How To Make Recordings in Second Life

27 02 2012

Colleagues have asked me how I create inworld recordings. I had already posted my early trials and tribulations on my first virtual blog (http://educedge.edublogs.org/category/how-to/page/2/) but I have not used that blog space in several years, and in re-reading what I posted, I realize that many things have evolved making the process a bit easier. I have not produced a film with a creative storyline or staged any cinema scenes in a long time. What I can offer here, though, is my experience with recording and archiving a live talk show, hosted on CAVE Island in Second Life. I suspect that since the software I use is web-based, this technique would work with any virtual platforms (video games, virtual worlds, …). I work on a PC, so this post would have to be adapted to anyone using a Mac.
Here are my steps:
1) Create an account on Livestream (free): http://new.livestream.com
2) Download Procaster
3) Watch what this kid does. His tutorial is quick (less than 3mns) and clear.

4) Click on Preferences to make sure that you are recording your desktop screen and not from your webcam.
5) Before I click “Broadcast”, I open my SL client.
6) I resize my SL screen so that the Procaster window is on the right side of my desktop screen, and not in my SL screen.
7) Click on “Broadcast”. Now you are broadcasting live your screen and your audio.
8) A Procaster UserInterface bar will appear at the bottom of my screen. So I resize my SL screen so that only the SL screen shows up in the broadcasting brackets.
7) When I am done broadcasting, I click “stop” on the bottom UI bar. Procaster will then ask me to delete or record the broadcast. I type in the name of the show, and click on “Save Recording”. Go slow because there is no recovering a show if you click on delete.
8) Then click on the Livestream logo (which directs you to your livestream account, click on My Account > My Channels > Studio > Video On-Demand. There you can select your latest recording, listen to it and make sure that it is alright. From there you can also choose the embed code or download.
9) Click on your account name, and this will get you to your public channel page. There you’ll have the url to the latest recording.

Here is the ARVEL Channel on Livestream that I’ve been managing for the ARVEL SIG: http://www.livestream.com/arvelsig
You can also embed the Channel on your Ning: http://arvelsig.ning.com/page/livestream

My Tips:
1) Because I do not want to do any post-editing, i click on “Broadcast” only when I am ready to screencast to the world. Everything that happens from then on is broadcasted and will be recorded and published as is.
2) I always use a headset to limit environmental noises outside the computer, so that the software records only what comes from inworld. This also means that I mute my mic once I am done introducing the guest speaker.
3) I manage the broadcast on livestream and the hosting inworld simultaneously, which means that I also login in SL with my admin avatar on my laptop, also with a headset plugged in (thanks Liz Dorland/Chimera Cosmos), to mute all external sound. Now I can have one avatar doing the hosting, and the other busy with the recording. This allows for a freedom of camera view when necessary from the admin avatar (security and other land permissions), and from the hosting avatar (changing camera view for a more interesting broadcast and recording).
4) You can also encourage your online listeners to type in their comments in the chat room on Livestream, that you can forward inworld to your discussion table. It makes for an outstanding mixed media experience.
5) Finally, know that because this is a free account, there is an ad starting at the beginning of every recording that you’ll make. You’ll have no choice over that.
6) Finally, Finally, I noticed that I must move very often the avatar on the computer I use to livestream otherwise the video gets recording in several short ones. There is no loss of video or audio, but it’s a bit annoying to start a new video to get to the next segment of your talk show recording…i’ll let you know if or when i find a solution to that.

I do not suggest that this is the best way to record live shows, but this is the way that works for me. I would be very pleased if you want to share your preferred tips, tricks and software to create recordings inworlds.

This movie camera icon is yours when you share your tips here in the comments! Thanks.

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4 responses

27 02 2012
sabinereljic

Excellent question from Shailey: “How do you take care regarding the consent? Has any participant/speaker ever expressed observations about the recording?”
I admit to not having a formal system besides reminding the guest speaker that the talk show will be broadcasted on and to the world wide web via Livestream and that the hour will be recorded and published also on the ARVEL Channel in Livestream. Similarly, the talk show SL chatlog will be saved, archived and posted on the ARVEL Inworld Discussion page. Still pictures of the show will be taken and posted as well. The audience is encouraged to take and post their own pictures of the event, as well as make their own chatlog save.
A TOS of sorts is posted at http://arvelsig.ning.com/page/inworlds-discussions, to inform potential guest speakers and attendees.

27 02 2012
sabinereljic

I suspect that it would not be very complicated to have a written acknowledgement of such arrangement, such as an email exchange between guest speaker and Event Host. As well as a copy and paste of the session’s “TOS” into the chatlog window that repeats what is orally said at the beginning of the session. What do you think?

29 03 2012
sabinereljic

Here’s the Procaster user guide if you need more info: http://www.livestream.com/userguide/index.php?title=Procaster

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