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Icons, Pseudonyms, and Avatars – Oh My!

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“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde Struggling to figure out why a workforce does not actively participate on an Internet-based forum, wiki, … Continue reading

Animations Make it Real…sort of

A virtual world avatar wielding a sword and dropping unconscious is not unusual,  more subtle movements sometimes are.  Standing at a podium and moving hands during a speech, nibbling on an apple or just sitting in a natural pose bring an avatar to life and make for a more engaging experience for participants.  Virtual worlds supply your avatar with standard poses, these can be adjusted or you can make your own using Poser (for purchase) or  Qavimator    (PC) or (Mac) , a free animation creation software application.  I highly recommend Danish Visions on Second Life classes at  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Danish%20Visions/126/119/24).   Tempest Jarman teaches the QAvimator class in voice in a patient, organized manner.  She is clearly an expertise in the use of the QAvimator software.

I conducted a webinar in Adobe Connect recently and a participant gave me feedback saying that I “neglected to use the video capabilities and that would have provided some connection,  audio is not enough”.  In a virtual environment there is potential for auditory, textual, and visual cues to impart a message.  Creating animations and then making them available provides natural movements for students and instructors on a virtual world.  Adding the animations to a HUD gives the participant the ability to change an animation for emphasis and realism at a specific time. Subtle animations like raising a hand, applauding, leaning back in boredom or nodding can help to convey a message to others participating in an event. I am considering filming my virtual world avatar for the next webinar I facilitate, I figure it may help get their attention and it could be fun.

You can download the free QAvimator software at

(PC) http://www.qavimator.org/

(Mac) http://referencethis.com/QAvimator-osx-universal-svn-2008-12-06.zip