This Week & Dance Resources Index

Upcoming Events:
full calendar:  https://harleyquinadventure.com/2017/03/31/calendar/

 

Sundays –  5 pm slt
Winds of the Sahara Cabaret Show DJ

toaster

HARLEYQUIN WORKSHOPSclick here for descriptions
All workshops are drop-in.  No registration is required.  Workshops are held in voice.

Please arrive early to allow time to unpack and set up your class supplies!  The sim will be closed when the workshop starts.  Thanks!

* * NOTE:  Not quite ready to participate but interested in learning more about the tools or topic?  Feel free to drop in and follow along!  Comfortable seating area provided!

I apologize, due to RL circumstances, workshops scheduled 5/19-5/21 will be rescheduled.  Watch this space for updates.  Thank you!

Sat May 26th – 10 am st
Scripting for Performance – Making things “listen” with a script
You wish you could make that full perm particle listen for a chat command…that you could change the color of an object during your dance, that you could rotate your movers, your props, with a single command.  That’s exactly what we’ll be doing during this workshop!  Every attendee will receive a full perm “listener” script, where you set the channel, the command, and what you want it to do.  Do you have to know how to write scripts?  No!  We’ll go over how you can take an existing full perm rotation script, and change it to a rotation script that listens to your commands.  We’ll also be converting a full perm particle script, changing it so it activates on command!  With this workshop we open the doorway to scripting for performance and future workshops!

Tues May 29th – 5 pm slt
Spot On Costume Assistant (Updated)
A complete walkthrough – using it for yourself, your own dancers, or for other choreographers.

** Requires the Spot On Costume Assistant


An easy reference to dance resource pages

As a seasoned and passionate dancer in SL, I freely share and support others in their own dance journeys.  My beliefs:  question everything, learn from everything, take from it what you will and do it your own way.  Have many teachers, no one is a master, no one knows “THE WAY”.  I teach based on what I know – my own foundation, what I have learned, my own ways – but they are not the only ways.  Enjoy the ride, speak from the soul and create art with your dance.  We are all always learning, always growing.  Release the music from within…your way.  ~ Eva

 
Harleyquin Workshops
Harleyquin Workshop Descriptions

Creating a Dance:

Sirens Call to Dance – a beginning
The Official Book of Dance Rules
Choosing Music
Don’t Rush into Using All the Tools! Build a Strong Foundation
Definition Time!
Dance Knowledge – a Sharing
New Dancers Resource

Choreography:

The Magical World of Animations and Choreography
Freestyle!  Learn your animations & have fun
Creating Choreography – My Flow

Building:

Building Blocks – Phantom Sets & Special Object Properties

Effects:

Particle Power to the People
Particle Principles – The Art of Knowing When to Say When
* NEW:  Particle Principles – Types of particles & how to use them
Lighting Tutorial
* NEW:  Dancers Particle HUDs – Activate with a Chat Command

Spot On:

Moving Objects with Choreography Design System
Performance Director – Starting People Backstage
Smooth Dancer Tips for Choreography
Tips and Tricks – Stage Manager
Tools Tips & Tricks

Favorites Stores and Tools:

Animation Stores
Particles Stores
Boom Animation Organizer
Camera View Save/Setup HUD – 0L

Music:

Audacity – Music Player and Editing Program
Editing Music – Audacity Video Tutorial
TROFF – an amazing music tool for choreography, reblogged from SLNightMagic

Misc. Tips:

Sticky note holder and notes in sequences
Blogging Ideas – Using a Private Blog for Keeping Creative Ideas and Inspiration
Camera and Video Tips & Tricks

Posted in Dance Resources | Leave a comment

continuing on…I may be in love

organized abstract manner

I just have to chuckle…if I’m in love I really am pretty fickle – always looking for the next best one…

If you’ve read my previous post, I’m talking about animation organizers – not men!  Although I must admit I’m a rather free spirit in that department too. 🙂

PickA!_Add2So, I was intrigued and purchased the PickA Animations Picker for 275L the other day.  Blog post here.  Basically it’s a script you can put into a prim, and it will play all of the animations, let you click on the disk to “save” the ones you like, then can give you a folder of all of the liked ones.  You can also make the prim into a HUD.  Because it’s a script I can put it in anything and it automatically plays through the animations…which might be a good or bad thing.  Sometimes I need to let the animation play some to see, sometimes I know instantly it won’t work, and sometimes I feel extremely lazy and don’t want to click through them all.  Will it go through them too fast?  Can I adjust it?  Would it work for caching animations in an organizer?  Maybe this would be good for poses?  Because it’s a script, I could create my own multi-button hud, organizing my poses and non-dance animations.  (If you can link and unlink prims – you can create your own multi-button hud too!)  This one is the first I’d ever noticed with the “save” and give the whole folder of “liked ones” or just the single animation, so this was really exciting to find…but then…

_BOOM__Animation_Station
This is the system which I use now, and which completely revolutionized how I pick my animations for choreography.  Each of the numbers represents a category for dances – style, store, however I want to organize them.  I can label the buttons, retexture them, and even unlink a number block, copy it 10 times and relink them – so it’s incredibly expandable.  Each block can store over 200 animations, although I try to keep it to around 100 – that’s a lot of scrolling!  If I like an animation, I click on the number, and it will give it to me, then I dump them all from my inventory into my Smooth Dancer HUD.  I adore my boom station for dance animations (not so much non-dance animations).  It’s my favorite purchase in SL – not bad at 450L and copy mod!

_NDS_Animation_Manager(en)

I must say though, after trying this animation manager out I may be tempted to switch!  It’s really hard to find on MP – I had to search animation manager to find it.  It’s listed under Recreation and Entertainment Scripts, but it’s not – it’s a nice looking gadget, a good size black square you stand on with clean buttons.  I’ll post a picture of it when I can.   There’s an inworld store if you’d like to play with it.  There is also a demo on MP – the buttons are in Japanese but it’s not hard to guess what’s what!  I do like that it has a stopwatch..because sometimes I like to count how long an animation moves the feet, how long before it hits a certain move, etc.  This could be extremely helpful for layering animations.  I like that it can also let me flag the animations I like then give me one folder, instead of individual animations.  I can’t remember what the limit of categories are but it was a good number, but it’s also copy/mod so I could have multiple.  I’m not sure what the category notecard means yet…I like efficient and easy, so I’ll have to see what that means.

A.E. Animation Picker HUD

There’s one more I’m thinking of.  This one is a hud with 5 or 8 slots.  Cycle through with the left and right arrows, and press the down arrow to get a copy of the animation.  This one is only 99L and I think might work well for walks/runs/jumps/lands, etc. that I often want to choose on the fly while I’m working on dance choreography.  I’ve struggled with how to organize animations that aren’t dances – I must have over 1000 from Kuso, and while the animation is labeled run, it can actually be flips.  I know I’m not using my non-dance animations as well as I could.  Depending on how long an animation plays or if it’s adjustible in the PickA Animations Picker script the top, that may be the best solution for non-dance animations.  Hmm…

I started with organizing my animations in dance huds, but the numbers of HUDs kept growing and I’d write down the animations I liked, then had to go find it inventory, then moved it to a folder.  Moving to the boom station, I found it so much faster to choose my animations and because of how they’re organized, I’ve also become so much more familiar with them.  As I was organizing, I also found a ton of animations I didn’t realize I had!

I think re-evaluating what you do, how you work periodically is an excellent thing to do.  Sometimes how you’re doing things works really well and might just need a little tweak or keep things rolling as you are.  Sometimes you can introduce a new tool, new methods, new flows that help you really focus on your creativity.  If I decide to move to a new tool – I need to take into consideration the time to transition, and NOT do it when I have a dance I need to finish!  (Yeah, procrastination flag here – playing with the new shiny toy!)

I originally started looking because of my recent workshop on animations, transitions, and organizing animations.  That was a great workshop with lots of input and feedback from everyone, and we had fun freestyling and noticing the transitions!

One thing I learned too?  I think I tend to fall back on the same animations even though I have a good variety and mix from every dance animation store I know.  Time to expand my horizons a bit!

To sum it up:

  • new gadgets AREN’T always the answer
  • I’m kinda geeky and OCD in some ways…that reflects on what I do.  Always do what works for you 🙂
  • don’t let shiny new toys distract you from creating.  You could have the best organized animations – and no dances!
  • periodically look at how you do things.  Is there a “pain point” – something that you struggle with/feels awkward?  Look for alternatives in the way you do it!
  • Have fun!

I hope y’all enjoy an amazing day…and keep dancing!

~ Eva “no…not touching the new toy…not touching the new toy…not touching the…” Harley

Posted in Musings | 2 Comments

I may be in love!

Noooooo!  Not that kind of love!

I love gadgets and efficiency, and if this script does what it says it does, I may have to marry it!!

  • So…you put your animations in an object.
  • You add this script to it and when you click on the object you get a menu.
  • It will play all the animations in the prim one by one.
  • If you like the animation you click the disk button.
  • When you’ve picked from the animations in the object, it gives you a folder of all the animations you selected….

I love my Boom station animation organizer…but I do have to click the arrows to change animations and receive the animations one by one.  I wonder if this will save me time?  Maybe it would work better on things like flips, runs, and poses?

If it can go into a prim, does that mean I can put it in my individual boom station prims (numbered blocks) where I have my animations – dance and others – sorted?  Or even a Smooth Dancer HUD maybe?  I wonder how long it plays the animation?  It’s a copy script, so I can always delete it when done.

Hmm….will keep y’all posted!

PickA!_Add2

 

If you’re curious, link is below, but I have no experience with it…yet!  Will be giving it a try out with my Riddler walks and kicks.

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/PickA-Animations-Picker/3890278

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Trigger HUD workshop has been rescheduled!

Trigger HUD workshop has been rescheduled!

We’re back and ready to go at 5 pm today (Mon 5/14)!

Our focus is how you can easily create your own hud to trigger curtains, particles, fades, and other changes – and a discussion of why this can be extremely helpful!

I hope you are ready as we’ll be building two huds today as we trigger the magic in your magic hat and magic box!  Sure to be fun and educational!

We’ll be working in the Build Studio:  tp here

Please arrive early for unpacking the class supplies and setting up!  Sim will be closed when the workshop starts.  Look forward to seeing you!

~ Eva

 

PSA – no heads will be set on fire during this workshop.  I promise!

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Trigger HUD Workshop for today has been postponed

I just received a call from my internet provider that they are coming to service my cable lines – arriving between 11 and 12.

Because of this I’m going to reschedule this workshop to avoid the expected disruption.

I apologize and hope to see you soon!

~ Eva

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Act of Creation – Kill of the Night, Post #3

It’s time to start pulling the animations.  Actually, I lost a few days in there so I *really* need to get my butt in gear!

I have my own method and rhythm for creating choreography for a dance.  It works for me and because I follow the same general process every time, once I get started it usually moves right along.  Choreography is usually my favorite part of creating a dance – most days!

I’m sharing how I do it here.  As I often say – take from it what you will!  Maybe you’ll be inspired to tweak your method, or you might make a face and go…uhh…lol!

Step 1 – Get the music:  I purchase a copy of the music from Amazon if I can.  Sometimes I’m using a special mix or a version of the song from YouTube that isn’t available for purchase.  I always download it and have a file, no matter where I’m getting the music from.

Step 2 – Get the music player ready:  I open my file in TROFF or whatever music player you’ll be using.  I like TROFF and Audacity.  In both you can add markers (labels) where the chorus is, slower sections, etc.  This helps me when I’m choosing animations.

Step 3 – Get my costume on.  For women especially, dance animations can look very different depending on the costume.  If I haven’t finished my costume yet, I wear something similar.  Flowing skirt – leather straps – hiphop outfit, etc.

Step 4 – Starting picking from my current dance animations:  Time to start selecting!  Most everyone has different ways they organize their animations.  Maybe you have yours in a HUD – one for country, one for hip hop, etc.  Maybe you open animations from your inventory.  Maybe you have pose stands.  I use what’s called a “Boom Station”, which basically has a stand pad and buttons where I can organize my animations.  Mine are organized by store – or for stores where I have a lot I organize by store and type/pack (like Abranimations S2 Ballet).  There’s no wrong way to do it – just whatever works for you.

So, with my Boom Station, I can press arrows to go through the animations loaded in each button, and hit the number if I like an animation for the dance.  I make quick decisions – if I think it might work, I pull it knowing I’ll whittle them down later.  When I hit the number, it gives me a copy of the animation.  When I’m done picking, I’ll load them all into a Smooth Dancer HUD to start working on my choreography.  This is my way – use whatever way works for you to test your animations and collect them so you can put them in a choreography HUD!

After working more with layering animations in the Performance Director, I was surprised to notice I automatically started looking at the animations differently.  For a few, I wasn’t thrilled about the beginning of the animation but it had cool moves shortly after the beginning so I grabbed those too.  We will see!

Step 5 – Load the animations in a Smooth Dancer HUD for choreo:  I put the animations I picked into a single Smooth Dancer HUD.  I rename my HUD to CHOREO <name of the dance> then leave the Smooth Dancer..blah..blah..blah…version number.  For this dance it will be CHOREO KillNight Smooth Dancer..and the rest of the original HUD name.  I find I can copy about 20 animations into the HUD at a time.  Much more than that, and ye old “In-world object creation failed” error pops up – which means at least one of them didn’t copy.  Easier to just do 20 at a time and avoid that.

Step 6 – Buy a few new animations to add:  I try to purchase two or three new animations for every dance I create.  This was an excellent tip passed on to me that I’ve continued – it helps keep my animations “fresh”.  Sometimes a piece of music also needs something that I just don’t have in my own animation inventory.

This is where I go shopping.  I try not to go overboard, limiting it to just a few new purchases.  If I’m not careful, this can become a major procrastination tactic for me – spending my entire day going to the stores looking for the “perfect” animation or trying out all the new animations or checking out their animation sales and events.  On occasion I do need something specific, but most often I’m just procrastinating…

Note about Dance Animation Stores:  Just like dance venues, dance animation stores have their own “vibe” and style.  Abranimations is where you can get mirror animations, they generally have a lot of new releases and their animations are great for smoothly transitioning into and out of other animations.  Sync’ed has a lot of new releases and some that are very expressive.  Some are kind of “clubby” which doesn’t usually work for me, so I know I need to sort through a bit there.  Some stores have great animations but aren’t creating any new ones – like S4D.  MyAnimation has good animations – they’re all sorted by type of dance.  A&M has good animations and comes out with new releases though not as quickly as Abram and S4D.  They have excellent couples dances.  Henmations has some good ones too, although I find the unisex ones are still pretty feminine.  I haven’t seen new ones come out there in quite a while.  These are just some of the dance animation stores.  When I’m looking to add a few new animations for a dance, I keep this info in mind when deciding where to look.


OK, now that I’ve written all of that, what am I doing?  I’m in the process of picking animations from my Boom Station.  Usually I can finish this within a day.  I do find that I need to take breaks periodically, otherwise the animations will all start blurring together or the process becomes something I just want to get done.  When I get to feeling like this, it’s a red flag that I need to stop for a while, then come back when I’m refreshed.  My dance will be a lot better if I take a breather, and I’ll enjoy the process a lot more.

Dance like there’s no tomorrow!  Until next time….

~ Eva

Posted in Act of Creation | 1 Comment

Dancers Particle HUDS – Activate with a chat command

Particle Tip:

If you own the Dancers Particle particle HUDs called Cyber or Dancing, you can activate the particle without wearing the HUD.  You can use the HUD or a chat command – which means you can add it to your performance timeline, a trigger HUD, or a hot key button.

To activate a particle after rezzing out the emitter (the emitter is where the particle comes from, so you do have to have that):

The channel is 55.

For the Dancing particle emitter – type D and the particle number.  Example:  D01, D05, D12, etc.

For the Cyber particle emitter – type a C and the particle number.  Example:  C01, C05, C12, etc.

To stop the particle, the command is Particle Die.  Example:  /55 Particle Die
* note: this stops all of the particles on both emitters.  You can’t stop just one active particle.

Bonus with using the chat command:  Using the HUD you can only activate 1 particle at a time from each HUD.  Using the chat commands, you can activate multiple particles – but when you stop them with Particle Die it will stop all of them.

I have always recommended these HUDs for dancers, especially dancers new to particles.  Having a chat command makes them even more versatile!

If you have an issue let me know.  Have fun and light up the world!

~ Eva

Posted in Dance Resources, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Act of Creation – Kill of the Night, 2nd post

Continuing on!  If you’ve just jumped in, scroll to the bottom for previous posts!

Shhhh……welcome to the innermost depths of my creative mind where I spill all…a road none have traveled before….

OK, I’m back in thinking and feeling mode again on this dance.  My first practice is in two weeks so I need to “move it, move it”

The creativity process is this whole up and down thing, and nothing illustrates it better than this:

creative process

The whole key is not to get overwhelmed, not to get lost in the minutia, and focus on the big parts.  I get discouraged sometimes, especially when the ideas dry up, when things aren’t coming together.  That’s when I stop and step back for a day or two.  Sometimes this is also a sign I’m going in the wrong direction.  If I’m not enjoying creating the dance – I’ll feel this all the way through and every time I perform it.  Don’t let that happen to you!  I’d rather scrap my original idea (like I did for this one) or even change to another song if I need to.  Sometimes you just need to step back for a breather, spend time letting inspiration hit you then coming back.

20170320_inspiration_lupes
I had one dance I loved but things just weren’t clicking with the choreography.  My answer?  I changed my scenery and went to another sim!

Yep.  A naturalist sim – Lupe’s.  I tossed hovertext over my head saying I was lost in dance and to feel free and enjoy, tossed on my choreo huds, played my music that only I could hear, and I broke through my creativity wall with my music and choreography.  If you’ve seen this performance – Echoes in Rain by Enya, now you know the beauty of the sim was an inspiration.

Sometimes I choreograph in my dance studio, sometimes on a rough build of the set, sometimes on another sim like this one.  I trust my feelings a lot when it comes to dance, and that internal pull.

So, back to forming my vision.  This will guide the rest of my choices – set, movement, effects, choreo, so I need to have a basic starting vision that will evolve over time.  I mentioned attitude, 2 other dancers, dancing forward stage a lot and really trying to draw in the audience so they felt I was connecting directly with each of them.

Back to listening to the music again…. (remember when I said pick a song you love because you’ll listen to it 800 times?)

I try not to get lost in fancy effects in the beginning stages, because then they can become my focus more than the dance itself.  Sets are actually one of the most difficult things for me.  Costumes are the second most difficult thing – always a challenge.  I’ve actually started to read articles about design and composition, using colors.  Whether RL or SL, similar concepts apply!  Bonus?   I may get better at home interiour for my own RL home!

So, my rough concept.  When I dance for this venue, I’m always inspired to really push my limits and do things I’ve never done before.  I’m also driven to create an amazing and cohesive performance – from the movement, to choreo, costumes, effects, and set.  I don’t want to have a great set and weak choreo, I want costumes that will pop.

So, as I let ideas flow and begin seeing visions in my head (dance visions, not psychedelic ones)!  What I see as a rough start:

The dance starts in a big dark sewer under the street.  Lighting will be important, probably vegetation or stuff hanging down, sewer grates that shine down light.  The 2 female dancers come out and join me from side tunnels.  I want to add an effect so it feels like we’re really moving through the sewer.  There will be dirt and water flowing through the bottom of the sewer and probably a few skittering rats.  During a transition in the music, we will climb up a ladder into a dark alley and dance.  Because this is the Riddler and his skill is magic, I really want to try flipping the set like it’s made of cubes – they all start a staggered flip and it transforms into Riddler’s lair.  Once in Riddler’s lair all bets are off – choreo takes on an edge, add some special things.  Riddler is in “her space” and is really going to show who she is.  Riddler wants to take over the world – is extremely intelligent and wants it all.

I like this idea.  I know I’ll change it as I create, and probably even simplify it.  Now I have a vision.

Next step is animations.  As a woman, I find that animations can appear very differently depending on the costume I wear – whether a long flowing dress, barely there leather straps, or in this one as the Riddler.  I like to have either the costume I will wear or something that’s similar before I start choosing animations.  It might not be “the” dress, but one that flows similarly to what I’d like when I finish the costume works well.  I generally start the base of my costume at this point, then refine it and finish it later.

For this dance, I’d already finished the costume.  Here it is:

Actually, that’s not the final version.  I added question marks to the hat too, so that it tied in and really felt like the Riddler.  It’s not a great picture, but you get the idea.

Now I have my music, a vision, a costume/something similar, next step is to start choosing animations for my dance.

Onward and upward!  Until the next installment…dance to the music in your head and enjoy the ride!

Previous Post:  https://harleyquinadventure.com/2018/05/03/the-act-of-creation-kill-of-the-night-introductory-post/

 

Posted in Act of Creation | 1 Comment