I have personally detected 6 major features for choreographers that dictate visually, movement and space centered around solo and group dancers that can be augmented by tool-featuers:
- Dance Sequencing – controls local dancer motion (dance-to-dance)
- Formation Creation and Transitioning – controls (non in-place associations)
- Single-Dancer-Movement – controls global horizontal and vertical stage-space use of a single user
- Grouping – controls local groupings (in-place associations)
- Couples Pairing – control pairing and synching of 2 dancers
How these are chosen and combined seem to define the characteristics of choreography and level of sophistication. This, again, is just my own personal observation.
This tutorial discuses how the Artiste has chosed to address one of the elements. Grouping.
Grouping evolved in the Artiste from how I detected RL grouping…to how people have chosen to implement it in SL. From binary-grouping in real life to custom-multiple-grouping in SL.
There are a maximum of 4 CORE groups in the Artiste.
NOTE: As soon as you provide more “types of something” than what you think anyone would need, someone comes along with a need for more. Aura wanted more groups for an idea she has but fortunately envisioned a solution of using Palettes to proxy new Groups.
Palettes can hold their own dance routines up to about 20 dances. They can be triggered from autofx or from inside one of the 4 dance-sequences.
So by naming Palettes with the same name, multiple Palettes can be triggered to dance their own “sequence of dances” disguised in moves that may or may not move anywhere. Triggering from inside a core sequence gives tighter sync control
An advanced method is a Palette triggering one or more other Palettes.
Meanwhile….back at the ranch…
Each group is assigned a dance sequence.
Group A = Sequence1
Group B = Sequence2
Group C = Sequence3
Group D = Sequence4
Dancers are assigned to one group at a time
A particular assignment of groups to dancers is called a “set” or “division”; A division is simply a series of Groups that will be assigned to dancers depending on the Grouping-Method.
An advanced feature of Grouping is that the set or division can be dynamically changed at showtime midway thru a performance.
So dancers could be assigned thusly (2 couples or boys vs girls)
Division/Set 1 (couples)
Archie = A
Anne = A
Bob = B
Brenda = B
Division/Set 2 (gender)
Archie = A
Anne = B
Bob = A
Brenda = B
There are currently a maximum of 9 dancers per HUD so you could assign groups in a division as an example:
From 2 dancers: AC
To 9 dancers: ABABCABAB
Or in between: CBABC
NOTE: For completeness I want to address the issue of Artiste dancing large groups. Because we have employed HUD-2-HUD, a Master HUD can control, say, 11 Slave-HUDs. Each Slave-HUD could dance 9 dancers for a total of 9×11=99 dancers + the Master’s 9 dancers for a total of 108 dancers at a time. The most avatars I have seen on a sim is about 103 at one time.
A second method would be to embed the dance sequence into a Palette and rez 100 Palettes. This avoids the tedium of issuing and accepting invites.
Meanwhile….back at the ranch…again…
There are 3 ways to assign groupings to avatars:
For simple small groups of 2 or 3 Invit-Order might be the preferred way:
1 – Invite Order – this always assigns the HUD wearer to the 1st group. So for ecample if our Division is BAC then the HUD wearer would be assgined to Group B (sequence#2) and the 2nd person to accept an invite would be assigned to Group A (sequence#1), etc.
This is a quick and dirty method when you have 2 or 3 dancers in your group and say maybe only 2 groups, you the leader as group A and everyone else group B. You can change the Division assignment of the default assignment dynamcially by sending a Division command via *autofx
2 – Troupe – this hard-assigns groups to avatars by their name/key. So if Mary is assgined Group D then she will perform sequence#4 until there is a GroupSetChange issued during mid-show. Mary can have more than one Group assigned but only ever one at a time.
Here we set an elaborate scheme to allow for 4 DivisionGroupChange alterations during our routine. Mary is assigned to Group D at the start then when DivisionGroupChange is 2, she will dance Group B. DivisionGroupChange 3 she would dance Group D again, and DivisionGroupChange 4 would be Group A. DivisionGroupChange is the command sent via *autofx to change the division assignments dynamically.
The good things about this method are:
1) Independent of invite-order
2) Does NOT require Palettes
3) If Palettes ARE used for other needs, Group assignments are unaffected. This allows for Sit-2-Sit Palette transfers without worry of dance-groups being affected.
3 – Palette – this method is probably what you are used to. Group assignments based upon your relative position in the ‘line-up’. Each Palette has a letter in its name, A thru H. Divisions are assigned to those letters respectively. Assuming Palettes are laid out left to right A thru H.
So if you had 5 dancers and a Custom Group Division of say CBABC, then Palette A would be assigned to Group C. Palette B would be assigned to Group B. Palette C would be assigned to Group A, etc.
ABCDE = Palettes
CBABC = Division
Here is a link to a video Aura: Easy As ABC – The Penguinettes
She uses CBABC as the Division and you can plainly see the 3 groups working independently mid-way thru the video.
And here is a write-up from Aura herself on the making of the video:
As Easy as ABC
did that demonstrates the Division CBABC.
I forget which method, Troupe or Palette, that was used in this video but i recall we tested both in rehearsal satisfactorily. UPDATE: She used the Troupe method.
You can change Palette-Division assignments dynamically for the Palette method as well by using the DivisionPaletteChange *autofx command.
There is another special command that simplifies group-swapping.
ABOrder can flip the assignment of dance-sequences.
ABOrder = AB (Default) means GroupA dances to Sequence1 and GroupB dances to Sequence2. But if you send an ABOrder dynamically in prior to the next dance change and its value is ABOrder= BA….then GroupA will dance sequence2 and GroupB will dance sequence1.
Same thing can ge done for Groups C & D. ABOrder = CD and ABOrder = CD. Of course you could accomplish the same by changing the division accordingly using the dynamic division commands learned above.
Also new is a notification that an invite failed, even if the invitee accepted. It happens. While it won’t tell you who failed, you will know that you need to re-invite someone.
You can use the Rollcall to see who the HUD has successfully accepted and figure out who needs to be reinvited. There are also 2 other methods as double safety-checks as to which avatars the dancer-scripts believe the groups are assigned to. Rarely will you need this but they can be helpful diagnostics when an invitation fails.
I hope you are now more comfortable knowing Artiste has a Grouping solution and are a bit more familiar with how it is implemented.