ABOUT THE BUILDER
Martin, The man behind Drusilla Saunders Aeronautics
Written by Serendipity Weatherwax
1) A new technology...
With the ownership of personal computers becoming the norm in the 90's, Martin had the fortunate opportunity to get first crack at all this new technology had to offer. He made himself well versed in various painting programs right away. So, when the dawn of the new millennium brought with it 3D modeling, Martin was already prepared to take the next step toward this new art form. This is around the time he discovered Poser.
Martin started creating clothing using what we, in sl, call mesh. He used Rhinoceros 3D to model, as well as JASC Paintshop Pro to create and apply the textures to his creations. These outfits were then sold in Poser's online market. Other users bought the products and downloaded them to use in their own private virtual environments.
When once asked by a friend why he would spend his time doing such things martin replied, "Because someday there WILL be a virtual world that will somehow be connected by the Internet. They are going to need this stuff, and when that time comes I am going to be one of the people who knows how to use it." Little did he know that time was a lot closer than even he anticipated.
2) The Discovery of Second Life and the birth of Drusilla Saunders...
After watching a documentary on the Discovery channel about virtual worlds and Second Life, Martin realized that his prediction had come true a lot sooner than he had imagined. He created an avatar and began exploring with the intent of finding out if his poser expertise could carry over to this new world.
Upon realizing that there was indeed a high demand for his skills, he started making and selling clothing . Since the clothing he created was for females, it did not take him long to realize the task of modeling and testing his works would be made a lot simpler if he only had a female avatar. So out of that need Drusilla Saunders was born.
3) Airplanes in Second Life...
While still a clothing designer in SL, Martin was hearing rumors of sail boat races on the grid. This concept blew him away. The only vehicles he had ever seen in SL a were few freebie cars, but those were hard to control. Martin was excited to see and try out these sail boats, appreciating the skills necessary to create such intricate pieces of work.
It was during a visit to the Blake Sea to see one of these races that Martin saw his first airplane in Secondlife.
4) The inspiration to build them...
As a small child during the early 60's the environment Martin thought of as home was one that many of us in the SL aviation community will only ever get to dream of.
You see, his father leased an airport where he and Martin's mother worked. The airport offered both flights and lessons. In addition, companies contracted Marty's dad to fly banners over the stadiums while the Pittsburgh Pirates or Steelers played games.
During this era of his life he was basically raised at the airport. His parents had confidence in their son's comprehension of airport safety rules which were deeply instilled in him. They allowed him the privilege to explore. The hangers became his playground. To this day you can hear the smile in his voice when he says he still remembers the feel of the paint on an Aircoupe, or that he got to climb on top of planes such as the V Tail Bonanza, Beachcraft Bonanza, Piper Club and Piper Tri-Pacer.
Family to him were the "Airport Bums" as his dad fondly referred to them. Some of his fondest memories are of sipping on the best hot chocolate ever, while listening to them comment on and jokingly rate the landings of fellow pilots. So for him finding Hollywood Airport was truly coming home and it was time to change professions in SL. After striking a deal with Marktwain White to rent space at his Hollywood Airport, Martin was ready to dive in and get established.
5) Building planes and Hollywood Airport
Anyone who has flown or even taken a look in the cockpit of one of Martin's airplanes, can see the love and hard work he puts into every one of his creations. Unfortunately getting started as a plane builder was not the easiest task.
When Martin started building planes in '08, LL had just introduced "Sculpts" to the grid. All planes had to be made from a combination of these and manipulated prims. For someone who had already become accustom to molding "mesh" objects this new technique was a bit like asking a sculptor of clay to then become a carpenter. Each piece had to fit together just right and be individually painted, but the most daunting task that faced him was learning scripting. As you all know, he persevered.
Mesh was introduced into SL in late '11. While it took most builders time to acclimate themselves and learn a new medium, Martin had the advantage of having previous experience. He was delighted that SL was finally catching up with the times and knew that the work he could do now was something he could feel truly and completely proud of.
Martin continues to use his old stand by paint program JASC Paintshop Pro to do his texturing but for Meshing he has moved on to Blender. Both programs can be obtained free from the Internet and can be found by doing a simple Google search. Marty wanted me to make sure to include this info. He feels that it is the duty of all creators and builders to help one another learn and grow.
6) Today and into the future...
Today, Martin is working to continue growing his business. He now has several staff members who handle a variety of different tasks, including preparing alternative paints for his growing collection of mesh planes. He has test pilots, sound engineers, flight instructors and a personal assistant.
Though he has had stores at several locations over time, he extends a personal invitation for you to come and visit his main store which continues to be located at Hollywood Airport. We look forward to meeting you!