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. 🙂
So, 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…
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!
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.
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