Day 6 with the Artiste HUD

Image Source:  the24daychallengeexperiment.wordpress.com
Image Source: the24daychallengeexperiment.wordpress.com

Continuing the trend for day 5, I had to work on several other projects and did not have the time to spend with the Artiste until pretty late in the evening.

However, I wanted to try a few more things, so I sat down to work.  I started looking over my notes from the previous days.

I need to remember that there is an option to trigger the palette as a mover directly from the sequence nc, so that both the dance sequence and the mover start immediately, rather than having that initial 2 second delay because of events.

I also made a note to go back at some point and test whether I can change the names of the moves in the palette nc.  I can’t remember if Yummy said you can or not, or if it’s better just to use the names the palette generates when you use DumpMoves.

Yummy also notified the group that she will be adding some pieces of the Director series of products into the Performer’s series, so I should be getting a few new pieces, the message board and Dance Diva.  Yay!  More stuff to learn and play with!

It’s VERY IMPORTANT to remember to RESET the HUD any time you make a change to the *config nc.  I’ve neglected to do that a few times, and it causes no end of problems.

With the little time I had, I decided to go back and refresh myself about events.

There are two methods for events – duration and elapsed.  Duration is like the HUDDLES and Barre – you say how long you want each event to last.  Elapsed is like the ‘timeline’ of SpotOn – you start at zero and end at however long your routine is.  You specify which method you want to use on the *events nc.  I think I will stick with elapsed, since I am used to that one.

The only thing that happens exactly ON the event is an auto-strip or auto-adorn, according to the manuals.  So does that mean the other stuff uses the lead-times?  (I know lead-times are going to confuse me.)  You can also add multiple things to happen on each autofx line (and autorez), within the 255-character limit.  So you can make multiple things happen at once, something I definitely need to be able to do!

I think strip-rounds (adorns/removes) go on the *orders01 nc.  There are 20 rounds listed there as default, so that should be plenty.

In addition to the two methods for events (duration and elapsed), you can also specify a method for calculating your events.  The three methods to calculate are calculated, specific, and custom.  (You can set this from the HUD menu – [EXTRAS]>[EVENTS].)

Calculated events are for when you know the length of your routine/song and you want to experiment with the number of events (called the Event Count).  It’s called calculated because the HUD will divide the show length by the number of events (both of which you set) and come up with a calculated interval/duration for each event.

Show length and event count can be found on the *config nc.  You can also specify the event count through the HUD menu (but not show length).  It is ok to leave ‘calculated events’ on, even if you are not using that method.  The ‘event count’ only matters if you are using calculated.  (Remember that MaxGroups determines the number of strip-rounds, not event count – so it probably makes sense to make your event count equal your MaxGroups.)

The specific method is really the most useful for testing moves.  Set each event to a specific interval (like 5 secs) and then run through your routine quickly.  Specific is just evenly spaced events as a duration you specify – 5 secs, 7 secs, 10 secs, etc.  You can specify the interval using the HUD menu or on the *config nc.

Custom events lets you set a different duration for each event (if that is what you want).  You can specify custom events using either the duration or elapsed methods.  Custom events are created using the *events nc.  Some examples:

TRACE, off                                                                         TRACE, off
ELAPSED                                                                           DURATION
1,intro, 21                                                                          1,intro, 21
2,exterior,43                                                                     2,exterior,22
3,striphigh,66                                                                   3,striphigh,23
4,verse,90                                                                         4,verse,24
5,chorusp,115                                                                  5,chorusp,25

Both of these methods will have events happen at the same time in the routine.  The difference is how you set your timings using elapsed versus duration.

You can use the HUD menus to change some event-based parameters – name, duration, and event count.  You can change custom durations on the *events nc or through the HUD.  There is an anomaly is you try to use an event #0 (for things like opening the curtain and logging into the tip jar, for example).  It will cause the timings to be off.  So, I may try to avoid using an event #0 to avoid the issue.

At this point I feel like I have a good handle on events, so I’m moving on to emotes.

My next step is to follow the manuals and create some adhoc emotes.  I read a bit about emoting on Day 4, but didn’t really have time to test through any of it.

You create adhoc emotes from the HUD menu ([EXTRAS]>[RELOAD]>EmoteDetails.  This will bring up a dialog box where you can enter the text of your emotes. Press AddEmote, get the pop-up box, click inside the white area, and type your emote.

Use the Next> button to see the adhoc emotes.  Use the ListEmotes button to send your emotes to local chat.  I created 3 short emotes and tested them out.  Success!

You can also create a nc with your emotes and load it into the HUD.  For example, I created a nc titled *emLament to write out all my emotes (this is also called an emote-detail set).

An emote-detail set can have up to 10 emote lines, one for each strip-round.  You can create 11 emote-detail sets.  (Handy if you are performing more than 1 act during a show.)

Make sure that the title of your emote nc is listed on the *emotetitles nc in the HUD.  You specify which emote detail-set you want to use via the HUD menu – {EXTRAS]>RELOAD>EmoteDetails.  Then click on the desired emotedetail set button.

The number of MaxGroups should equal the number of emotes you have.  You can set this using the HUD – [EXTRAS]>[AutoTiming].  Press MaxGroups0 and then increase/decrease until it equals the number of your emotes.

There are three orders nc’s in the HUD – you select which one of them you want to be the active order.  *orders00 is used to create a new order using the HUD.  *orders01 and *orders02 are the other nc.

AutoEmoting can send lines of text up to 253-characters long, one line per strip-round (event) to open chat (which is always shouted?), to your IM box, or both.  You can enter emotes via nc’s or the HUD.  Each emote line must begin with the event (group) # then a comma.  You can omit events that have no emotes.  The max line length is 255, but if you go over, you will NOT get an error.  So be sure to check your emotes carefully to make sure they aren’t getting cut off.

Whew!  That’s a lot of stuff to remember.  However, I ended the day feeling pretty good about my success with the emoting.

On to the next challenge!

Days 4 & 5 – No Time!

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

It’s now Day 4 with my new Artiste HUD.  Because I have the Release Candidate, there are things that are still being refined, so as Yummy makes changes, I get updated stuff.

Today I got a new controller and a new palette.  I was testing them out and was going a little too fast.  I didn’t realize the pop-up menu would pop up again after I hit a button, so I ended up hitting reset by mistake.  Which derezzes all your markers and means you have to start all over.  Ugh.  So after three unnecessary resets, I slowed down and got it all working correctly.  I learned that there is a remember button on the controller – it will remember the last set of markers you rezzed.  However, remember does not work after a reset.

I feel like I have a good handle on the palette as mover, so I’m moving on to emoting.  Decided to read through the emoting book again.

There are two ways to save emotes with the HUD.  You can do a set of ‘adhoc’ emotes, which you enter using the menu from the HUD.  However, these ‘adhoc’ emotes don’t get saved anywhere, so if you reset the HUD before you save them, they are gone.  The *emotetitles notecard tells the HUD which notecard to use for emotes.  So you create a new notecard for each ‘detail set’ of emotes.  But in order for the HUD to play them, they have to be listed on the *emotetitles notecard.

The HUD comes with some example notecards for emotes.  To keep it simple when starting, use one emote for each event (which means you can have up to 20 emotes – guessing I won’t need near that many).  The emotes are limited to 255 characters per line, as usual.  I think I remember reading that you don’t get an error if you go over, it will just cut off your emote.  Shouldn’t be an issue for me, since I test everything several times beforehand.

I ran out of time on Day 4 to finish all the testing that I wanted to.

On Day 5, I had other projects to finish and had no time at all to work with the Artiste.

On to Day 6!

 

Day Three – Onward!

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

It’s day three with my new Artiste HUD, and my enthusiasm hasn’t waned yet.  🙂  So, I contacted Yummy to see if she could troubleshoot why I couldn’t get the palette to work with the HUD.

(Side note here – I don’t intend to explain all the ins and outs of using the HUD in these posts.  There are simply sooo many things you can do, that it would be silly to think I could cover them all.

If you’re really interested in the possibilities, take a jog over to Yummy’s blog and check out all the demo videos she’s made about things you can do with the Performer’s Series of products.  Also, some of the things I talk about may not make sense to you unless you own the products. 😛 )

When you use the HUD, you use it to play your dance sequence (obviously).  However, with the Artiste, there are two different ways to play your sequence.  You can do it via the *autofx notecard, but in looking through the documentation, it states NOT to use that method if you want the sequence to play immediately (which I did).  So the other method is to play the sequence via the *config nc in the HUD.

After trying both methods, I got the palette to work, but there was a weird delay.  My sequence started playing immediately, but I didn’t start moving immediately.  (This is where having expectations based on previous experiences can sometimes cause issues.)  As Yummy and I were talking, trying to figure out the problem, she realized it was the events.

Doh!

I totally spaced looking at my events.

Events are central to the way the Artiste HUD works.  You tell the HUD how many events you want (up to 22 events) for your routine.  Events can be based on things like – a change in tempo in the music, a place where you want to remove or add clothing (or objects), a time when you want a special effect to fire, etc.  Because I had been so focused on learning the palette, I had ignored events.

The HUD comes with several examples already set up for you in the various notecards – so that you can ‘wear and go.’  The *events notecard has three or four events listed, including the timing (duration) of each event.  Events need to be at least 2 seconds long.  Which normally wouldn’t be an issue, except that I had my first palette move set to begin at 0.2 seconds.  So when I pressed play on the HUD, I would start dancing immediately, but the palette wouldn’t get the command to move for at least 2 seconds.

Leave it to me to make things difficult!  If I had started out my palette/mover onstage, the 2 second delay would probably never have been an issue.  However, since I am in the habit of rezzing my movers backstage and then having them jump onstage when I start a routine, it was.  So – how to fix it?

We came up with several solutions.  One – I could just change my mover route to begin onstage, and then my first move wouldn’t happen until about 7 seconds into the routine.  Two – I could add 2 seconds to the beginning animation of the sequence.  However, that throws the whole sequence off, and I didn’t want to have to redo all the choreography.  Three – Yummy realized I could add a command line directly into my sequence (in the *sequence notecard) to trigger the palette to move.

So I did that and success!  The palette began moving immediately, the same as my sequence.  So, I can continue starting the movers backstage with this method.  Which I probably will, because it’s become a habit.  Then I can have dancers sit on the movers and cache the animations while someone else is onstage.  It helps cut down on the time you need between acts.

As I continued to work with the palette route (which included ‘pauses’ at various points), I was having trouble.  If I stopped the routine before it completed, the palette seemed to get confused.  Pressing GoHome didn’t always work, and neither did GoToStart.  Even resetting the palette didn’t seem to help.  After contacting Yummy and asking some questions, she thought perhaps the ‘pause’ feature would just confuse people.  I didn’t think so, and I wanted to be able to use that feature.

Then I realized that since I had put the move command in the sequence notecard, I no longer needed that command line in the *autofx notecard in the HUD.  So I was essentially issuing two different commands to the palette – no wonder it was confused.  So I took the command line out of the *autofx notecard and boom!  The palette mover worked perfectly. 🙂

At this point, I decided to make a mover route using the controller method.  (Why?  Glutton for punishment, I suppose.  I want to really learn the use of the Artiste products, so that I can get the most out of them in performances.  The more I know, the more I can do!).

The controller method probably has a more familiar feel to it, as it is similar to other mover systems.  There are a few minor differences, but setting up the route went pretty quickly.  The biggest difference I noticed is in the turns (something I mentioned briefly in my Day Two post).  With other systems, your avatar turns immediately and faces the direction of your move.  With the Artiste, it’s more of a gradual turn, so it can look a little odd, depending on how your route is laid out.  However, with the ability to add in specific turns, this is easily adjusted.

So yay!  Another day of successes (with a few issues), so I am ready to move on.  For day four, I am planning to try adding turns and rotations into a mover route, adding emotes, and perhaps, if I am feeling ambitious, trying out a couple of special effects!

Day Two with the Artiste

Day2After a restful night of sleep (not!), I logged back in, anxious to dive back in to learning the Artiste.

I had a notecard waiting for me with Yummy’s answers to my endless questions.  After being so frustrated with the Palette, it turned out that I had put the lines for the moves in the wrong place on the *palettes notecard (What? Me make a mistake? Surely not!), I fixed the notecard and – Voilá!  The palette worked as a mover!  Woohoo!

When you use the palette as a mover, there are two ways you can generate the information you need for the notecard.  You can simply move the palette from point A to point B and then use the built in menu to generate the information.  Or you can use the controller method, where you rezz a controller and then generate placeholders for each point.  Once you have your moves set up, the controller will generate the information you need for the palette.  Both methods work equally well, it’s just a matter of what method you find easier/more comfortable.  For my first time, I used the palette method.

As I was working through my route, with Yummy’s help, I asked about the ability to ‘pause’ at a point in the route.  When I was working through it, I had to manually add the ‘pause’ times on the *palettes notecard.  Since then, I believe, Yummy has added an update which allows you to add those through the palette menu.  Progress!

Once you have your route set up, you can test your route.  You can run through the whole route, or you can use ‘quicktest.’  QuickTest allows you to quickly run through each move (point A to point B, point B to point C, etc.) to ensure the route is set up the way you want.  When I was running through the quick test, it also included the ‘pause’ times, which I wasn’t expecting.  I’m not sure if that is something that is still that way, or if that is something Yummy changed.  (I can’t find anything in my piles of notes, anyway!)

As I was working through the various steps, I realized that I had certain expectations for the palettes as movers, because of my experiences with other systems.  For example, the palette does not come loaded with a default stand animation.  The reason for this (I think) is because the palettes can be used for so many different things, not just as an avatar mover.  When you use a palette, you specify what you want that palette to do.  So, for example, if I want to use the palette as a mover, I have to make sure that the *palette notecard reflects that the palette needs to be moveable (obvious, I know), sittable (because you need to have an avatar sit on it), and animatable (because you will likely want a default stand in it – or at least I did).

(Another note here – when you make the palette sittable, you may have to adjust the position of your avatar.  You do this through the palette menu.)  Once you sit up your initial palette/mover, you can save the palette as a ‘baseline’ and use it the next time you go to design a mover route.  That way, half of the set up is already done and you save yourself a lot of time!

One cool feature of the palette I discovered while working with it was that you can use it to turn/spin.  While I am sure you can do this with other systems, it isn’t really something I’d thought about.  With the Artiste, using a palette, you can make a move, a stop, a turn, and a none (this all makes sense later, I promise).  I did some testing and the max for the turn is 180 degrees.  However, you can add several 180 turns in a row, which ends up looking like you are spinning around.  It opens up a lot of possibilities, so I’m planning to incorporate some turns into my next routine.

So after all of Yummy’s help, I felt confident enough to try and work on my own to finish setting up my route.  After I got it all set up, I tried adding the command to the *autofx notecard in the HUD to make it play.  For some reason (another dumb mistake on my part, I am sure), it didn’t work.

However, I felt like I made some real progress on day two, and I’m raring to go for day three!

My First Day with the Artiste GOLD

TheArtisteLogoBefore I start this post, let me make a disclaimer.

The thoughts here are my own and based on my own personal experiences with the Artiste.  I paid for my HUD, just like everyone else.

I am not receiving any consideration from Yummy by blogging about my experience, I’m doing it because I want to and because I think others might be interested.

Your experiences may similar or they may be completely different.  (I’m betting on completely different, because I made a lot of mistakes.)  However, you learn from mistakes, right?  So I should be an expert soon. 😛

Ok, with that out of the way, on with the post!

I’ve only had the HUD for about a week, and I really haven’t had much time to play with it.  I do also own the SILVER version of the HUD, but it has been so long since I used it that it’s sort of like learning a new language.  Compared to some of the other competing products on the market, the Artiste has a fairly steep learning curve.  However, there is loads of documentation about everything it can do, and of course, you can always contact customer support with questions (and I asked some pretty dumb ones).

The Artiste is very versatile, but it takes a while to get used to the way things are set up.  Rather than everything being on one notecard, there are several pieces (and notecards) that have to be filled out to make everything work correctly.

It may seem rather clunky and/or time-consuming at first, but once you get used to it, it goes fairly quickly.  I think the added time is more than made up for by the plethora of things you can do with the HUD (and the Palettes).

As I was learning, I tried to take notes, both for myself and with an eye towards these blog posts.  In 10 days, I’ve racked up an impressive amount of notes, but I’m fairly certain that when I run into a question, the answer is in my notes.

When I got the HUD, the first thing I did was to unpack everything – there are various pieces and parts (which Yummy keeps adding to) and I wanted to get everything organized (yes, I may be slightly OCD when it comes to my inventory).  I ended up with about 12 new folders.

One of the boxes you get is filled with books detailing all the information you need about the various parts of the Artiste Performer’s Series and what they all do.  On the first day, most of it was spent reading through all the IntelliBooks.  I made it to Book 13 before my eyes glazed over and I broke some of my brain synapses.  😛

So after all that reading, I figured I was ready to load a dance sequence into the HUD and see what happened.  I planned to load a sequence, try to make a mover (using a Palette), and perhaps write some emotes.  Just a quick ‘get your hands dirty’ kind of thing.

I decided to use a sequence I already had made (lazy, I know) and loaded it into the HUD (on the *sequence1 nc).  I came across questions as I worked, which I wrote down in a notecard to send to Yummy later.  I got the sequence loaded and played it through the HUD pretty quickly and easily.

One thing I didn’t like was, as the sequence played, the HUD would chat each time a dance started/stopped.  Some may find that useful, especially during the choreography stage.  Personally, I found it very distracting.  (I included that in my notecard to Yummy, and there is now an option to turn off the sequence chat if you wish – woohoo!)

So after my success (yay!) with the sequence, I decided to move on to create a move route with a Palette.  The instructions were fairly straightforward, and being familiar with other mover systems was a plus, I think.

Feeling pretty cocky, I started playing with the Palette and setting up a route.  There are two different methods for setting up a route, so you’ll have to play with them and figure out for yourself which one you like best. (I’ll talk about those in a little more detail in the next post.) For some reason, I couldn’t get it to remember the route.  And I discovered that the default time for a move was 3 secs, so I changed it to 0.2.

(A little explanation here – I have a habit of starting my movers offstage.  I generally set the movers backstage and then the first move jumps to position onstage at the beginning of the sequence – hence the 0.2 secs move time.  After some discussion with Yummy, apparently I am in the minority, as most people start their movers onstage.)

After an hour or so of fiddling, I couldn’t make the Palette work.  I was sure it was something simple I was missing, but it was late and I was getting frustrated, so I added a few more questions to my notecard to Yummy and logged off.

My last thought for the evening was that Yummy will probably be sick of me by the time I learn the HUD, because I ask so many darn questions!!