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. ūüėÄ

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!

Happy New Year Everybody!

Image Source:  newyeargreetings2016.com
Image Source: newyeargreetings2016.com

It’s been a crazy couple of days at my house.

Two trips to the dentist in two days (neither were for me, thank goodness).

I still need to get out and pick up a few things for the party tonight, but I spent yesterday baking, so all the desserts are done. ūüėÄ

2015 has been a wonderful year, and I am looking forward to all the challenges and good times coming in 2016.

May your 2016 be filled with dance, love, laughter, and all the happiness you can stand!

Happy New Year!

2015 Reflections

Image Source:  bryancallen.com
Image Source: bryancallen.com

As 2015 is winding down, it seems that people are all taking a step back to reflect and evaluate the year.

In RL, I had a few losses, and lots of joys.¬† Same in SL.¬† ūüôā

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do set some goals for myself. If I meet them, great!¬† If I don’t, that’s okay too.

Most of my goals are things I’d like to do or learn, and I don’t tie them to a year.¬† Heck, I know some of my goals will take longer than a year.

I’m still working on projects that I started last year, and I hope I will continue working on them for several more years, at least.

This year in SL I started teaching dance classes and I am loving every minute of it!¬† The students have been terrific and I can’t wait to see what 2016 is like.

I’ve learned a lot this year working with Photoshop, and I plan to continue that in 2016.¬† I bought a Wacom tablet, and one of my smaller goals is to learn how to use it.

One of the things I’d love to do is learn to work with mesh.¬† Approaching Blender is a bit like approaching a cockpit when you have no idea what all the buttons and knobs do and someone tells you you have to fly the plane. ūüėõ

So I will be working on learning Blender in 2016.¬† I’m pretty sure this is a project that will take me more time than I want it to!

I’m also working on learning more about using the Artiste and incorporating all of its features into my dancing – no small task, indeed. ūüėÄ

Whatever 2016 brings, I know I will have plenty to keep me busy, in both RL and SL.

The Artiste Suite: StageSight

ArtisteHUD_IMAGEOne of the things that drew me to the Artiste Suite of products was the number of products included – so many tools it’s hard to know where to begin. ūüôā

One tool included in the Suite is the StageSight.

I had actually forgotten about it and was using the built-in camera tools in Firestorm to do some of the same things.

The product actually has two versions, so I will start with the older version – StageSight 2.5b.

StageSightThis version is available on the Marketplace for $250L.  It is nc/m/nt.  The StageSight was developed in order to help dancers view what they needed to quickly and easily during a performance.

Using the StageSight, you can configure a ‘quick view’ camera angle of your choosing (generally the stage where you’ll be performing).

This tool can be extremely useful for performers who have trouble camming around at venues.  You can, using this tool, set up a viewing angle that lets you view the stage.  You can then be backstage, and with a simple click, zoom your camera out to view the stage.  Because the tool is doing it, the change is almost instant, and reduces your chances of crashing.

Because people found it so useful, Yummy received many requests for a copiable version.  Having a copy version allows you to set a different angle for each copy. So you could set up a front stage view, a backstage view, and any other angle you might wish.

The copiable version is on MP for $750L.

If you purchase the GOLD version of the Artiste suite, the StageSight is included.  The version you get with the GOLD is different than the other version, however.

StageSightPlusThe StageSight Plus is nc/m/nt.  (You can also purchase this via MP if you wish.)  It looks a little different than the StageSight and this is because it does more.

The StageSight Plus lets you you set three (3) angles rather than one (1), and it lets you do this for up to 11 venues!¬† That means you can set up 33 angles ‚Äď though I doubt you‚Äôll need that many.

You set up one default angle for a wide view of the stage (the cross-hair button).¬† You then set up a second ‚Äėzoomed-in‚Äô angle for the stage.¬† Using the +/- buttons, you can step/zoom between those two angles for shots.

You can use the circle arrows to release your camera if you wish.  It just takes one click to recenter the view/camera.  The StageSight Plus also has a tip-jar view.  You set up a view for the tip jar, and when you click the heart button, your camera zooms to the tip jar so you can tip.  You can then reset your view by clicking a button or wait, and after 12 seconds, your view will be returned to the default automatically.

There is some work to do upfront, by using the camera button to capture the info and loading it into the notecard inside the HUD.

You can set up multiple venues and choose them via a blue pop-up menu, handy if you dance/perform at different venues.¬† You can add up to 11 venues.¬† If you don‚Äôt need 11 venues, you can of course set up additional angles at one venue using multiple buttons.¬† Just make sure to name the menu buttons something meaningful to you. ¬†To bring up the menu, simply click on the words ‚ÄėStageSight.‚Äô

Whichever version of the StageSight you use, you will quickly find it is an extremely useful tool.  Whether for photography or dancing or whatever other use you might imagine, it will make changing your camera views easier and faster than ever before.

2016 K&M School of Performing Arts Classes

Kat&Mouse SOPA Logo WhiteI am very excited to announce the course listings for the K&M School of Performing Arts for 2016!!

I have spent the last month working on curriculum, changing some things, adding some things – all based on feedback and reflection from previous classes.

I have updated the K&M Course Listings to reflect the changes in the courses.  The basic topics/concepts covered in each course are listed.  You can now choose from courses in Choreography, Movers, Set Building, Costuming, and Advanced Choreography.

In addition, I am adding courses for learning the Artiste.¬† Currently registration is only open for the Intro to Artiste course.¬† If you have or plan to take advantage of Yummy’s discount offer for a HUD/palette combo, then this is the course for you!

Courses will be held on Sundays at 12pm SLT at the Kat & Mouse Theater.¬† There will be ‘homework’ for in-world skill assessments, as well as online assessments (assessments are not required).¬† For students who choose to complete all assessments, the school will keep a posted list of dancers/students who have successfully completed courses and demonstrated mastery of various skills.

I have listed the dates/times for both the Intro to Artiste and Movers courses.  The courses that will be taught following those will depend on interest.

I look forward to classes and hope to see you there!

Tutorial #9: Artiste Grouping

penguinettes do ABC

I have personally detected 6 major features for choreographers that dictate visually, movement and space centered around solo and group dancers that can be augmented by tool-featuers:

  1. Dance Sequencing Р controls local dancer motion (dance-to-dance)
  2. Formation Creation  and Transitioning Рcontrols (non in-place associations)
  3. Single-Dancer-Movement – controls global horizontal and vertical stage-space use of a single user
  4. Grouping Рcontrols local groupings (in-place associations)
  5. Couples Pairing – control pairing and synching of 2 dancers
  6. Segmentation

How these are chosen and combined seem to define the characteristics of choreography and level of sophistication. This, again, is just my own personal observation.

This tutorial discuses how the Artiste has chosed to address one of the elements. Grouping.

Grouping evolved in the Artiste from how I¬†detected RL grouping…to how people have chosen to implement it in SL. From binary-grouping in real life to custom-multiple-grouping in SL.

Artiste Grouping

There are a maximum of 4 CORE groups in the Artiste.
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D

NOTE: As¬†soon as you provide more “types of something” than what¬†you think¬†anyone would need, someone comes along with a need for more. Aura wanted more groups for an idea she has but fortunately envisioned a solution of using Palettes to proxy new Groups.

Palettes can hold their own dance routines  up to about 20 dances. They can be triggered from autofx or from inside one of the 4 dance-sequences.

¬†So by naming Palettes with the same name, multiple Palettes can be triggered to dance their own “sequence of dances” disguised in moves that may or may not move anywhere. Triggering from inside a core sequence gives tighter sync control

An advanced method is a Palette triggering one or more other Palettes.

Meanwhile….back at the ranch…

Each group is assigned a dance sequence. 
Group A = Sequence1
Group B = Sequence2
Group C = Sequence3
Group D = Sequence4

Pretty basic.

Dancers are assigned to one group at a time

A particular assignment of groups to dancers is called a “set” or “division”; A division is simply a ¬†series of Groups that will be assigned to dancers depending on the Grouping-Method.

An advanced feature of Grouping is that the set or division can be dynamically changed at showtime midway thru a performance.

So dancers could be assigned thusly (2 couples or boys vs girls)

Division/Set 1 (couples)
Archie  = A
Anne = A
Bob = B
Brenda = B

Division/Set 2 (gender)
Archie  = A
Anne = B
Bob = A
Brenda = B

There are currently a maximum of 9 dancers per HUD so you could assign groups in a division as an example:

From 2 dancers: AC
To 9 dancers:  ABABCABAB
Or in between:  CBABC

NOTE: For completeness ¬†I want to address the issue of Artiste dancing large groups. Because we have employed HUD-2-HUD, a Master HUD can control, say, 11 Slave-HUDs. Each Slave-HUD¬†could dance 9 dancers for a total of 9×11=99 dancers + the Master’s 9 dancers for a total of 108 dancers at a time. The most avatars¬†I¬†have seen on a sim is about 103 at one time.

A second method would be to embed the dance sequence into a Palette and rez 100 Palettes. This avoids the tedium of issuing and accepting invites.

=========

Meanwhile….back at the ranch…again…

There are 3 ways to assign groupings to avatars:

For simple small groups of 2 or 3 Invit-Order might be the preferred way:

===
1 – Invite Order – this always assigns the HUD wearer to the 1st group. So for ecample if our Division is BAC then the HUD wearer would be assgined to Group B (sequence#2) and the 2nd person to accept an invite would be assigned to Group A (sequence#1), etc.

This is a quick and dirty method when you have 2 or 3 dancers in your group and say maybe only 2 groups, you the leader as group A and everyone else group B.  You can change the  Division assignment of the default assignment dynamcially by sending a Division command via *autofx

===
2 – Troupe – this hard-assigns groups to avatars by their name/key. So if Mary is assgined Group D then she will perform sequence#4 until there is a GroupSetChange issued during mid-show. Mary can have more than one Group assigned but only ever one at a time.

Example:   Mary,(uuid),DBDA

Here we set an elaborate scheme to allow for 4 DivisionGroupChange alterations during our routine. Mary is assigned to Group D at the start then when DivisionGroupChange is 2, she will dance Group B. DivisionGroupChange 3 she would dance Group D again, and DivisionGroupChange 4 would be Group A. DivisionGroupChange is the command sent via *autofx to change the division assignments dynamically.

The good things about this method are:
1) Independent of invite-order
2) Does NOT require Palettes
3) If Palettes ARE used for other needs, Group assignments are unaffected. This allows for Sit-2-Sit Palette transfers without worry of dance-groups being affected.

===
3 – Palette – this method is probably what you are used to. Group assignments based upon your relative position in the ‘line-up’. Each Palette has a letter in its name, A thru H. Divisions are assigned to those letters respectively. Assuming Palettes are laid out left to right A thru H.

So if you had 5 dancers and a Custom Group Division of say  CBABC, then Palette A would be assigned to Group C. Palette B would be assigned to Group B. Palette C would be assigned to Group A, etc.

ABCDE = Palettes
CBABC = Division

Here is a link to a video Aura: Easy As ABC РThe Penguinettes
She uses CBABC as the Division and you can plainly see the 3 groups working independently mid-way thru the video.

And here is a write-up from Aura herself on the making of the video:
As Easy as ABC

did that demonstrates the Division CBABC. I forget which method, Troupe or Palette, that was used in this video but i recall we tested both in rehearsal satisfactorily.   UPDATE: She used the Troupe method.

You can change Palette-Division assignments dynamically for the Palette method as well by using the DivisionPaletteChange *autofx command.

 

There is another special command that simplifies group-swapping.

Advanced

ABOrder can flip the assignment of dance-sequences.

ABOrder = AB ¬†(Default) means GroupA dances to Sequence1 and GroupB dances to Sequence2. But if you send an ABOrder dynamically in prior to the next dance change and its value is ABOrder= BA….then GroupA will dance sequence2 and GroupB will dance sequence1.

Same thing can ge done for Groups C & D.   ABOrder = CD and ABOrder = CD.  Of course you could accomplish the same by changing the division accordingly using the dynamic division commands learned above.

===
Also new is a notification that an invite failed, even if the invitee accepted. It happens. While it won’t tell you who failed, you will know that you need to re-invite someone.

You can use the Rollcall to see who the HUD has successfully accepted and figure out who needs to be reinvited. There are also 2 other methods as double safety-checks as to which avatars the dancer-scripts believe the groups are assigned to. Rarely will you need this but they can be helpful diagnostics when an invitation fails.

===
I hope you are now more comfortable knowing Artiste has a Grouping solution and are a bit more familiar with how it is implemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Virginia, you can use the Artiste for that

ArtisteHUD_IMAGEA month or so ago, I decided to focus on learning/re-learning the Artiste HUD and associated products.

I’d used the Artiste before, both in its incarnation as the SILVER and as the GOLD.¬† I did a Christmas routine last year with the GOLD (which I’m hoping to revamp and share before the end of this year).

However, after that routine, I wasn’t dancing as much and so the Artiste was left to languish in my inventory.

This year, I began doing routines that were a hybrid Рusing the Artiste HUD and a different mover.  But I wanted to get to know this system a lot better Рlearn all the ins/outs, especially since I will be teaching classes on it in 2016.

So I set out to use the Artiste HUD and palette system exclusively for several routines.¬† I’m proud of how they turned out.

It took a bit of re-learning things I’d used before, as well as learning some new things, as Yummy is always adding new and fancy features.

I managed to find time this weekend to have my husband film one of the routines I created.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click the link here to watch it.

I wanted to see if I could accomplish all the same things with the Artiste that I could using various other products.

In this routine, I wanted to be able to chat commands, in order to fade the sets in/out.

I was going to be adding/removing items, including a costume change, as well as various particle effects.

I would be moving around the stage, so I needed a mover.

I was able to do everything I needed with just the Artiste HUD and the palette.

The HUD handled my dance sequence, my chat commands for fades and particle effects, as well as all of my costuming adds/removes.  If I had done emotes for this routine, it would have handled those as well.

The palette was used as a mover for this routine.

Using the Artiste does require you to do some thinking and planning up front.  I spent probably an hour or so planning out my costume changes and other add/remove items so that the changes would be as seamless as possible.

For those of you who have wondered what you can do with the Artiste system, I hope the video demonstrates what is possible.

And this isn’t even a very complicated routine!¬† One HUD, one palette, and a rezzer, and you too can make your imagination come to life. ūüėÄ

Sinners Burlesque Christmas Show

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Sinners Burlesque Christmas Show.

Sinners 12182015 1When I heard that Yummy was going to be onstage, I knew I couldn’t miss it.¬† And I’m glad I didn’t, because it was a great show!

The opening number was an adorable one, with the dancer in a snowglobe and penguins circling her.

Sinners 12182015 2So cute. ūüôā

The next number was a group routine (I’ve lost my notes, so I don’t know the song, but it was very cute.)

The venue itself was decorated to the nines, including sleighs for the audience to sit in while they enjoyed the show.

Sinners 12182015 3And then, the number I’d been waiting for. ūüėÄ

Yummy was in a group number and it was spectacular!

Aura did a fabulous job with the choreography and I loved the costumes.

You can’t see him in the photo, but there was also an adorable polar bear who made a surprise appearance. ūüėõ

Sinners 12182015 4The next routine was a solo number – a lovely ballet set in front of a Nativity scene.

After the ballerina, Aura took to the stage once again in a very jazzy, burlesque number, which I unfortunately did not get a picture of.

(I was too busy snooping around to see how she was working her magic.)

Sinners 12182015 5The final act of the show left everyone in the audience grinning.

Dancing (in reverse drag) to ‘Walkin’ ‘Round in Women’s Underwear’ (one of the vastly under-rated Christmas classics), it was an adorable number and a great end to the show.

If you haven’t been to a Sinners show, be sure to check them out.¬† Join the group to stay updated on their latest news.

Holiday Burlesque Show

On Saturday I had the pleasure of dancing with Miss Lady C and Miss Bathory at the Main Event Show Lounge.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year and this show was a blast. ūüėÄ

MESL 12192015 1Lady C started off the festivities with a sexy little routine to ‘Santa Baby’ by Eartha Kitt.

It’s one of those quintessential Christmas songs and it was such a fun number.

After Lady C, Miss Bathory took to the stage with her Frosty friend.

MESL 12192015 2Dancing to ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ by She & Him (the ‘She’ is Zooey Deschanel), Miss Bathory was on fire – so hot that she melted poor Frosty!

He looked happy as he went, though. ūüėõ

MESL 12192015 3Lady C’s next number was to ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ by Natalie Cole.

Such a sultry, sexy voice, and another hot holiday number from Lady C.

I always enjoy her routines – classic burlesque style.

Following Lady C, Miss Bathory warmed the stage with her fabulous routine to ‘Sugar Rum Cherry’ by Duke Ellington.

MESL 12192015 4This routine was just gorgeous, and if you missed it, you missed out!

I’ve seen many a dancer incorporate a pole into their routines, but this one was very well done.

Her costumes are always amazing as well.

MESL 12192015 5The final number was put together by Miss Lady C and was a fun routine to ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ by LeeAnn Rimes.

What a fun way to finish up the last show of the year. ūüėÄ

MESL 12192015 6I also wanted to point out someone who helps make the show possible – the DJ at Main Event Show Lounge, Diamonique Viper.

She has one of the sexiest voices on the grid. ūüėõ

The ladies are already busy at work on their next routines for the January show.

Join the group to stay updated on the latest happenings and showtimes.

Designing Worlds explores the art and artistry of ColeMarie Soleil ‚Äď now on the web! | Designing Worlds

I’ve used her particles in several routines now, and I love them.¬† Inexpensive and fabulous!¬† If you haven’t stopped by her store to check them out, you should. ūüėÄ

Source: Designing Worlds explores the art and artistry of ColeMarie Soleil ‚Äď now on the web! | Designing Worlds