THE BLACK ROOM
When I first heard “Breath Control” by Recoil I was driven to do a routine around it but I had no idea what form it would take or even when I could perform it as it was rather dark and more suited to an “After Dark” audience. Then, a couple of months ago, Imajica asked me if I would join her and Zed do a one-off show at a BDSM club. I had another old routine in store but I wanted to see if I could pull this new one off in a couple of weeks.
The set and costume were no real problem but it was the essence of the song and its cut-up sections leading me to want to do something more than just a dance. It became more cinematic in my mind and so the idea of having a fade to black in certain places made sense. Easily achieved with a simple fade screen timed to the breaks in the song.
It was only a small step from there to imagining cutting the action up into segments and making them very different to suggest the passing of time while the protagonist is running through these memories.
I decided to use force-sit from one area to another masked by the black out.
Originally this was going to be about 6 palettes as I was going to move her around more than I did. It also got me thinking about economy again. Palettes can be used to do so many things and they don’t have to be used discretely as one thing in a routine.
For example, in this routine the first palette (Pal A) is by the window for the smoking stand. She then moves to the palette in front of the chair where she walks back and forth (Pal B). Then comes the palette on the day-bed (Pal C). I used tiny moves up and down to accommodate the height difference in poses (one of these days we will have poses that don’t fling you around while changing from one to another).
The next sit is to the chair. In my original idea I would have needed at least another two palettes to complete the routine. In fact I used only three. While she is sitting on the bed, the first palette (Pal A) moved to the chair to become the sit there. I then moved her back to Pal B for the rest of the routine (which I simplified from my original idea as I thought it was too much).
so Pal A > Pal B > Pal C > Pal A >Pal B
Using one palette for all the moves might have been asking too much, but the whole thing could actually have been managed by alternating two.
All the animations were in the Sequence notecard and the moves were directed from there as well. Only the screen fades and the sit-to-sits were directed from *autofx.
Example of Autofx:
The resulting video has had some post-production but the routine is pretty much as it was performed live and I am sure with some judicious use of autocam we could have gotten those delicious “through-the-fan” shots!
I know I bang on about this all the time, but the key is simplicity and planning. I was up against the clock to get a routine done start to finish in 2 weeks when I had so many other things going on in SL and RL. You can’t do that and assure quality if you don’t plan sufficiently well. Draw your ideas out, map them, put them on sticky-notes, draw them in mashed potato..what ever helps you sort them out into a coherent form. Then pare it all down to the simplest way of doing it.
Don’t just think about recycling palettes as movers. Could the mover you used 3 minutes ago move to the other side of the stage and be a particle generator?
Could it appear on stage as something else? Can it just sit where you let it and direct another palette to do something else or even speak? There are many ways in which they can use their chameleon talent to swap from one role to another. Think outside the box.
Makes one less thing you have to add to your rezzer…and hey, that can only be a good thing, right?