Updated Dance Animations

dancerIt’s been awhile since I posted anything here.  I still get quite a few views, so hopefully that means I’ve provided some worthwhile information that people find valuable.  Yay!  I won’t bore you with why I’ve been MIA (RL, blah, blah, blah), but lately I’ve had the time and the inclination to get back into SL.

So, of course, one of the first things I did was to visit my favorite dance stores and see what’s new.  Sadly, the answer is – not much.  Many of the stores I used to frequent (even though they didn’t have much new content) are now defunct.  I was happy to see that several of them (Abranimations, A&M, Henmations, and MyAnimations, to name a few) were still open for business and some even had new items!

SineWave, which was a perennial favorite when I first joined SL, seems to have finally gone.  The store was open for years with no new content, but the animations were good and I had a list of dances I still wanted to get.  Ah, well.  You snooze, you lose, right?

I have updated my Dance Animations Spreadsheet in case you’re interested.  Also, if you have any new stores that have opened since I was last active, please leave a comment and let me know the name and/or location.  I have L$ burning a hole in my virtual pocket!

Project Bento arrives on the main grid in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

I am excited to see Project Bento make it to the main grid, but it is still only accessible via the LL Project Bento viewer.  So, until it’s officially released and makes it way into TPV’s (like Firestorm), I won’t be seeing it.

I am curious to see how it impacts creators – if I understood all the tech speak correctly, there are new face bones that mesh heads will be able to use.  Which means that mesh heads will be able to respond to sliders, for more customization options.

There are other new bones, including a tail bone and wing bones, and the video in the article shows a pretty darn cool wyvern and a great centaur.  I don’t RP much, so while they look cool, I’m not sure those changes will matter much to me.

I am interested in how the new finger bones will impact creators – will pose makers have to use Blender or some other 3D program to create poses?  I don’t think Qavimator has finger bones, so does that make it obsolete for use with SL?  Will you now only need one set of mesh hands, rather than buying different hands with different poses?  (Which would be awesome for my wallet, but probably not for the creator’s.)

I’m also curious to what effect the new mGroin bone (for animating any groin-related appendages, according to the guide) has on creations. 😛

Crossing my fingers that these changes make it into TPV’s soon.  (Because I’d love to be able to cross my fingers in SL too!)

Read all about it below….

Project Bento, the Lab-initiated, collaborative project involving Second Life content creators to bring greater capabilities to mesh avatars and – potentially – rigged attachments ̵…

Source: Project Bento arrives on the main grid in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Quick Poll – Favorite Dance Animation Store

QuickPoll
Image Source: http://www.jr7.k12.mo.us

If you’re a performance dancer, what is your favorite animation store?

Imagine you could only shop at one store from now on – which one would it be?

I’ve listed as many as I can remember – feel free to write-in if I forgot your favorite. 😀

Saturday – Party Time!

Celebration
Image Source: madamsabi.wordpress.com

Saturday is finally here, and I am rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off, as my grandpa would say.

Actually, he probably would have said, “You’re busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest!”

Grandpa was a hoot. 🙂

Anyway, I’m still busy cleaning and getting ready for our big soirée tonight, but I wanted to remind you that there are some great dance shows on this weekend.

Breezes Dancers are doing a show – I saw their Christmas show and it was wonderful.

Fusion Dance Crew is also doing a s show – Ric and Feli are amazing, so if you haven’t seen this group before be sure to check them out.

And of course there are the regular weekend shows – hop on over to my calendar page for dates, times, and SLURL’s. 🙂

After I’m done with my crazy weekend, I will be trekking around the grid to animation vendors to see if there is anything new out there.

I know there have been a few new AO releases, so I will be checking those out as well.

I was actually excited to see the release of a new mesh head.

I don’t generally care for the look of mesh heads, because they seem too stiff and lifeless, as well as all looking pretty similar.

However, the new mesh heads from Rowne actually look pretty good to me.

I’m not jumping the gun, because the heads do not currently use appliers, which means I would have to switch skins to wear them.

I just switched skins a month or so ago, and I’m not looking to outlay another load of L$ for a mesh head AND new skins. :/

It’s back to work for me.

Enjoy your Saturday!!

Lots of News!!

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

Apparently it was a busy weekend for lots of people, not just me. 🙂

So I have lots of tidbits to share with you today.

Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Tuty’s has released a new Kid Girl AO.  I don’t need a child AO, but some of the anims might be useful for routines.
  • A&M Mocap has released a new dance – The Real Twerk 3.
  • The A&M Mocap Maniacs are looking for choreographers – find all the details here.
  • Since today is May 4 (if you’re a Star Wars geek like I am, you know what that means!!), Starlite Theater is putting on a themed performance tonight at 7pm SLT.  I can’t decide if I want to go as Princess Leia or C3PO. 😀
  • Firestorm has released a new beta version of the viewer.  They’re calling it a beta because there are still some issues/bugs they need to fix, but there are a TON of new features.  I am most excited about the updates to the phototools and the ability to add filters (like you can in the Black Dragon viewer) before you take the photo.  Saves me post-processing time.  🙂
  • Bright Canopy has announced their invitation-only early access Pre-Launch on May 19th at noon SLT.  Read all about it here.

Lots of exciting stuff happening.

Enjoy your Monday, folks!

Happy Friday!

Friday
Image Source: http://www.yourpathtofit.com

As the school year winds to a close, RL is intruding more and more on my SL time.

I was so busy yesterday I didn’t even have time to log in! 😦

Hopefully after the next couple of weeks are over, things will get back to normal and I will have a more set routine.

Until then, I’ll do my best to keep blogging!

One of the things I’m hoping to start is a series of posts on creators – places where I like to go for props, poses, particles – anything you might use in a routine.

I have a few creators already in mind, but I would love to hear from you – what places are ‘go-to’ stores for you when trying to find something particular?

I hope to be able to interview some of the creators as well, but given everyone’s busy schedules, I’m not sure how many will be able to participate.

Regardless, I will be doing some posts on them. 🙂

At least it’s Friday – Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Mesh Mess

It's a jigsaw puzzle, right?
It’s a jigsaw puzzle, right?

I’ve been spending some time lately trying to style and dress my mesh body.

It’s more difficult than I anticipated.

Not because the actual dressing part is complicated, but because so much of my mesh wardrobe simply doesn’t work with the mesh body.

There are so many clothes that have asymmetric lines, or are strapless, or off-shoulder – using the limited alpha cuts on the mesh body HUD just doesn’t work.

And since the alpha layers included with the clothing don’t work on a mesh body, some clothing is just unwearable.

I have also been using the Omega applier system with various outfits and learning how that all works.

But I’m starting to wonder if mesh and dance really mix well.

I typically arrive at a show around 30 minutes early to give things time to cache/rez.

Even then, many times things do not rez for me.

I’ve heard lots of other people complain that dancers appear handless, footless, bald, and or as a floating head, depending on what mesh items they are wearing.

The original appeal of mesh (for me) was that my dress no longer ‘sunk’ through my legs and/or chair when I sat.

However, most mesh dresses/skirts do NOT dance well.

The dance animations stretch the mesh, making it look odd, as well as sometimes ‘breaking’ it in weird ways.

I suppose it’s a question of trade-offs.

Your skirt no longer appears to go ‘through’ your leg, but it doesn’t move/flow as real fabric (and flexi) does.

I’ve successfully worn mesh to dance (generally corsets and the like) – avoiding long skirts that ‘broke’ or looked odd.

But if half of the audience can’t see it, does it work?

How entertaining is it to watch a bald floating head for 3-5 minutes?

Is the sacrifice in performance worth the ‘better’ look of mesh?

And the rez issues are not limited to clothing, though those are usually the most apparent.

I’ve gone to shows, taken pictures, and then been astonished after seeing someone else’s pics of the same show.

How come that prop didn’t rez for me?

There was supposed to be a pendulum in that act?

Another issue is that with mesh bodies, a lot of the lingerie (and some of the regular clothing) has to be ‘applied,’ so it’s not as simple to just ‘remove’ clothing.

If you strip or change costumes in a routine, this makes things even more difficult.

What do you think – is it worth wearing mesh in a dance routine?

Avi Choice Awards

Image Source:  avichoiceawards.com
Image Source: avichoiceawards.com

A quick update on winners so far in the dance world:

Best Venue – Rose Theater

Best Set Design – Rose Theater

Animations – Humanoid

Choreography Tool – HUDDLES

Dance Troupe – Guerilla Burlesque

They announced the best choreographer winner, but I couldn’t understand the name.  :/

Will update when I have the info.

Sequence #1 – Ballet

Black SwanThis post ended up being a lot of things all rolled into one.

I’ve been having so much fun taking photos in costumes, and I came across my Black Swan costume from Boudoir.

I love it, but just never got around to using it in a routine.

So I decided to go take some photos in it.

While I was taking photos, I began hunting around in inventory for an old ballet sequence I could use in the photo shoot.

Then I decided I would post the sequence.

But I wanted to do a short little video, so that everyone could see what the sequence looked like.

Hubs and I got to talking and he wanted to upgrade our video editor/recorder.

So while he spent hours finding the program he wanted, I got busy taking photos and getting a quickie little dance put together.

I’ll include the details for the outfit at the bottom of the post.

The sequence was originally set to other music, but I think it turned out pretty well for something I threw together in a couple of hours.

Kisses to my sweet husband, who shot the video and edited it for me. ❤

Black Swan

Sequence #1 – Ballet

DW Ballerina 17|8
My-BALLET-06|29.1
My-BALLET-13|23.1
My-BALLET-14|27.1
My-BALLET-16|29.2
My-BALLET-18|27.3
My-BALLET-24|36
DW Ballerina 3|6
SPIRIT Ballet Photography Pose 2|8

Ballerina poses are from Diesel Works and ballet dances are from MyANIMATIONS.

Costume Details:

Hair: Truth – Amelie – Black&Whites07

Costume: Boudoir – Black Swan Ballerina Dress

Ballet Shoes:  SLink – Paloma Pointe Ballet Slippers White

Makeup:  Lazyburn – Black & White Swan Makeup

Skin: Laqroki – Martina – Mocha

Shape: Laqroki – Glow  (modded)

Eyes: IKON – Utopia – Pale Cerulean

Identity Crisis?

Facial RecognitionScrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across this question:

If you didn’t have nametags, would you be able to recognize someone in SL? If so, how?

In RL, I am pretty good at remembering names and faces, even if it’s someone I’ve met only briefly.

In SL, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game, as my dad would say. 😛

How do you distinguish yourself in SL?

Of course there are lots of ways, but as ‘individual’ as we think our avatars are, can we be recognized while we’re ‘out and about’?

I asked my husband what visual clues he thought people used to recognize each other in SL.

His first thought was clothing, which I disagreed with.

I’ve seen lots of people wearing the same clothing – and with mesh templates so popular now, sometimes it’s a rarity NOT to have several someones wearing the same garment.

My first thought was faces.

That brought to mind a topic I’ve been mulling over for a while now.

Mesh heads.

I am not a fan.

Someone had a post the other day about mesh heads and RBF.

I had no idea what RBF meant, so I had to google it. 😛

I understand why mesh heads are popular.

Well, scratch that.

No, I don’t.

Yes, I know you can change the expressions, skins, makeup, etc. for individuality.

Regardless, they all still look the same to me – the same pinched nose, the haughty eyebrows, the eternal ‘something smells in here and it’s probably you’ expression.

For whatever reason, the mesh heads seem too perfect to be real.

So if everyone now looks pretty much the same with all the mesh heads floating around (sometimes literally, lol) – how else can you distinguish people in SL?

My next thought was AO’s.

After you spend a fair amount of time with someone in SL, you learn to recognize certain things.

The way they chat (typing errors, sentence structure, syntax), the way they move, and to a certain extent, the way they dress.

Because SL is such a visual medium, the AO’s that people wear can be a distinguishing feature (for me, anyway).

I use the built-in AO in Firestorm, and I have modded the original AO to suit me – removing certain animations, adding different runs, etc.

Now, I don’t know how many people use a built-in AO (I’m not even sure if the LL viewer has one, though I assume it does), and I don’t know how many people actually take the time to modify their AO’s – built-in or attached.

But I do associate certain animations/AO’s with certain people.

So I would like to think that I could recognize people in SL, even without nametags (which I rarely have turned on).

A week or so ago I was at a club, and was standing behind several people.

I thought I recognized one of the ladies in front of me.

She was wearing a mesh head and using an AO animation I recognized.

The combination made me think of a certain person.

I opened my radar to see if it actually was her, and it was someone completely different.

It was a bit disconcerting, because this person looked exactly like the other person I had mistaken her for.

And then a bit disappointing, because I suddenly realized that some of those pieces of ‘individuality’ may be on the way out.

If there were no nametags, would you be able to recognize your friends? Your significant other?

Have you ever mistaken someone for someone else in SL?