Saturday, May 19, 2007

----Last Updated November 1st, 2014----


It all began the day I bought myself an internet connection in 2003.
Before that time, I had tried as many artistic techniques as I could, from drawing to stone sculpting, calligraphy, painting, photography, printing and clay modelling.
I also had years of Roleplaying behind me, ones with crazy dice and Character Sheets, and each of my characters was fully embodied and described by drawings all on the same scale, with their vehicles, the floorplans of their homes and much more.

Also, being French, as a kid, when I was seven, we went living in England with my parents, for my Dad s job for a year, that taught me English and even if it s not perfect by far, it really helped me a lot as you can imagine.

Since I was born, as far as I can remember, I always held pencils in my hands and after years of learning anatomics and perspective, I even became for a time a drawing teacher in an Art School in Paris. Would you like to see some more of these early creations, here is a link to my Instagram gallery where i try to archive the few ones i have left from that time that are still visible.

Later I had to move to Brittanny, the western part of France, in a quite remote area where artistic professions were far from easy to find...

Then, I discovered computers and the first games attracted me soon. I experienced my first 3D when Quake was patched for 3DFX and I knew I wanted to do something like that, but times had not come yet for me.
I became a night receptionnist in a hotel near where I live in France and soon was able to buy myself the modem that would change my life forever.


My first virtual incarnation was a young Egyptian in A Tale In The Desert named Ytiliann. The desire to build things was already in me and it didnt take long before I began building something that had never been done before me, a colossal statue of an enlighted human kneeling named Initiation.
This project took me weeks of gathering the raw materials along the Nile and I even had to build a village to be able to transform them.
It was the first time I could create something that people from all over the world could look at the same time, and talk with me, tell me they liked it, make me feel more of an artist than I had never felt in real life. Initiation was a total success amongst my fellow Egyptians and it gave me the will to do even more impressive, so I began the Pharaoh Colossus project, dramatically increasing my little village into a town I named Tanis, by the name of an ancient city that was where I built it, in the real world, in the Nile s delta.
After a while building my Colossus of Pharaoh, I had a little fame amongst the oldbies of ATITD, some even posting articles on the internet that made me feel happy and proud.
I gathered Slate in the fresh mud of the Nile boarders, grew Papyrus throwing the seeds into the Nile to let them germinate, exchanged goods and even pillaged an abandonned village but in the end, after two months of efforts and hard work, Pharaoh would stand there in all his powerful beauty, smiling at his people near the Kitchens of the Nile.

After I had achieved this, I felt the need for more ease in the process of doing things in a virtual world, gathering the ressources was long, I had to find some other place where things would be more ergonomic.

Almost There.

After some internet searching I had two choices at hand, first was Second Life, which I downloaded and installed, created an account and launched it to visit. This world was strange, you could design your avatar as you wanted it. I went for Blue. People were having fun falling on the ground faking death, and you could wear attachments if you had enough inworld money to support 10$L per primitive in your gadjet, detach and you had your money back. That was a very laggy world, and a very strange one too as there seemed to be no goal, this is why I gave a chance to the other choice.
There was more conventionnal, more like a Sims, with nice cartoony graphics, some fun physics engine that allowed racing with buggies and other vehicles, some very cute dogs and there even was voice to chat in real time.
To create an original Avatar was a bit hard as options were few, but I came out with some very nice black man that went by the name of YadNi.
YadNi had been my real life art
ist name for the last few years when I still used real brushes and pencils. It is a combination of two names, Yad and Ni. Yad comes from the Hebrew root of my first name David, which is Yaddad. Ni is an early nickname my parents used to give me when I was still a baby, they called me Mister Ni, probably because it is the first sound I ever produced lavishly.
In There I soon fell in love with the decoration possibilities of what they called a Paz or Portazone, some perimeters you would drop on the ground to claim that area, that would hold more objects the bigger they were, and for which you payed a fee to maintain them here.
After visiting the whole map, I decided to settle down on Nada Island and chose a nic
e spot with a view. There were little hills all around and I dropped my first Paz to decorate it, Garden Gnomes were cheap and I created the Gnome Hill, which was so fun to see it soon became popular and the official site used this picture for a very long time even after I left the game to advertise the fun you could have.
This encouraged me to enter a
shopping frenzy to build an even better Paz that would become my home in front of the Gnome Hill. I wanted something that would look comfortable but without looking badly adapted to the environment of this beautiful island, and as I learned the ways of There, I decided to also share here my knowledge with help books that other people could come read at my place.
At that time I also founded a new group that was named
The Permazoners, as a polemic was running along about people like me who would settle anywhere on the map and begin to build and I wanted to unite all the builders of good taste for us to be able to share our visions of pleasant places. Permazoners became a successful group in the times and the most talented builders were all part of it.
And my Home Paz became a place to chill, it was great, people would come here just for pleasure, my place was Living.
After six months in There I felt
limited, the creative process in this game was a pain, and was expensive, I needed more freedom and one day I was really bored I remembered this strange place where people were having fun playing dead, where you could have a blue skin, and i now had a better computer, I did not know it yet, but in fact, I was preparing for a major step.

A New Life.

When I joined Second Life, my first
choice was to take a family name into the list, and there was this french word meaning "World" that was so much the conception I had of the Internet, I became YadNi Monde.
And I logged in, knowing exactly what I wanted my Avatar to look like as I had already tried the Avatar customization tool six months earlier, YadNi Monde had to be a Blue person again, I wanted to be different from most, to be so unique in my look that people who would see me once would recognize me the second time, even from afar. And before to quit Newbie Orientation Island, I was already the early form of the character I am now.
This 30th of March 2004, I had a whole new
world to explore and this time I was going to have fun.

First Land, First Emotions.

At that time you could become a land owner of a 512 m² for free apart from the 512 $L to claim it. This is how I 
arrived in Leda and got my first land in the corner of the sim.
The grid wasnt as extended as it is nowadays a
nd you still could visit it all within a few days, and that is what I did. My first discover was to find Freebies, those things made by other players, set free to Copy, Modify and Transfer, and they were scattered all over the world.
After a week of travels, I had gathered what to me
was the best SLclopedia to learn how things were made, I had sorted them by Genre in my inventory and I thought to myself it was a pity no place in SL would distribute them all in a single spot. The concept of the Junkyard was born, and from then on I worked to transform my little plot of land into what is now a reference amongst thousands of residents.But during my exploratory travels, I had not only found freebies but also places of inspiration and I had marvelled in awe at the creative possibilities of SL when i stumbled on some purely Genius works by other residents.
This is how I became for a while this littl
e Yellow Robot you can spot on the above picture, this was a creation of Marcos Fonzarelli, founder of ArmorD who is a Master at Avatar creating.
Eddie Escher was probably the second person in SL to peel
my mind with his building skills when i flew over the Home of the Wood Elves he had designed with his beloved Fallingwater Cellardoor, here is the Council Room as it was when I first saw it. Another person s work kept my breath away when I saw it, and it was Starax Statosky s sculptures. His Art was sensible, humorous and full of beauty and strenght and here is a picture of one of his works that touched me to the deepest. And of course, this chapter would not be complete without mentionning my Master, Mentor and Friend Lumiere Noir who created the allmighty Ivory Tower Library Of Primitives, the best building tutorial that has ever been made in all worlds, an endless source of tips and tricks for building in SL.

First Steps: First Freebie Place in SL History.

The beautiful Misty Rhodes used to organize her famous Misty s Free Raffles each day, where everybody used to go, it was the the place and event where the whole world would gather and where I made my very first Linden Dollars and met the hottest persons in SL. It was a time where the world was small and where it was easy to meet the important persons who had a true involvement in the evolution of the grid. My eyes and mind full of these wonders and badly wanting to also contribute, I prepared my very first boxes of Freebies and created the shelves I would drop them on for each and everyone to profit from my sharp sense of organization.
This is how the 6th of April 2004, I officially opened YadNi s Junkyard with it s very first Release of Freebies, the first ever place of it s kind in Second Life, copied but never equaled since then by others.

I was one week old.

First Avatar Experiments.

The first thing I got interrested in was Avatars, the ability to create any body shape, skin, attach linked prims to so many points was truely amazing.

My first attempt was a Goblin shaped avatar, I had made it by transforming an antique freebie one named Frog Prince, by Ryan Linden, that had a nice skin for my purpose, it became my first own freebie in the Junkyard of course.

My Second attempt I took another freebie called Large Monkey, by Taylor Thompson, it was a linkset of a monkey of huge size, I first brought it all back to a reasonable scale, then unlinked it and relinked it by body parts and attached those to a smallest body shape and thus created my first freebie prim avatar while understanding the basics well. Very soon, Little Monkey Avatars were running around the whole grid for a while.

First Parties.

Ok, Second Life was a little world, still, as small as it was, there already was a certain part of this little society that was even more freaky than the others, and those people united under Darko "Papi" Cellardoor and Paris Cellardoor s Reign of Cool to gather together for frenzy parties at the Cannabis Cathedral. This was a building by Juro Kothari for the Cartel De Juarez Group.
Here was the Nest of the Freaks and I was invited ;-) I remember at that time, during the parties when everyone was typing jokes and I was french and unused to so much speed of talk, whatever I did I always ended lost and smoked another one! Cholos Por Vida, One Love!!!

First Prims: First Dragon Avatars in SL History.

Now was time to create something cool and new, something that I could sell and that would be totally original and unseen yet in SL. So did I begin to play with the Prim Edit and Creation Menu, trying all possible options and sliders to see what they could do, and visiting Lumiere Noir s Ivory Tower Library of Primitives again and again to learn more deeply what was possible.
There are two events in my early secondlife that inspired my fir
st creation, the first was a freebie four legged avatar by Cubey Terra, the Zebra, that was a wonderful way to use attachment points and even if the primworks on it was a bit light, the concept itself had some wonderful potential. The second thing was an outfit the lovely Vampyr Queen Sukkubus Phaeton weared one day at some fashion contest with some sorts of prim veils that literally cut my breath when I saw her laughing out loud and those veils moved with her body as they were attached to her shoulders.
This is how the concept of m
y first avatar suddenly striked me in the face, I was going to build a Dragon Avatar, four legged, with huge prim wings, using all possible attachment points, and there I was gone into the creative process, spitting my first prims like a mad man in a trance.
Of course, as I was only the owner of a little 512m² terrain, I was cruely limited to an absurd 117 prims that became quite an obstacle when I came to build the head of my monster. Luckily for me, at that time, the neigbhor sim was owned by Draxxon Twilight who had there a splendid Maya Pyramid and who allowed me to build my dragon head on his land.
And after a week of feverish work I had it done, it was there, it was big, it was yet unseen in SL, it was the First Dragon Ever in Second Life, it was the Earth Dragon, soon followed by it s variant, the Fire Dragon
and they were literally a Hit, winning Avatar Contests everywhere, making me famous for my craziness, I was a happy designer loved by the Community.
And of course, with my true passion for the Blue color, I soon came out with an even more wild version
with animated water texture skin that was fitting with my character, the Water Dragon.
I was 15 days old and it was the first time in any life I felt truely happy because so many people loved what I could do.

First Home.

I needed to separate my Freebie place from my Home and Store of Avatars, but to do so, I had to expand my Lands. I needed money to do so and at that time, GOM or Gaming Open Market used to have an exchange for all the virtual games possible, and as I had gone crazy with shopping in There, I resold almost everything and transferred the funds into SL, so I was rich enough to get more Land.
This is how I acquired my first paying land on the other side of Leda and built my very first building to have a home upstairs, and my store on the first floor.
I named it "Full Body Replacement" or FBR and began
creating all sorts of crazy avatars. My direct neigbhor to the Junkyard, Rynox Zapata, also decided to expand, but in another sim, so he resold me his 512 plot and I expanded to a nice 1024 m², giving me more room and even allowing me to do public events without being squeezed like sardines in a tin can.

First Scripted Avatar.

The Junkyard being my ressource of knowledge, I began to dig through the scripts I had there, starting with Ama Omega s particle script and tweaking it gently to see the results. This is how I understood the color system based on RGB values and was finally able to compile parts of scripts together to make a color change on command with all the eight basic colors, Red Green Blue Yellow Cyan Purple Black and White.
And to use it well I started a new avatar, a Vintage Robot looking like early scifi ones in the 40s, almost a TinMan, with rivets and glass pipes. It was a funny looking avatar.
And a few months later, I was asked if it was possible to use it for a webcomic, that was enchanting and of course I agreed, this is how my humble vintage bot became the famous Crash in Plywood The Webcomic. Thanks to Nathan and Monica, it s a thing to create an avatar, but it s even better to see it be given a personnality like they did.
You can still read it entirely HERE, hopefully, Nathan saved it before the original official website was closed.

First Muse.

I had met her in There and she joined SL soon after me and so we met back here around half June 2004. She had a lovely red haired avatar and we spent time together, a lot =) Solace Lightcloud is the first person for who I built and she knew how to inspire me. We used to chill for hours, dreaming at my Home on carpets and cushions, listening again and again that record from John Lennon, Imagine.
She soon bought a little terrain of her own, the usual start
er 512, and I designed her first home, that goes by Sol s House and is now a Freebie at my Junkyard, because she soon needed more land and the next building wouldnt be so prim limited.
She wanted some Fantasy Castle and it had to be me building it. This was my first big build and it had a lot of little secret areas once done. One
advantage I have, for such buildings, is I am French, you know, here in old Europe, we have old stones and medieval buildings all around, we grew surrounded by them, so when I am asked to build some castle, guess what, it looks like it ;-)
This was the beginning of my builder career. I was two months old.

First Building Contest.

Lumiere Noir was organizing regular building contests in Natoma and I decided I would try that, as I have had some good success in Avatar Contests. This is how I found myself in a Gazebo Contest.
Totally inspired by Solace, I entered a Gazebo of very subjective style, with statues kissing and stylised sexes, all shiny and wet =) It could look PG from a distance, but with a closer look it was way Mature.
Then came the day of the results, I didnt get the third place, neither did I get the second place and I  felt disouragement when I didnt get the first place... When suddenly Lumiere Noir made an announcement he had a special award to give, the Sandy Award, a little sandcastle,  for encouraging a fourth work and he declared it was for me... and truely, I felt so very proud that he had picked me for the Sandy award that to me that was even better than getting first place in the contest.
Lumiere Noir handed me the Sandy Award and told me one thing I was never going to forget, and I will write it here, hoping that if you read this, you will not forget it either: "What we build in Second Life is SandCastles on a beach, so do never freak out when one of your buildings dissapears one day out of the grid, it is the natural way of things here, keep building!!!"
There is not in any way a more valuable lesson than the one he gave me that day and I am still very proud he picked me for this Special Outsider Award.

More Avatars.

Now I was feeling good with prims and I was having a lot of un with avatars. So I decided to create more of them.
There was still no Animations Imports, all we had at this point were the 121 Linden Animations and that was it.
I started by a really crazy and silly one: The Fly! Needing four legs and two arms I remember attaching the extra two legs to the hips, so when the avatar walked, all four legs would really move, that was really funny. It was all bump mapped and shiny giving it a sticky feel, that thing was hilarious =)
Then, my love for Robots and Classic SciFi Movies brought me to create Robby the Robot from The Forbidden Planet. That was a big guy and his head was quite complex. By then I had become friend to Lumiere Noir and he was the first to see and approve of it. This pic was taken on his lands.
But of course I also loved Medieval Fantastic stuff and very soon I came in with the Dwarf Captain, a sturdy avatar in a shiny armor and some mighty Axes. Hell we didnt even have T Poses to attach and set prims properly, it was still all pretty freehand.

First Pimp Shoes.

But in Mid June 2004, the release of version 1.4 of Second Life brought us what we were waiting for: User Made Animations. I had met Ferran Brodsky at the Cannabis Cathedral and Misty s Free Raffles and admired her texturing work on clothes, she had this Punk Style that really fitted me, and when anims came out, she was the first out there to create some, and one of her very first sets were all basic walk, run and stands but 25 centimeters up from the ground, so she had built some fancy High Heels shoes.
I was fascinated by that and asked her to let me create my own model of high heels using her anims and she allowed me so I went my own crazy way with them, spiking those bitches to death and using the huge high heels themselves to host some little aquariums where a piranha would swim endlessly after a cute clown fish.

First Buildings.

In the next step I wanted to build BIG and this is when Anshe Chung contacted me. We had already met inworld from time to time during events and classes where she used to teach little groups about tricking your avatar into forcing it to animate certain ways so as that you could interact with other avatars in a sensual way by sitting on cubes and playing with the various Aim_R_Rifle, Sit_Generic and other Angry_Fingerwag and Blowkiss standard anims. But as 1.4 had been released, those classes had become obsolete and Anshe went more to being a Land Owner. This time she wanted me to build one thing for her, a Chinese Tower that can be seen in Wuhan, the Yellow Crane Tower.
I found documentation on the internet about the real tower, and began building the virtual one. But to make it look as good as the original, it had to be very detailed so I tried to do the detail as much as I could but I was still one fresh SecondLifer and consumed prims like hell.
This is when i first came with my own little motto sentence for fun: If it s not Primmy, it s not a YadNi!

In the end, the result was really impressive, but was also taking 6500 prims, wich was too much for a single building in a single sim and Anshe didnt use it, so I took it back into my inventory and once in a while I go drop it in a sandbox to visit it.
Oryiah Lightcould also contacted me that month to create a place for her on the Mainland, just near to Lumiere Noir s avatars and stuff shop. It was for one of the first Associations of Builders in Sl and was called SLTBA, the Second Life Traders and Builders Association.
A little river was cutting her land in two, so on the first part I did the Exhibit Area, with some nice curvy Booths where all associates could show their creations and on the other side of the river we had our Gathering Area where Oriyah used to organize Building Classes and Gatherings. That is where I gave my first building classes ever.
 We were at the end of August 2004 and I was five months old.

First SimWork: Halloween Island.

Early September 2004, Foxy Xevious contacted me to build her first Island, it was a brand new sim all flat and she wanted me to change it into a halloween sim, with the arrival point into the heart of a volcano, then a maze simwide all terraformed that would lead to a creepy house.
This was huge work! And in the beginning there was just me and Ciccio Molinari to help doing some texture works at first. So I began to dig and raise the Volcano, building lava and metallic passways to get out of this inferno s mouth. It became rather hot and Ciccio s first addition into the lava were burning silouhettes of lost spirits with animated textures.
Then came for me the Maze to do, idea was simple, it had to cover 70 percent of the sim, be all done with terraformed walls to spare prim count, multi levelled, with false ends, and only one good way leading from the volcano to the spook house. This was a long process, terraforming it all by hand, making sure avatars could walk in, this was probably the best possible terraforming training imaginable.
While I was at it, Foxy contacted more persons to help on the sim, and Ciccio was working on some furniture. Starax Statosky and Jimmy Thomson joined the team at first to build additionnal props and stuff, but when I arrived to the spooky house to do, I was a far too young builder and I was slow and unappropriate, so Foxy gave the Spook house to do to Jimmy and it became another Maze, with blood and horrific mood, huge and wonderfully textured, with creepy sounds everywhere. It was wonderful and Starax had all these details added everywhere like an old car half sunk in the swamp before the house, with the pilot skeleton still seating in the rusted corpse of the car or the draped furniture in the house.
Finally, this sim was a hit, and this is how Foxy and Jimmy founded Bedazzle Studios, a group that would more be heard of in a close future. Later on, Foxy once confessed to me she had never made it through my maze, that was cool, it was a good maze ;-)

First RL in SL Birthday.

October 2004. My Real Life Birthday was approaching fast. I had met so many excellent people in SL I wanted to celebrate together and I began to build a Club just for the occasion on a plot of land I had for Prims in Leda. Wanting something original, I had the idea of building it partly with terraformation and partly with prims so that it would look like in a Cave, and named it Club Underground. It had stalagtites and mites but also plants growing all over the ceiling, the feeling was really pleasant.
Good Friend Cyrus Apollo being the DJ for this Crazy Party, the evening was a success and all the people I loved popped in at some point, I am going to forget some but here is a shortened list of my guests, Ferran, Surreal, Paris, Darko, HoseQueen, Sandhya, Lumiere, Torley, Ace, Germaine, Bakuzelas, Misty, Reve, Wench, Sukkubus, who I thank and hug again.
My favorite Birthday Gift that day was the Notecard Ferran Brodsky sent me, promissing me a set of whole new anims to make me walk as high as the sky when she whould have made them, but that ll be another chapter.

This was the 16th of October 2004 and I was 37.

First Skeleton Avatars in SL History.

Halloween was coming in fast and I wanted to do something crazy again, during the Halloween Island Project, I had helped Starax Statowsky transform his Skeleton Prop in the car into an avatar by dismantling it entirely and relinking it like I did with the Little Monkey, and added some Invisi Prims to my linksets so that once worn, they would cover and derender the avatar under.
But his skeleton, while being great, wasnt as detailed as I would have had it so I decided to create my own, using the same technique with invisi prims, making each and every bone and using all the tricks I had learned to have it as good as possible with Primitves. So technically, my skeleton avatar was the second in all SL history, but then again, I had had quite a hand in the making of the first.

First Group Build and News Article.

October 2004 was also the month I was contacted by Baccara Rhodes to participate something HUGE! She and Fey Brightwillow were the owners of probably the earliest Events Coordination Group: Spellbound Events. In association with Linden Labs, they were going to create a three sims large area. It was going to be a special event for the end of that year based on Peter Pan called NEVERLAND.
Baccara knew how an enthusiast builder I was and she had an area where no one was assigned yet, a quarter of the first sim to make like Olde London. Victorian crooked style was the word. Wow, I was Thrilled, it was a really huge responsibility and I wouldnt let anyone down! Being on a quarter sim, with other builders also creating the Clean version of Victorian London on the other part, I had to really count each prim.

That is how I came with the idea of building each type of window I would use on my buildings, take screenshots of them and texture single cubes with that so all my windows would count only a single prim.

Once I was there, I had spared enough prims to go crazy with the Tavern. We would name it the Mermaid Inn, so I built mermaids for the entrance and even created Gothic Prim Letters to make the Inn s Sign. The inside was warm and big, with a huge fireplace where a broached pig was roasting.

And on October 24th 2004 we had the visit of Stephen Tapioca, a reporter from the New York Times who had come to write an article about our work, the whole team was there, Baccara Rhodes, Fey Brightwillow, Nyna Slate, Panthar Orlowski, Azrazael Maracas, Azrael Rubio, Remo Yossarian, Madison Gardner, Zana Feaver, Mash Mandala, Garth Fairlight, Pituca Chang and Evie Fairchild. A few days later, we had our article in the most known newspaper title on the face of the earth!

Baccara and Fey also offered us all a splendid ring I have worn with pride for a very long time, Neverland stayed opened for months and at it s end there was even a whole lot of persons asking LL to keep it but as all sand castles, it got washed away.


Mïa said...

Voir les oeuvres non virtuelles, comme les calligraphies et peintures serait un cadeau formidable...
Merci de partager votre créativité yadNi, et bonne continuation, longue Seconde Vie!

Garance Kidd said...

Cher Yadni,

La noob que je suis vous remercie pour 2 choses:

Votre générosité qui m'a permis d'engloutir tous vos freebies dans mon inventaire,
Vos créations qui déclanchent systématiquement 1 enthousiasme convulsif.

Je vous envie de maîtriser tout ce que je ne peux qu'admirer.
Il ne me reste qu'un voeu: vous voir en vrai un jour dans SL.

Besel said...

hi there. i really enjoyed reading your SL journey notes...discovered you through the ivory tower of prims where i'm hanging just now learning to build. what a great story this is - must tell all my students. best wishes, besel bearsfoot