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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

FREE - The ArtisteSimplePoseball



FREE - Artiste SimplePoseball

While I assume most veterans have something they use to pre-position dancers, it occurred to me that some newbies to the dance world might not. So keeping in the holiday spirit, I am offering a gift to the Dance Queens communities newest members. 

It iis a very basic poseball that has a single pose in it that you can replace with your own.

1) When you sit on it, it goes invisible
2) You can adjust your height using the PgUp/PgDn keys
3) You can change the hover text

4) It is Mod/Copy so you can change its color, size, and shape
5) You can change the animation.

6) FREE updates for life for it.

Happy Holidays to All 


Yummy

Monday, December 21, 2015

As Easy as ABC


Watch our video Christmas card HERE


Our last show of the year at Sinner's Burlesque turned out to be a very special one. Every act was performed using The Artiste. 

Skye has took up the baton only a week ago and used her sequencer for the dance routines.  Sanne has been using the Silver for a long time now for sequencing but she has upgraded to the Gold and did her first palette fade on part of the set.  WTG girls!  I am sure we will see some very creative ideas in the coming months and its very thrilling.

Even though I have now been using The Artiste for 3 years (where did the time go?) it's still a buzz to try out something for the first time and get it right.  This time it was the new ABC feature of the Advanced Mover System.  It meant that I could divide the 5 of us up into 3 groups, each with their own sequence.  I chose not to use dances as I thought there was enough going on in the routine already. Instead I wanted to add an accent that would be memorable and so chose poses as a highlight in the dance where it fitted the music.

On the stage we are placed in a subtle V-shape with myself at the point.  I am assigned the A position which in this case was the lead.  Skye and Sanne, either side of me were assigned to B and Pepper and Yummy took C.  

I could have used different poses for each sequence but I had been demonstrating an idea to Yummy, during testing, involving timing offsets.  So instead of differentiating with movement the groups are each offset slightly in time to give a "Mexican Wave" effect.

My polar bear is a palette..in fact he is two palettes, one for the body and one for the head, so that I could get him to shake his head.  As he wasn't going to do that for very long I just used ordinary movements rather than repeated motion.  This also allowed me to make the moves slightly different each time so it had a more natural look.  The quips from the polar bear were just me going "Hang on, what am I doing..penguins are South Pole..."

We did also have a Santa in a sleigh zooming across the sky in the live performance but someone *coughs and looks a bit coy* forgot to send the palette back home between takes :P  *shrugs*  It happens!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the music was originally from the cast of Glee...but we had to make it sound a bit different for upload so Sterling did his magic.  Just think Penguins, not chipmunks...

I was really pleased with the choreography on this piece, it all fitted together really nicely and I just love the little shoulder shrug just as they come out of the poses.  

So, THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Sinner's and promoted The Artiste in 2015. There is so much fun yet to come and we can all share it together.  I am just thankful to be a part of it all and to be surrounded by such amazing people who inspire me.

Special Thanks to:

Yummy for being such fun to bounce ideas around with..the inside of your mind is my Disneyland!
Sanne and Skye for letting me boss them around on a deadline and being such great fun to work with :)
Sterling for being patient with me and so creative and just...well Sterling!
MJ, Nancy and Zed for flying The Artiste Flag at MJ's Burlesque and letting me perform with them!
Kat Feldragonne for her promotion of The Artiste on her blog and elsewhere :)
The "Sexy Brits" for their incredible support at shows...always love having you guys there!


And many thanks to all of you who have watched our videos, visited the blog, read the FB posts and so much more.  I may not have named you all but your contribution is every bit as valued.

Happy Holidays and a Merry Solstice to all of you and here's to a very exciting 2016.  The best is yet to come!
Much love to you all,

Aura x

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Artiste Performer GOLD - 2015 Series Available


Sale days are couting down towards the end of December 2015.

 I have provided detailed features lists for all of the packages for those interested. I had one inquirey so i assume others may have as keen of an interest





Option #1:    $5,000L   - A-50 -  Features List 

Option #2:    $7,500L   - A-75 -   Features List

Option #3:  $10,000L   - A-100 - Features List  

Option #4:  $25,000L   - A-250 - Features List


Feel free to contact Lat Lovenkraft directly.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I've Got A Rocket...

"I'VE GOT A ROCKET..."

I've Got A Rocket VIDEO


􀀀

Sometimes an idea comes along that you are burning to do and it just seems like its going to be a superhuman effort to pull it off.  Thanks to more  forward-leaps  in the development of The Artiste this year, I managed to make this one a {virtual} reality.

The idea for "Rocket" first came about  a couple of years ago when Jemma showed me a stage set that she had built with the "Sillywet" built into it.  The "Sillywet" is essentially just two prims linked together using transparency, which through a glitch of SL creates a silhouette image of the avatar.

I begged her for the stage, fired up with ideas of what I wanted to do with it, but it then sat on the shelf for a long time.  I periodically brought it out and looked at ideas again, but at the time the Artiste was not far enough along to accomplish all the things I wanted to do.

Eventually it was ready, with the first incarnation of Yummy's rezzer, which allowed a transition fade between one set and another.  It was all set up to go at the Artiste Venue but then other priorities took precedence and once again it was put away.

Although the transition between the sets in this video is done with camera fade, it gives a good representation of what it would have looked like as a live piece.  

Specific techniques:

Avatar mover:
Use of the palette mover to direct the avatar from behind the "Sillywet" and to the middle of the stage.

Doors and Lights:
Originally, the opening of the doors and the on/off switch for the down-lights was controlled with a separate HUD built by Jemma to go with the set.   By the time I put the routine together we were able to move doors and have the lights not only going on and off but flickering, by replacing them with palettes. The doors are on a simple MOVE command and the lights have a flicker and an on/off.

Planting the bomb:
Unfortunately this is one area where things have not caught up to us yet.  There are not sufficient subtle animations available to cover every eventuality of motion so I had to settle for a mere suggestion with a crouch. The mover palette was used to adjust for height differences in the avatar between the dances and the couch animation.

The bomb is detached from her hip by strip function and then appears on the floor in front of her.  The front of the bomb on the floor is an animated palette texture and the bomb "appears" with show/hide.  It then slides across the floor and bounces off the barrels (palette move).

Noxious fumes:
The "bomb" triggers a reaction with the "toxic" material in the containers and the "fumes" are particles from palettes, triggered by *autofx.  The one point I would have changed was the rising "green screen" which was meant to be the level of fumes rising up from the floor but perhaps a fading screen would have worked better. Our fearless astro-girl has adorned her gas-mask by this point and then by adorning a tunnel particle stream she teleports out of the doomed ship.

Safely back on board:
I took a copy of Jemma's set and redesigned it to make the interior of another ship, which was the target destination for the teleport.  In the live setting there was a fade between the two sets at this point, using the rezzer fade ability, so the two sets were aligned with each other for a smooth transition.  Our heroine gets to do her celebratory dance while we see the first ship in the window behind her shortly before it explodes.  The "ship" was a textured palette against a moving background. which then used fade/hide to "vanish" and had triggered particles to announce its destruction.

There were quite a lot of subtle effects used to create one routine.  I ended up with 10 palettes in all and it took a lot of planning and tweaking.  I think all the effort was well worth it from the feedback I have had from people who have seen the video.  

Many thanks to Jemma for the use of her set; to Yummy for answering so many technical questions and to Sterling who filmed and edited the project with a real vision and made it something really "awesome-sauce" as Jemz would say!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Letters from the Sky - Aura Fitzgerald



Letters from the Sky

I first heard this song on a TV show and had to go looking for it on You Tube because it was so emotive.  The first time I heard it in full the images were just there, fully formed in my mind.  I knew this was a routine that had to be made.  How I was going to achieve this was another matter.

The swan dive from the cliff was a pivotal moment in the action but it was so close to the beginning there had to be other things going on to balance it out so it wasn't front heavy.  Once again the tip function came in very useful!

I used a 180 turn on the palette to position myself the right way for the backward fall.  There had to be a trade-off between how close to the edge I could dance and how far in I could be so that the tip back would look legitimate.

The moving background was a "leap of faith" (no pun intended) as I ended up with a 20 prim palette, which moved with ease to my surprise.  The Whole back section on the stage, with the cliff edge and the ground below moves upwards to create the illusion of me falling downwards.  The cloud generators move up as well to create a layer for the planes to move through later.

As I "landed",I then had to "jump" from the tipped back palette (a) to a grounded palette (b) using the sit-2-sit.  Timing was the issue here to have a soft landing.

I used various adorns and a negative adorn to wear and un-wear wings and the dove, but it ended up being more efficient to use the swap RLV folders which Yummy developed for SOS.

The real backbone of the routine was the movers which behaved very precisely even with lag in a live performance.  Apart from the background, I had two movers to seat me and one each for the planes and the flying dove.  Quite a lot of motion for so few movers, really.

I had thought to put the end title on a mover of its own, but I thought it was more economical to fasten it to the adorned "light beams" so that as I rose up, the words appeared on the screen.

Once again, there were lots of baby steps, building on the backbone of the dance itself and taking my cues from the song and the emotional vibe of the whole piece.

I think one of my favorite comments was from a male audience member in London audience who, when he saw me fall, said he got the urge to jump up and catch me.

That's what I call suspension of disbelief! 

Watch the video:   https://vimeo.com/143194445

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Success ?



To all purposes, being a dancer in SL is easy.  Jump on someone's HUD, line up, start dancing. People dancing in synch look cool.  Admit it!

It's not like you have put in years of training in tap, ballet or modern jazz, torn your ligaments and your ankles, damaged your knees and your back learning this stuff. The people who model for your MOCAP dances probably did.  But hey, this is SL. This is what it is all about, having fun and realising your dreams. No-one says it has to be hard work.  It's not real life....right?

Much like any other interaction in SL, dance is an emotional and creative response; an outpouring of energy that results in something that could be a cabaret, a striptease or even a piece of performance art.  Doing it WELL is a personal choice. Your child's finger-painting may not be a Rembrandt but the intention behind it is just as important to the recipient of that gift.

Let me just say, I am NOT criticising anyone for their method or level of involvement. Dancing, like any other creative pursuit should be personally rewarding above all else.  If it makes you happy then all is good.

Performing for other people "professionally" however, is another matter.   Making something that other people want to not only watch but appreciate takes a bit more effort.
"Oh yeah, you mean all the scenery and costumes and stuff, right?"

Nope.

Whilst all of that is part of the package, I am talking about attributes and traits that you need in spades if you want to achieve something WELL.

When we do the Sinner's Shows, we get a lot of people saying to us "Wow, I would love to do what you guys do.."  Like the picture above they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg which has been polished until it shines like a diamond!

So lets have a look at some of the bits underneath that make the difference:
(and these principles work for just about any project you can mention)

Dedication/Motivation

You really have to WANT to do something to make a success of it. That hunger is all important.  It doesn't have to be there 24/7 - we all have off-days, but it needs to be there sufficiently and consistently enough that you hang on to your idea and see it through to the end.   You have to believe in it too.  That's quite hard in SL.  You aren't going to get rich from it, you are not going to become a celebrity.  You do it because you believe it's important, if only to yourself.
The easily distracted need not apply...oh and it's not for quitters.

Sacrifice

There are times when I would much rather be hanging out with my friends and having a good laugh.  Recently  have forced myself to take breaks and do that for my sanity's sake, but there have been lots of times when I have had to say "No, I can't, I'm working on something".  You might want to spend all your lindens on shoes but your budget is up the creek because you had to buy things for your set or new dances.  Be prepared to be single minded sometimes.

Hard Work/Persistence

Are you prepared to do something over and over again until you get it right?  You can sit for hours perfecting something and maybe you are just at that point where you have to finish one bit before you can leave it alone for a while.  Going that extra 30 minutes when you have been sitting working on something for 2 hours can be a pain in the ass (literally). More importantly, taking the time to LEARN something like The Artiste or other tools thoroughly; know what they can do and what is the most efficient way of doing it.  You don't learn things like this overnight.  It takes time.  I have been learning for over 3 years and I still don't know the full potential of the HUD.  I still have to think hard about how to implement things properly  AND I still have to kick myself up the ass sometimes to get on with it.  No-one is perfect!

Disappointment/Frustration/Failure

Guess what?  You don't always get what you want and especially not when you want it.  Browning said "a man's reach should exceed his grasp". Wanting things that we can't quite reach can keep us on our toes.

Sometimes we suffer frustration trying to get something to do what we want. SL may offer us the possibilities to do a lot more than the real world, but there are still restrictions and all you can do is try to circumvent them.

As for Failure, it is only a matter of perspective. As long as you learn from what you have done and it allows you to do something better next time then where is the problem?

Good Habits

You want to minimise your chances of frustration?  Get some good habits.
(put the nuns down, Yummy)

1. Have a realistic idea of what can be done:
That means what YOU can do. If you want to feel an achievement, do it yourself. If people want to help you out that great, but don't base what you are doing on what other people are good at.  This doesn't mean you can't ask for help.  Sharing the burden is another good habit, but support is not the same as foundation.

2. Keep it SIMPLE:
Not all good ideas have to be complex.  In fact even the complex ones follow the same rule. It's called Occams Razor - Google it!

3. Break it down into  s m a l l e r   b i t s:
Don't think everything has to fall fully formed from the head of Zeus. Take baby steps, both in learning and planning.  Make sure you understand the basics before you rush into advanced techniques. Remember that quote? Well if you reach too far you fall over...flat on your face.

4. Pace yourself:
Never rush things. Plan your time properly.  Try to do little bits everyday so you are constantly moving forward but also leave time for you to put the project away for a couple of days and look at it fresh.

5. Don't say "Oh, it will do":
Best maxim ever "if a job's worth doing, its worth doing well"  'Nuff said.

6. Be true to yourself:

Does it matter what other people are doing?  Listen to your heart. Let it guide your imagination to a place that is original and yours.  Just because Josie Bloggs is doing a killer routine with 20 dancers in the club one sim over, don't think that's what you have to do.  Learn to appreciate what other people do without judging yourself against it. You are your own person.

Now go Boogie!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Philip Rosendale "Catches" Yummy In the Act


I was checking out Hi Fidelity, Philip Rosendale's (creator of Second Life) new Virtual Reality platform and was taken aback to see him use, of all things, an implementation of a throw-and-catch in one of his promotional videos.  Of all the things he could have demonstrated, and it was the only thing demonstrated in that video...well suffice it to say I was amused and honored...it felt a bit surreal to be honest. Ok so my 1.5 seconds of faked-fame is over. Million to 1 he's  never even heard of Yummy but its fun to pretend for a split-second and give rise to reason for mentioning my name and his in the same sentence.

See his video ==>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mNqaJOZoCM 

I think he was just trying to show me up based upon the video I did.

See my video ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0gO4IBP7lU

On a more serious note, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, he is only worth 17.5 billion, Google Ventures, and Second Life even, just to name a few, have invested heavily in Philips latest venture, Hi Fidelity. I came across Hi Fidelity because someone rumored that SL2 would end up merging with HiFi. I don't think it will, personally, but I am not ruling it out.

Here is an introduction video sneak peak of his new VR platform in Alpha. Oh and you can try out the ALPHA for free now and all the stuff on their Marketplace is FREE. There are 38 regions currently up so is suspect maybe land is FREE now too. Its an interesting platform...unfair to judge it too harshly in its early stages.

See the Video ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=180oREeGnks


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chandelier




Watch the Video ==> Chandelier

*************************************************************

After taking several of Yummy's Artiste classes, I was looking to try my hand at some new things.  

I had just seen a show where people entered the stage by dropping down from vines, and I thought it would have been a tad better if they had been able to actually swing from the vines.  

Later, I was listening to my iPod and Sia's 'Chandelier' came on.  

As I was singing along loudly (and probably off-key), it suddenly occurred to me that I might be able to swing from a chandelier.  

I talked to Yummy about the idea, and several weeks later, we had a working, swinging chandelier.  

The sit-2-sit function of the Artiste made the transition from floor to chandelier and back to floor easy.  

It's a minimalistic routine, but I am very proud of it. 

By Kat Feldragonne


*************************************************************

I (Yummy), wanted to add that this is a new area of avatar movement (added to  animations, movers, relocation(Sit-2-Sit)) where a few of our Artistas have shown interest in "moving an avatar thru space freely" as part of a "takeoff, gravity-based-freefall, land" movement-combo.

We are in the early stages of exploring this popular phenomena. Kat has done an excellent job of starting the ball rolling by imagining and then implementing her own solution to downward movement. lilangles has also sparked a new line-of-thought and approach towards downward movement that was a catalyst for the applicability of link-control as a key component. Aura has explored and implemented upwards and backwards movements. Nancy has added an artistic component to avatar-relocation.

Anyway, the key issues at hand are: 

a) Control (Start/Stop)
b) Timing (Accuracy and Dependability)
c) Association with other events and actions to provide context and meaning

d) Gravity-based-freefall (inertia)

They now have a few Artiste tools that address this issue worthy of further exploration: 

1) The Artiste Sit-2-Sit
2) The Artiste Swing
2) The Artiste Thrower
3) The Artiste Mover
4) The Artiste "Action"
5) and the new Artiste Link-Control


     Yummy

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Introducing the Artiste "Action"


The Artiste "action" feature is an extension of the Palette "move" which  now boasts in excess of over 80 Palette features (probably a dozen more than its initial release-candidate).



 With a move you can of course move an object or avatar or both. You can animate a seated avatar, moving or not (think Palette-based dance-sequencing). You can specify a pause at the end of the move and/or animation. Well now you can also trigger an inter-palette action or intra-palette action that occurs after the pause. This means that a Palette can issue further commands to itself as well as to other Palettes.

Why is this of importance?

Because it adds infinite extensions to the Performance HUD that is now relieved from the limitations of 255 characters per autofx event to control Palettes for a given event. The HUD can trigger a Palette to do stuff including telling other Palettes what to do and they can in turn tell even more Palettes what to do, and so on, and so on ad infinitum. And with the Palettes built-in abilities to rez other Palettes themselves as well as the ability to kill themselves, you can manage prim and script resources with just-in-time Palette spawning and retirement.

Also another advantage is that the timing of when things happen can be closely married to moves and palette-based animation-sequences and this reduces the effort of having to time everything from the HUD perspective. 

There is also the advantage of creating "dependant" activity such that activity B does not begin until activity A has completed. Sort of akin to addressing SL anomalies like chat-lag.

 Simply turn control over to a Palette and let IT take control of itself and/or other Palettes via the newly vetted Palette "action". And you can even have multiple actions for a given move. You also have an optional delay time for each action allowing even more granular control of when an action triggers. And don't forget that a move has the option to 'not move' and to 'not animate' so it could be used solely to govern actions.

And if you are not aware, the Artiste move-system has the ability to perform any single move or any range-of moves from the HUD or a Palette "action", along with the common standard "do all moves", so you can easily segment and alternate a performance between dance-animations, partial-moves, and actions or combinations of the above.

A little known fact is that a Palette can issue emotes (chatas well as strip, and adorn and even manage a homemade costume change (adorns & negative adorns) as just a few of a Palettes underrated feature set.


And lest we not forget the ability to extend a logical set of activities via Sit-2-Sit.

So those who have found the need to use 2 HUDS for more involved performances can now rethink their design.  Twenty HUD events nor 255 characters per line are no longer hindrances.

The Artiste Action sets the stage as the cornerstone of the road-map towards  elongated performances akin to 1 hr+ productions.

P.S.

And I discovered that inter-palette (Palette-To-Palette) actioning are not confined the the restricted inner-list of actions since you can simply use a "move" as your primary action and use the target-palette's full set of action-availability. One extra but insignificant script-hop.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Colors

See the video ==> Colors


Yummy asked me to do a write-up of how I came up with the idea for this act.  

The short answer is Yummy.  

The slightly longer answer is this: 

I had been trying to come up with an idea for a group number for the opening show at Le Artiste.  I keep a list of songs and ideas for routines in a notebook, and I was looking through it.  

I wanted to do something with particles, since I was just learning about those, and I wanted an upbeat song.  I didn't have any luck and so I shelved the idea.  

A few weeks later, I was attending an Artiste class of Yummy's, and she was wearing a suit that kept changing color.  I asked how it worked, she told me, and BAM!  Idea. :-) 

I went back through my song list and found Cascada's 'Everytime We Touch.'  The upbeat track was perfect for what I wanted.  

I wanted the colors of the suit to change to match the various particle effects I was planning.  There would be 4 of us onstage, so I wanted the focus to be on the colors. 

I made a black box and then proceeded to fill it with particle effects.  Not so many that it overwhelmed the dancers and the stage, but instead complemented them. 

It didn't take me long to choreograph the routine and after I was done with the choreo, I started laying out where I wanted the color changes to happen.  

I also used the layout to plan the various movers, but I kept everything pretty simple.  Again, I wanted the focus to be on the dancers and the colors. 

As I was working through the routine, I decided I wanted a sequence - one that looked almost like chasing lights - where one dancer is a color, then that color moves to the next dancer, and so on, but quickly.  

There was a bit of back and forth - working on the colors and where in the routine they would go, then working on the various particles, etc. 

I finished the routine and we did a few run-throughs to see how it looked.  Aura was kind enough to provide boots for the costumes and from there, it all just fell together.  

I love how the finished routine turned out.  It was fairly simple to put it all together - I think it looked much more complicated than it actually was!  

A big thank you to Aura, who graciously provided the boots for the costumes, to Lil for dancing with us, and especially to Yummy, whose skills and imagination helped bring my idea to life.  

You ladies rock!

Monday, March 23, 2015

CALM DOWN

Sometimes a song just appears that calls to you and throws up images and emotions that you can't ignore.  This song turned up on the stream at my home and I had to go looking for it.  There was an element of lateral thinking involved as I initially thought she was singing "come down" which was the trigger for the ceiling sequence.
Originally the set was going to be faded from color to white to symbolise color draining from surroundings but I am glad that I stuck with the stark white in the end.



This was a very personal piece for me, dealing as it does with isolation, depression and anxiety.  The original stage version had accompanying emotes:

Another day starts after a sleepless night; the day is bleak/ How many days have I spent like this, trapped between tension and lethargy / How do I remember who I was any more?  Or who I am now? / So many days gone by and nothing remains / Clinging to a hope that one morning I will wake and all will be forgiven / Fading under the critical gaze of others/
My arc of self control gone and I am spinning / Until that day, I float like a ghost through my own life / Trapped behind glass, unable to escape/ ..And the clock still turns


The dancer is the only color in a room of white.  She is not overweight, or ugly or stupid; illness does not have to show on the outside. Inside she is plagued with visions of herself longing for something. She is constantly feeling as though she is scrutinised by others and criticised.  She is trapped in a fish bowl life, unable to escape from her own feelings. Dealing with anxiety can be like wanting to crawl the walls or feeling like your life is upside down.  I hoped to reconcile all these images within the piece.

This is not a typical dance piece, in fact there are very few actual dance animations.  Most of them are taken from AOs or non-static poses and took a lot of time to track down.
The Artiste makes them very easy to compile, and with the choice of putting the animations in the palettes or in the dance sequence I can work around any problems caused by priorities in animation.

Because the anims were all differently purposed originally, some of them have different "heights" as well, which made it important to adjust palette height to accommodate this.  This worked particularly well with the ground sits which are notorious for making you hover off the ground.  It was also so easy to get the palette back to where it started because you just flip the difference in the relevant vector eg. you move the pallete down 0.355 in a move...the same move with -0.355 will bring you back to where you were.

The "wall walking" was accomplished using 3 palettes and force-sit between them.  It takes a little while to set it up but it is not hard.   It was trial and error to establish the most appropriate animations for jumps and landings to "soften" the flow.

I also used a set of alpha palettes which fade in and out such as the sitting figures.

This was a very fulfilling piece for me to work on and I was gratified by the response that I got when I performed  it live as, I wasn't sure that people would "get it".  They so obviously did and it was very moving.

As always, Thad has stepped up and added his own little embelishment on it which I think has just made it magic, thank you love!

I would like to dedicate this video to everyone who has ever suffered an anxiety attack or a depressive episode.  If you haven't, remember to be kind to those who do :)

CALM DOWN VIDEO

Love and Light

Aura x

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Moon Over Bourbon Street

This was another routine that I had done before a long time ago and was never satisfied with what I did.
The original was performed way back in September 2012 at Orchid's Theater and it was only the second dance routine I had performed on stage.  I was particularly proud of the rooftop set as it was my first ever self build.  This was also the first ever outing for The Artiste in public!  I used the strip/adorn and emote function...adorning fans and my own little touch of the glowing orb to represent a spotlight...all cutting edge at the time.


Time moved on, maybe 18 months later, and The Artiste was running away with the amazing things it could do.  Yummy had already designed the prototype mover system which was very complex at the time and I started thinking about this routine and how I could have done it so much better.
After we filmed "Sisters" I started playing with it again, rebuilding the set and extending the stage at the front with the intention of "stepping out". By this time we had the palette moving system. Yummy found me one evening laying out prims on the stage to mark specific points and turns and we started talking about how useful this could be.
She then vanished to her workshop and started on developing what is now the palette marker system.
"Moon" got shelved again for a while as other things took priority but I never forgot about it and kept doing little bits.  Unfortunately RL intervened and I missed 2 chances to perform it live so we decided to just film it.  Thad has done an amazing job!

Technical bit:  
One mover palette all the way through, with a mixture of animations in the palette and in the dance sequence.  Everything else is pretty much standard.  Just goes to show how adding one mover can really bring a performance to life when used sparingly.  A little bit goes a long way :).
Emotes,Strip functions and adorn for the fans used obviously.
I finally feel that I managed to make something as close to real neo-burlesque as SL allows...well until next time ')  watch this space...
and until then..
watch the video!
Moon Over Bourbon Street

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Can't Get You Out of My Mind


See the video==> Can't Get You Out of My Mind


Nancy Plays Hide And Seek…

…and something that looks like Whack-A-Mole (I’m not kidding, see it for yourself!)

Hehe, enough with this clowning around! Second Life burlesque is a serious business! Or so I learnt after my last act, which you can see here: Nancy Does Burlesque

Okay, serious now! Nancy slaps herself. Good.

First, I would like to thank Yummy for filming one of my numbers again. The editing of this video is superb and so well in sync with the music! Cue the applauds… now! I would also like to thank the Academy for… Oh wait, that’s another speech.

Anyway! Nancy slaps herself again. Better.

Yummy asked me to say a few words about this number so I will go with the same structure I followed in my previous rambling, and divide this rant into “idea” and “production”. Let’s start!


About the Idea

First of all… there was no idea with this number. Usually I have a rather clear concept or vision that I want to bring to life, but with this number it was quite the opposite. I was working with another idea (that is still a work in process, by the way) but I felt like I was stuck and gradually I started to loathe the little I had done hitherto (I’m still trying to motivate myself to finish that number… maybe you’ll see a video of it sometime in 2017). So what to do when you hit a wall? Play! (With yourself or any toys you are blessed with…) And boy oh boy did I play or what!

I started to think about different ways you could make an interesting entrance or exit in a show number, and alternatives for walking around the stage (which I’ve done so much that I’m sort of tired of it…) Knowing that the Palette can do pretty much anything, I started to play with the functions and movers and faders and whatnot (read more below).

So the idea sort of grew with the production. I had no clear theme or vision. For a long time it was just dancing on the moving pillars. And then I started to panic that this would be a pretty hollow number, and I kept saying to myself “Okay, you have some cool effects in it, but so what? Unless you want this to be just a Whack-A-Mole game, you better come up with something, you silly… witch!” (Funny note: Until you texture the Palettes, their default colouring is rather… bright, so for the most of the production it did look like a carnival game, with red, blue, and green pillars rising and descending with this little bunny dancing on top of them.)

And then I sat down for a few days and stared at my stage and pretended to think. Finally I decided to go with the witch (my own words “You silly witch!” echoing in the back of my head) idea and since I had been hoarding some pretty mesh mirrors for my new home, I figured I could recycle some of them in the set. And that’s how the Evil Queen/Snow White reference came to be. And still licking my wounds after being called a vain and narcissistic “C U Next Tuesday” by one egoistic and misogynistic wanker, I decided to emphasize the narcissistic aspects of the Queen asking the mirror who’s the fairest of them all. Nothing like self-emancipation, ladies!

Hah. So yes… there really were no great light bulb moments behind this one. It’s pretty production-driven. Which brings us to… (Cue the drums!)


About the Production

As can be derived from the drivel above, this number was more production than idea oriented. In total, I ended up using… tons of Palettes, the main ones being the three pillars that rotated, rose and fell, and the mirrors that got brighter at a few points.

Having used the Palette’s Sit-2-Sit function in my first ever Artiste number I wanted to give it another go, and instead of using it to perform a seamless transition from one surface to another (which I did in the earlier number), I wanted to use it more as an effect. (In short: Sit-2-Sit moves you from one Palette/pose ball to another without you having to stand and sit manually.) Using the Sit-2-Sit as an effect so that you appear in different places on the stage pretty quickly was an idea I had had for a while already. But I never had gotten the chance to use it. So, since this number began as a Palette/Artiste playground, I thought I’d use it now. What the heck, let’s just shove all the unused ideas into one number! And so was born the peek-a-boo section in the beginning of the number. And, as can be guessed, I used Sit-2-Sit to move from one pillar to another.

I want to try something new with every number I do, so I went through the Palette function list and picked a few I thought might work in this number (after all, this was supposed to be a Palette playground) and ended up with the Glow and the Shatter functions. Both were something I had never used before – and I must say they worked pretty well! Glow I used to make my mirrors turn brighter when the song got louder. That was an easy function to use and it worked right away. I recommend that anyone new to the Artiste/Palette start off with these easy-to-use functions, so you can see the fruit of your labour rather quickly. Shatter function I used in the end of the number (when the witch’s delusional self-admiration shatters and she drowns in the darkness she’s created around her, hehee), and I must admit, it was a little scary to try it, since I had no idea how to do it. But after two chats with Yummy and a few hours of intense notecard-editing and prim-creating, I got it to work the way I wanted! All in one day! Yippee!


Okay, ladies and Laramie smokers, I think I’ve typed enough! My head is empty and I can’t think of anything more to say about this number, haha. Congratulations if you got this far and “Aww, I feel you” if you just skipped down here after the first paragraph! I hope you enjoyed the video and come see us live some day!

-Nancy ‘Naughty Martini’ Toocool

Friday, January 16, 2015

Introducing the Artiste Consult


I got brainstorm and initial enthusiastic support. I will be offering FREE, for a limited time,...Artiste Consults.

How it works is you get an idea for a routine: song, set, animations, costume. Then schedule a consult with me to see how the myriad of apparent and not-so-apparent features of the Artiste Suite could be applied alone and/or in conjunction with on another to help reinvent and present your routine from a different perspective,...if that's what you want.  I will try to present you with viable options and then even help you implement them. No, I have no idea of the results due to the number of variables, but it will be a fun adventure. Nothing to lose but time invested.


Sometimes the results may may "pop" it, other times it might be subtle, and other times it may not be apparent at all to the viewer but very obvious to you with regards to ease in multi-tasking, scheduling, and timing.

Who knows its abilities better than me? Its a lot to comprehend. Most of its features have never been used and you are unlikely to use something you may not understand as to what it is, what it does, why you would use it, or how or even when. Almost every current user has found themselves in a 'rut'. Comfortable in the few things they know it can do and have gotten it to do. I will try and help to clear some of the brush, fog, and cobwebs away.


Lat "Yummy" Lovenkraft

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Summary of the Introduction to The Artiste posted

I have posted a summary of what was taught in our introduction class,
"Introduction to the Artiste". This is for those who have taken it to reinforce or untangle what was taught or what I thought I taught. And its a chance for those who missed he class to not feel they are left out in the dark and at a disadvantage.


http://artistedancediva.co.uk/wp/?p=266

Also a word on minimum event times. A lot of confusion exists between event time minimums.

Both of the examples #1 and #2  below will throw an error IF you have AutoStrip or AutoEmote or AutoAnnounce enabled. I could say to NEVER use a 1 second interval just to be safe, but that wouldn't be true in all cases.

Example #1:

1,"Start-Dancing",1

Example #2:

1,"Start-Dancing",4
2,"Start-Dancing",5

So to be safe, a good habit is to have at least 2 seconds between events as below in 3 and #4.

Example #3:
 
1,"Start-Dancing",2
 
Example #4:
 
1,"Start-Dancing",4
2,"Start-Dancing",6

Now that's a good start, but the true rule is this: the smallest interval between events must be greater than the largest lead or delay time. The good thing about this rule is that: its so easy to violate that you will get a warning message upon HUD-Reset. I put a check in.

1,"Start-Dancing",10
2,"Event-2",20
3,"Event-3",25
4,"Event-4",28
5,"Stop-Dancing",37

The smallest interval is between event #3 and event #4  (28-25=3) three seconds.

Lets say you had these 4 lines in your *config

AutoAnnounceLeadTime,0

AutoEmoteLeadTime,3
AutoFXLeadTime,2
AutoFXHoldTime,0


You would get an error upon HUD reset telling you that things are unlikely to work like you expect them to because of the AutoEmoteLeadTime,3 (the largest lead/delay time) is not less than the smallest interval.
 
So to fix this error you must either make AutoEmoteLeadTime,2 or 3,"Event-3",25 changed to 3,"Event-3",24  or 4,"Event-4",28 to at least 4,"Event-4",29

Either change will make the smallest interval 4 which is greater than the largest lead time (3) in your config. Yeah I know...its tricky.




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Introducing the Artiste Gear

Gears


This device was created to extend the abilities of a normal Artiste Rotator.
It is FREE to current and future owners of the Artiste Performer Series.
It allows for segmented moves comparable to that of watch-movements with configurable intervals and movement slices around a circle.
It also provides for inter-dependent movement triggering.
Gears can of course can be stopped, started, paused, and resumed via AutoFX.  This allows for coordinated stopping of say tires on a car when the car stops or a slowing down of the rotation as the car slows. It could allow for those ‘rims that keep spinning’ to continue on after a car stops. Graduated moments can be pronounced enough to add drama to a backwards countdown.. Can create a stopwatch. Can show impending doom and doom-avoidance with simulated ‘gauge’ movements. You could create a different time setup for an alien world where there are 3 hours to the day, 10 minutes in and hour and 30 seconds to a minute...for example.
There is a “prime” function that pre-syncs the gears so they can all resume at the same time in sync from whence they left off.
It deprecates the:
 RotationStopEvery,0.0
 RotationStopFor,0.0in the Palette
Each gear contains 1 script and one notecard.
Gears can also be Palettized for additional functionality.
Each gear's direction is configurable.
Configurable channel-to-channel communications.
They are copy/mod.
You can add custom textures.
You can re-size them.
They can rotate independent or inter-dependent of each other.



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Artiste Compound Creations #101 Class - Making an Explosion From Scratch



The Artiste Suite does a lot of cool things right out of the box. Much of its marvel is lost on the general public who often sees little pizzaz over routines they are used to seeing. However, if you are a performer the benefits are night and day. It was told to me recently, and I am paraphrasing, "With product xyz I wouldn't even have thought of trying this".

Could you do 'these things' with other products? In all fairness I'd wager to say 'yes'... with some hoop jumping. Its just not germane to their design. Not their primary focus. They allow for it. You just have to do the heavy lifting and go out and acquire the needed special ingredients.

What I had been foreseeing as the Artistes badge of honor is not what the it does out of the box but what it can do when one applies their own imagination and ingenuity.

 An example is the Artiste Thrower. It started out as a means to toss a hat onto a rack. What I forced myself to do was to push the concept of throwing to encompass different types of extended throwing behavior. With the exception of the boomerang and ricochet, it doesn't manifest itself out of the box to do any of the special adaptions I created, like carom and matrix, for example. You have to combine parameters and notecard settings and do those feats in a certain order and within certain proximities. Thats 'added value' that has its roots based in a solid 'original idea'. Art, of which dance is a type, is a means to convey something inside of us we feel is unique and worthy of externalizing. It is a manifestation an 'interior' into an 'exterior'.

So I want to propose a project that Artiste-Owners can opt to take part in. That of combining Artiste features to create a new composite feature.  We will attempt to create the Artiste Explosion. I will be holding a class on the weekend of Jan 17th-18th. Probably that Sunday 1pm (18th).

Its a thought process of seeing what ingredients the Artiste offers that could go into making an explosion. Each participant will make their own using their own choice of ingredients. We will go thru the various choices and you will decide which ones you want. Then I will guide you as to how to put them together. 

What you will come away with is a template which you can use in the future when you need an explosion along with the know-how to change its behavior and characteristics for a given situation. The Artiste Palette has all the primitives. Its a matter of which you choose and how you choose to mix them: particle-creations, palette-feature-choices, autofx-triggering-order, interval-timing, overlapping, measures, etc.. 

It will start out as a brainstorming session as we discuss ideas and approaches and then I will demonstrate "Palette primitives" that could be used. If you are jazzed about this idea, I suggest you examine explosions and enumerate what to you are identifying chacharacteristics that will arm you with talking points and ideas. (i.e. timer, fuse, attack, velocity, velocity-variations, rotations, directions, flash, flame, fire, smoke, color-change, sparks, mushroom clouds, dust, streamers, debris, blow-back, multiple-mini-explosions, collapsibles, damage, topples etc). Then we will start building it from the ground up.

The completion of the project will take place over many meetings. Don't expect to have an acceptable working explosion after the first class.

Also, its a thinking exercise more than doing. It's not so important that you create a successful working explosion but that you go thru the 'mental gymnastics' of thinking about it within the framework of the Artiste Suite. This is an exercise you can recall for future needs when you want to 'create something that doesn't exist out of the box' of which I hope there will be many more to come.

Yummy