We discovered (well I did late in the process) that the easiest thing to learn with the Artiste is ‘dancing’. It is referred to as “sequencing” in the Artiste world. It is something most everyone who has performed before has done with other tools so it appears easiest to learn and transition into.
A question I get asked often is how many dances will it store? It cannot store 8,000 or anywhere near that amount nor is there intent in the foreseeable future to add mass storage-and-retrieval of SL animations to its list of credits. It does not have a dance-recorder ability in the normal sense of the term. It does have its own approach to providing information about dances-played and associated times.
A couple of Artiste users have told me that they use other tools that do provide that standard dance-routine-building capability during the creative part of choreography and then migrate their dance choices to the Artiste for final sequencing, so I’ve been told. At least 2 dancers use the Artiste start to finish for building dance sequences and playing them.
How many dances can it hold? Well no-one has run into memory issues yet. Not to say it won’t happen in the future. Should that time come then I will address the issue.
Number Of Sequences
The Artiste can hold up to 4 dance sequences at a time. A dance sequence is a list of line-entries on a notecard of animations followed by a separator bar followed by a time-to-play or duration.
DanceName1 | 24.1
DanceName2 | 19.8
DanceName3 | 28.7
Number of Dancers
The Artiste Performance HUD can dance up to 9 dancers at a time. This can and has been extended to more dancers in a controlled fashion using Palette-based dancing. (example: couples dancing in the background)
The round circle in the star on the HUD menu when pressed will give out an elapsed time in an owner-only chat log, (when not used for solo-dance breakout dancing when DanceDiva is enabled)..
When DanceScriptTrace is on, then each dance name will print out with its elapsed time. This helps with timing dances.
Also, we now have (option) automatic ElapsedTime-to-Duration and Duration-to -Elapsed Time conversions upon HUD reset so you no longer need to do the math when converting from on to the other after making modifications to dance times.
There are many ways to play animations:
1 – Immediate – Play-Sequenced and delayed. Immediately means at time zero upon pressing play.
2 – Play Sequence-Delayed means at least 1 second or more after pressing play triggered by the occurence of one or more events (up to 4, one for each of the 4 possible sequences. the PLAY_SEQ=? where ? is a number between 1 and 4 are used on the *autofx notecard to trigger the playing of a sequence tied to an event.
3 – Toggling the S-button on the face of the HUD, will cause the 1st sequence to start or stop playing.
4 – Pressing a button on the animation-menu page of the HUD that holds up to 11 dance-animations of which you can assign brief pseudonyms to.
5 – Palette-Based playing. You can sequence up to about 20 animations safely by putting them into a palette and associating each one with a move. The moves can then all be played in sequence or you can play any particular animation or you can play a specific-range of animations. If there is no movement associated with the animation as in the case of creating a ‘dummy move’, then you can play the moves in any order.
HUD sequences can also trigger all, one, or a range of moves which can themselves play animations. This is indicated by a command to play a Palette and it has its own duration just like a normal sequenced dance. It is triggered between dances in a sequence. This was inspired by MJ.
Animations can now also be assigned to the turn-type move, pause-type move, as well as the move-type move. A Palette can trigger other Palettes to dance via Palette “actions” associated with real or “dummy” moves.
HUDs can chain to other HUDs causing their sequences to play either immediatley or upon waiting on operator action.
6 – Repeat
There is now a new Repeat command that allows all the moves and/or animations associated with them to ‘repeat’ until told to stop. This is handy for things like the running of background or atmosphere animations. Animals, birds, fish, people walking, etc. thruout a routine.
7 – Formations – (DanceDiva)
Dances can be played while changing custom-created formations by using the DanceDiva add-on that comes with the FULL A-250 GOLD package, has its own controller but is now built into the HUD and uses Follower-Relays.
NOTE: The FULL A-250 GOLD package includes 25 FREE Transfer/NoCopy Follower-Relays. These can be used to synchronize many things: Formation changes, stripping, outfit changes, Palette-2-Palette transfer
Includes 4-directional turns and break-away-and-return to formation dancing.
8 – Custom Grouping – we often refer to this method of dancing by the slang term ofsimply “ABC”, don’t ask me how or why. You actually can have up to 4 dance-groups called A,B ,C and D.
We have synchronous and asyncrhonous grouping using our Division method.
You can dynamically change group-sets at run-time.
Avatars or Palettes can be assigned to one or more groups.
9 – The Artiste Experience Option – Dance Leaders can offer the option to now provide for the ALLOWance of new Artiste Experience. This means dancers need no longer have to repeatedly accept dance invitations.
ALLOW once, and you are relieved as a ball-sitter. Dancers still need to be invited. They just are not saddled with having to accept an invite. This also helps mitigate failed dance-invites.
This is an option included in the Performance Dance HUD as well as the new Artiste Coupler. There are some tolerable caveats but it HAS been tested successfully.
10 – The Auric Canon – (completed – testing)
11 – Couples Auto-Alignment and Compartmentalization (completed – testing)
12 – The Artiste MasterPiece – Animation Piecing – (completed – fixing a bug) – Allows for several animations (except the 1st) to start in the middle, played back-to-back.
13 – Segmentation – (in development)
14 – Auto-Dancing – (planned)
I hope this lends some insight into how the Artiste is and can be used as a show-time dance tool.
Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft