I so often say that “necessity is the mother of invention”…and for me, that’s true. Many of the things I figure out or create are because I’m frustrated or keep saying “there must be a better way to do this”. Eventually, I reach that moment when the scale tips and I find a way.
This leads to that other saying “find a way or make a way”…so I often do. Most aren’t overly complex, I’m not a master scripter, but they are little routines, scripts, and objects that make creating easier for me.
So…my frustration this weekend. I’m working on a heavy choreo piece. I have a notecard that lists the animations in my choreo huds (another script invention out of frustration) and a notecard with notes. As I create my sequence, I copy the animation name from the notecard instead of digging into inventory or hud contents for the exact name. Every time I had to relog, I had to go dig these notecards out of my inventory. After the 5th time of doing this…I’d had enough! Little did I know the solution was staring me right in the face!
I desperately wanted to have quick links to my notecards or SOMETHING… then it hit me. If I put the notecard in one of my dance huds, I could just go to contents and open it right from the screen – woot! Then I thought more…sometimes I change my choreo huds when I add animations…soooo…
I created a square prim, slapped a picture of a sticky note on it, shrunk it down, and attached it as a hud to my screen! I can now right click on it, drag full perm notecards from my inventory to it and open it from there! Best thing, you can leave the notecard open on your window and close the edit window so you can keep working! You can also open the HUD contents, delete and drag full perm notecards from inventory while you’re wearing it. A friend said it best – it’s like having a file cabinet on your screen. *Note: if you change a notecard, make sure to save it before changing costumes, logging out, etc.
When I work on choreo for dance, I toss on the costume (or something close to it), put on my choreo huds and save it as an outfit for that dance – such as CHOREO – Barefoot. I re-saved my outfit, so when I’m ready to work on choreography for that dance – bam! My notecards listing animations and notes are right there accessible on my screen…no annoying delays when I want to create and no sorting through my exploding-slowly becoming disorganized again-inventory. I save the hud that has the notes in the dance folder in my inventory, so it’s unique and I can find it if I need to.
Chatting with the same friend, the thought expanded! How many times are you performing in a show and you want to keep the show order notecard on your screen, or a notecard of the effects, or anything? How many times do you accidentally close that notecard, facepalm and have to look for it again? I do this A LOT. So now, I’m going to toss those notecards into another sticky note hud for that dance/show, save it to the outfit, and there they are!
The amazing thing? This makes it sooo much easier and less distracting for me – it’s free – no scripts needed – and I can always make or upload different images if I want different sticky note huds. (I like pictures!) I can have as many different style “file cabinets” as I want! <– insert happy dance. Ohh…the simple things that can make us so happy! The other thing? This hud can be tiny. As long as you can see it, right click, and go to contents you’re good to go.
BUT….was I done yet? NOPE
When I work on choreography, I wear multiple copies of my one choreography hud on my screen, each flipped to a different page of animations. I wear another copy I name “MAIN CHOREO – <dance name>” (this is the one I use for creating the sequence). As I work through my choreography and start to develop my list of animations to use for each section of music, I keep my main choreo sequences notecard open – frequently saving and reloading the sequence tab as I test and test again. (Audacity is awesome for repeating sections of music, stopping and starting at different places btw.)
Well, more times than I can count, when I finished picking my animations, putting them in order on the sequences card, and start practicing, I wonder “what the hell was I thinking?” so I started putting a blank line between the animations for each music section.
Yesterday, I got brave. I finally stopped thinking “it might break!” and I started putting comments in between, like this:
When I’m practicing my choreography before I record, I have my sequences card open on my screen, so that I can follow what animations I wanted to use for each section. (It’s amazing how quickly I can forget!) Eventually when I’ve practiced enough that I reach this point:
“Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you (almost) can’t get it wrong”
then I know it, I feel it, and I record it. Funny how when you press that record button your mind goes blank and your fingers go wonky, hence why I added the almost!
Over the years I’ve developed a flow that helps me create and focus on the parts I enjoy the most. Some things that work for me may not work for others and that’s just the way it should be. We can each create our own routine, our own flow, what works for us individually so that hopefully dance performance in SL is a joy of creativity and expression. I learn new things every day, from others, from myself, and also about myself.
Dance from the heart, dance from the soul, and breathe