Sometimes it’s late at night or early in the morning when we find these little gems on the Internet, while we are sleepwalking our way about. I was partaking in this activity tonight while looking for new information on Second Life and education (what else is new?). I happened upon probably the best example of a non-traditional use of Second Life that I have ever seen. It’s a tour of our solar system narrated by Amy Weber.
Now that I have seen it, I am certain that I know how they did it. But until I saw this video, I don’t think that I would have ever come up with this type of use for Second Life as an educational tool.
I am certain that this video was created with a large box with the inside walls painted black with a star texture applied. Inside of this box is a miniature model of our solar system. The planets and moons are animated with a simple rotation script. To film the video, the sun is illuminated and the avatar moves through the model recording from a first person perspective. For a good tutorial on illuminations, look towards the end of the Torley Advanced Snapshot Video that was posted to YouTube earlier today (educator warning: there’s a scantily clad avatar in the first part of the Torley video).
It all makes perfect sense when you see the video, but it must have taken one heck of a leap in creativity for the producer of this virtual tour to make this video. I can’t decide if the person narrating the tour of the solar system is a student or an adult. The musical score provides the perfect backdrop for the tour. I sat here in amazement while watching this video, as it’s really the first example of someone skewing the reality of Second Life to present something on a larger than life scale. I commented on this in my entry earlier today on “Second Life Not Overhyped….”
This is an excellent example of breaking out of two dimensions and the traditional book model (ie: pictures) and taking the student liteally into the subject matter. This movie is actually part of a larger presentation at the Earth System Research Laboratory website, in their Second Life section. If I had a rating system on this blog for this type of thing, this would have just received my highest honors. You have to go check it out.
In my haste to blog this discovery, I totally missed a link that will beam you directly to their island in Second Life. Awsome, simply awesome! I am off to see if I am right about how they made this model. See you in Second Life!