Tag Archives: video

Basket Weaving at Çatalhöyük

I uploaded the above test clip for the longer machinima that I posted about a little while ago.  It took an immense amount of work to get this far, and this is only a tiny clip of a somewhat awkward avatar doing a single animation.  I used Jing for the video capture and downloaded Soundflower for the system audio redirect.

I think I’ve complained before about having a hard time finding a variety of avatars on Second Life.  Well, this lady is definitely in a different  mode than my usual avatar.  “Wearing” an identity like this one is deeply uncanny, and the reactions and perceptions of other people you meet in Second Life are absolutely different.  I decided to follow a fairly popular strain of visual interpretation at Çatalhöyük in dressing her as a goddess figurine in the bandeau that I made for a decidedly younger character.

Once again, the exercise of recreating this small scene raised more questions than it answered:

She’s weaving reeds, so it must be summer.  Were there cicadas?  Yes.  Why would she be doing this inside by firelight during the summer?  It would be excruciatingly hot and smoky.  What about her vision?  I’ve put her in a less than optimal situation for weaving, that’s for sure.   Why isn’t there anyone with her?  Could she hear other people?  Maybe sheep! We’ll add some sheep sounds. I think she’d be humming to herself.  But what sounds?

It’s a lot of interpretive responsibility, wearing these second skins.

“The Lost Tribes of New York City”

I’m not sure I’d title the project the same way, but I love what London Squared did with this film. I wonder if the filmmakers showed the result to the people they interviewed for the project and how the people felt about seeing themselves as objects in the landscape.  The filmmakers call themselves urban anthropologists, but their webpage doesn’t mention any formal training.

Still, I’m always looking for inspiration.  Even if I don’t have that kind of animation skills.

Eurydice’s West Oakland

So You’re an Archaeologist?!

This Wednesday after the scheduled brown bag lecture, there will be a
showing of “So You’re an Archaeologist?!”, a 20 minute long film made for
the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul exhibit,
currently running at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

This film was made by UC Berkeley PhD Candidates David Cohen and Colleen
Morgan and features interviews by many of their colleagues.

The film will start at approximately 1pm, after the scheduled lecture from
Alexei Vranich, and will be located in the Archaeological Research
Facility, 2251 College Building, Room 101.

Flip Video

I bought a Flip video camera to check it out for potential use in outreach and more cheap, on-the-fly video recording.  I like how small the thing is and it is really easy to use, but I think one of the most interesting aspects of it is the cell phone-like morphology of the thing.  People act very differently when they have video cameras pointed at them, and this (so far) seems to be less true with the Flip camera.  I like that it promotes more casual recording and it seems more resilient then most video cameras–perfect for on site.

One of the steep downsides is the gui that comes with it.  I played with “editing” inside of it and uploading videos with it, and almost immediately became frustrated with how obtuse it was.  I ended up importing the .avi files that it creates into Final Cut Pro, and editing them with my old, familiar tools.  The video quality isn’t great, but it’s better than most cell phone and digital camera video.  Jason, the site photographer at Catal, was playing with one of these over the summer, but I haven’t seen what he’s shot with it yet, so I can’t really compare.

I shot the above video while driving with Ruth to the Presidio, sped it up, threw a couple of transitions in and a snippet from Broadcast’s Poem of a Dead Song, just for kicks.  It took about 10 minutes, including rendering time.  Not too shabby.


The video quality on flickr leaves something to be desired.  I’m still trying to find the magic encoding/quality/upload computation.

…and I’m an Archaeologist.

A short clip from a longer video that we’re making for the San Francisco Asian Art museum. It’s the first time I’ve shot in HD, and it’s producing some problems between Final Cut Pro versions, but I’m struggling along.

Bronze Age Orientation Day

I’m late for April Fools, but I laughed harder at this than anything I saw yesterday.  Stolen from the comments at Archaeoastronomy.

Bronze is brilliant!