Tirzah Miller Avatar

Tirzah Miller Writing In Her Diary

The image above was created by the artist Emmanuel Bazin from Artifex Animation Studios in Montreal for our NEH proposal.  It is concept art, an early step in creating Computer Generated characters or Avatars to be used in the Oneida Community Digital Media Project.  The sources for this image are an archival photo of Tirzah from the 1860s, and digital images that we took in the preserved bedroom in the Oneida Community Mansion House.

We will use this and other images to create a virtual Mansion House in the 3D immersive world, Second Life.  The Mansion House will be recreated in Second Life based on blueprints, archival photos, written descriptions, and digital photography of the 93,000 sq ft Mansion House that exists today in Oneida, NY.

Characters like Tirzah Miller will be recreated in Second Life based on concept art like the image above.  We will create a website where a visitor will be able to watch the PBS documentary, called Heaven on Earth ~ Love and Conflict in the Oneida Community, with interactive features available, or by watching a trailer that introduces the visitor to the Oneida Community and provokes the viewer to explore the virtual Mansion House on their own, discovering expanded vignettes from the documentary, as well as new scenes and historical information not included in the PBS program.

Tirzah Miller wrote a very intimate diary, which Dr. Robert Fogarty edited and published as Desire and Duty at Oneida.  We will use this diary and numerous letters preserved at the University of Syracuse Library to recreate key scenes in Tirzah’s life in the Community.

We will use the same process to present ten other members of the Oneida Community, offering the visitor to the website an opportunity to learn about the history of the Oneida Community from multiple perspectives.

Images like the one of above will be a starting point to communicate to our team of artists in and out of Second Life what we wish to create in order to bring the characters and their stories of the Oneida Community to life.