Tutorial #5: Artiste Events

upcomingevents

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

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

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

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

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

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Performance Events You Already Know

events_ballet

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

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

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

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

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The Artiste Event

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

Each event has a name you give it.

And each event has a time value in seconds.

This can be duration or elapsed time.

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

Example #1:

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

Example #2:

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

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

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The AutoFX Function and Notecard

specialeventahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course you probally wouldnt start ouit this advanced.

Keep it simple.

Grow slowly.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Open Source Fail – Barre HUD News

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

An intriguing post from Rachael Young, developer of the Barre HUD.

It will be interesting to see what happens, given her open source announcement in February of this year.

Source: Open Source Fail

Recording a Dance Sequence

QuestionMarksDid you know you can record a dance sequence?

I’ve been doing this for years, and it can really save you time when you are working on choreography.

I first discovered recording sequences in 2012, when Nottoo Wise was doing a comparison of dance HUDs.

I was introduced to the Fleursoft HUD, which had a feature that let you record your sequence as you danced it manually (pushing the button to play each dance in the order you want).

I fell in love with the feature and would often pull out the Fleur HUD just to record sequences with it.

Later, when the Group version of the Barre was released, it too had a recording feature.

However, recording was kind of a pain for me.

With over 700 dances loaded into the HUD, I had to click through pages and pages of dances to get to the ones I wanted, and do it quickly enough that my sequence worked.

A short time later, an update was released that changed the recording feature.

I could now put the dances I wanted to use on a notecard, load that notecard, and then only the dances I needed would be available to click.

Yay!

For years, that was how I would do my rough choreography – I would pick out the dances I thought I might use, and then load them up on a notecard.

I would load that notecard, play my music, and figure out which dances I wanted to use, and where my transitions needed to be.

Then, I would record the sequence and voilá – the Barre spits out a link that gives you a sequence, complete with timings and dance names, that you can copy into a sequence notecard.

After I had that rough sequence, I could go back and make any adjustments as needed.

There is a Barre HUD video with information about how to use the record button:

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here for a link.

The information about the record button is in the first couple of minutes of the video.

When SpotOn came out with their Performance Director HUD, I stopped recording sequences as much, because I choreograph differently with it.

Given that many times I am including walks, poses, and sits, in addition to just dance animations, recording a sequence for use with the PD HUD just didn’t make much sense, as it would take more time than it saved.

When SpotOn released their club dance HUD, the Smooth Dancer, I saw that it too had a recording feature.

However, it was like the original Barre – you had to page through everything loaded in order to record.

So, I continued to use the Barre when I needed to record a sequence.

SpotOn has recently updated the Smooth Dancer, and you can now load your animations onto a notecard so you can easily record sequences just like you can with the Barre and Fleursoft.

If you want to use the recording feature and you already own the Barre, the Smooth Dancer, or the Fleursoft, you’re all set!!

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!

News Flash

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

Just a quick post to share a couple of news bits from the last day or so:

Rachel Young, creator of the Barre HUD, has announced she will be leaving SL and making the Barre open source.  See here for details.

It’s Tuesday, so that means a new Tool Tip video from the folks at Firestorm.

This one is about contact sets – lots of good information!

Guerilla Burlesque has announced their new cast/season – see here for details.

I’ve been working on my photography skills, but I’m looking for subjects.

So if you’d like to be a guinea pig and get some free photos in the process, hit me up! 😀

Last but not least, it’s FAT TUESDAY!!

So party like it’s Mardi Gras, because tomorrow begins Lent.

Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone!