Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Exclusive Interview with the Isa AKA "Isamazing" a Decentraland Citizen and Emote Creator. We dive deeper into here journey in web 3, where she began and where she is headed. Taking our imagination to new heights, Isa creates theatrical NFTs to express ourselves in the metaverse.
Emotes in web 3 are Digital Animated NFTs that portray emotion in a theatrical manner. We see creators like Isa, a animator for Decentraland foundation, creating popular emotes within the Community. She brings these animations to life giving users many ways to express themselves and also collaborating with brands, bringing their visions to life. We will dive a little deeper about the Artist Isa and her experiences and visions for the metaverse like Decentraland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how did you discover Decentraland?
"I’m Isabel and I was born and raised here in Brazil. Most people call me Isa, which I actually prefer, it feels more friendly! I’ve been quite artistic since I was a kid: always loved drawing, dancing, playing with clay, being creative. I have a background in Business Management and before I started my animation career I was a jewelry designer of my own brand. I created custom made and exclusive jewelry and would even sculpt the prototypes myself when needed. On rare occasions I still create a piece here and there.
My first contact with Decentraland (and web 3) was when I joined the Foundation as their 3D Animator in September of 2021. Someone for the HR reached out to me because they were looking for an animator, so they explained about the project and I started doing my own research too, getting to know more about it, because the whole web 3 and crypto was quite new to me back then."
We have seen you make great emotes in Decentraland, How did you learn animation and how long did it take to learn?
"I always loved video games, since I was little. I love that it’s such an immersive form of entertainment. I always dreamed of working in the game industry, but back then I thought that you had to be a programmer to be involved in game development (and I have zero talent for that). Also, it didn’t help that there’s not a single major company based in Brazil even though we are such a big market for games. One day a friend of mine told me about this graduation studies in 3D Game Art, which was all about the artistic process of game development, like concept art, narrative, modeling, animation, etc. That’s when I had my first contact with animation, back in 2014: the module was 2 months long and I fell in love right from the start. It felt so magical to make a static model move as if it had come to life!
In 2015, after my graduation studies' conclusion, I knew I had to refine and improve my skills, so that's when I decided to be self-educated in the arts of animation. In the same year, two friends and I decided to develop our first independent game and I worked on all the animations in that project. In 2018, I completed the masterclass Rigging for Games by Ehsan Kiani, a 9-week course from the Computer Graphics Master Academy, and Body Mechanics by Kyle Kenworthy, an eight-week course also from the Computer Graphics Master Academy.
Creating an animation is fairly simple, especially if you have a good rig (the digital skeleton). Making good animations is far more challenging though. You have to learn not only the software tools you’re gonna use, but it requires a lot of observation, knowledge of the mechanics behind movements, and learning the principles of animation to make a fluid and appealing action. Practice makes perfect, and I believe there’s always room for improvement."
How long does it take you to create a emote from start to finish including deploying and getting it approved by the foundation of Decentraland?
"It depends, a lot, actually. The complexity of the act
ion will define how many hours it’ll take to get it done. I’ve created emotes in only two hours and others that took up to eight hours or more. Idle animations, like a pose that keeps looping, depending on your skill, might take only 10 to 15 minutes. Jumps and spins can be quite
tricky to do, so those animations are usually the ones that’ll take longer. Deploying can be quick if you know how to do it. You can always create a collection just to get familiar with the process and test the animation in the world. As for getting it approved, that depends on the committee and their availability. But I’d say that lately, with 4 hours max you might get it deployed and approved."
Do you have plans to create in other metaverses in the future?
"I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. I’m not that familiar with other metaverses. But as long as I can create appealing animations, I think that would be an incredible experience! I’m always open to trying something new!"
Some creators work in web 3 full-time or plan to, Do you work in the metaverse full-time or part-time, if not, do you plan to make this shift in the future?
"Since I work for the Decentraland Foundation, I believe I can say I work full-time in the metaverse/web 3. And in my free time I create emotes by demand. So I’m pretty much working on DCL all the time!"
What advice would you give to aspiring animation creators who want to create in DCL?
"My first advice would be to use references! And I mean a LOT of reference. It doesn’t matter if it’s for movements you do all the time or a gymnast’s backflip. References will help you get the mechanics and timing of the movement right.
The second piece of advice would be to observe everything and anything. Observe how your foot leaves the ground when you walk, how you shift your weight when you move, observe how a ballerina twists her body in the opposite direction before doing a spin, and how dogs run and jump.
Study the animation principles, like anticipation, slow in and slow out, overlapping action, timing… This will greatly improve the quality of your animation, making it more fluid and believable. And as I’ve said before, practice makes perfect and it’s no different in animation."
Do you think emote will have future utility or go beyond animation, what are your thoughts?
"I think emotes are a way to express yourself and interact with the people around you. As much as your wearables, your emotes represent yourself and your attitude in the metaverse, how you wanna be perceived by others. They can also be a way to do things and experiment with what you can’t do or are not allowed to do in real life. There’s still a lot to be improved, though, like facial expression, actual interaction between users (like hugging, kissing, or holding hands), and even interaction with objects, like holding a puppy or popping a balloon. Maybe at some point, we could even have emotes with sounds."
Where can our readers discover your work or merchandise if they wanted to purchase one of your pieces?
"You can find my emotes at the Decentraland Marketplace. The only one I’ve published myself so far is the Quadradinho, but I’ve created a lot of emotes with the community too!"
Last but not least, What is your vision for Decentraland as a content creator, Would would you like to see different, and/ or what are your hopes as the metaverse grows in popularity?