Think Big, go Micro

We all know the problems with region crossings in Secondlife. Especially the sailing community has this issue at the top of it’s list of annoyances. There might be a little light on the horizon though.

Since a few months, ‘micro-avatars’ are becoming popular in SL. These small avatars, predominantly the foxes made by Thrice Skyward, are even smaller than the wellknown ‘tinies’ and hardly reach up to a normal-sized avatars ankles.

Another benefit they have over traditional tinies, is that their joints are all scaled in proportion, so that normal animations will work for them. This means that a properly scaled boat, with only a little adjustment to sit position and speed scale factors will be rather easy to create for them.

Will micro-avatars be the solution that helps the sailors overcome the problems with the region crossings? With boats scaled to a size where a single region suffices for a race, no more crossings would be needed. And: think of the enromous cost-reduction that could be achieved if we manage to shrink our private sailing estates to just 25% of their size or even less…

Eta Carver editing a RC boat that would fit Liv’s micro-avatar well..

And that is right what is going on now! Eta Carver, well-known  by now for her RC versions of sailboats that were brought out in recent weeks, is working on a micro-BBK. Soon we will be able to race these, maybe in a fleet that also features the Remote Controlled BBK’s. That’d be a hoot,.. Micro’s versus Remote Controls!!!

Ides Taurog and Liv Leigh testing the Micro-BBK’s

Friday 16-03-2011: Test pilots Ides Taurog and Liv Leigh took off to help Eta Carver with her prototype. What initially seemed like a simple job soon turned out to be much mroe complicated than anticipated. Not only did scaling the BBK and it’s physical attributes, it’s pose’s offset and other properties turn out to be harder than expected, also the micro-avatar’s scaling of poses turns out to work a little different in practice than anticipated. New poses had to be designed as well. Meanwhile Anzac Mosely worked on a RC boat that we can see in this picture as well.

Left to right: Ides Taurog, Eta Carver, Ansac Mosely, Liv Leigh

With new poses being made and much other unexpected weirdness at the microscopic level solved, at the end of the day Eta Carver did end up with 2 very decent beta’s. The prospect is that the beta for the ‘Micro-BBK’ will be up for auction to it’s first happy customer at the Japan Earthquake Donation event tomorrow.


2 responses to “Think Big, go Micro

  1. Cherry Muffin

    I have sec fox and enjoy the micro (craz or whatever0). i have eta’s boat and also the bbk rc one. is it possible for micro fox to sail the rc bbk?

    when in micro mode how can i take decent pictures in SL?

    I have built a micro space ship for Sec Fox and modified one of the free airplanes in SL for micro fox. i would be interested in learning about blogs , forums, etc supporting micro Fox etc

    thanks Cherry

    • The RC version of the BBK and the Vanguard will suit the dimensions of a micro avatar, however they do not include the right animations and offsets for them, so they would not be suited to sail in in an elegant manner. There are special micro versions in development. Next to Eta Carver, also Charlz Price has micro sailboats.

      As far as I know the micro-BBK is not our yet. But If you want to know the details, better IM Eta Carver directly. She is also working on a micro version of the Vanguard boat, which will be very pretty.

      As about making pictures: what I do is basically the same as I do when sailing with a regular avatar. I use the alt key and press my left mouse key to select a point to pan-zoom around. Then I move the mouse until I get a nice point of view. You can also use the arrow keys while keeping alt pressed, but you will find that rotating around the micro avatar does not go easily this way. It is best to pick a center point on the boat and then zoom for a good shot.

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