Artiste Producer Suite Class – K&M SOPA

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteOn Sunday, March 13, at 12pm SLT (noon), I will be giving a short class on the products in the Artiste Producer Suite.

We have a theater set up with all the pieces installed so that you can come and play with them and see what they do.

The class is open to anyone who is interested, you do not need to own the Producer Suite in order to attend.

If you’re interested, IM me in-world for the class LM.

Hope to see you there!

Tutorial #11: Artiste Outfit-Change

Cher-Target-Center-Minneapolis-June-2aThe Artiste started out as a tool to facilitate the removal and subsequently the addition of items that could be worn as layers or attached items to an avatar during a live show. The procedure started out as a manual one. Then one morning I got an epihnany to schedule the changes. Why become manually involved at all? That was when I began to think that everything that could be scheduled should be scheduled .

And thus the term “Auto” was born.

We started with removal of all items from a particular body part like say the “skull” or “pelvis”. Then was born the need to remove a single layer or attachment when several are worn on the same body part. This required the use of RLV. I had not heard of RLV being used in a way other than as a method to faciliate BDSM play. It was just an idea I had that it could facilitate non-sexual applications. It had a history of association of ‘bad’ as well as a ‘fear’ that it could be used against a persons wishes.

There is a lot of depth to the process of stripping and outfit-change. I treat the 2 topics separately. In fact there is a manual on AutoStripping and one on Outfit-Change. And they both have their own enable/disable lights on the face of the HUD.

There are many advanced disciplines to the Artiste. Each one should be seen as something special and worthy of concerted effort and time to master in order to maximize its feature set; like spending a week on nothing else but just exploring the discipline in depth and becoming deeply familiar with it. The motivation for mastering them is that they are empowering and either expand your abilities to control your performance beyond normal means or to solve performance issues and challenges…or both.

Advanced disciplines include but are not limited to:  Outfit-Change (with SmartChange), Artiste Rezzer, Advanced Mover, Adorning, Grouping, Particles, AutoCam, Formations(DanceDiva) , MasterPiece, to name a few.

You should add your own personal notes to yourself of important discoveries ore perferences of usage. You should also keep a folder of successful experiences including notecards, HUDs, Palettes, Rezzers, snapshots of inventory, or anything else that can help jog your memory as to how you were successful in the past. You want to be able to quickly repeat a discipline with confidence and without relearning or fear of remembering .

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One area of major concern with people is that of troubled outfit-changes during a live show. In fact I have heard from at least 2 people in the last week on major concerns on recent “fitting” issues  as well as expended effort to facilitate multiple outfit-changes in one routine. It seems good enough is no longer the case. People seem to want answers. Solutions.

We spent a LOT of time on the issue of the wearing and unwearing of outfits over the years. We even discovered certain SL issues years ago prior to LL acknowledging just recently what we had already surmised…that of items with a lot of links.

We had to address issues of: unrezzed, double-rezzed, or stuck (as in unremovable) costume-changes, especially during laggy conditions. We also addressed the issue of alphas.

There are many, many features at your disposal to control an outfit-change cycle. We provide for an automated way to micro-manage an outfit-change process and allow for up t0 5 of these micro-managed outfit-changes to occur  for a given HUD during a set.

WearUnwear 

We call an outfit-change WearUnwear, as a reminder of what is happening. We wear or add the new outfit prior to unwearing the the old outfit so as to minimize any embarrassment of unneeded skin-exposure. It also looks better aesthetically when performd in this order as opposed to unwearing prior to wearing. You can also perform a Wear and Unwear cycle separately. You can do them manually or scheduled via the AutoFX feature of the Artiste PerformanceHUD.

Simply add the items you want to wear in one RLV folder and the items you want to unwear in another RLV folder.

So WearUnwear are attached to events via AutoFX just like moves or fades or particles or any other special process.

There is also a Replace option for certain special situations (nocopy) but is not recommended if WearUnwear could be used…as it is not as controllable.

Anchoring

At this juncture you have the ability to Anchor certain body-parts so they are NOT removed.

Also Anchoring , avoids the unecessary step of removing the same layer or attachment if you are simply going to rewear it in the new outfit. This is performed automatically if you turn AutoAnchor to “on”. Example: The currently worn hair is the same as the new hair you are going wear. Why add an extra redundant step that could help clog the process?

You can anchor manually thru the menu for quick experimentation or via the main configuation notecard of the Artiste Performance HUD.

Also, by default, all HUD  areas on the screen are Anchored. So in order to replace a HUD you would have to un-anchor its screen area.  Usually you want to keep HUDS worn via an outfit change process which is why it is the default.

Exclusions

You can exclude certain bodyparts from being affected by removal or addtion. These are like Anchors only they are PERMANENT. Bra and panties for example insure that under NO conditions are these layers removed.

Retries

When attaching new items we found often that repeated attempts helped to vastly improve success. You can set the number of automatic attach-retries along with the amount of time to ‘wait’ in beween retries via the main configuration notecard. We even set the number of retries to 2 by default as insurance as we notice it is better to have it than not have it. We were able to improve 100% failure scenarios  down to about  20% failure rate by adding in auto-retries of high-link items (hair, jewelry).

SmartChange – troubled-Item wearing and unwearing

Over time we discovered that items with a lot of links as well as alphas and to a lesser degree, heavily scripted items, caused certain problems that were exacerbated as laggy conditions increased. These included: stuck items (unable to remove or detach), double-rezzed body-parts, failed rez layers, and alpha-related (also alpha-on-alpha) issues.

We created a process by which you have more granular control of WHEN certain body-parts were addressed during an outfit-change process to help unclog the process and space out activity.

UPDATE: SmartChange may well come in handy  when addressing the touchy issue of MESH, although not much has been done to explore how best to deal with MESH.

We made this process automated.

A WearUnwear process can be replaced by a SmartChange which does pre-processing prior to a normal WearUnwear cycle followed by post-processing that happens after the normal WearUnwear cycle.

You can have up to 5 SmartChange Sets.

You set them up on a special notecard.

You can execute them by number (1 thru 5) at the appropriate times in your routine.

AutoChange needs to be enabled as does AutoFX.

Each SmartChange Set will change an outfit with added special instructions to do pre and post processing targeting of body parts in certain folders with given delay times.

What you gain is the ability to PRE-WEAR, PRE-UNWEAR, POST-WEAR, and POST-UNWEAR specified trouble items so they are performed in a less clogged client-server communication. We give you 3 RLV folders to drop troubled items into.

They are named: Shoes, Hair, and Jewelry but you can put ANYTHING in them that you want as it does not check.

There are 3 folders that address the PRE WearUnwear cycle to the main WearUnwear cycle and 3 folders that address the POST WearUnwear cycle.

We found troubled items work best addressed in the PRE WearUnwear cycle  We found that alpha layers work best when addressed in the POST WearUnwear cycle.

You can also adjust the delay times up or down to allow these PRE and POST cycles to do their thing.

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ADVANCED

Tattoo Layers

You can address tattoo-layers separately and cause them to automatcially be removed and added in optimal order. They have been known to cause issues when not removed prior to everything else and not added back in after everything else.  We have automated this feature should you ‘turn it on’. It requires some minor preparation on your part regarding RLV folder loading.

ME folder

You can specify items that you ALWAYS wear to automatically be worn using the ME folder option. This way you dont have to always repeatedly add them to the WEAR folder. It requires some minor preparation on your part regarding RLV folder loading.

Invisibility Folder

You can cause your avatar to automatically go invisible as the result of an intentional effect by adding 1 or 2 special invisibility items in a special folder. It knows to perform this feature after an (optional) particle-effect emission. AutoInvis needs to be “on”. It requires some minor preparation on your part regarding RLV folder loading.

Rebake

Place a temporary body part that forces a rebake, like noob hair or skin into one Rebake  subfolder.  Place the real skin or hair you want to wear in a different Rebake subfolder. We found this process helped circumvent another type of outfit-change issuedwe came across. It is optional but recommended as a safety measure. It requires some minor preparation on your part regarding RLV folder loading.

Teleport

We have up to 5 entries that control teleporting out and back into a sim as we found this to sometimes be the only solution to extreme rez issues in super laggy sims.

It automates the procedure of masking the change, teleporting the avatar out to another sim, performing the outfit-change at a less-laggy sim and then returning them back to the same spot they lef.

This is where auto-particle effect-emission comes into play to help mask the outfit change procedure. You can specify where to teleport to, where to teleport back to (often a forced teleport landing spot) and then to the  2nd more specific onstage location to return you to the specific stage-spot where you left. All of this is  automatable as part of a SmartChange operation. This is extreme but is provided as an option. It requires some preparation on your part.

OuttifChange AnimationsDances

You can specify particular animations to  lead into an outfit-change and out of an outfit change, separate from other normal ways of  dancing via HUD animation-sequencing or Palette-based animation or Coupler animation. It requires some minor preparation on your part.

AutoEmission of Outfit-Change Masking via Particle-Effects

You can cause auto-generation of a few built-in particle effects to be generated during an outfit change. It requires some minor preparation on your part.

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Outfit-Change Cycles

The cycle of outfit-change process has been explored so in depth that we have itemized many  cycles that you can consider and control for advanced outfit-change situations.

The WearUnwear Cycle – tentative

1) Optionally BeginDance Into outfit-change
2) Optionally insures !Me1 folder contents are added
3) Optionally goes invisible if folder exists and AutoInvis is toggled
4) Optionally Rezzes a particle Effects Shield (if on)
5) Optionally Rezzes a rez object shield (if on)
6) Optionally Removes Tattoo Layers (if folder exists and removal is toggled on
7) Adds trouble items separately (Before phase — recommended)
8) Wears (adds) new outfit
9) Unwears (removes) old outfit
10) Wears new outfit
11) Optionally wears new outfit again x times
12) Optionally Adds trouble items separately (After phase)
13) Optionally Rebakes old then new body part
14) Optionally Removes Particle Effects (if exists)
15) Optionally Removes Shield (if exists)
16) Optionally Adds back in Tattoo layers if it applies
17) Optionally Animates EndDance if it applies
18) Optionally LAST THING Removes invisibility

Customizable Delays

SecondsAfterStartDance,5
SecondsAfterEndDance,3
SecondsAfterEffects,2
SecondsAfterMe1,4
SecondsAfterInvis,3
SecondsAfterRezObject,1
SecondsAfterUndress,5
SecondsBeforeRebake,1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial # 10: Dancing With The Artiste

FlyingDancers

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.

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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.

Example:

DanceName1 | 24.1
DanceName2 | 19.8
DanceName3 | 28.7

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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)

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Read-Outs

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.

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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.

Advanced

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)

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I hope this lends some insight into how the Artiste is and can be used as a show-time dance tool.

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 😀

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. 😀

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!

Tutorial #4: The Artiste Palette

PaletteImage

What is it?

The Artiste Palette, simply stated, is a unique concept, and methodology for “extending” the reach and ability of the Artiste Performance HUD.

It came into being after satisfying multiple requests to friends for special one-time scripts to do this and special one-time scripts to do that. I simply gathered up all th contrubitions that myself and Jemma, a fellow scriptor, have provided over the years, and then added what i felt was a full compliment of anything else that people might and would ask for in the future. Everything except the kitchen sink.

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Inside a Palette

As of this writing, it is comprised of 10 scripts, (2 of them optional), and 5 notecards (3 of them optional).  Anything that is modifiable can be a Palette. Just copy the scripts and notecards into its root prim.  Special handling and consideration should be taken when turning a multi-prim object into a Palette.

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Friends

So imagine that you know you could accomplish a special task if only you knew how to script, but you cannot script yourself. So you go to a friend and ask them to script the solution for you. And then you ask another friend the next time. Then you ask friends if they have a script to do such-and-such.

And you really want it to perform a little bit different than the last time you used it but you don’t know how to modify it so you try and find someone to modify it . You may find someone or you give up and ‘settle’ for how it works.

The Palette was created to address people who have ‘imagined needs’ that are able to ‘follow a recipe of instructions’ and can edit a notecard.

It requires attention to ‘sets of instructions’ and an ability or determination to find and fix typos.

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Illustrated Manual

There is a 70-plus-page illustrated intellibook on the features of the Palette. You learn how to ‘make it do stuff‘ by changing parameters on the 5 notecards.

The 5 notecards inside of the Palette tell it “what” it can do and become.

The instructions you write on 2 notecards in the HUD tell it “when” to execute.

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Horizontal vs. Vertical Thinking

Up until now, you may have had a tool that does cool things and may specialize in a few cool things. And once you learned how to make it do a cool thing, you made it to that same cool thing many times. The more times you made it do that same thing, the better and more able and proficient you felt. I compare that to “vertical” creation.

The Artiste focuses on “horizontal” creation. The goal is to do many different things one time each. Like adding more colors to a graduating from black-and-white to color. The more colors, used creatively, the more vibrant is the creative expression.

I don’t posit it as ‘better than’, just a different approach, an additonal choice, an extra tool in your tool-box,  that offers more variety and options and allows one’s creativity to ‘stand-alone’. Once you have become adept at vertical-creation, horizontal-creation may be a logical next step to unleash your more of your creative energies.

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Compound vs Complex

The Palette lends it self to compound as well as complex construction.

Compound means that it can be “more than one thing at the” same time’. You saw an example of that in the beginning  State-Of-Shock video State-Of-Shock video when it shows one Palette serving as a “mover” a “light”, and an “animated texture”. It had to be first imagined that combining them would produce a desired result.

As of this writing, there are in excess of  80 “things that a Palette can become and/or do”. I call them “action-features”.

Complex means that when 2 ‘action-features’ happen in succession and careful order of executio, they tell a mini-story by their very association an. I present 2 examples.

1st example: Letters From the Sky

At the beginning of this video, Aura falls over backwards over a cliff and then continues to fall down a cliff. Those are 2 different action-features, tip and move of the Palette that occur 1 after the other. They convey a mini-story when presented in close proximity to one another. But it had to be ‘imagined first’. The Palette does not come with pre-ordered sets of compound creations.

2nd example: Stink

Here is an idea I had and then implemented it. A foul odor in a room that i want to get rid of. The window opens and the stink exits the room thru the window, changing its color as it does to imply its composition is affected by the onset of fresh-air. It is, again, a one-after-the-other sequence of 2 actions, that tells a mini-story, that of clearing a room of an undesired odor.  By themselves the 2 events, window opening and stink moving don’t say as much as the 2 together.

I am suggestiong that the constant presence of the 80+ action-features AND your ability to make your own personal adjustments helps empower you to create using manageable building blocks.
You can change not just the color of the stink dynamically but also any other particle-parameter(s).  And I even provide the notecards I used to  create this mini-story. This is how many unique mini-stories still to be told. 7.156946e+118  (over ‘7 followed by 119 zeros’) using the Artiste system.

The window is just one of 50 easily-controllable binary-state objects that come as part of a complimentary package I call Set-Responders. (There is an additional charge for this package and is not part of any Artiste offering). You can of course find your own very inexpensive or free binary-state items that accept chat commands and then substiture appropriately.

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Customizable

It is important to note that the action-features are not static. Each has been intimately addressed as to how best to offer adjustable notecard-parameters to change and expand its behavior and presentation.

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Owning It

With the adoption of the Artiste Palette, you would transition from “No big, deal. I can do that too” …to…”I did this, my own creation that I had personally not seen done before”.

Enjoy the experience of peers and/or audience members coming up to you asking you ‘How did you do that?” Or all of a sudden seeing a lot of copycatting of your invention.

I think the fact that the 80+ action-features, plus the dozen or so Palette abilities, which I have not discussed yet, plus the several HUD functions, all in combination and ever-present in your face, constantly remind you of what different mixture of Artiste-colors you can blend either in a compound or complex way or combinations of the both.

What is a Palette Ability?

There are currently 15 abilities. Abilities are like light-switches either on or off. If off, then action-features requirding it cannot be performed. Example: A palette cannot be a mover if the ability “moveable” is not on, even though it has all the moves defined. They help narrow or filter what a Palette can and cannot do or be as well as help limit interference.

Well you have already glimpsed at some of them:
You know about:

Moveable (State-Of-Shock)
Texturable (State-Of-Shock)
Lightable (State-Of-Shock)
Sittable (State-Of-Shock)

Animatable (State-Of-Shock)
Throwable
(State-Of-Shock ending)
Particles (State-Of-Shock ending)
Collidable (State-Of-Shock ending)
Attachable (State-Of-Shock ending)

So you now already know half of them and probably how they were applied.

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Imagine Then Do

It is like seeing a random spread of scrabble letters and imagining what words you can make from the letters. Letters in close proximity to each other give you clues as to what words can be made. The Artiste is like that cause you are always seeing letters that could make up words.

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And so lastly I will list some of the features of the action-features of the Palette, many of which you have seen in action:

Object Mover
Avatar Mover
Thrower
– Throw, catch, roll, drop, dribble, boomerang, sail,
ricochet, matrix, stop-motion, kick, and more
While the thrower is briefly covered in the Palette book, it is so
intricate and advanced that it has its own 50-page book.

Animated Texture – (you can start and stop as well as animate for a set
number of times)

Tip
Fader – (many customizable controls)
Oscillator
Collider
Rezzer
Die
Light
Sit-2-Sit
– Palette Transfer
FollowSpot
Glow
Control

Particles
Flash

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I hope this tutorial on the Artiste Palette and the previous tutorial on the Artiste Performance HUD will help you make a more informed decision on whether or not to adopt one of the reduced-price package offerings good thru the month of December 2015.

In case you missed the prior tutorials, here are convenient links:

Tutorial #1

Tutorial #2

Tutorial #3

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial #3: The Artiste Performance HUD

The Artiste Performance HUD is the centerpiece of the Artiste Performance Suite. Let us familiarize with some of its basics.

The HUD “functions”.

On the face of the HUD are buttons that can toggle red and green
except for the yellow button that does not toggle. It is always
active. Clickin the yellow button brings up a menu.

The purpose of the buttons, that represent the primary “functions”
of the Artiste, is to be able to jointly test different combinations of funtionality while at the same time excluding other functionality.

The idea being to simplify creation and testing scenarious by temporarily
suppressing functionaly that might other wise muddle the waters, so to speak.

Once you have an area of functionaly tested, then suppress it by toggling it RED.

Now focus on a new area.

To start the HUD playing all of your “enabled functional instructions“,  press the GREEN PLAY button that looks like a triangle pointing right.

To stop the HUD from playing your set of instructions prior to it reaching its normal end, press the RED SQUARE button.

Play and Stop Buttons

 

Artiste Primary Functions

The Functions are now listed with the most used functions at the top.

1 – AutoFX – This function essentially allows you to control devices that are ‘external’ to the HUD. It uses chat commands to start, modify, and stop various devices, the most prevalanet being the Artiste Palette. This is the most used notecard because if its wide flexibility.

There is a nc called *autofx. Each line on it corresponds to 1 of 20 events or points in time after pressing start that you want to be able to specify 1 or more funtions to occur. More about events in a  subsequent tutorial.

And you can have multiple actions on a given line. So you can instruct multiple actions to have for a given event, limited to 255 characters.

External devices other than the Artiste Palette include but are not limited to: Artise Camera Controller, Artiste Curtain, Artiste DanceDiva, Artiste SetRezzer, and devices made by other creators that accept chat control.

Unlike most systems that exclusively communicate via chat-channel numbers, the Artiste HUD communicates  not only via channel numbers but ‘names‘ at certain situations for easier identification.

2 – AutoSequence – This controls wether you will be dancing animation sequences.  There are 2 ways to ‘dance’. Immediately upon pressing PLAY. This is handy when you want to start dancing when you first hear music.
The other is to start a sequence playing in sync with one of the 20 events that you will define. The Artiste allows for up to 4 sequences per HUD. Each Sequence can have 1 or more animations in it.

One important attribute of a sequence of animations is the ability to instruct one or more Palettes to ‘do something‘, moving being just one of the things you could tell a Palette to do. Just like an animation, you tell it how long you want it to perform it before continuing to the next
animation. This allows you to easily synchronize Palette features to occur at precise moments just before or after a given animation.

3 – AutoAdorn – This is the function used to add props, make props appear attached, to the HUD wearer. There is now also a ‘negative adorn‘ which allows for the removal of a prop. This can also apply to a layer of clothing.

And a new feature is the Adorn Swap that allows for a simultaneous exchange of props attached to 2 different body parts. This is how a Hat-from-Head-to-Hand or Hat-in-Hand-to-Head can be more easily performed in one command rather than using an add and a remove.

There is now some overlap in functionality between AutoAdorn and AutoStrip. But this flexibility allows ways for you get out of tight jams.
Giving you extra events to accomplish prop/clothing removal.
AutoAdorn also has the ability to occur at a given offset in time to an event as opposed to
exactly on the event. This has proven invaluable in tight-timing-synchronization situations.

4 – AutoStrip – The Artiste started out solely as a tool to aid burlesque dancers in helping to streamline the process of removing items of clothing so a lot of work has been put into this one area. There is aA lot of flexiblity.

AutoStrip allows for the removal of layers of clothing or attachments …either a single layer or attachment from several layers or attachments to the same body part…or ALL layers and attachments for a given body part.

It is one of few areas that can work manually as well as sequenced.
The Standard A-250 package comes with 25 NOCOPY but TRANSFER/MOD FREE relays. These are to be worn by members in group performances so performers can perform functions in sync with each other  like Adorning, Negative-Adorning, Stripping, Swapping, etc.

5 – AutoEmote – this function is pretty straight forward. You control whether the HUD will send emotes to local chat. You caan also send the HUD wearer ‘warnings’. Other options include name spoofing. You are allowed 1 emote per event for a maximum of about 20 emotes per HUD, using just AutoEmote. Recently we enabled AutoAnnounce to also produce emotes in local chat, so now yo have an additional 20 for a total of 40 chat lines per HUD. And on top of that, if that is not enough, since AutoEmote and AutoAnnounce are tied to events….Palettes can produce local chat emotes…So essentially an unlimited amount of chats per HUD.

And is Palette-based emoting is over-bearing for you, there is HUD chaining to more easily extend 40 chats with another 40.  40 for each new chained HUD.

And yes you can use /ME in your chat line There is also an entry that simultaneously delivers a chat to a chat-extender or shouter on a channel you choose.

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What has been presented is a lot to absorb for those new to the Artiste so I will cut this tutorial short. I will briefly identify the other areas but not in as much depth.

6 – AutoChange – this is for outfit/costume changes

7 – AutoAccess – this was born from the need to quickly get to and control common show-time functions like: Curtain Open/Close, logging in and out,  showing and hiding palettes, hovertext control on palettes, group-dance assignments, dance invites, resetting of palettes, homing them, etc

One in-demand feature is the ability to send ‘all sittable‘ palettes
to their 2nd move and then wait for the HUD-wearerto press PLAY. This allows for easy sending of people below stage or above stage or elsewhere hidden in preparation for actual show-start

8 – AutoAnnounce – much like AutoEmote, only it sends to a different channel

9 – AutoCam – controls automated controlled-camera viewing to the audience. There is Also has built-in StageSight that allows the HUD-wearer to quickly see the stage and themselves and/or group as the audience sees them and instant angle-change to the tipjar.

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I hope this has shed enough light on most of the key functionality of the Artiste Performance HUD for those considering purchase. Up next will be a more in-depth look at what the Palette can do.

In case you missed the prior tutorials, here are convenient links:

Tutorial #1

Tutorial #2

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft

Tutorial #2 – Artiste Suite Overview

ArtisteSuiteOverview

Trying to wrap one’s mind around the Artiste can be challenging so hopefully this will help you see the bigger picture. The main 2 pieces to understand at this point is the Artiste Performance HUD and the Palette. Not listed in the chart, for brevity sake, are other entities like the Master Rezzer (for sets) and the Artiste Curtain, and something HUGE coming in 2016..

As you can see, the HUD can communicate to many entities, not the least of which is that it can communicate to another Artiste Performance HUD.
It has 2 ways to talk to itself. By loading another HUD and then waiting for the HUD wearer to tell the newly loaded HUD to run. Or…it can autorun the new HUD without any operator-interevention and then old HUD and deatch itself. We call this HUD-chaining.

ArtisteHUD_IMAGE

HUD-chaining allows for an infinite number of control stages when one runs out of HUD resources: like events, emotes, dances, etc. This is handy for those 1 hour-plus productions.

99%  of the time you can get by with extending a HUD’s capabilities by using one or more Palettes. While the HUD has about a dozen or more primary funtions, its abilities are extended to about 100 more what I call, action-features, by using a Palette.

PaletteImage

Think of a Palette as the friend or source you go to when you need a special script. Maybe a fader script, as an example. Well now you can bypass the friend and the need to acquire a script .

The Palette can be that fader, one of the 100 or so things it can be or do.

You no longer need to settle for a fader scripts fixed settings. You can customize your fader using the Palette notecards. Oscillation, transparency limits, intervals, single-shot (credit to little Zed from whom I got the idea) …to name a few.

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A Palette is copyable so you can have a HUD control more than 1 Palette.

A Palette can can control another Palette.

A Palette can create another Palette.

A Palette can communicate back to the HUD.

A Palette can talk to products from other creators.

Anything that is modifiable can be a Palette. It is not restricted to the object you get that is a single-prim box. No linking required although it is not prohibited from linking.

Many of you are now familiar  with movers. The Palette is what becomes a mover in the Artiste world. It can be an Object-Mover. It can be an Avatar-Mover.

The Artiste Palette can be a mover AND other things (if that is your choice)  at the same time. And you can tweak the characteristics of the ‘other things’ it can be.

Here is a link to a video where 12 Palettes are in use. I wish to to direct your attention to the opening. A Palette is: An avatar-mover AND an animated-texture AND an Artiste-Light.  Later on in this video, the same Palette-based-Avatar-Mover morphs into an Palette-based- Object-Mover and is instructed at precise times, from the HUD, to follow the moves of the animation. Insane. More crazy stuff happens near the end of the video but for now focus on its ability to: 1) behave like multiple items and 2) to change what it is and how it behaves dynamically. NOTE: A Palette as a mover can perform different selected ranges of moves from a given move-sequence and is not restricted to all-or-nothing execution of all-moves.

Credit to Aura Fitzgerald (auricrose Resident) for: Concept, Choreography, Design, and Execution

State-Of-Shock Video (compound Palette)

For a more in-depth analysis of the techniques, see this link:

State-Of-Shock (Behind the Scenes)

and scroll down to where it says: “STATE OF SHOCK –  Video  – Watch the video ==>

It goes without saying that this is an advanced adaptation of Artiste technology and not something one could expect to master over-night or even a few nights but it does show what is possible with “imagination” and perserverance married with technological innovation.

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One person told me after hearing of the wide berth of offerings, “wow, you’d better have good support“.

That is an understatement with the weight of this offering. Thats why support doesnt end with a website, manuals, and videos.  So very key is ‘attitude‘. So very key is ‘patience‘. So very key is ‘availability‘. As are ‘product knowledge‘ and ‘product experience‘.

You will ask what you feel are stupid questions. Its ok. Not to me. Fine by me. Used to it. There are no stupid questions because that is the state of a new person learning.

You may ask the same question over and over. Its ok. Fine by me. I am us used to it.  I will answer you again.

In fact, I dont feel users elicit personal one-on-one help often enough. It is often pride or fear of feeling stupid or a determination to figure things out on their own. But this can lead to wasteful hours especially if its a simple thing like a typo, systax, or a rule they may be unaware of. I have seen and solved so many issues. Even issues that are not the fault of the Artiste but are an anomaly of SL. I still try to offer a solution. Quite a few Artiste abilities are the result of overcoming SL limitations and anomalies. I go out of my way not rely on “It’s SL, live with it”.

And yes, sometimes you will be doing everything right and its really a bug. That’s why its important not to ‘beat yourself up’ needlessly. I am very attentive to fixing bugs and 95% are solved same day, Often within the 1st hour.

And the best time to ask questions is in the beginning when you are trying to get a foothold and gain confidence.

You can ask anything you want in group from other users. I encourage people helping people. Our users are very eager to lend assistance.

 

I will keep this 2nd in a series of tutorials short and brief and let this material sink in. Hope you gained some insight.

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft

P.S.

I don’t want to overwhelm people with a myriad of information about the Artiste. The purpose of the tutorial series is to deliver byte-sized and digestable portions of information and ease people into the Artiste. But at the suggestion of a few others,  I will provide a link to our blog-site that has more information, however I would hope you would try your best to hold off going there unless you are unable to contain your curiosity.

The Artiste Blogsite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial #1: Introduction to the Artiste Performance HUD & Suite for Non-Owners

Artiste top banner GOLD V2.1

Attitudes seem to be changing about the Artiste or maybe attitudes towards interest in ‘new dance-community technology’. There was a time when few knew or seemed to want to know about the Artiste or the applicability of modernized-dance-tools. I take partial responsibility because 1) its steep price-tag and 2) it not having a store presence or MP presence like my other products. However a store presence does not always insure a safety-blanket of support, as in the case of the Huddles and a few other dance HUDs. I have been in SL 8 years daily, missing only a few  days due to illness or internet availability. I am approachable, helpful, and very patient .

Due to its price and intricacy, it is preferred to have a short casual Q&A interview with prospective buyers to make sure the product has a fair chance to meet their expectations as opposed to people buying it off the shelf without having their questions  answered and have some confidence that their specific needs are cared for.

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Times have changed and people seem accustomed to a ‘process’ of using one or more tools, sometimes tools in concert with each other, to help aid in  presenting a cohesive and more professional solo or group stage performance.

Also there are so many new performers in SL that were not here a year or more ago so this is a good time to introduce the Artiste to the ‘new’ as well as reintroduce it to those who were or are vaguely familiar with it.

The goal is, of course, in presenting a comprehensive tool is to witness  and enable people to simply do cool, great, fun, and creative things via technological ingenuity!

I think there is currently an ongoing hunger for something new or a ‘next new(big?) thing’ as has been hinted in several interactions with people in the dance community.

Kat and I discussed what seemed to be a prevailing malaise of creative energy for many, but of course not everyone.

There are so many venues and so many acts and performers that there are a lot of recurring themes, sets, costumes, dances, songs…and all justifiable because they are learning firsts for those newcomers who have just as much right to travel down the roads of  discovery as their forebearers. It is hoped that a new tool might go a long ways to invigorating the creative process. I like to think of the Artiste as a tool able to help unleash the creative-centers  and amplify a person’s ideas to new heights and expanses. Something to kickstart one’s imagination.

We also shared the view that although new-technology is good and a timely ‘new shiny’, that without a passionate creative-center, few if any new cool-tools will make a person a ‘next performing-wonder’ nor bring a modicum of self-satisfaction.

And people also seem very amenable to learning new things as well as relearning what they think they already know, with the sudden explosion of training and classes on a wide variety of dance-related topics.

It seems the time is right for a ‘something else’. Not  necessarily a replacement but an adjunct to the tools one is already successful with.

Some have asked that I offer a class on Artiste along-side of other product offerings taught in classes that have been offered as well as future classes.

Others have offered to help teach the Artiste.

And more than a few people have suggested that I present an on-going digestible tutorial on the Artiste for non-owners who wonder what it is all about.

It appears all signs point to an emergence of information presented to help close the gap of knowledge about it.

And that is what this series of articles will be about. A presentation specially tailored for the non-owner of the Artiste.

So that means that it will be much less technical than previous offerings and more general.

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PRODUCT PRICING

GREAT NEWS!

First let me announce that there are now 4 NEW price-tier offerings lest you turn off now due to its former prohibitive lofty single price tag. More than a few people have requested partial-product offerings.

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

A-250: The Standard Artiste Performer Series. 25,000 L

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

I will expand on the differences in a subsequent post.

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NOTE: The Palette is required in order to create object-movers and avatar-movers as well as all of the special-extended show-effects.

PaletteImage

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The new pared-down package offerings are meant to be entry-level affordable and provide accessible and practical learning models. The HUDs and Palettes are fully functional and are not intentionally crippled in functionality. The Standard package may be more than what many people need. These product offerings allow people to ease-in to the Artiste mind-set.

You also get the same level of support, access to all information and educational sources including our: group, blog, website, classes, and unlimited one-on-one support.

All future upgrades are FREE.

And YES, what you pay for the 3 low-tier offerings are 100% applicable should you decide to upgrade to a higher tier-level at a later date. And YES, your upgrade offers survive the 2016 deadlin.e

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Who is the Artiste targeted for?

1) Advanced Choreographers/Performers who are ready to take that ‘next step’. Those looking for ‘a next big thing’. Those who like to position themselves on a leading edge.

2) Those who are patient and determined

3) Those who are reasonably technically savvy.

4) I don’t recommend the Artiste to someone who has never used any dance-hud prior and/or never edited a note-card unless you are very tech-savvy and accustomed to picking up new technoligies with ease and acumen.

5) Those accustomed to scheduling their in-show activities to occur at specific pre-planned times. This means everything is sequenced.

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The Artiste

Ok so what can be said about the Artiste to those new to it or unfamiliar that it even exists? The following descriptives come to mind:

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HUD-Centric

It is an all-encompassing precision performance suite for burlesque and cabaret stage soloists and groups, the heart of which is the Artiste Performance HUD. The HUD tells the other parts of the suite what to do, how to do it, where to do it, and when to do it.

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Features-List

The Artiste has an ungodly amount of features so I won’t even attempt to enumerate them as it would serve no good purpose now and likely do more harm than good.

I will attempt to highlight the most important and popular ones in coming tutorials.

The good news is you can do a lot with just a few features and pick and choose which of the various other features you want to focus your energies on.

Many are easy to use. You dont need to learn or master all of them or even most of them in order to find utility and usefulness from the product.

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Analogies

The Artiste Suite can be likened to:

– a science laboratory kit-experimrent with mixing chemicals

– a Lego-kit, with the Palette likened to a transformer-toy that can be a say, a robot or car or weapon.

– an iceberg. Only maybe 25% of its capabilities have been tapped, 3/4ths of it abilites remain unchartered.

– the difference between power-steering and the gas pedal in car. Some tools you may be familiar and comfortable with you expend very little effort, comparatively speaking, and get a many times the results, albeit that you are not moving forward but side to side. The Artiste is like a gas pedal.. The more pressure you apply the faster it goes and the farther it goes …but you need to keep applying pressure to keep going.

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Discovery

It is a discovery tool. You can make unique personal discoveries using imagination, experimentation, perseverance, and patience.

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Identifying Strategy

You can combine more than 2 or more features to create a new hybrid feature.

By imaginative ordering of the execution of 2 or more features, you can also create dynamic run-time cause-and-effects. I will demonstrate in a subsequent tutorial.

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Pre-Scheduler/Sequencer

While it does have some ‘press-this-button, make-this-happen-now‘ features it was engineered to pre-schedule a wide variety of activities in close coordination with one another. This is familiar with the way you sequence dances to occur one afte ther other by pressing a button. THe idea with Artiste is to sequence everything else as well, emotes, special-fx, outfit-modifications, etc.

To the dismay of some, it is not a primary-support-tool for those who like to dynamically make things happen during show-time, though there are some measures that can be taken to accomplish immediacy with some imaginative effort.

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Reminder

It is an all-in-one-tool by choice. The reason being that from the layout of the HUD to the concept of ‘Palette abilities‘ to the simple long laundry list of features and Palette-Actions, it is meant to be a constant reminder of ‘other things it can do‘. Its ever-present array of offerings is meant to help stimulate you into being more creative.

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Dedication

I strongly do not recommend it for someone ladened with having to put out 1 or more shows a week as others have fallen into the trap of thinking they can learn a cool new Artiste-technique and implement it in one weeks time ready for their upcoming show as an adjunct to what they were are already doing with other tools.

While it does have a history of playing well with some others, I would not expect to inject new coolness quickly. Allow time to learn and make way for typical growing pains. Give your self time for trial-and-error without the pressures of having to be productive almost over-night.  Patience.

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Familiaity

You will find many things simple (emoting)…

..and familiar like the way an animation is identified:

Example:
name-of-animation1 | time
name-of-animation2 | time

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Reliable Timing Engine

It has a pretty tight timing-engine that seems to perform consistently and reliably as you can see from some of the many show and demo videos. Many cool-things depend on reliable close-proximity-executions of various tasks in conjunction with one another.

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Plays Well With Others

It has been show-tested to have worked successfully with some other popular tools.

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Single-HUD Solution

One popular attraction is that those used to having a screen full of HUDs have found a lot of screen-space freed up because the Artiste presents as a one-HUD solution.

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Optimized Work-Flow

Our note-cards are grouped into sections so you only ever reload just the section you’ve made changes to. (i.e. dances, emotes, stripping, outfit changes, special fx, etc). This provides for very fast reload work-flow as we call it. (reading the notecard info into the HUD.

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Selective Testing

Using the buttons on the HUD face you can enable and disable functions so that you confine your testing to a limited set of features at a time…allowing you to focus with simplification and isolation of functionality.

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Time-Tested

The Artiste 5 years in the making.
The SILVER version, two-and-a-half years in test and live usage.
The GOLD version, just celebrated one-year live-usage.

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Built-In Redundancy

Users have found there are usually multiple ways to accomplish a given task or challenge which provides for flexibility when you run into a dead-end.

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Challenge

The Artiste is an advanced-performance-tool ideal for those who are
ready to ‘push boundaries‘ to paraphrase how Kat has characterized it.

It reportedly has a steep learning curve and I won’t argue with that majority opinion from actual users.

It is not a magic bullet. It requires imagination and perseverance to make it jump thru hoops so to speak.  However, it is an enabling suite of tools.

It is important to take baby steps, take pride in small accomplishments, and to persevere.

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FUN!

I really think its FUN to use and create with. Its a joy if you like experiment, solve  puzzles, and come up with solutions to your creative dilemmas.

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ACTION!

If at some point during these ongoing tutorials you find your interested peeked enough to take action in acquiring or at least investigating into an Artiste product offering as part of your creative compliment then send me an IM or notecard conveying your interest and/or concerns.

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Do You Wanna Dance?

NOTE: This is a re-publication of an article I wrote for an in-world magazine. 

Interested in performing in dance shows in Second Life? For those new to the performance dance scene in SL, figuring out where to get started can be confusing and frustrating. Or perhaps you have a dance HUD, but have wondered whether another HUD would be better?

Every dancer has his/her own personal favorite, and there are a variety of options available. After a quick search on Marketplace, I found over 1000 listings for dance HUDs. Some are specialized for certain uses, like cheerleading HUDs.

There are some dance HUDs that have become popular with performance dancers, including the HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe, the Barre, the SpotOn Performance Director, and the Artiste HUD. Each HUD has different capabilities, so find one that seems to be the best fit for you and what you want to do.

HUDDLES

The HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe has long been the most popular dance HUD in Second Life. In fact, it won an AviChoice award for Favorite Dance Choreography Tool in 2015. The HUDDLES has many attractive features, including dancing multiple dancers, chatting emotes and/or commands, a built-in AO, and the ability to do sequenced choreography.

There is no longer an in-world store for the HUDDLES, but you can still purchase it via the Marketplace for $1499L. The HUDDLES is fairly straightforward to use and there are still many dancers who use the HUDDLES, so finding someone familiar with it shouldn’t be difficult.

Barre

The Barre HUD was developed after the HUDDLES, using feedback from performance dancers. The Barre also has the ability to dance multiple dancers, chat emotes and commands, and the ability to do sequenced choreography. However, the Barre introduced the ability to do ‘group’ dancing – where different groups of dancers could do different choreography sequences. Though the ability to do group dancing was cutting-edge, the macros required were rather technical.

The Barre also no longer has an in-world store, but it is available via the Marketplace for $1200L. There is a support group in-world you can join for assistance. Racheal Young, the creator of the Barre, announced on her blog in February of this year that she was leaving Second Life and releasing the Barre to be open-source.

Since the HUDDLES and the Barre, there have been many advances and changes in the world of performance dancing. Instead of ‘stand-alone’ dance HUDs, what we are seeing now are ‘suites’ of products made to work together.

SpotOn

SpotOn released their Choreography Design System and gave performance dancers the ability to plan out routes to move their avatars around the stage. The system was immediately popular and is used by most dance performers. The Choreography Design system is not a dance HUD, but made to be used in conjunction with a dance HUD. Most any dance HUD can be used with the SpotOn mover system.

The SpotOn Choreography Designer is available via their in-world store (where you can demo all their products) as well as on Marketplace for $1999L. SpotOn has continued to release additional products, including the Group Formation System ($1999L), the Performance Director HUD ($999L), the Costume Assistant ($499L), the Smooth Dancer HUD ($999L), and the Stage Manager ($999L). It’s not necessary to buy every product, of course, but since the suite of products all work seamlessly together, it’s easy to buy the pieces that you need.

The Group Formation System is a product that lets you control the formations of your dancers, either using a pre-configured sequence or changing them ‘on the fly.’ SpotOn has two dance HUDs, the Smooth Dancer HUD and the Performance Director HUD. There is a comparison on their website of the two HUDs. The Costume Assistant, through the use of RLV, lets you add/remove costumes and/or attachments from yourself or other dancers (if they also own the Costume Assistant). The Stage Manager is their newest product and is a set rezzer that has the ability to remember multiple stage configurations.

The Artiste

The Artiste HUD is another suite of products that come bundled together. Included in the Artiste GOLD Performer Series are the following: the Artiste GOLD Dance HUD, the Palette, the Set Rezzer, the Director, the Stage Sight (a directed camera HUD), the Stage HUD, the Dance Diva (a group formation system), the Follower Relay (for use with the Dance Diva), and the Message Board. Everything is included in one package for $25000L and is available for purchase from the creator, Lat ‘Yummy’ Lovenkraft.

The Artiste suite of products includes a mover (the Palette), the dance HUD, the ability to do group dancing, a group formation system, and the ability (through the use of RLV) to add/remove costumes and/or attachments directly through the HUD. The Artiste Palette also has other abilities beyond its use as a mover, including the ability to shrink/grow, shatter, oscillate, flash, collide, and throw. The Artiste Rezzer has the ability to rez multiple sets at once and crossfade them, as well as using no copy/no mod items in a set.

Comparison

The big question, of course, is which system is best? The short answer is – it depends. All the HUDs have their pros and cons, and each dancer has his/her own preferences when it comes to HUDs and performing. Some prefer to feel ‘in control’ and have multiple HUDs for different pieces of their performances. Other dancers prefer to be able to have everything controlled by one HUD. Before purchasing a HUD, try out a demo if possible and/or ask others who have used the HUD.

The long answer would take up more space than I could cover in one article, unfortunately. There was an in-depth HUD comparison done by Nottoo Wise (founder of Dance Queens) and the information is still available on the DQ blog. The comparison, however, was done before the release of the SpotOn and Artiste products.

As stated previously, each dance HUD (mentioned here or not) has its own pros and cons. The best way to decide which one you like is to try them yourself. However, that isn’t always possible (or affordable). I have personally used each of the four HUDs in performances, so I do have experience with all of them. One of the biggest questions users have is how easy it is to learn to use the HUD.

For the HUDDLES and Barre, there are still a large number of users (or people like me who have previously used the HUD), so it may not be difficult to find help. However, neither HUDDLES nor Barre offer much customer support. There are support groups in-world, but generally consist of users helping each other. The Barre creator has ceased customer support, and I could not locate any customer support for the HUDDLES. (The person listed on the creator’s profile for support is apparently no longer in SL.)

Neither HUD is particularly difficult to use, though the macros needed for group dancing with the Barre can be confusing. But for ‘wear and go’ use, any of the dance HUDs covered here work well.

Ease of use applies when learning the more advanced features of the HUDs, particularly with the Artiste suite of products. It simply does so many different things that there is a fairly steep learning curve. However, both SpotOn and the Artiste offer ongoing customer support, including one-on-one help.

One other consideration is how the HUD performs under laggy conditions. Every creator has done their best to make sure that their HUDs are as low-lag as possible. However, given the multitude of variables during performances (including the many different computer/viewer configurations), it is sometimes hard to say which product performs better.

I have tried to come up with a short list to compare some of the major features of the HUDs mentioned here. This, of course, does not cover all the features of the different HUDs, but is offered solely as a means of comparing some of the more pertinent features.

HUD Table

*Price reflects the entire suite of products

+The ability to dance groups using different dance sequences

~The ability to ‘layer’ animations in order to use only parts of animations in a sequence

This has been a brief overview of some of the more popular dance HUDs in Second Life. There are so many features and capabilities that it isn’t possible to compare them all in depth here. Decide what features are ‘must-haves’ and find a HUD that works for you. Any of the HUDs discussed here work for performance dancing, so experiment and have fun!

EDIT 11/10/2015:  Rachael Young, creator of the Barre, has announced recently that it will not be released open-source and is again under development.

SpotOn Stage Manager

SpotOn SMI’ve finally had a chance to unpack and try out the new Stage Manager from SpotOn.

I must say, it has some pretty nifty features.

I already own several rez boxes, so I was curious to see what new things I could do with it.

I’ve used a rez-faux rezzer (not my favorite), and I have the Multi-Scene rezzer, which I love.

I also have the Artiste rezzer, but I think that one I will do a separate review for, as it has a lot of very cool integrated features.

My curiosity about the SpotOn Stage Manager was piqued when I saw that you could use it at multiple venues (because it remembers the stage) and that you could rez it anywhere at your venue and it would still set up the build correctly.

The Old Way

Let me discuss for a minute how rezzing sets used to happen (and still does, in many cases).

Before there were rezzers, you would build your set at your home or building platform.

You would then pick it up as one coalesced object and then go to the performance venue.

Once there, you would rez the set, get it positioned correctly, and then pick it up.

You would then be able to use the ‘restore to last position’ feature to rez your set on the day of performance.

Some issues with this method is that ‘restore to last’ is not always available to use.

Also, depending on the items contained in your set build, linking it all together was not always possible or practical.

Rezzers Developed

When rezzers became available, they were widely adopted by performers.

Rezzers let you build your set elsewhere, pack everything into the rezzer, and then take the rezzer (with the set within it) to the performance venue.

In order to use a rezzer, all the items within it must have copy/mod permissions.

So no-copy items will not work with most rezzers.

Even though rezzers made some things easier, there were/are still issues.

With most rezzers, the position of the rezzer itself matters.

So often, you would go to the performance venue, rez the rez box, and then end up having to move the rez box around in order to get the set positioned correctly.

Maybe the venue prefers that the rezzers all be backstage or under the stage, so you would need to move it around to accommodate that desire.

There are ways around this issue, but it was/is still extra work.

With most rezzers, you will have a separate rezzer for each venue, because one set will not generally fit well on the stage at multiple venues (since the stages are usually different sizes).

SpotOn Stage Manager Benefits

SpotOn’s Stage Manager has similarities to other rezzers.

You can only rez one set at a time.

You can only use copy/mod items in your set builds.

SpotOn SM PersonalizedIt’s possible to personalize the Stage Manager – you can change the color (only to colors specified) and you can add a picture.

This is my personalized SM – I’ve changed the color to blue and added a photo so others know it’s my SM.

The biggest benefit of the SpotOn Stage Manager is that you can set it up to remember multiple stages.

Since many dancers perform at multiple venues, this is a great time saver.

You have a to do a bit of front-end work by going to each venue and setting up the rezzer to recognize each place.

The other big bonus with this rezzer is that where you rez/place the Stage Manager doesn’t matter.

Regardless of where you place the rezzer, your set will rez correctly.

Another small benefit is that with the Stage Manager, you don’t see objects rezzing out the audience and then disappearing as they snap into place.

SpotOn Stage Manager Differences

I did discover a few differences when using the Stage Manager versus using my Multi-Scene rezzer.

With the Multi-Scene, if I need to move something in my set build, I can reposition the object, and then ‘save back to object contents,’ and it will update the position of the object.

So the next time I rez the set, the change will be remembered.

Using the Stage Manager, you can’t save back to object contents.

You will have to reposition the object, get the notecard from the SM again, and then update the set notecard to reflect your change.

With the Multi-Scene rezzer, I could edit the rezzer box itself and reposition my set by moving the rez box.

Since the Stage Manager position is independent of the set position, you cannot do this with the Stage Manager.

Final Thoughts

I like the Stage Manager.

For me, the biggest benefit is being able to place it anywhere at a venue and have my stage rez correctly.

That said, setting it up can be somewhat tricky.

I’ve used it at two different venues successfully.

I set it up for a third venue, and for some reason, my set keeps rezzing too low.

I got the coordinates again, but it still didn’t work correctly.

I plan to revisit it again today, and hopefully I can figure out what I did wrong. :/

It’s also nice to be able to rez your sets and clear the stage via chat commands.

I set up buttons on my Performance Director HUD to rez and clear my set for an act.

There are a few things I wish it did (as well as other rezzers).

The Stage Manager does glow at the bottom to indicate that you have a set rezzed.

I would love to get some kind of chat notice that it was done rezzing my set and also when the stage was cleared.

The stage seems to clear almost instantly, so that may not be necessary, but some venues have performers waiting in green rooms, and it can be difficult to cam around to see if your set is done rezzing.

The Stage Manager is made to work seamlessly with other SpotOn products, so if you already own other products, you know they will all play nicely together. 🙂

You can purchase the Stage Manager at the SpotOn in-world store, or you can purchase it on Marketplace for $999L.