More cool web 2.0 tools!: xtranormal and Procaster

21 07 2009

Are you a budding, first time film maker who wants to leverage a free web 2.0 application to create short 3D comedy or dramatic movies using avatar-like characters?  Well, do I have the ideal application for you!

Last week I was introduced to xtranormal and within around 30 minutes had created a short scenario with some rudimentary animations.  This is not a replacement application for serious movie-makers but it is an excellent tool to test your creativity and to share your efforts quickly on Facebook, YouTube or MySpace.  As the front page advertises: “If you can type, you can make movies.”  There is a limited range of free scenarios but enough to practice and hone your skills before paying a monthly fee.

While I was experimenting with xtranormal, I was also investigating  another free web 2.0 application for live streaming video from Livestream.  I now have my own live channel from which I can broadcast my desktop, a video camera connected to my computer, a webcam stream, or a video game connected to my computer, all with 3D effects and high-definition.  You can also promote your stream on Twitter.

I installed Livestream Procaster and obtained my own live web TV URL.  I then ran a test where I was in Second Life undertaking some skills training and broadcasting my desktop.  My wife was able to view my desktop, listen to my comments, and chat with me directly via online chat.  This will be an excellent tool for demonstrating Second Life without actually taking someone “in-world” as an avatar, thereby alleviating any anxiety about how to move and operate within the virtual world.  I’m sure I will find numerous other uses for my internet TV channel.  This is a huge leap forward from 2D webcasting.

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