The first lesson was one I had been looking forward to for a while now, I just didn't know who it was going to come from. Jauani Wu has been working on a large scale project that he occasionally snapzilla'd, and I'd been on his case for the last few days about checking it out in person.
Well, last night he came through like a champ, and gave me the grand tour of a gorgeous recreation of a german castle ruin.
We must have wandered around the castle ruins for hours, as Jauani pointed out parts that were especially tricky or ingeniously accomplished. I pelted him with questions on everything from laying out the build to collaborating with others on a large scale project to the best way to get non-repeating textures into SL. We collectively moaned over the pain a builder feels when you've completed a project, but you still find little things wrong (that no one else but you will see). We finished up in his sandbox, so he could show me some neat tricks by modding a sphere with dimple and then changing it to a cube. Advanced Building, grad school edition. I learned more from J-Wu last night than I've learned from any one individual about creating structures in SL.
How many more building pimps would we have in SL if the advanced tricks were out of the bag? Granted, the vast majority of residents are concerned about getting the basic steps down, and then we just get out of their way while they go nuts; the people who care about building in SL as a craft and as an art will, I assume, eventually find someone willing to be the Yoda to their Luke. Its so hit and miss - I'm damn lucky that Jauani, for some reason, likes the stuff I build, and took the time to give me some one-on-one advanced tutorials. I'll remember his patience and his skill when I find myself in the Yoda position someday.
SO. Mind reeling from all the science that got dropped on it, I crawled back to my little island to try and digest what I'd just learned. I was feeling good. Damn good. Proud of myself, that Jauani thought enough of my skill to hook me up with more. Optimistic about the level I could take myself to.
AND THEN MAKAIO STYGIAN HAPPENS.
Makaio rented the other corner island on the sim I just moved to and popped over to say hi - at this point it was almost 6:30AM where I live, and he figured anyone working these "crackhead hours" must be cool enough to show some reaaaaally crazy music videos to. (PS I am that cool.)
Thinking I was all benevolent with myself, I passed him along some of the Gold Coast builds and waited for the oohing and aahing. Instead, he tells me that's pretty cool and then drops me photos of some of HIS work.
These are a small sample of the tons of genius Makaio pulled out on me last night. They really have to be seen to be believed.
His building and texturing were enough to get me going. When he started pulling out his scripted shit, my mind shut down completely and I started wondering how I could get a copy of his genetic code structure so I could make an army of Makaios to do my evil bidding.
This guy is better than I could hope to be. We worked out that we have our strengths - he says he doesn't do organic well, which I'd have to see to believe - but suffice it to say he's Cher and I'm Sonny.
Why doesn't anyone know this guy's name? Why isn't he making ridiculous bank? I've met people that claim to pull $13,000US from contract work in SL and they're punks compared to Makaio. I wish everyone that ever rhetorically sucked my dick over my builds could see Makaio's work. I hope he doesn't care too much that I'm continuing my slobbering fangirl gushing from last night over into this blog post. I told him I want to host a vendor for him at my shop in Bisque. (Actually the correct term would be "begged".)
I like Makaio. He's laid back. He'd never heard of Snapzilla. Probably hasn't ventured onto the forums more than once or twice. His SL is his SL and no one else's. He sells stuff to his friends. He makes stuff that amuses him. He's modest as hell and he's not in the popularity contest. Whenever he wants to be famous, he can be - he has the talent and the goods to back it up. He has the talent and the goods to make half the builders I know - the Upper Echelon - cry in their soup. Me included. I'm still sobbing. Which is good, because for a second there, I was starting to believe my own hype - and the second you do, you stop forcing yourself to get better.