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!!

The Word Is Out!

TheArtisteLogoWell, it’s the word is finally out on Lat ‘Yummy’ Lovenkraft’s Artiste HUD.

Sales are increasing (as is Yummy’s shoe collection – coincidence?) and people are excited about the many features of her HUD.

I have had the GOLD version for about a week and a half and am slowly learning the possibilities it offers.  I haven’t had as much time to work on it as I have wished, but I am going to dive into it this weekend.  As I do, I will be blogging about my experiences.  I don’t consider it a ‘wear and go’ HUD, simply because of the myriad of things you can do with it.  However, so far it has been well worth the effort to read all the documentation and begin experimenting with it.

If you want to see some of the possibilites – check out the post/video from Nancy TooCool, who has been using the Artiste for some time now, on Yummy’s blog.  You can find Nancy’s thoughts about the Artiste as well.  The video is NSFW as it contains nudity, but it is a good example of things you can do with the Artiste – some simple, some not.

I know Yummy is hard at work updating and polishing everything, so if you see her be sure to compliment her shoes!

Lazy Sunday

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Yes, I’m still here! 🙂

I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday because I was so busy.  However, I do have some things lined up that I hope you will like.

My volunteer dancers are hard at work getting ready so that I can film their vision of the Dance Experiment.  I’ve already filmed Sarah’s, and I hope to have at least 5 more versions to show you, depending on schedules. 🙂

I am working on a few new interviews for the Interview with a Dancer series, so be watching for those.

The biggest chunk of my time has been taken up lately with learning a new HUD.  I am making a concerted effort to learn the ins-and-outs of the HUD before I use it.  (Not something I usually do, because I am too lazy!)  But, because this HUD has a lot of capabilities, I want to make sure I understand how it works.  And I thought it would be interesting if I blogged about how my learning is going.  So, once I gather my notes together and make some sense of all the scribbles, I will be blogging about my learning the Artiste Performance HUD.

I also hope to, at some point, make some instructional (or at least informational) videos on how I approach choreography in SL.  The idea is to kind of ‘open the curtain’ on what goes into creating a routine from the beginning to the end.  We’ll see how that goes!

Tomorrow is Monday, so be sure to get out and enjoy some shows before the weekend ends.  😀

Busy Busy Bee!

Me this week! Image Source:
Me this week!
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It’s been a hectic week in both SL and RL for me.

Wednesday I visited all the dance animation stores and updated the spreadsheet, noting any new offerings (check out the update on the Animation Stores page).

I have enough pose stores listed (and more I should add) that I will probably break the spreadsheet into two sections – one for dance animations and one for poses.

I didn’t find much new.  So, of course, the day after all my travels, I came across two new listings.  AKEYO has released a new Giana Wild! AO.  It’s specifically for female avis with breast/butt attachments, something I don’t wear.  However, a few of the walks were cute, and it comes with 3 sexy dances.

Also, A&M Mocap has released The Real Twerk 2 solo dance.  Twerking’s not for me, but if you like it, head over to A&M.

Today I got a notice from oOo Studios about her new pose set for 50L Friday, called Paulina.  I love her poses, so if you haven’t been to the store, go check it out!

I got a new HUD last week and found a some time this week to open all the boxes and start playing around.  I’ll be blogging about it later in detail, but here are a few general notes:

It’s called the Artiste Performer’s Series, and it’s really a set of tools rather than ‘just’ a dance HUD.  There is a HUD, of course, where you load your animations and your sequences.  However, it comes with much more than that.

This HUD is geared towards ‘performances’ and includes a host of tools to help a performer do all those ‘extras’ that add to the performance.  I think it has many uses other than just a ‘dance HUD.’

It’s made by DQ’s own Yummy (Lat Lovenkraft) and is currently in ‘release candidate’ status.  She will be holding some Q&A sessions about the HUD this weekend (11/22 @ 12pm SLT and 11/23 @ 2pm SLT) at the DQ Info Center.  If you’re interested in the HUD, I encourage you to attend.

Check out Yummy’s blog ‘The Artiste Performance HUD‘ where you can find all kinds of information about what the HUD can do and watch demonstration videos.

It’s finally Friday, which means there will be lots of dance performances the next few days.  Guerilla Burlesque is tonight, and tomorrow Paramount Playhouse is putting on their Rocky Horrid show.  And Blue Moon Cabaret is putting on a dark carnival/monsters show on Saturday at 2:30pm.  Come watch me as your friendly neighborhood alien!  Check out the Dance Queens blog for all the latest show news.

As for me, I need to get busy and log in, so I can do the MadPea Blood Letters clue of the day.  I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed this hunt.  Regardless of the prizes (many of which, although wonderfully made, I will probably never use), I have enjoyed solving the puzzles and hunting around for clues.  I’ve had to go back and redo things I missed the first time, which, while frustrating at the time, has actually made me enjoy the hunt more.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!!

The Importance of Tools

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No, not those kind of tools.  I’m talking about useful tools – the things you use to help you do other things.

Like dance. 🙂

For instance, there would be no dancing in SL if it wasn’t for the dance/animation creators.  So, first, I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all the animation makers out there.  Whether it’s a solo dance, a couples dance, a pose, a walk – any kind of animation, if you make it – THANK YOU!

And where do we put all those lovely animations?  In our dance HUDs, of course!  So if you are a HUD maker, thank you as well.  I couldn’t do what I do in SL without your hard work.

Once we have all of our animations in our HUDs, we need a way to move around the stage – more tools.  We need to fade one set out and fade in another – more tools.  We need to add beautiful sparkles to everything – more tools.  We need to be able to control all this wonderfullness with a click – more tools.  We need to be able to add/remove props, clothing, etc. – more tools.

And there are, I’ve heard, more tools in the works.  Hopefully some of them will be released soon.  I still have ideas in my head that I can’t currently make happen in SL.  So I’m hoping one of these new tools will be a solution to my problems.  🙂

So, if you like your tools, be sure and thank the person who made them.

Question of the Day #10 – Dance HUDs

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I’m learning a lot from the Question of the Day.  Before I started asking them, I would have thought that the audience preferred large stages, lavish sets, and multiple dancers.

Turns out I was wrong.

The audience just wants to be entertained – imagine that!

Yesterday’s question asked whether repeat performances were okay.  Most of the respondents said that repeat performances were okay.

After asking a lot of questions about the audience’s perspective, I thought I’d turn now to asking performers about their preferences.  What tools are dancers using and why?

So for today’s question, I’m starting with a basic tool – the dance HUD.  I know what tools I use and like, and what tools seem to be popular, but perhaps what ‘seems’ popular may really not be.  (As turned out to be the case with some of the audience preferences!)

So, dancers – what dance HUD do you use?  I’ve listed a few of them, but there are too many to include all of them.  If the one you use isn’t on the list, please use the ‘other’ option and let me know which one you prefer.

Thank you all for participating – and don’t forget to nag your friends to weigh in too!

The Artiste HUD

Here is the latest video produced using The Artiste Performer’s HUD:

I have the Silver version of the HUD, and am anxiously waiting for the release of the Gold version, which will hopefully include the Palette.  The Palette, I’m told, will have a whole host of options, including letting you move avatars.  The HUD lets you run a sequence, emotes, and adorn/remove functions.

When the Gold version is released, I’ll let you know!

*Note: if the embedded video doesn’t show for you, click here for the link.

What Dance HUD do you use?

There are a million dance HUDs to choose from in SL.  How do you know which one works best for you?

For most people, I suspect it’s trial and error.  After doing several interview with dancers and troupe leaders, I got to wondering.

What is the most popular dance HUD?  I know there will be different choices based on use.  For instance, someone who goes club-hopping doesn’t need all the fancy extras that dance performers do in a dance HUD.  My first dance HUD was a cheap (probably free) chimera.  Shortly after that, I found the HUDDLES.  I bought the less expensive version.  I used it to dance onstage, happily clicking away, until I learned about the Deluxe version and the ability to do sequences with a note card.

After using the Deluxe version for several years, I was introduced to the Barre.  The Barre was my go-to HUD until a friend introduced me to the SpotOn Director’s HUD.  I still have my HUDDLES, and I still use the Barre to do choreography, but I am relying more and more on the Director’s HUD.

I’ve tried many dance HUDs through the years – I’ve used the Animazoo HUD, the Henmations HUD, the MLDU5 HUD, and the Fleursoft HUD.  Although many of them had options I liked (I loved the webpage loading on the Henmations HUD and the recording function on the Fleursoft was amazing), none of them came close to what I needed in a performance dance HUD except the HUDDLES and Barre.

However, after several interviews, I find people are using HUDs I’ve never even heard of.  I’ve been thinking of doing a comparison of HUDs – not to determine which one is ‘the best,’ but to determine which HUDs are better for certain functions.  I’ve never heard of/used the +AFY+ HUD or the BPAC HUD, for example.  I’ve not seen/read much about The Artiste HUD (one that I’ve used and has tons of capabilities).

So, I’m curious.  What dance HUD do you use?  Leave a comment with the name of the HUD you use and why you love it (or don’t).

The Artiste HUD

I’ve used several different dance HUD’s in my time in Second Life, and they each have their pros and cons.

Lat ‘Yummy’ Lovenkraft has created The Artiste HUD – a truly unique HUD with lots of capabilities I’ve not seen before in one HUD.  I hope to blog more about the HUD later (and maybe score an interview with Yummy), but here is the latest video created using The Artiste.

The newest version of The Artiste is supposed to be released soon (the Gold Edition), so keep an eye out!


If the embedded video doesn’t show for you, please click here for a link to it.