Computer Graphics World

July-Aug-Sept 2022

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28 cgw j u ly • a u g u s t • s e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 2 M ovement in the Metaverse is what will differentiate this virtual world from game-play environments or other virtual environments already in existence. The use of motion-tracking technology to embody and drive ava- tars in the Metaverse is fundamental to self-expression, communi- ty-building, and even the preservation of our unique identities — or 'motion-print'. What role do NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have in preserving our digital identity as motion capture is increasingly used to replicate our natural movement in a digital environment? From digital art to NFT dinosaurs, bringing meaning to movement is key to realizing the potential of the metaverse. The way we move around the world is unique to every individual. Likewise, movement in the Metaverse will be key to building virtual identities. Universal geometry connects all living organisms; it's why yogis aim to align with 'cosmic geometry'. AI motion-tracking tech- nology has even been developed to track the lines of these shapes as yogis practice to find the geometric patterns in the asanas they practice. But this, as the name suggests, is a practice. In our day-to- day lives, the way we move is a reflection of the history we embody, from stresses to injury and even our personality. Our expressions and our physical gestures are all unique to us. Like our fingerprints, the way we move is a 'motion-print', identifying our unique selves beyond our vocal, written, or aesthetic expression. The way we move around the Metaverse is as important as the way we move in the real world It's a human instinct to be unique and to express that individualism even within a community. We saw this already with the rising pop- ularity of skins in Fortnite, and fashion brands were fast to respond and see the opportunity with brands like Balenciaga creating one of the first outfits to have skin in the game. Brands are building on this with opportunities to 'dress' people in the Metaverse, combined with the added exclusivity of NFTs perhaps the ultimate blend of trend-setting and custom styling. For example, the NFT fashion collectible startup RTFKT Studios, which was bought by Nike back in December 2021, has just revealed a col- lection of co-branded digital sneakers called Nike Cryptokicks. The sneakers are available to people who own RTFKT MNLTHs, an NFT that was airdropped to those who own a CloneX (RTFKT's profile picture collection). Users will be able to customize the sneakers with various looks and designs, and the company also plans to open the skin creation to creators and partners. The virtual world is a playground for creativity. Naturally, fashion brands have been quick to realize the potential of designing new creations for the Metaverse. It's not just the fashion industry that is pushing boundaries, of course, but the models themselves are getting a simultaneously futuristic and prehistoric makeover of sorts. Enter Meta Labs' Jurassic Punks (also known as Jpunks): cyberpunk-esque dinosaurs who've learned how to catwalk. More accurately, Meta Labs' co-founder James Spillman has learned how to walk the virtual catwalk with gravitas, using motion capture tech to create lifelike movements for their radical tyrannosauruses. There's playful artistry inherent in how people use motion capture technology. Like artists use paint, digital creatives, motion graphics artists, film directors, mocap actors, and more, all use motion-tracking technology to connect the way they move to the digital expression of those movements. Creativity expressed in the Metaverse is an extension of real-world identity. This distinction between the extension of self-expression, rather than replacement of self, an alternate identity, is intrinsic to authenticity. Since the Metaverse is a community-based and community-built world, we need to be able to trust and recognize those we 'know' in the same way that we do in the real world. Another artist exploring the connection between movement and the expression of our virtual selves is Veronica Lynn Harper, who started working with motion capture two years ago. Harper finds motion capture to be a way of amplifying the intrinsic connection between herself as an artist and the work she is creating. Motion-print moving through the Metaverses The role of motion capture also plays a part in the accessibility and community within the Metaverse. The JPunks team describes their Movement in the Metaverse THE KEY TO AUTHENTIC SELF-EXPRESSION IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT BY REMCO SIKKEMA Jurassic Punks

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