips. These areas are for your transition effects, which you can drag and drop into place.
On the left of your movie maker window you'll see "Transitions" and "Effects", click one and you'll see a large selection available to you.Clicking on one and watching the preview window screen will show you just how they will look on your movie project. Transitions cover fades, wipes, and blends you can use to take things smoothly from one clip to another. Effects give you more artistic input.
I'd suggest using the "Ease in" and "Ease Out" effects on some scenes it can make things dynamic and interesting to have your scene being zoomed into, or out, without you having to have moved the camera during filming. The software can do it for you. Effects on a clip can be achieved by dragging and dropping the effect onto the video clip.
Transitions and effects in software are a matter of personal taste. But handled well they can add a lot to a movie. My advice is, don't go crazy with every novelty transition and effect. maybe use a more elaborate transition between locations in a movie, or fresh scenes, but just use a simple fade between shots in one sequence. You don't want to distract too much, but a well chosen transition wipe can introduce a new part of the movie nicely.
Planning And Shooting A Movie.
My advice is try and have a concept, or a story of some kind. An example is my first ever movie. It was 99% sex. But i thought, why is this girl having sex for 99% of this movie? Then i just added some text at the start to say she was lost, on the wrong side of town, and escorted her way to her cab fare. This is not an elaborate story, but it gives the movie a little more than just another sex flick.
So keeping things simple like that is ideal for your first movie.
What if your PC or Laptop is less than great?
Many people say to me i want to direct, but my pc is terrible, my hard ware is not good enough. Well, my advice is go and get fraps anyway. Start it up, and just go about your SL. Take note of what the yellow numbers say. The ideal number of course will be a yellow number 30 in the corner of your viewer, this will give you nice smooth video, at the TV standard for the USA, or NTSC video as it's known.
You'll soon find out that enclosed spaces, or skyboxes give you higher FPS yellow numbers. Higher Frames Per Second (FPS) is the goal of any director in SL. This is because you're helping your computer along, by not having it draw a whole sim or ocean. If you're laggy, a more simple environment is better. If you only call on your computer to draw a skybox interior at 1000m in the air in SL and not a stunning beach which draws on your graphics then you can find things become possible.
Another useful tip is do not aim too high. We all would love to shoot in amazing HD video. But if your computer is struggling, screen size will also create lag. If you aim to produce DVD quality movies, you'll be shocked at just how small you can make your Second Life window. 720 x 480 pixels is the standard for U.S DVD pictures. You can select to export your movie from Windows Movie Maker as a DVD size. That represents a very small screen on SL. So reduce your screen by half, it will be bigger than a DVD picture, and your FPS will increase by up to a third. Sometimes this alone takes you into the perfect zone with the FPS all the way to 30 FPS or at very least 20-30 and a workable amount.
before you embark on your shoot, experiment also with various viewers. many find the Phoenix viewer gives faster FPS for example. Experiment with viewers and locations and dial in the best mix for your movie shoot.
You can also get a whole bunch of extra RAM to make you PC or laptop run SL better, by turning off many features of your operating system. If you go to control panel, then System > Performance > Adjust Visual Effects. You'll find you have the option to select "Adjust For Best Performance" this will leave your operating system looking like Windows 98! However, all the RAM your PC was using to run those pretty Vista or Windows 7 effects is now free to be unleashed on your filming and running Second Life.
How To Shoot It All.
I believe the free Fraps edition has a time limit of clip length you can record. Of around 20 seconds. Things may have changed since i used it. However 20 seconds is a good length clip. If you have everything lined up and ready to go the moment you hit F9 and start recording.
A whole movie of clips up to 20 seconds can produce a nicely paced and exciting end product when edited together.
When shooting sex scenes, if you like an anim and it all looks great then don't waste it, explore all the angles, recording it from various angles does not mean it's repetitive, you can show the same anim in many different ways, zoomed in up close, or a wide shot taking in the whole scene. You will produce the best possible scenes if you take the time to explore every anim properly with your camera, finding the best possible angles.
Alternate angles can also hide things such as animations being off or out of alignment. So take your time. Do not shoot the first thing you see!
Plan ahead too, shoot scenes with later effects in mind, such as the "Ease In" or "Ease Out" effects i mentioned before. A wide shot with the "Ease In" effect applied can mean you get a very professional zoom without touching a camera, letting your software do the work.
An important thing to do is watch TV. But don't just sit back and enjoy like usual. Really, really look. Take note of how the pro's edit and shoot. Try to emulate as much as you can. Timing, pacing, camera movement, shot selections, and transitions etc. You'll start to see many differences between RL productions and some of the SL video you thought was terrible. Now you'll know why it was so bad, and you can avoid making your own!
To Finish Up.
I could write until next Christmas about shooting movies in SL. Once you begin, if you're serious and interested and creative you'll be always improving and evolving. learning and developing. There is much much more than I've covered here. This was aimed at getting you started. Nobody minds passing on tips and helping others in our community if they can. So ask away if you're stuck, listen to more experienced directors and you'll improve some more.
The best advice i can give is do not rush, plan everything, make it as good as you can. Everybody will respect you if you have done your best i promise you. Others involved can spot effort and creativity a mile off, no matter where you sit on the learning curve.
So, if you truly make something you are proud of, with all the effort involved you will entertain us all!
Here is my first ever movie production. Hope you enjoy. :)