Aura on the Making of the SOS Video

STATE OF SHOCK -  Video  - Watch the video ==>
This has probably been one of the longest developments that Yummy and I have undertaken.  Some months ago she said to me "Hey I tell you what would make a good routine" and gave me the YouTube link for the song. Little did I know we were starting on an adventure.

The initial set up for it was simple enough...two avatars dancing on a stage and a sort of "dance off" that would be achieved by using the AB function of the sequencer to establish two sequences - sometimes alike and other times very different.  But then the real fun started.

 How could we establish the dialog that the two dancers were "doing solos"?

 I built a simple spotlight around a palette with an animated floor and the whole thing would fade in/out so that the soloist was highlighted.  As well as the animated texture under our feet, they also had the fade and a mover built in, something which would normally have to be covered by three controls. You will also notice that they follow us around, not only in established moves but inside dance moves which is usually impossible.  Finding a way around it took a couple of days of working through ideas until we hit upon one that worked.  In this case, jumping from the palette in the light to an invisible palette.

Of course, once we started using the routine as a development tool there was no stopping us and several "what ifs" later and a lot of palette updates...

There were certain areas where, because I was the one wearing the HUD, I needed to be able to "force" Yummy to adorn something and it wasn't viable, until she came up with a small relay that she could wear that would listen to my HUD for RLV instructions, which came in very useful.

We both love the old hat tricks, so I had to get in the old MJ hat flip and to make sure that it went smoothly she initiated a different adorn feature that allows for a direct swap between objects instead of  strip/adorn ( so yet another option to consider)

Having such a long routine did make us look at ways of making the sequencers more efficient and I think Yummy did this incredibly well.  For a dance that lasts over 5 minutes and no appreciable lag.

So the final question was how to end the routine...and it being a stage production it had to be something with a bang.  I liked the idea of having the speakers blow up at the end (too many Iron Maiden concerts) but at the time Yummy was experimenting with the hat throws and had just introduced me to it.


making the speakers blow up with the hats.

I learned how to use the palette as a particle generator and these were hidden in the speakers..the tricky part was the hat toss. It would take too long to go into the specifics here, but suffice it to say that getting a physical hat to match up with an animation AND to fly at the correct trajectory and speed AND to bounce in the right place....well that was a fun learning experience.  I don't think I have ever laughed so much at a hat even for a Dadaist.  Originally the hats and explosions were timed to each other but in the end we went with the collision to trigger the explosion which worked perfectly.

The great relief was having everything centered around on set of scripts in the hat rather than disparate elements from all over.  THAT would have been a nightmare.  So 12 palettes on the stage all controlled by one HUD.  Sounds a bit like herding cats but actually its very simple.

All in all,  months of some very hard thinking and planning, but I think we came up with some fantastic solutions to things and as ever it was a great pleasure and honor to work with Yumz. 

Ok what are we doing next??

Aura Fitzgerald

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