Posted by Bettina Tizzy
On Saturday, artist and creator Hern Worsley logged into Second Life® and joined 7 others for an in-world class on Autodesk Maya that he deemed “really excellent.” It was to be the first of three sessions for which he paid a total of $L16,200.
Maya is a powerful and expensive ($4,995 US dollars for the Unlimited version) and - by most accounts – intimidating software package given its robust and multi-layered/complex nature. It is considered by most creators I know to be the rockstar program for creating and exporting sculpted objects.
Importantly, the courses are focused on developing content for Second Life. “It was my first real experience with education in SL and it is exactly what I needed,” explained Hern. “The prices are not terribly expensive but reassuringly not cheap, if you know what I mean,” he added.
The courses are provided by Xenius Revere who worked with metaverse developer Electric Sheep for 1 ½ years as their resident Maya expert and also taught Maya for 3 ½ years at the University of Buffalo, NY.
Xenius, photographed by Xenius
Xenius has founded Xeniversity (teleport directly to their headquarters from here).
A tree at Xeniversity
At this point, Xeniversity offers two courses: Maya 101- An introduction to Maya modelling for Second Life at $L5,400 per two-hour session and $L16,200 for the full course; and Maya 102 – An intro to Maya texturing for Second Life at $L10,800 per two-hour session and $L32,400 for the full course.
Xenius shared that he built a business model that supports his costs plus allows for expansion. Also in development, a course on scripting for Second Life artists. “If you pro-rate out the cost of taking a class in a state university, versus Xeniversity, you are getting an incredible deal. Plus, all sessions are geared directly for Second Life content creation,” he said and added, “Second Life is a messy aggregation of a whole bunch of tools.”
“I think it does help if you’ve had some experience already with Maya. It is about technique and seeing someone doing it makes everything much easier. It is so obvious when you see it done, but you’d never get there so quickly by trial and error, and it’s like getting access to all the secrets,” continued Hern. “I’m very cautious about new things. I kind of need my hand held.”
Classes are conducted in-world, in voice and via the 2.0 web.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Posted by Bettina Tizzy