La Coquette Cabaret Offering Dance Class

Dancers WantedLa Coquette Cabaret (and yours truly) is holding a dance class on Saturday, February 4 at 12pm SLT called “So You Want to Be a Dancer?”

Text of the invite:

Ladies, by popular requests, but mostly because of lots of questions from our guests and group members, we will be offering an informative seminar/class giving information and a demonstration of how and what we do.

It will include a brief overview of huds, animations, and other things we do like costumes and set building, and yes, a short demonstration of a routine.

So head down to the theatre and reserve your spot! There is a mailbox outside the theatre just drop a NC with your FULL SL name to hold your spot!
Seating will be limited so don’t hesitate!

We look forward to seeing you ladies and sharing the fun and creative outlet of dancing in SL!!

SLURL:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jungle/79/49/2001

Questions?? Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
DaniSari Resident
La Coquette Cabaret

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 .

===

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.

==================
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.

===============
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K&M SOPA Classes!!

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteI opened registration for this year’s classes a few weeks ago.

I’m overjoyed that the Intro to Artiste class is now full and closed. 😀

If you’re interested in learning, the Movers Course is next on the schedule, from February 7 to February 21.  Other courses will be scheduled after that according to interest.

You can check out the full listing of courses here.

If you signed up for the Intro to Artiste course, I will be sending out confirmation notices and group invites in the next few days.

See you in class!

What Should I Teach?

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteHappy Tuesday!

I’ve been busy the last several days, trying to sort out my inventory, and teaching my first class (in SL, that is).

I think I finally have my inventory sorted, ready for the next round of shopping events. 😛

My first class went extremely well, and I’m hoping the next class will be the same.

I have been surprised at the amount of interest in the classes, and I’m wondering if there are particular topics that dancers (new and experienced) are interested in.

I am working on additional advanced classes, but if there is a topic that dancers would like to see covered, I want to make sure I don’t miss any topics.

As I was discussing with Yummy, it can be extremely difficult for dancers to learn new skills and tools – especially if they dance at a venue where they are trying to have a routine ready every week.

Learning skills and tools takes times, and we all know there isn’t enough of that!

I know that I probably have more time than most in-world, and I have the luxury of using that time to learn new things (sometimes just for the sake of my own curiosity).

My goal is to share that knowledge with you, quickly, and in a way that makes sense to you.

The greatest tool in the world is useless to you if you don’t know how to make the most of it.

Most of us aren’t using the tools we have to their utmost.

And, as I have discovered, people generally have favorite tools.

It can be hard to try something new when you already have something that works.

So, while I work on new curriculum, I thought I’d take a moment and ask YOU what kind of classes/topics you’d like to see.

Fill out the poll below, and share it, if you would.  🙂

I’ve put in some topics, but feel free to add your own, if you have a subject you’d like to see covered.

If there’s enough interest in a topic, I’d love to add it to my curriculum!

Thank you!!

Kat & Mouse School of Performing Arts Classes Starting Soon!

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteIf you missed my earlier announcement, I have founded the Kat & Mouse School of Performing Arts in Second Life.

When I first started dancing in Second Life, I had no idea what I was doing, nor what I was getting into. 😛

I absolutely fell in love with choreographing dances and performing.

I know that a lot of people in SL share that love, and I’d like to help YOU get better at what you do.

My approach for classes will be a bit different than most dance classes in SL.

Teaching can be a challenge in SL, because the feedback you would normally get in a classroom isn’t there (ie, the eye-rolls of students who are bored, the confused looks of those who have gotten lost, the snores of those who stayed up too late dancing the night before). 😛

My focus, for all of my classes, will be to help you learn what YOU want/need to know.

The classes will be in voice, but I will also have notes for you, which will be available at the beginning of class so you can write your own notes on them as well. 🙂

I will have hands-on examples for you to try, to play with, to explore – because I think having some hands-on is essential to learning, especially in SL.

I hope to teach you skills you can take to any venue on the grid, so that you can be as successful as you want to be.

Every troupe does things a little differently, but with the basic skills, you can be successful dancing anywhere.

The classes will be kept to an hour and only one session (as much as is possible), because I know that scheduling and availability is difficult for many.

There is no fee for any of the classes, though some of them require that you own specific equipment/tools.

If you’re an experienced dancer/performer and you have specific skills you’d like to acquire, PLEASE let me know!

I am still working on some advanced classes, so if you have an interest, I’d love to hear about it.

The basic series of classes starts on Sunday, October 4, at 2pm SLT at the Kat & Mouse Theater.

You can still sign up for classes – just head over to the K&M SOPA Class Listings page on the menu above.

See you in class!!!

K&M SOPA MISSION STATEMENT:  To help those interested in dance to acquire skills in order to achieve success.

So You Want To Dance?

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

I’m always amazed by how many people are unaware of the show dance scene in SL.

If you ask most people about dancing, they immediately think of clubs, socializing, or ballroom/couples dancing.

For over 5 years now (eek!), I have been involved in ‘show’ dancing in SL.

I went from being a ball-warmer (not that kind!) to being a lead dancer to being a choreographer to being a solo artist. 😀

Show dancing is a ton of fun, but there are some things you need to know before you jump in.

(Please – jump in – new victims, err . . . dancers are always nice!)

If you’ve never seen a dance show in SL, hop over to my calendar page for a listing of regular weekly shows (with SLURL’s) and check one out.

Animations

The first thing you’ll need to be a show dancer/choreographer is dance animations.

I recommend buying only copy animations to protect yourself in case of loss (i.e. – SL eats your stuff 😛 ).

There are a lot of great dance animation stores (see my list here), but I highly recommend Abranimations and A&M Mocap.

Dance HUD

The next item you’ll need is a dance HUD that will let you ‘sequence’ your dances, so that you can make your own choreography using animations you’ve purchased.

There are a ton of HUDs available, but most serious show dancers use one of 4 HUDs:

  • HUDDLES EZAnimator Deluxe
  • Barre HUD
  • SpotOn Performance Director HUD
  • Artiste HUD

Both the HUDDLES and Barre are available on MP only, as both in-world stores have closed.

Additionally, there is no customer support for either HUD, though both have user groups you can join for help.

Any of the HUDs above will let you animate other dancers for a performance.

The HUDDLES, however, does not have the capability to do ‘group’ dances, where different dancers do different sequences during a routine.

Product Suites

As show dancing has evolved, so has the equipment.

What you’ll find now, instead of stand-alone dance HUDs, are ‘suites’ of products all made to work together seamlessly.

There have been avatar/object mover systems in SL for quite a while, but when the SpotOn Choreography Design System was released, it was an instant hit.

It’s pretty simple to use and set up, and it works with most any dance HUD.

Following the success of the designer, SpotOn has released a number of products – Group Formation system, Performance Director HUD, Costume Assistant, Smooth Dancer HUD, and most recently, the Stage Manager.

SpotOn products are all sold separately, so you can choose which products you want to purchase.

The Artiste HUD is another suite of products.

Included in the Artiste GOLD Performer Series are the following: the Artiste GOLD Dance HUD, the Palette (mover/special fx), 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 and is available for purchase from the creator, Lat ‘Yummy’ Lovenkraft.

Final Thoughts

Show dancing in SL is not an inexpensive undertaking.

Just for tools (like those mentioned above), you can spend anywhere from $1200L to $25000L on equipment.

Though you can make a nice income in tips, it will rarely (if ever) equal the amount you spend on props, textures, animations, costumes, and everything else you need for a routine.

If you’re unsure whether show dancing is for you, you can join a troupe as a chorus member (otherwise known as a ball-warmer) to learn the ropes.

I love putting a routine together and then performing it in front of an audience.

Dancing is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in SL.

See you on stage!

Avi Choice Awards

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

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

Best Venue – Rose Theater

Best Set Design – Rose Theater

Animations – Humanoid

Choreography Tool – HUDDLES

Dance Troupe – Guerilla Burlesque

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

Will update when I have the info.

Frantic Friday

Today has been a crazy busy day.  That’s good, but doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time for blogging!

So, a few random notes/thoughts for the day:

  • A&M Mocap has released a new dance called DLOW Shuffle
  • I’m glad there are some new dances hitting the grid – but, please, dance-makers – we need more!!!
  • oOo Poses has released two new sets of poses for Fifty Linden Friday
  • The DQ Dance Classes start this weekend, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact Babypea von Phoenix asap!
  • It’s the weekend – lots of dance shows to see, so make sure to catch one (or two, or three, or four . . . )  🙂