The Sirens Call – A Beginning for the New Dancer, Post 5 – Basic Skills Needed Before Working with an Animation HUD

A series of posts sharing my own beliefs, methods, and suggestions for the new dancer.  As with anything I say or teach – QUESTION EVERYTHING!  There are many different approaches and methods to dance.  From all you learn, all you experience, strive to create your own methods, ideas, and knowledge.  Unique and yours.


Welcome, welcome, welcome to the wonderful, crazy, consuming and thrilling adventure called dance here in Second Life!  Perhaps you’ve been bitten by the bug or wonder what all the hullabaloo is about?  Step-by-step I will share what I know of creating a dance performance and self-expression.  The stage is your canvas, the dancers your paint.  What story will you tell through your creation?

Previous posts:

Post 1 – An Introduction to Dance
Post 2 – Observation, Learning Style, and Inspiration
Post 3 – What is this Choreo Thing and Choosing Music
Post 4 – Animations

Teaching dance in SL is one of the most rewarding things I do here in this world.  In the act of sharing with others, I am also learning.  I hope my enthusiasm in teaching inspires others, as their enthusiasm in learning and sharing inspires me to keep going, keep dancing, and keep creating.  To me, this is what learning should be – whatever teacher, whatever mentor, whatever director is guiding you.

This definitely keeps ME going on rough dance days when I just want to find a dark closet to hide in, but I digress….

I realized recently that I assumed everyone had a basic understanding of editing objects before they were bitten by the dance bug.  I learned that I was wrong in this assumption.  At times, the skills we use to move animations, modify notecards, copy properties are new to those still learning, and that by not ensuring these skills were established it was harder for them than it needed to be.

This post is focused on these basic skills as they relate to a dance animation HUDs.  If there are any that I did not cover, please suggest it in the comments.

Purchasing an Animation HUD – Most animation HUDs can be purchased in-world at the creator’s store, on marketplace, or from vendors at a related store.  Abranimations has a vendor for the Spot On Tools for example.  I recommend supporting the creator’s in-world store whenever possible, visit it and purchase it there.  (Animation HUD recommendations are included in Post 6 – please read this before purchasing one.)

Opening Your Animation HUD – Animation HUDs will come in a box.  Unless otherwise noted, rez the box in-world.  If you hover your mouse over it, you may see the icon change to a hand.  If you do, simply click on the box and the contents will be copied into a folder in your inventory.  If you do not see the hand, right click on the box, and select OPEN, and in the next pop-up select COPY TO INVENTORY once you see the items in the box listed.  (It can sometimes take a few seconds.)

What Comes With Your Animation HUD – Generally, many items will be delivered with your HUD:  an instruction/read me notecard, a revision/updates notecard, an updater tool, etc.  I recommend reading any notecards that came with your tool and opening any websites it mentions.  You may be able to find support and frequently asked questions on your tool creators website.

Wearing Your HUD – Find you new HUD folder in your inventory.  It is most often easiest to find under the Recent tab.  Once you’ve found the HUD, right click on it and select ADD.  This will add the HUD to your viewer screen.

Moving Your HUD on Your Screen – If your HUD isn’t in a good place, such as right in the middle of your screen, you can move it.  To move your HUD, right click and select edit.  You should see the “axis arrows” – the red, green, and blue arrow for each direction.  Using your mouse, click on the arrow for the direction you want to move and drag it to the correction position, then let go of your mouse button.

Adding Animations to Your HUD – Unless you are adding full permission animations or you use a special gadget, you must detach your HUD and rez it on the ground to add animations.  Once it is rezzed on the ground, follow these steps for adding animations to your HUD:

1.  Right click on your HUD, select Edit, then click on the Content tab.  This shows a list of items in the HUD.
2.  In your inventory, find the animations you would like to copy to your HUD.
3.  You can copy one animation at a time, or up to approximately 20 at one time.

Selecting Your Animations to Copy:

one animation – click on the animation name in your inventory and drag it to the content tab of your HUD.

a group of animations – using your mouse, left click on the first animation you’d like to copy, then hold down your Shift key and click the last animation you’d like to copy.  You should see the list of animations highlight.  Left click within the highlighted area and drag the animations to the content tab of your HUD.

a variety of animations – if you’d like to copy more than one animation but they aren’t all listed together, you can still do this.  Click the first animation, then holding the Ctrl key, click on each additional animation you’d like to copy to your animation HUD.  Without letting go, drag this to the content tab of your HUD.

Note:  if you try to copy over 20-25 animations at a time, you may receive the error “in-world object creation failed”.  This simply means you tried to copy too many animations at one time and at least one did not copy.  In this case, you need to manually check and see which animation didn’t copy to your animation HUD.

Viewing the animations in your HUD– Whether an object rezzed in world or a HUD worn on your screen, you can view the contents of the object/HUD.  Right click on it and select edit.  You should see the content tab in the edit window.  Click on the content tab and this will list the contents in the object.

* special note on linked prims – An object can be made of many prims linked together.  At times, content may be in one of the linked prims which you won’t see by following the step above.  Example – many couches have the animations in a linked prim, not the main (root) prim – so you won’t see them in the couch contents.  This requires editing the linked prim, a feature you can google or which will be addressed later in the series.  For all animation HUDs, you will find the contents in the root prim by right clicking the object, select edit, and click on the Content tab.

Viewing the properties of the contents – for each item in the object contents, you can view the properties.  For you animation HUD, this gives you the exact name of an animation which you can copy and paste into notecards which animation HUDs use.  To view the properties of an animation or item in the object contents, right click an item listed in the content tab and select “Properties”.

Opening items from the object contents tab–  You can open certain types of objects from the contents window.  For example – in an animation HUD you will generally have notecards and animations.  Right click on your HUD (this works if it’s on your screen or rezzed in world), select Edit, then click on the Contents tab.  Double click a notecard and it will open on your screen.  You can then edit it, save it, and close it.  If you double click an animation, the small animation box will open for that animation on your screen.

Copying contents from your HUD or other object into your inventory – You can copy the contents from your HUD, couch, etc into your inventory.

Copying specific items:  Right click the object, select Edit, and click on the contents tab.  Select the item(s) you want to copy by left clicking on it or using the Ctrl or Shift method to select multiple items.  You can now drag these to a folder in your Inventory window.  (Note:  if you select more than 25 it may give an error that it couldn’t copy them all at one time)

Copying all items:  If I want to copy all animations from one animation HUD to put into another, I find it much faster to right click on the object, select OPEN, then COPY TO INVENTORY.  You will get the extra contents such as scripts, but you can delete or ignore those.

Using Your Inventory Window Filters:

Filters are a very powerful feature and can make it so much easier to find your items.  In the upper part of the inventory window, you will see a drop down for the items to show.  You can select All, Notecards, Animations, etc.  This is especially helpful if you’ve just copied all your hud contents into your inventory.  Choose animations and only animations will be displayed.  You can then select the animations and copy them to a new hud if you choose without having to sort through the extra notecards and scripts.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

The animation says it’s “no transfer”.  Does this mean I can’t transfer it to another HUD?

No, you are able to transfer it between your own inventory and your own objects.  This means you can’t transfer it to SOMEONE ELSE.

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Illustrations and additional information/frequently asked questions will be added to this post over time.  Please feel free to add other suggestions and questions in comments.

Dance like there’s no tomorrow!
~ Eva