Thursday, July 23, 2009

What *has* Nomasha Syaka been up to?

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

When it comes to virtual creations, I'm a snoopy gumshoe. I want to know what everyone's making, and especially a handful of people I keep track of at all times. For the past year I've been pinging "Anything new, Nom?" now and then, and not getting a straight answer. Just invoking the guy's name here with some news makes me happy, for Nomasha Syaka (rez: 9/13/2006) is the British creator of the poetic sculpted Icarus that I often rez at my own Chakryn, as well as the wacky blender where I take folks when we're up for a giggle. His in-world group I use my nose to type is worth joining for the name alone. He is also renown for his electric guitars, sculpted tigers and wolves, among other animals, but he has been suspiciously quiet for a long, long time.

So an IM from the owner of Blackwater Gallery Jurin Juran to say that she was dancing, and why, had the effect of a bottle of vintage champagne. It turns out that he has been making motion capture animations. Like a hundred of them! Fluid, fun, funny and lots of the oolala variety.

The first and most vital necessity was to dance... and obviously to speak with Nomasha.

Nomasha's sim, re-purposed and lovely

So... what have you been up to for the past year?

Nomasha Syaka: Getting these animations ready – they are very difficult to make and process. I made it my mission to produce better animations and I think for the greater part, I have. Most of the feedback I have received so far suggests this and I have been as obsessive about it as I was about making art objects in SL.

Did you have experience with mocap before?

Nomasha Syaka: None at all, nor with animation generally. Self taught. Though I use someone to process the data once it is recorded and he is a real expert.

How did you recruit your dancers? Did you dance, too?

Nomasha Syaka: Lol, my dancing would qualify for NPIRL. No, I use professional dancers always, recruited from London dance agencies.

Fruits and noobs and bears and all sorts of things zoom by and over the animation stands

How do you make mocap animations?

Nomasha Syaka: The dancer wears a special suit and multiple cameras record the dancer’s movement. These calculations are then transferred onto a computer character and a lot of processing has to be done by hand to ‘clean’ the information and make them suitable for Second Life®. The SL avatar skeleton is a freak, so you have to make a lot of adjustments for it.

You were among the first creators to provide Second Life's musicians with beautifully crafted guitars. Do you have music in your background? (There are over a dozen fabulous animations for guitar players, by the way). Why guitars?

Nomasha Syaka: No music background, at all. I learned the violin as a child for a couple of weeks, and then the teacher disappeared and was never seen again by anyone. Later on I learned the flute, but then the school's music building caught fire and burnt to the ground. Not a good history with music. I made the first guitar because I knew it would be difficult, as no one had made any decent ones at all.

I was relieved to discover that you've rezzed the Blender on the revamped sim. I would have been miserable if it had vanished.

Nomasha Syaka: My favorite build... never been sold.

Nomasha makes it possible for you to dance moving over and around a white tiger, via four different animations

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Are all your interests coming together with this new venture? Music, tigers, art, and now...

Nomasha Syaka: Time for some more sculptures, I hope!

Will there be a NPIRL category of dances?

Nomasha Syaka: When I record myself dancing – for sure.

You can teleport to Nomasha's Ministry of Motion from here.


nimil said...

nomasha is truely awesome :D i got the best xmas present in the world for my boyfriend from his guitar shop. his creations never cease to amaze me. we got an update for the guitar a few days ago and the new animations are awesome! but i had no idea he'd been up to so much.. time to go get more dances >:3

Monerda said...

Bettina isn't that tiger simply super? I wish I could afford it lol! But I did buy a great floor dance at Nomasha's tonight.
When you see him next, please ask him if he could do an updated Caramel dance. next to salsas and the tango that is my all time favorite dance.
And, oh yes his incredible build of Eric Clapton's "Blacky" is on my shopping list.


Monerda Skute