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!!!! 😀

Tutorial #7: The Artiste Mover – Part 2 – Method #2

Eadweard_Muybrdige_chronofoto

In Tutorial #6 I introduced you to our long-standing unique simplified approach to implementing object and avatar movement.

This tutorial will introduce you to our new Advanced Mover System.aka Method #2.

This method uses what we call “markers” to create a “route” of movement. It is meant to add visual acuity to lengthier routines as well as routines that include more than 1 route for either extra objects/avatars or for just 1 avatar traversing more than one route via sit-2-sit (Palette transfer);

Controller – You rez a Controller. The Controller controls creating, adding, and inserting markers plus other features. Controllers now match the color or their ‘”markers”.

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There are 8 colors of Controllers and their matching Markers that match the Palette names(A-H). It is intended that colors be used to distinguish between object or avatar routes. But nothing prevents you from using more than 1 color to represent more than 1 route for a given object or avatar Palette(mover).

Artiste-MarkerColors

There are 3 types of Markers. as opposed to the traditional 1 type. I chose to distingusish the first and last marker with a different textured-face for easy locating. The maximum markers you can have is 11. This allows for 10 move-turn pairs for a given Controller. That is one Palettes(movers) worth of moves.

So you could have 1 First Marker, 1 Last Marker(at a minimum) and from 0 to 9 Normal Markers. You don’t have to worry about determining them. Their creation and choice is automatic when you create or add or insert markers.
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The following illustration shows how we can get an additiona 10 move-pairs for a total of 20 move-pairs using the same color. After 20, we would need to use an additonal color. 20 requires 2 Palettes(movers). We would use Sit-2-SIt Palette Transfer during runtime to seemlessly transition between the 2 Palettes thus creating an illusion of 20-move-turn pairs. Lets hope this more than suffices most of your needs but know that the number of possible moves is technically infinite using Sit-2-Sit.

02000-MarkerController01sWITH12s

I think I will keep this post short. And let these key elements sink in. I hope the visuals give you some idea of what your experience would be like as well as a more informed basis for which to consider whether it suits your current or future needs.

Next tutorial I will talk about the Artiste Turn. A seemingly unique feature to the Artiste Mover.

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Below are highlighted features that I feel, at this writing, uniquely identify the Artiste Mover System.

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1 – One of the  most  differentiating features is that the Artiste treats a Palette move as a special type of action that includes an optional move-type, a smooth rotation called a TURN, as opposed to a succession of short moves. Turns can have their own animation, duration, and pause-after time.

2 – Each move can have its own unique animation.

3 – Each move can trigger an associated ‘action‘ (like fading another palette) and as such a move can identify as a mini-event.

4 – A move-set (10 move-turn pairs) can be extended to subsequent move-sets via Sit-2-Sit.

5 – There is virtually no limit to the number of moves an object or avatar can make, nor is there a limit on distance.

6 – You can execute multiple move-ranges and are not limited to just one range.

7 – Moves can be triggered from the HUD at the beginning or end of a given dance when the HUD is used to sequence dances.

8 – Movers can be used for couples dancing via paired-palette naming as well as unique-palette naming..

9 – Movers can have 2 types of labels. One for the BallSitter if used as an avatar mover, and another called a NickName that indicates the purpose of a particular move in a set of moves.

10 – Artiste Movers can function as multiple type sof devices. Example: A mover could ALSO be a fader or a light or a host of other types of devices all while functioning as a mover.

11 – Movers can be part of our rezzer as our rezzer has special intelligence built in to handle the peculiarity of our mover.

12 – The Artiste Mover system has intelligence to augment reorientation between various direction-facing venues. This also facilitates the ability to MIRROR movers by using either EAST and WEST or NORTH and SOUTH oriented movers.AS WELL AS normal X and Y mirroring centering on the Anchor.

13 – There is a shortcut way of creating movers that doesn’t require the use of ‘breadcrumbs’ (Controller and Markers). Just pressing menu buttons then a copy/paste in the end. This is referred to as theMenu Method

14 – It is possible to avoid copy/paste when using the Marker Method of creating moves. This facilitates quick testing of changes to the routes for a given Palette-Mover.

15 – You can easily scale the size of the marker up or down via an entry in a notecard inside the Marker-Controller

16 – There exists the ability to REPEAT all moves for either: 1) a given number repeats, 2) a given length of time, or 3) the total length of the HUD events, 4) or when you specificially tell it to stop repeating..

17 – You can now move the root/first Marker and the others will follow using the new GroupOffset feature in design.

18 – You can reassign (Regroup) a Marker-Set to a different ArtisteID (color A-H)  along with its corresponding Controller. This allows you to easily offset dancers on different movers and then easily dump the move/turn vectors with new identifiers).

19 – Individual Color Coding of HoverText for each marker to more easily identify matching marker-points for different ArtisteIDs (Avatar-Movers)

20 – Marker HoverText now contains total  move times (move-time, pause-after-move-time, turn-time, and pause-after-turn-time)  and accumulated marker times.

21 – MarkerTrails – see markers light up and glow in order of execution. You can specify how long they remain lit and if you want all markers or just a particular group to light up. Odds glow white. (ACEG) and Even glow yellow (BDFH).

22 – Pauses can have their own animation

23 – Nearly completed is our new auto-alignment for couples-animation. No manual-intervention required.

Tutorial #6: The Artiste Mover – Part 1

mover

The main motivator for a person to try the Artiste has been “if they have a friend who uses it”. That has been the leading buying pattern; a personal testimonial.

Such was one case where a person was somewhat impressed with the long laudtry list of features, although they candidly admitted that they didnt know what half the features did. They were cajoled to consider trying it out aided by a strong unrelenting recommendation from a long-time user. But the new potential user made an eerie remark to me, something to the affect of: “If your system does not have a mover, I will never use it…but if it has a does have a mover, then I know I will never use anything else”. The Artiste had a mover system at the time, albeit, simplistic, so I was not sure if it would suffice. Turns out it did the trick.

The topic of ‘mover’ is a very weighty one. It is so deep that I won’t even entertain the thought of covering it all in one blogpost. If it wasnt for the keen interest and existing wide base of user-awareness, I probably would not consider it as a topic for non-Artiste owners.

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The Artiste offers 2 primary ways to create object/avatar movers. I call them Method #1 (Palette Menu) and Method #2 (Marker-Controller).

There is an illustrated manual on the topic…the longest manual at 122 pages…but…I did gave a mock one-on-one familiarity class to Aura and I was able to cover the whole book in one hour, albeit without any hands-on or Q&A.

I suspect in reality that it might be broken up into 2 or 3 classes to allow for hands-on, Q&A, homework, etc.

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Method #1 just uses a single Artiste Palette and Artiste  Anchor.

Method #2 uses an Artiste Controller and Artiste Anchor and the Controller generates 2 to 11 Artiste Markers that define the route.

Method #1 was born during the video entitled The Battle . The Battle (video). I got the idea that it would be cool to have chess pieces move as part of the routine while it was in development. I wasnt sure it would work as envisioned but it did.

It was even at that point that I decided that this thing, at the time called an Artiste Gadget and later renamed to Artiste Palette, would do more than just ‘move’.  I didnt want to create a new ‘thing’ everytime I got a new idea or need.

Three videos later the need arose to plan and see a route visually identified at key points along the way during a video called Sisters Sisters (video). This need came from Aura and so I whisked up something quick to faciliate the mapping out of 2 mirrored routes. Each avatar route consisted of 6 or 7 moves including a turn and descension down stairs. And thus theMethod #2 (Controller-Marker) system was born, albeit crude in its design, it was the 1st and last time I believe that it was used.

(A sidenote: I had developed a moving system about 3 years ago back in 2012 while at Orchids, abeit clunky in its design, it worked, going up and down stairs with animated walk and turn and I was excited but didnt garner the enthusiasm from peers enough for me to make it a paramount endeavor at the time and so the idea died. Little did I know it would garner such interest later on)

Meanwhile, the Controller-Marker system sat on the shelf until summer of this year when I decided to revamp it and combine it with a couple of other features. I was able to kill 3 birds with one stone in the redesign. It took the whole summer but I managed to trudge thru it.

And thus was born the new Advanced Mover System. I don’t claim it as advanced over other systems. The adavanced moniker applies to being advanced over what we already had.

Method #1 covers the 1st 25 pages in the manual. Method #2 covers the next 97 pages.

Sounds scary I bet?

But…I am able to create a working moving object-mover Palette in 8 seconds using Method #2, albeit using default values.

I just like to go slow and spell things out and try not to leave any gaps in the learing process when I create manuals and it is very feature-rich compared to its former incarnation.

And those who have been using Method #1 don’t seem interested in the new Method #2 because they say Method #1 is so easy. But they posit that people coming from other mover systems would find Method #2 an easier transition.

I agree that Method #1 is easy and the way to go and recommended by me if you have about 3 or less moves of which I think covers 95% of mover situations. A beginning move followed by a turn and an ending move usually suffices most needs, from what I have seen.

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PaletteAndAnchor
Method #1: Creating a single object-move

1) Rez Palette and Anchor. Move Palette to its  first position relative to the Anchor…press the  DumpInitial button

2)  Press  StartMove button, move the palette,  then press EndMove button. Then press DumpMove.

3) Copy and Paste the owner-only chat output into the *moves nc, change NoOfMoves from 0 to  1. Change Moveable,off to Moveable,on in *palette nc. Save nc and Reset the Palette. Palette will move and rotate to its home position and rotation orientation.

Done!

To test, press TestAllMoves. Your Palette will move

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Method #1: Creating a 2nd object-move

To add a 2nd move to the end of this 1st move

1) Press EditMove. Press the 2 button

2) Repeat steps 2 and 3 (change NoOfMoves to 2 and dont need to set Moveable because its already changed)

Done!

To test, press TestAllMoves. Your Palette will move 1st move then 2nd move.

Making it into an Avatar-Mover takes a few more steps.

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I kept this simple and short as I could. And yes it uses default values but it is easy to edit new values into the nc to change the duration or add a pause time at the end.

Adding a turn is as easy and will be covered  in another Tutorial. I just wanted to introduce you to how Artiste approaches moves and the level of effort involved.

Pressing buttons, moving the Palette, editing a nc, and copy/pasting are the 4 primary operations.

Lat “Yummy” Lovenkraft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Three – Onward!

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

It’s day three with my new Artiste HUD, and my enthusiasm hasn’t waned yet.  🙂  So, I contacted Yummy to see if she could troubleshoot why I couldn’t get the palette to work with the HUD.

(Side note here – I don’t intend to explain all the ins and outs of using the HUD in these posts.  There are simply sooo many things you can do, that it would be silly to think I could cover them all.

If you’re really interested in the possibilities, take a jog over to Yummy’s blog and check out all the demo videos she’s made about things you can do with the Performer’s Series of products.  Also, some of the things I talk about may not make sense to you unless you own the products. 😛 )

When you use the HUD, you use it to play your dance sequence (obviously).  However, with the Artiste, there are two different ways to play your sequence.  You can do it via the *autofx notecard, but in looking through the documentation, it states NOT to use that method if you want the sequence to play immediately (which I did).  So the other method is to play the sequence via the *config nc in the HUD.

After trying both methods, I got the palette to work, but there was a weird delay.  My sequence started playing immediately, but I didn’t start moving immediately.  (This is where having expectations based on previous experiences can sometimes cause issues.)  As Yummy and I were talking, trying to figure out the problem, she realized it was the events.

Doh!

I totally spaced looking at my events.

Events are central to the way the Artiste HUD works.  You tell the HUD how many events you want (up to 22 events) for your routine.  Events can be based on things like – a change in tempo in the music, a place where you want to remove or add clothing (or objects), a time when you want a special effect to fire, etc.  Because I had been so focused on learning the palette, I had ignored events.

The HUD comes with several examples already set up for you in the various notecards – so that you can ‘wear and go.’  The *events notecard has three or four events listed, including the timing (duration) of each event.  Events need to be at least 2 seconds long.  Which normally wouldn’t be an issue, except that I had my first palette move set to begin at 0.2 seconds.  So when I pressed play on the HUD, I would start dancing immediately, but the palette wouldn’t get the command to move for at least 2 seconds.

Leave it to me to make things difficult!  If I had started out my palette/mover onstage, the 2 second delay would probably never have been an issue.  However, since I am in the habit of rezzing my movers backstage and then having them jump onstage when I start a routine, it was.  So – how to fix it?

We came up with several solutions.  One – I could just change my mover route to begin onstage, and then my first move wouldn’t happen until about 7 seconds into the routine.  Two – I could add 2 seconds to the beginning animation of the sequence.  However, that throws the whole sequence off, and I didn’t want to have to redo all the choreography.  Three – Yummy realized I could add a command line directly into my sequence (in the *sequence notecard) to trigger the palette to move.

So I did that and success!  The palette began moving immediately, the same as my sequence.  So, I can continue starting the movers backstage with this method.  Which I probably will, because it’s become a habit.  Then I can have dancers sit on the movers and cache the animations while someone else is onstage.  It helps cut down on the time you need between acts.

As I continued to work with the palette route (which included ‘pauses’ at various points), I was having trouble.  If I stopped the routine before it completed, the palette seemed to get confused.  Pressing GoHome didn’t always work, and neither did GoToStart.  Even resetting the palette didn’t seem to help.  After contacting Yummy and asking some questions, she thought perhaps the ‘pause’ feature would just confuse people.  I didn’t think so, and I wanted to be able to use that feature.

Then I realized that since I had put the move command in the sequence notecard, I no longer needed that command line in the *autofx notecard in the HUD.  So I was essentially issuing two different commands to the palette – no wonder it was confused.  So I took the command line out of the *autofx notecard and boom!  The palette mover worked perfectly. 🙂

At this point, I decided to make a mover route using the controller method.  (Why?  Glutton for punishment, I suppose.  I want to really learn the use of the Artiste products, so that I can get the most out of them in performances.  The more I know, the more I can do!).

The controller method probably has a more familiar feel to it, as it is similar to other mover systems.  There are a few minor differences, but setting up the route went pretty quickly.  The biggest difference I noticed is in the turns (something I mentioned briefly in my Day Two post).  With other systems, your avatar turns immediately and faces the direction of your move.  With the Artiste, it’s more of a gradual turn, so it can look a little odd, depending on how your route is laid out.  However, with the ability to add in specific turns, this is easily adjusted.

So yay!  Another day of successes (with a few issues), so I am ready to move on.  For day four, I am planning to try adding turns and rotations into a mover route, adding emotes, and perhaps, if I am feeling ambitious, trying out a couple of special effects!