Using the Artiste

ArtisteHUD_IMAGEI’ve been busily working away on routines for the last several days.

Several months ago, I began using the Artiste products exclusively to dance, so that I could force myself to learn more about it.

I knew that I had only scratched the surface of what it can do, and it’s been a really fun ride learning more and more.

The last couple of routines I did with it, I heard “That’s amazing!” and “Wow!” and “Fantastic!”

So I am pretty happy with how things are going. 😛

My original goal was to learn/re-learn some basic palette abilities so that I could offer some one-off classes on them.  Since there are currently about 70-some abilities, I figured that would keep me busy.

And it has!

Some of the abilities are things that you can do with many other systems, like tipping an object (or person), or raise/lower (via mover or object-mover).

However, my latest breakthrough had nothing to do with the abilities of the palette itself, and everything to do with making my life easier. 😀

When I first learned to use the Artiste, I learned to create my mover route and trigger it to begin when I pressed play (like every other system out there).

There was an option to have the sequence start after pressing play (a delay), but that seemed tedious and a lot of extra work.  So I would trigger my palette to start moving when I pressed play, and to continue through its series of moves.

This meant figuring out not only my moves (from A to B, B to C, etc.), but also figuring out wait/sleep times (times that my mover would stay in the same position before moving to the next point).  Now, I’m good at math, but I don’t like it.  I did it simply because there was no other way.

No system that I owned (or am familiar with) allowed me to pause/stop my mover after pressing play (without also causing a bunch of other issues that usually involved more math). So, I planned my routes, did the math (yuck!), and went on.

Because I had taught a class on using  the Artiste palette as a mover, I figured I should experiment with some of the options.  One of those options is to trigger your mover/palette via the sequence.  Great, I was already doing that!

But you can also trigger your mover/palette to do only 1 move OR a range of moves, not just the entire route.

Mind blown.

This meant that I could tell the palette to do move 1. Then dance. Then, when I wanted to, tell the palette to do move 2. Or to do moves 2-4.  Then dance some more.  And since you can specify PER MOVE a specific animation that you want to play (not just one default walk, for example), I can, when triggering my moves, have the palette activate a walk I have specified for THAT move.

BurlesqueDancerSo I can skip walk on to the stage, dance, use a second walk to move, dance some more, and use a third walk for a subsequent move.  All with the same mover/palette!

And as with all things Artiste, there is always more than one way to do something. I can trigger my moves via my sequence if I wish.  Or I can trigger them via my chat commands.  Having so many options means that I can accomplish more in less time. And best of all?

Less math!!!! 😀

Thinking Out Loud

Busy Bee
Me this week!
Image Source: http://www.clipartpanda.com

It’s been a very hectic week for me, and I have found myself without much time (or inclination) to blog.  😦

I used to post every day, sometimes twice a day – one written post and then one LOTD post.

I’ve taken on some additional projects and it’s taking me a bit to get used to the lack of free time to write and take photos.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would stop posting every day and see what happened.  As expected, my traffic fell.  Which is disappointing, but totally understandable.  I don’t read every single post every single day of the blogs I follow, so I don’t expect that from my readers either.

However, finding a happy medium has so far been elusive.  I’ve considered changing the direction of the blog (that dreaded ‘niche’ word), but I like writing about many different things.

I love taking photos of fantastic sims and sharing those, and those posts tend be popular.  I love taking my LOTD photos, though those are probably more for me than anyone else. 😀

I also love writing about dance – which is the reason I started this blog.  I am still involved in dancing in SL, and enjoy it very much.  However, I’m not sure that many readers actually enjoy reading about it.

I’ve also become very involved with learning the Artiste tools, and many of my posts have been about that.  Certainly a niche group for those posts! 😛

So, if I post less often, please be assured that I am still here, and I do intend to continue to write (and dance, and take photos).

Enjoy your Thursday!

Main Event Show Lounge – Dance Show

Saturday, February 28, saw another performance from the Burlesque Dolls of the Main Event Show Lounge.

MESL Feb 1Opening the show was Lady C, dancing to ‘Whatever Lola Wants.’

I’m always fascinated by the costumes she puts together for her performances.

After all the glitter was cleaned off the stage, Miss Exhi took the stage, dancing to ‘Hey, Big Spender.’

MESL Feb 2I love the song and I’ve never seen anyone do a routine to it before.

This is one of my favorite Exhi routines so far – always so glamorous!

Lady C returned to the stage for a fantastic number to Joe Cocker’s ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On.’

MESL Feb 3That’s about all she left on!

If you’ve never been to a Main Event show, you’ve also been missing out on one of SL’s smexiest DJ’s, Diamonique Viper.

Her voice – sooo gorgeous!!

MESL Feb 4Next up was Babypea.

I never know what to expect from Baby – lyrical, hip-hop, sci-fi, or anything in between.

This time she treated us to a view of her more equine side. 😛

MESL Feb 5And just like that, it was time for the finale of the show.

Dancing to ‘We Are Family,’ the Dolls wrapped up the show in fine style.

The Main Event Show Lounge does shows once a month.  The next show will be March 26 at 4pm SLT.  Join the group to stay updated on the latest.

Breezes Dancers Show

This weekend I was able to attend a show put on by the Breezes Dancers.

Each act was based in a different country.  The sets were minimal, but very well done.

Breezes 1The show opened with a number danced to a medley of ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Fever.’

I thought the costumes were fantastic. 🙂

Breezes 2Up next was a tango number – all the routines were group dances, but the choreographer did a great job of finding ways to accent groups of dancers.

I liked this set and how the textures added to the feeling of ‘depth’ and perspective.

Breezes 3One of the numbers was set in Spain, and also included an opera singer.

There was also a number done to a gospel song by Elvis, though I didn’t capture any pics of it.

The costumes were fabulous, though!

Breezes 4My favorite number of the show was the tap dance number.  I love watching tap dancers. 😀

Having all the male dancers with top hat in hand was a nice touch.

The finale of the show took us to France for a traditional can-can dance.

Breezes 5The show was very smooth and the time between acts was very minimal (even with music playing, sometimes it seems to take forever for the next act to take the stage!), which I appreciate.

If you are interested in seeing the Breezes Dancers, join their group or subscriber to stay updated on the latest happenings.

TerpsiCorps ARTwerks – Gothic Opera

Yesterday I attended the Gothic Opera dance show put on by TerpsiCorps ARTwerks.

The venue was lovely, and the crowd was large, around 80 on sim at my last count.

TerpsiCorps 1Opening the show was the beautiful Lil Angels, who did a fabulous number that was an homage to Snow White.

The music in the show was just gorgeous – lush, dramatic, and perfectly chosen.

(Note: Lil was using her Artiste HUD for this performance, so kudos to her! It was fantastic!)

TerpsiCorps 2After Lil was the ever-amazing Jilley, with an absolutely breath-taking costume.

The whole show was full of stunning visuals, so if you missed it, you missed out.

The set builds were all fantastic, and many of the routines included multiple set changes.

TerpsiCorps 3Following Jilley was Aubreya, every inch the terrifying the spider queen.

The build was fabulous, a terrific pairing with her choreography.

I love this image, with the fog rolling down the steps as she glares out menacingly.

TerpsiCorps 4Next up was Zahra, whose work I admire greatly.

Another gorgeous set build – 3 actually, and all amazing.

I love dramatic and lyrical dances, and this was by far one of my favorites.

TerpsiCorps 5Closing the show was Chrissy, joined by Lil and Jilley.

The dance started innocently enough, and ended with three gorgeous demonesses wreaking havoc wherever they went.

It was a fabulous show.  If you’re interested in attending future events (and you should be!) join the group to stay updated on the latest happenings.

La Coquette Cabaret – Premiere Show

On Monday, I attended the opening show for La Coquette Cabaret, a new venue run by Dani Sari.

LCC 1The theme for the show was Mardi Gras and the show itself was full of frolic, fun, and of course, the quintessential Mardi Gras color palette of green, purple, and gold.

The opening act was spectacular, with the dancers arriving via circus hoops, resplendent in their Mardi Gras finery.

LCC 2After the opening group number, Diva took to the stage.

The set build was fantastic and she had some gorgeous particle effects.

The performers did a terrific job, especially considering that a couple of hours prior to showtime, SL was experiencing the ever-dreaded ‘unscheduled maintenance.’

LCC 3Next up was Dani herself.

I loved the set for this routine; I thought it was such a creative use of object and avatar movers. 🙂

(Note: She was wearing pasties, but since I try to keep things G-rated on the blog, I had to drag out my trusty ‘censored’ bar!)

LCC 4The next act was a bit of a switch from the fun and frolic of Bourbon Street, but was a fabulous routine about the famous (infamous) voodoo queen Marie Laveau.

After Marie had her way with a couple of unsuspecting ‘Joe’s,’ we headed back to Bourbon Street.

LCC 5I loved the concept of this routine.  A girl wanders down the street, peering into store windows, and then magically joins the store mannequin in a dance.

And the costumes were gorgeous!

A terrific use of mirrored dances in this set.

LCC 6After all the glitter was cleared off the stage, it was time for the hottest act of the night. 😀

I tried to snap a quick pic from the rear (a gorgeous view itself), but didn’t manage it.  So, another appearance of the black bar.

LCC 7Having made it through without a hitch, it was time for the last act of the show.

Another group act, it was done in true Mardi Gras style – glitter and fabulous costumes!

The show was fantastic.  If you missed it, they are doing an encore show on Monday, February 29 (leap day!) at 6:30pm.

Ocho Tango

Last week was a bumpy week for me in RL, so on Friday I sat down in front of the computer and spent some quiet time wandering from sim to sim.

I keep a list of places I’d like to visit and photograph, so my first stop was Ocho Tango.

I’ve seen other people’s photos of the place and I wanted to check it out for myself.

Ocho Tango 1

I didn’t realize it was actually a dance club (where you can tango!), so there were a few couples dancing when I arrived.

I’ve no idea who this adorable couple was, but I couldn’t resist snapping a few pics while they danced. 🙂

Ocho Tango 2

I generally try to keep to one windlight/filter when shooting, but this statue just screamed for something different. 😛

Ocho Tango 3

I stumbled across this little guy while wandering around the area.  I love it when you find whimsical vignettes like these scattered around. It adds so much personality to the build.

Ocho Tango 4

As I was about to leave, I stopped for one last look.  I found the tree in the distance perfectly framed by the gnarled tree in the foreground, and I had to take a photo.

Ocho Tango is a beautiful little area.  Take a few minutes out of your day and go do some exploring.  Be sure to take a friend so you can do some dancing while you’re there!

MJ’s Burlesque Review Show

This weekend I was finally able to see the newest show from the creative geniuses at MJ’s Burlesque. 🙂

The show was originally scheduled for Friday, but due to technical issues, was cancelled.  Luckily, I was able to make the show Sunday.

MJ 1Nancy was the first to hit the stage, in a sexy piano number.  The staging was perfect, and her steamy emotes were a hit with the audience, left drooling in their seats. 🙂

I always love to watch Nancy perform, because she has such a terrific sense of stage presence.

And she’s one hell of a designer – I wish I had half of her design sense!

MJ 2After Nancy, it was time for MJ to take over with her performance tribute to David Bowie.

I love the runny mascara effect she donned – a very moving homage to Bowie’s creative genius.

I must say, I was never a huge Bowie fan, but I’ve been amazed how many songs I never realized were his.

MJ 3Next up was Zed.  I’m always tickled when Zed dances, because she has such an offbeat, wicked sense of humor.

This time, though, she threw me a curve, and danced to a piece about her nightmares.

MJ 4I was excited to see the number, because our very own Yumster was going to be dancing as well.  MJ and Nancy were spectacularly frightening as monkey-headed, suit-wearing figures.

Yummy turned out to be an imp who was all kinds of creepy.  The routine was a fantastic piece of performance art and it was amazing. :-O

MJ 5Nancy was up next with her homage to Bowie.  The set was spectacular, as always.  But what impressed me most with this act were her emotes.

Not many venues do emotes anymore, but I love it when they do and it enhances the story they are telling with their dance.

MJ 6The last act of the show was MJ, with a fun, sassy, and trashy little number set inside a 50’s-style diner.

Such a great set, and a fantastic show all-around.  If you missed it on Sunday, there will be an encore performance on Tuesday at 2pm SLT.  Enjoy!

Le Cirque de Nuit – Idle Rogue

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

Auditions announced for the 2016 performances of Le Cirque de Nuit.

This is one of Guerilla Burlesque’s/Idle Rogue’s most successful dance show, and I highly recommend it.

If you like the circus, acrobatics, steampunk, monochromatic art, art, dance, Victoriana, or any combination thereof, you will love this show!

Dancers – run, don’t walk to the link below and check out all the requirements. 🙂

Source: Le Cirque de Nuit – Idle Rogue

Tutorial # 10: Dancing With The Artiste

FlyingDancers

We discovered (well I did late in the process) that the easiest thing to learn with the Artiste is ‘dancing’.  It is referred to as “sequencing” in the Artiste world. It is something most everyone who has performed before has done with other tools so it appears easiest to learn and transition into.

A question I get asked often is how many dances will it store? It cannot store 8,000 or anywhere near that amount nor is there intent in the foreseeable future to add mass storage-and-retrieval of SL animations  to its list of credits. It does not have a dance-recorder ability in the normal sense of the term. It does have its own approach to providing information about dances-played and associated times.

A couple of Artiste users have told me that they use other tools that do provide that standard dance-routine-building capability during the creative part of choreography and then migrate their dance choices to the Artiste for final sequencing, so I’ve been told. At least 2 dancers use the Artiste start to finish for building dance sequences and playing them.

How many dances can it hold? Well no-one has run into memory issues yet. Not to say it won’t happen in the future. Should that time come then I will address the issue.

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Number Of Sequences

The Artiste can hold up to 4 dance sequences at a time. A dance sequence is a list of line-entries on a notecard of animations followed by a separator bar followed by a time-to-play or duration.

Example:

DanceName1 | 24.1
DanceName2 | 19.8
DanceName3 | 28.7

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Number of Dancers

The Artiste Performance HUD can dance up to 9 dancers at a time. This can and has been extended to more dancers in a controlled fashion using Palette-based dancing. (example: couples dancing in the background)

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Read-Outs

The round circle in the star on the HUD menu when pressed will give out an elapsed time in an owner-only chat log, (when not used for solo-dance breakout dancing when DanceDiva is enabled)..

When DanceScriptTrace is on, then each dance name will print out with its elapsed time. This helps with timing dances.

Also, we now have (option) automatic ElapsedTime-to-Duration and Duration-to -Elapsed Time conversions upon HUD reset so you no longer need to do the math when converting from on to the other after making modifications to dance times.

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There are many ways to play animations:

1 – Immediate – Play-Sequenced and delayed. Immediately means at time zero upon pressing play.

2 – Play Sequence-Delayed means at least 1 second or more after pressing play triggered by the occurence of one or more events (up to 4, one for each of the 4 possible sequences. the PLAY_SEQ=? where ? is a number between 1 and 4 are used on the *autofx notecard to trigger the playing of a sequence tied to an event.

3 – Toggling the S-button on the face of the HUD, will cause the 1st sequence to start or stop playing.

4 – Pressing a button on the animation-menu page of the HUD that holds up to 11 dance-animations of which you can assign brief pseudonyms to.

5 – Palette-Based playing. You can sequence up to about 20 animations safely by putting them into a palette and associating each one with a move. The moves can then all be played in sequence or you can play any particular animation or you can play a specific-range of animations. If there is no movement associated with the animation as in the case of creating a ‘dummy move’, then you can play the moves in any order.

HUD sequences can also trigger all, one, or a range of moves which can themselves play animations. This is indicated by a command to play a Palette and it has its own duration just like a normal sequenced dance. It is triggered between dances in a sequence. This was inspired by MJ.

Advanced

Animations can now also be assigned to the turn-type move, pause-type move, as well as the move-type move. A Palette can trigger other Palettes to dance via Palette “actions” associated with real or “dummy” moves.

HUDs can chain to other HUDs causing their sequences to play either immediatley or upon waiting on operator action.

6 – Repeat

There is now a new Repeat command that allows all the moves and/or animations associated with them to ‘repeat’ until told to stop. This is handy for things like the running of background or atmosphere animations. Animals, birds, fish, people walking, etc. thruout a routine.

7 – Formations – (DanceDiva)

Dances can be played while changing custom-created formations by using the DanceDiva add-on that comes with the FULL A-250 GOLD package, has its own controller but is now built into the HUD and uses Follower-Relays.

NOTE: The FULL A-250 GOLD package includes 25 FREE Transfer/NoCopy Follower-Relays. These can be used to synchronize many things: Formation changes, stripping, outfit changes, Palette-2-Palette transfer

Includes 4-directional turns and break-away-and-return to formation dancing.

8 – Custom Grouping  – we often refer to this method of dancing by the slang term ofsimply “ABC”, don’t ask me how or why. You  actually can have up to 4 dance-groups called A,B ,C and D.

We have synchronous and asyncrhonous grouping using our Division method.

You can dynamically change group-sets at run-time.

Avatars or Palettes can be assigned to one or more groups.

9 – The Artiste Experience Option Dance Leaders can offer the option to now provide for the ALLOWance of new Artiste Experience. This means dancers need no longer have to repeatedly accept dance invitations.

ALLOW once, and you are relieved as a ball-sitter. Dancers still need to be invited. They just are not saddled with having to accept an invite. This also helps mitigate failed dance-invites.

This is an option included in the Performance Dance HUD as well as the new Artiste Coupler.  There are some tolerable caveats but it HAS been tested successfully.

10 – The Auric Canon – (completed – testing)

11 – Couples Auto-Alignment and Compartmentalization (completed – testing)

12 – The Artiste MasterPiece – Animation Piecing – (completed – fixing a bug) – Allows for several animations (except the 1st) to start in the middle, played back-to-back.

13 – Segmentation – (in development)

14 – Auto-Dancing – (planned)

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

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft