Yummy and I talked a lot at the beginning of the year about how things seemed to be changing – for us and for others.
As the year has gone on, however, more and more changes seem to be happening.
I don’t know if the announcement of LL’s Next Gen Platform (not SL 2.0, but Project Sansar, for now) played a part or not.
I know that, with the announcement, I personally took a step back to re-evaluate my involvement in SL.
I’ve been involved in dance since I started in SL.
But it seems that there have been lots of changes this year – more than normal.
Dancers moving to new venues, venues closing, venues opening – all normal activities, but the number of them this year seems to be rising.
One of the shifts centers around the label ‘performance art.’
Yummy stated that “There seems to be a collective mind-shift away from traditional dance-as-entertainment towards dance-as-art in the SL dance-show world. I think it is because here exists the perception that dance-as-art will allow more freedom for creative personal expression.”
I’m not sure that I agree.
I think that part of the shift has been because the terms ‘burlesque,’ ‘neo-burlesque,’ and ‘cabaret’ (which have usually been used by dance troupes), don’t really capture what dance-as-entertainment shows are in SL today.
Most of the dance shows I go to these days are what I would term Vegas-like fare.
After some researching of definitions, perhaps ‘dance revue’ is the most accurate?
A typical dance show is a variety of performers dancing in various acts – usually the length of one song.
Most acts have a single dancer, though there are also couples and group dancing.
And some contain nudity (much like Vegas shows). 😛
As more tools have become available, we now see avatars moving in formations, objects moving, sets fading in and out, and light/particle/special effects.
I wouldn’t label these acts as ‘performance art,’ though I will likely be in the minority.
Yummy’s post contained a quote/definition that sums up my feelings on the subject: “...Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a conceptual art which conveys a content-based meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than being simple performance for its own sake for entertainment purposes.”
Of course, what is art?
It’s all in the eye of the beholder, so what you consider art might be something I consider junk, or vice versa.
I think the central concept for me is that ‘performance art is non-traditional.’
So simply changing the name of an act/venue/club/whatever from ‘burlesque’ to ‘performance art’ isn’t all there is to it.
It will be interesting to see how the shift progresses.
Okay, it probably seems crazy to lump that many days together. Unfortunately, that pesky thing called RL kept me from accomplishing as much as I wanted for several days.
On Day 7, I was still trying to work out emotes/emoting. I tried using the adhoc method first, using the dialog boxes to enter my emotes, and things seemed to work just fine.
I went back through the manual again, just to refresh my memory. The HUD will always use the MaxGroups Override value if it is NOT zero and it is less than the MaxGroups value. You can adjust the emote lead-time with the HUD menu – [EXTRAS]>[AutoTiming]>EmoteLead. Then use increase/decrease to adjust the lead time. Remember the 5/6 (or 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, etc) rule! Lead time MUST be smaller than the smallest event time. (You can set the lead time to zero.) If you want to skip an emote for an event, simply enter one space on that emote line.
You can change the max # of events in 2 ways – using the HUD menu to change the maxgroupsoverride, or changing that parameter in the *config nc. You can have the HUD send the emotes directly to local chat, or send to you (it says it sends to your IM box, but it just displayed mine in local chat to owner only). [AUTOS]>SendtoIM or SendToChat. If you use the *config nc, you can also change the channel for the chat relay, as well as shout/say, and the send to IM/send to open chat on/off.
Announcements – these are similar to emotes, only they are meant to be sent over their own channel to display text in a different context. (Examples – announcer, MC, narrator, bubble chat, etc.) Announcements can be entered via nc for via the HUD. You simply create a regular emote-detail set and assign its name to AutoAnnounceTitle, set an AutoAnnounceLeadTime, and switch AutoAnnounce to on. You can set the channel as well so it matches the receiving object (like the message board). Change the parameters in the *config nc.
The message board (which is now part of the Performer’s Series) lets you send lines of text up to 48 characters long. Default channel is 8 – it only listens to the owner or object owned by the owner. Up to 4 lines at a time can be displayed. Entering a 5 tells the board to ‘clear’ itself.
Line format: EventNo,LineNo,%Text Example: 1,1%Hello. How are you?
To select an emote and make it an announcement – [EXTRAS]>[RELOAD]>EmoteDetails>Announce. Select the emote detail set you want, if you need to change the active set, then change mode to Announce.
In order to use emotes, it’s often advisable to use a lead-time. There are also lead times for AutoAdorn, AutoFX, AutoRex, and AutoPose. All lead times MUST be less than or equal to the specific or calculated interval and less than or equal to the smallest custom interval.
Lead time is the number of seconds before, not after, that an action takes place prior to the actual event time. An event time marks the time that an item (or group of items) is removed/stripped. You can specify ‘none’ for a given strip round. You can also disable AutoStrip, but the events will still fire as if it was enabled. You should get an error if the lead time rule is not obeyed.
So after reading through everything, I tried my hand at an emote nc. I created a nc titled *lamentemotes. I loaded it into the HUD, added it to the emotetitles nc, changed the timing of the events to 5 secs, added an event #4, then reset the HUD. Let’s see what happens. 🙂
Well, it fired the first emote. I thought the lead times were wrong, but the lead times are set to zero for emotes, so I can’t figure out why the rest of the emotes are not firing. I didn’t have an emote for event #2, so I had used the blank space like the instructions said. I deleted that line and reset the HUD to see if that was the problem.
Grrr. It’s still only firing the first emote. Added an END command to the end of the emotes. Chat from the HUD shows that it is still reading the *emRedDemo emote nc, so I’m not sure what’s going on. After I reset the HUD, the chat showed it read the *lamentemotes nc, so maybe I just needed to do the reset.
Nope. Still just showing the first emote.
At this point, I ran out of time and decided to come back the next day and see if I could figure it out.
So, now it’s Day 8.
I still can’t get the emotes to fire correctly. I looked at the maxgroupsoverride, maxgroups, events, and orders01. Everything seems fine. I did increase the maxgroups from 3 to 20 and did the same for maxgroups override, just to be safe. Still doesn’t work.
Then I realized I had the events set up wrong. I had them all listed at 5 secs (duration) rather than as a timeline (elapsed). I changed the events to 2, 5, 10, and 15 instead of 2, 5, 5, 5 and it worked perfectly. Yay!!!
Yummy has a new version with fixes/improvements and some new pieces in it, so I will be getting that all organized later. She wants to show me how to use my HUD to play the song, rather than through a stream. I don’t understand how that’s going to work, so it should be interesting. 🙂
Got the new box of stuff and got everything set up so I could try to play the music through the HUD. We had some initial issues with getting the Director set up and getting it to recognize me. A little frustrating, but we eventually got it working.
Ran out of time again, so on to Day 9!
On Day 9, I didn’t have time to do diddly squat with the HUD. 😦
Day 10 dawned, and I decided to scrap the idea I’d been working with as a routine, because I’d hit a wall. Played around with a few ideas, and decided on one. Yummy wants some help with the Dance Diva stuff she is working on (just to be a ball-sitter, really – except she says there are no balls, so I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing, lol). After reading a little bit of the manual about the Dance Diva, I realized I needed to make some of the old sequences I’d been planning to use into separate nc’s to use with the HUD. Decided to get up bright and early on Day 11, because the rest of Day 10 was spent on that darn RL stuff again!
Day 11 – well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I had no time at all on Day 11 to work with the HUD.
Before 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!!
Well, 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!
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.
Yummy had a great blog post yesterday (you can read it here if you missed it) with some of her thoughts about spending more time on ‘creative thinking’ when creating shows and routines.
The article made me stop and think about how I create routines. For the most part, I do create in isolation. I spend time listening to music, shopping for costumes, and trying out new dances – sometimes because I need something in particular, many times because I am looking for inspiration. But it is generally a solitary pursuit. It’s just not that entertaining to spend time with someone who is working on choreography, or designing movers, or trying to find ‘the’ costume for a number.
I was also struck by the notion that creation is, in essence, embarrassing. Why? Because you fail many times before you succeed. For example, I don’t know anyone who is happy with their choreography the very first time. It requires a lot of ‘tweaking,’ and sometimes, a complete re-do. And nobody likes to show off their failures.
After seeing The Night Theater’s Halloween show, I too, was thinking, “What can I do to be more creative?” I’m going to try some of the ideas Yummy mentioned in her article. The first one is to ‘increase your knowledge in the subject area.’ I’ve learned a lot in my time in SL, but I certainly can always learn more. I take classes at Builder’s Brewery when my time permits (or when my overloaded brain actually remembers there’s a class I should go to!). I’m reading/following lots of other bloggers who blog about various topics in SL, even those super-technical ones that I don’t understand completely. 😛 And I try to learn whatever I can from others in the dance community. Sometimes a simple question can lead me in an entirely new direction.
I love the idea of a ‘brainstorming’ session – but one that is held somewhere other than a venue or rehearsal space. Wouldn’t it be fun to gather together and meet someplace new/different and bounce ideas off of each other? Who knows what might happen? I am going to try this idea out, as well. An important piece of this is that the session needs to be as ‘judgement free’ as possible. Maybe someone will propose an idea that you think will never work. Instead of shooting it down, go with it. Again, who knows where you’ll end up?
The last idea was one that I have pondered before. Sometimes it happens that one person in a group ends up the ‘leader’ of the group – leading the discussion, organizing/coordinating, etc. While often that is necessary, sometimes it really stifles creativity. And if you have a ‘leader’ like that, sometimes the quieter people have a difficult time speaking up or making their voices heard. If you have some people like that in your own circle, try to draw them out. Who knows what sleeping creativity lies beneath the quiet?
What about you? Do you create in isolation? Do you have someone (or several someones) who are ‘sounding boards’ for your ideas? How do you know when an idea is a good one?
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.