Le Cirque de Nuit ‚Äď Idle Rogue

Dance
Image Source: http://www.pinterest.com

Auditions announced for the 2016 performances of Le Cirque de Nuit.

This is one of Guerilla Burlesque’s/Idle Rogue’s most successful dance show, and I highly recommend it.

If you like the circus, acrobatics, steampunk, monochromatic art, art, dance, Victoriana, or any combination thereof, you will love this show!

Dancers – run, don’t walk to the link below and check out all the requirements. ūüôā

Source: Le Cirque de Nuit ‚Äď Idle Rogue

Project Bento: avatar skeleton enhancements for Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Image Source:  amazingbody.weebly.com
Image Source: amazingbody.weebly.com

I am so super-excited about this news that I am up early just to blog on it!

Yesterday LL announced the new Project Bento – about enhancements for your avatar skeleton.

When I first heard the news, my mind was literally racing with what this could mean and how it would change things in SL.

It may seem like a small change, but it isn’t.¬† And after reading more from designers and creators, I can’t wait to see what changes come in the next few months.

Project Bento is still currently on the beta grid, but creators are already hard at work.

Many of the additional bones that are being added will not have much affect for human avatars – the tail bones, bones for extra limbs, etc.

However, Project Bento adds bones for ALL 10 FINGERS!  This means that your fingers can move individually!

As I think about what that could mean for animations – dances, poses, AO’s – I am excited. ūüôā

Siddean Munro, creator of Slink, has stated on Plurk that she will be reworking/updating her mesh hands to reflect the additional bones.

Dancers Рimagine being able to change your hand position during a dance (without having to change mesh hands perhaps?).  Bloggers Рimagine being able to move that pesky hidden pinky out of your skirt or pants without having to move your entire hand.

You could create non-human avatars that are more realistic.  Talk on Plurk has mentioned things like centaurs, spiders, or even an octopus Рwith tentacles that would actually move.

Adding the new bones for facial expressions will be huge, I would think, for people who role-play, act, or make machinima.  Imagine being able to look shocked, or sad, in a much more natural way than is possible currently.

I had also hoped that the new facial bones would mean that mesh heads would be able to respond to facial sliders, allowing for more individuality than is currently possible.

After reading comments from creators, however, it appears that that isn’t one of the things that will happen.¬† Disappointment about that aside, I can’t wait to see what amazing things will come of this new enhancement.

As I’m not particularly techie, I’m a bit confused about how the new bones will affect mesh heads.¬† I think that it will allow for more facial expressions via the bones (rather than the head creators having to create the expressions themselves), but that the sliders (in the avatar appearance window) will have little to no effect on the shape of the heads.

Of course, I could have misunderstood all the tech speak, so if you understand it and can clear up my confusion, please leave me a comment!

If you’d like to try this all out for yourself, read Inara’s post for details about how to do that.¬† Be sure to watch the short video, it’s pretty cool. ūüėÄ

Source: Project Bento: avatar skeleton enhancements for Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Designing Worlds explores the art and artistry of ColeMarie Soleil ‚Äď now on the web! | Designing Worlds

I’ve used her particles in several routines now, and I love them.¬† Inexpensive and fabulous!¬† If you haven’t stopped by her store to check them out, you should. ūüėÄ

Source: Designing Worlds explores the art and artistry of ColeMarie Soleil ‚Äď now on the web! | Designing Worlds

Learning and Unlearning

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteAs many of you know, earlier this year I opened the Kat & Mouse School of Performing Arts.

I’ve had an amazing time working with dancers who are eager to learn and grow in their craft and I can’t wait to do it again in 2016!

I am in the process of revamping some of my curriculum and adding new courses.¬† With the announcement of Yummy’s sale on pieces of the Artiste Suite, I will be adding classes on using the Artiste.

To that end, for the last month, I have concentrated on creating routines with the Artiste HUD and palette.¬† Yummy has added so many new features and functions that it was almost like starting over. ūüėÄ

It’s very easy to get up and dancing with the HUD, though some of the other features take a little longer to learn.

What I have discovered, both with the GOLD (current) version of the HUD, and the SILVER version (which I bought several years ago), is that because I have used other tools for so long, I have come to expect tools to behave in certain ways. Which means that, in learning to use the Artiste, I have sometimes had to ‘unlearn’ what I know.

Every dancer has preferred tools.¬† Though it seems like there is always some new ‘shiny’ becoming available, there are those who prefer to stay with what they know.¬† Why? Because ‘unlearning’ is uncomfortable for most people.

Is there anything wrong with using older tools?  No, of course not.  However, newer tools tend to take advantage of newer tech developments, which often means you can do more with less.

When I first started dancing, I used a HUD and had to manually click each dance.  Then I discovered that I could sequence my dances using note cards with the HUDDLES.  Then the Barre came along with its ability to do grouping.  Then SpotOn developed their mover, and followed it with various other products.

I admit, I am a bit of a tool junkie, and I’ve tried just about every dance tool in SL.¬† I, too, have my favorites.¬† Using my favorite tools, I can create a routine in a couple of hours.¬† However, doing so rarely pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

I want something that will help me to push myself to learn more and do more.  The Artiste has done that for me.  In fact, I look forward to working with it, because I know I have only scratched the surface of what I can do with it.

BabyItsCold4

This pic is from a routine I created last year when I first got the GOLD version of the Artiste.¬† Looking back, I made this routine much harder than it could have been, because I was still ‘unlearning’ what I knew.

That said, it was my first true ‘all-Artiste’ routine and I am still proud of it. ūüėÄ

As a solo artist, the Artiste lets me do things I never thought were possible.  That is something to keep in mind, for those of who may be on the fence about purchasing yet another dance tool.

Every tool was designed for a purpose.  Every tool has its pros and cons.  If you are looking for a tool that will let you run huge group dances, the Artiste is not that tool.  If you are looking for a tool that will let you run everything manually, the Artiste is not that tool.

However, if you are looking for a tool that will let you shine as a solo performer, or a small group performer, the Artiste might just be the tool you’ve been looking for!

Broadway at the Oval Concert Hall

On Thursday I was busily opening boxes and sorting through all the Advent goodies I’ve recently acquired.

An IM from Yummy about a Broadway show sent me running. ūüėõ

I am a huge fan of musicals and Broadway shows.¬† So I quickly tp’d to the Oval Concert Hall and settled in to watch their show.

I’d never been there before, but it’s a beautiful art-deco themed theater.

Oval Theater 1The opening number was Copacabana, complete with all the sparkles and beautifully elegant showgirls you’d see in a Vegas routine.

After all the glitter was cleaned off the stage, it was time for Danny Zuko.

Oval Theater 2The set build was terrific, complete with the vintage cars and drive-in screen.

I was stunned, however, to find out that there are people who have never seen Grease.¬† ūüėõ

Oval Theater 3The next number featured one of my all-time favorite songs – “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” from Funny Girl.¬† It wasn’t the Barbra Streisand version (which is my fav), but a toe-tapper nonetheless.

I loved the train-station setting and the vintage costumes.

Oval Theater 4After the train station, it was time for another visit from Danny, this time with all the T-birds in tow.

I realized as I was cropping these photos that I should have derendered some of the chairs (those are chair backs at the bottom of the photo).

There is audience seating right up next to the stage, so you can get close to the performers.  It does lend a more intimate feel to the performances.

Oval Theater 5Following ‘Greased Lightning,’ it was time for a song from Oklahoma.

Not one of my favorite musicals (and that’s an understatement), but it was a beautiful set.

Oval Theater 6From Oklahoma, we moved to Chicago, one of my favorite musicals (I told you I love musicals!).

The choreography for ‘We Both Reached for the Gun’ was very well done, including some puppet-like animations.

The last number I got to see was from Oliver, ‘As Long As He Needs Me.’¬† I thought I had snapped a quick pic, but I can’t seem to find it in my files. ūüė¶

I wasn’t able to stay for the rest of the show, but if what I saw was any indication, I’ll definitely be returning for their next performance.

I did also notice that they had an application poster out, so if you’re interested in possibly joining their troupe, head on over and check out the details.

Tutorial #5: Artiste Events

upcomingevents

I hope those who’ve been following my tutorials have come away knowing more than they knew before about the Artiste.

In real  life one could think of an event as a meanrngful, memorable, milestone in a persons life.  When you got married, , birth of a child, high-school graduation, major surgery, entering the military, getting engaged, your wedding, your honeymoon, an illicit affair, separation, divorce,  auto-accident, death, funeral, an arrest,  drunk-and-passed out, a physical altercation, your first-love, close-calls, fired-from-job, awards, etc.

I think we remember events more than dates. we can sort of put these in some sort of meaningful order…as to how they relate to each other…easier than we can assign exact dates or even years to them. ¬†Example: I had to have surgery after my accident which was a day before¬†Thanksgiving day. They brought me turkey from home.

We often express events in terms of other events. I plan to start a family 2 years after I am married. I plan to enter the military upon high-school graduation. I lost my job during the recession. I plan to take college-prep courses prior to entering college.

This is the ¬†approach taken to demark when things are to happen in a performance of scheduled events. Its a different mindset but one I find more meaningful than an “arbitrary timeline of things”.

=================================
Performance Events You Already Know

events_ballet

I first got the idea from Nottoo who blogged on usng song-structure changes to identify when dances should transition from one to another. Example: Song intro, chorus, verse, bridge, solo

For performing, those are good arbitrary event markers when nothing else comes to mind because we have already identified them as events, having  assigned names to them. We know when they happen relative to each other.

As you progress from song-changes, obvious other events come to mind…curtain open, curtain close, special lyrics or sound-fx embedded in a song. Song endings/beginnings from a medley of songs.

Artiste uses events at its core. Nothing that is sequenced can really happen without events. All the fun interesting stuff you do will be tied to events.

===============
The Artiste Event

Events are defined on a notecard. One event per line. Each HUD event has a number from 1 to 20 assigned to it.  You can use less than 20.

Each event has a name you give it.

And each event has a time value in seconds.

This can be duration or elapsed time.

The 2 examples below are identical but are 2 different ways to express the same sequence of events. If you can understand the difference then you know how to create events in the Artiste.  Event #1 happens 10 seconds after pressing PLAY. Event #2 happens 15 seconds after pressing play.  This about as technical as these Tutorials will get.

Example #1:

DURATION
1,”Event #1″,10.0
2,”Event #2″,5.0

Example #2:

ELAPSED
1,”Event #1″,10.0
2,”Event #2″,15.0

So now your HUD notecards (for emoting, adorning, stripping, auto-special-fx, audience-directed-camming, announcing, dance-sequencing, outfit-changes), that express when things are to happen, use the event number, (just 1 or 2) in this example, to tell when things will happen. The beauty is that by changing the event times (10 & 5  OR 10 & 15), all things attached to that event automatically move with it in time either forward or backward.

==============================
The AutoFX Function and Notecard

specialeventahead

Most notecards limit what you can do to one thing per line on a notecard (i.e. dances, emotes).

But for the¬†special-FX notecard (we call it AutoFX), you can specify multiple things to happen at nearly the same time for a given event. AutoFX controls things external to the HUD like movers, Palettes, etc. Your only limit is 255 characters for a given notecard line. And using the special WAIT command, when you specify multiple things to happen at the same event, you can create fine ¬†adjustments and offsets BETWEEN the¬†¬†multiple things that happen for a given event so they all don’t have to happen at the exact same time.

In fact, a special defining feature of the Artiste is built-in redudancy that helps you get out of tight spots. Did you know that using our powerful AutoFX, you can emulate all of the other functions as well?

Yep! ¬†This list includes: Playing a dance sequence, emoting, adorning, outfit-changes, audience-directed-camming, stripping, as well as…!!!ALL¬†of the 80 to 90 action-features of the Palette!!!.

There are also other subtle features assignable to AutoFX, like singalling a change in choreagraphy-grouping, dance-formation changing, curtain control, HUD chaining….and the list goes on.

======================
Palette-based Mini-Events
Closeup calendar page with drawing-pins
One last notable ADVANCED feature on the topic of telling performance-stuff when to happen is…the Palette “action” or mini-event.

You already know you can have up to 20 major events per HUD and each major event can trigger one (or more) Palettes to move as well as do a zillion other things.

Well you can define about 20 moves inside of one Palette (not to be confused with the 20 HUD events). Each of those moves can serve as a mini-event meaning you can attach what we call an “action” to the move. And also realize that a move can be a dummy move or place-holder for an action. Each dummy move would ahve a duration associated with it ¬†but no distance to travel or rotation to turn.

So when, say, HUD event #1 tells a given Palette (or more) to perform all (or a range) of its moves, then that Palette can begin to perform mini-events in the form of actions attached to moves,  one-after-the other and do actions and not just moves, or actions in concert with moves.

What this offers is finer granularity as well as being economcial with your 20 major events by passing off extra event-work to a Palette.

This Action can be any of the 80-90 cool action-feature thingys that  Palette can do. So this means that within one HUD event, you can have several Palette-based-mini events that do things. And, a palette-action can and often does contol what other Palettes do.

20×20 = 400 major and minor events so this ability could address the needs of someone who wanted to put on an uninterrupted hour long presentation…theoretically. And by using HUD chaining, you can introduce manual intervention where you could have manual control over say a few¬†different major acts within a given hour-long show.

Of course you probally wouldnt start ouit this advanced.

Keep it simple.

Grow slowly.

One event talks to one palette and tells it to perform just one move and then graduate and tell it to perforam all of¬†its moves. Then graduate to telling it to do a ‘range of moves‘. And then graduate to Palette-actions.

——
I hope I¬†didnt overwhelm you. There are a few more nice features that I didn’t cover. ¬†What I¬†covered here are the basics.

We have a manual on events that goes over what I just talked about here and classes will go over events as well. And you can ask for one-on-one help on top of the manual and classes.

Artiste events are powerful, flexible, precise, and are at the core of  how Artiste operates best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Forward to the New Year – Artiste Classes!

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteAfter a successful first-run of classes at K&M SOPA, I am working on revamping much of the curriculum.

In addition to the courses already offered, I am thrilled to announce that in 2016 I will be offering classes on The Artiste.

I will be teaching courses aimed at helping new owners/users to understand the main functions of the HUD and palette.

New users will create ‘working models’ for reference for various abilities of the HUD and palette.¬† These ‘working models’ are invaluable when working solo to re-create Artiste abilities.

In addition, Yummy will be teaching ‘Master’ level courses on various topics, including advanced features like the Thrower, Grouping functions, and Dance Diva.

Yummy has been writing a series of Tutorial articles on the Artiste to explain some of its capabilities and the thought process behind its creation.

In case you’ve missed them, you can find them under the ‘Product Reviews‘ page of the blog.

Tomorrow marks the start of the sale of the new Artiste product combos, which Yummy wrote about in Tutorial #1.

For those interested in a taste of what the Artiste can do, you can now purchase the following:

A-50: 1 NOCOPY/NOTRANS/MOD HUD      $5,000L
A-75: 1 NOCOPY/NOTRANS/MOD HUD & COPY/MOD Palette      $7,500L
A-100: 2 NOCOPY/NOTRANS/MOD HUDs & COPY/MOD Palette  $10,000L

The A-50, A-75, and A-100 are only guaranteed valid From December 1st, 2015 thru December 31st, 2015.

I am having to re-educate myself on some of the functions, because Yummy is constantly developing and adding to its capabilities. (Such a wonderful problem to have, right?!)

Once I have finished creating the curriculum, I will open registration for K&M SOPA classes, including those on the Artiste.  I anticipate that will happen mid to late December, with the classes actually beginning in January 2016.

In addition to the Artiste classes, I will also again be offering courses on choreography, dance tools, set building, etc.

What new skills would you like to gain in the new year?

Dare to be Different

Image Source: www.naijastories.com
Image Source: http://www.naijastories.com

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more people second-guessing themselves in SL.

People who feel they must live up to someone else’s expectations and desires.

Everyone has something of value to offer.

Everyone.

We all have our own needs, wants, and insecurities, and we bring those RL things with us into SL.

I firmly believe that everyone should do whatever makes them happy (as long as you’re not harming anyone else in the process).

In the dance community, as everywhere else, people are different.

Do you have an idea for a dance that seems a bit ‘off the wall’?

Do it!

Do you have a similar idea for a dance that someone else has already done?

Do it!

Do you have an idea for a dance that you really love, but think others will dislike?

Do it!

Don’t let others’ opinions and feelings drive what you do – in SL or RL.

I’ve talked to so many people who obviously feel on some level that they are not ‘good enough.’

We are all responsible for our own happiness, so don’t let other’s opinions affect how you feel.

Like dancing naked?

Do it!

Like using a million particle effects in a dance?

Do it!

It’s our differences that keep life interesting.

Are you doing something differently than I would have?

Of course.

That’s the point.

How boring would life be if we were all the same?

K&M SOPA Class Schedule and Feedback Request

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteHalloween is over, Thanksgiving and Christmas are looming on the horizon, and it’s almost time for this round of classes to end at K&M SOPA.

A huge thank you to all the people who signed up and took classes!

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting know to everyone and I’ve learned a lot.

There are two classes remaining for this year – the Intermediate Choreography and Intermediate Movers class, both of which are full.

After those two classes end, I will open registration for the basic series of classes starting in January 2016.

As the holidays approach, I know everyone will likely be busy, so I have opted to restart classes after the first of the year.

I am currently working on more curriculum, including some courses on using the Artiste suite of products, so be watching for those. ūüėÄ

If there is a class you would like to see over a certain topic, please let me know.

For those of you who have taken some of the courses at K&M, I would appreciate some feedback.

I have created a short questionnaire that I would ‚ô•LOVE‚ô• for you to fill out. ūüėÄ

You can find the form here.

The feedback you provide will help me to better create and plan classes, and to better serve those who want to learn.

I am also currently developing some curriculum for a ‘Masters’ class, so if you are interested in that, please let me know.

Again, a huge thank you to all of the students – without you, none of this would have been possible, and I’m extremely grateful. ‚ô•

PhotoPlus Expo‚Ķ..Gear lust, and creative alternatives | DWPhotoworks Blog

Get Creative
Image Source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

While this blog is about photography gear, I thought the underlying principle applied to dance as well.

Or anything, really.

It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of, “If I just had this tool, I could do this.”

I’ve heard people say, “When I win the lottery, . . . ” when talking about dance tools/gear they would like to buy.

I agree that tools are nice, but they are not the ‘be-all, end-all’ of creativity and performance.

Yes, perhaps others have newer, nicer tools than you do.

So what?

No one can buy creativity.

It can be the biggest, flashiest, filled with every tool you could imagine performance, and if there is no creative spark in it, it will fall flat.

So until you win the lottery, focus on what you DO have and how you can get creative with it!

Source: PhotoPlus Expo…..Gear lust, and creative alternatives | DWPhotoworks Blog