This is a shoutout to the man who created my favorite animation in Second Life... the unsung hero responsible for "lifting" avatars and sending more of us soaring than the Page Up button.
Last night I was reviewing an art installation that incorporated the animation - it's a perennial hit with artists - and suddenly it dawned on me: I had no idea who had made it. Shame on me! I rustled up my inventory and right clicked SkybornFly: Creator: YuzienBorn Janus. I'd never heard of him. Had you? Why, I'll bet that any Second Life resident reading this blog has one in his or her pantry. I hastened to contact him presto fasto.
Animators in Second Life strive so hard to emulate the graceful movements of real professional dancers through precision motion capture, but the animation I adore and would miss the most is my trans/copy SkybornFly. I know I've had it since January 2008 because I remember handing out copies of it like there was no tomorrow at Komuso Tokugawa and MoShang Zhao's fabulous realtime jam and prototype event: SynaesthAsia, captured here by Osprey Therian. You can see us using the SkybornFly beginning at 3:17 into this video or by clicking here:
YuzienBorn Janus got back to me today and I peppered him with questions:
I do believe this was the first "not possible IRL" animation on the grid. What possessed you to create such a wonder?
YuzienBorn: First? No. I saw a couple prior to mine. They were robotic, and lacked any human motion. You might have seen the zen-like hovering pose? If not, perhaps you have seen that straight up in the air 4m legs splayed thing that strippers still use. I feel I could claim the first *fluid* NPIRL anim.
It was my love of SL's electronic music culture that posessed me to make the skyborn animations. While there were many for dancing, for better or for worse, there weren't any that were really suited to a good downtempo or ambient sets (like Ribe Oh, or Transient Zeluco's). So avatars either danced (while showing appreciation, they looked silly), or just stood or sat there.
When did you create this animation?
YuzienBorn: Oh, my. I havent the slightest idea. If my inventory is correct, I made it exactly two years ago yesterday. Wow =)
Why did you decide to make it copy/trans? (Had he set it for sale, surely he'd be a virtual tycoon today!)
YuzienBorn: A combination of self-serving publicity, and self-serving competitive spirit: trying to out-do the other high-end developers that had released free products to the public. I also wanted to give a little something to the people, but that's prolly just because I was having an insecure moment and wanted attention. All selfish reasons ;)
How did you make it?
Have you created other animations?
YuzienBorn: Yes. Aside from the boring sitting animations I made for my furniture products, I made one I adore: The animation I made for my Pika-shoes (pikachu on your feet) took me 10 hours and syncs perfectly with the song that plays. It is deliciously retarded. There are some clips of it near the beginning of this video that 2ndThoughts Brando and I made about our little electronic SL subculture.
Side Note: In view of Linden Lab's bullying this week of a crown jewel in virtual education - and an organization that has made them look good time and again - I've decided to never add a damn registered mark after the words "Second Life" again. If they want to take down this blog, so be it. TYRANTS!!