Behind the Curtain

After teaching the Intro to Artiste course, I realized that even though I had tried to strip things down to the bare bones, people were still having issues and difficulties with visualizing how all the puzzle pieces fit together.

A discussion with Zed led to the idea of doing a ‘walk-through’ of a routine – to take a completed routine and to break it down into the various parts, to show how everything works together come showtime.

Since I had already made a video of an Artiste routine, I thought it would be easiest to use it. 🙂

The routine is one I did for a Christmas show and it’s really fairly simple. Here is the finished routine:

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.

To make this routine, I needed the following puzzle pieces:

a dance sequence (on the *sequence1 nc)
events for each piece (on the *events nc)
appropriate RLV folders/subfolders for costume pieces
adorn/remove commands for costume pieces/changes (on the *autoadorns nc)
chat commands for my set faders (on the *autofx nc)
a configuration for the HUD buttons so I could push-n-play (on the *config nc)

DANCE

To create the routine, I first picked out my music.  Once I had my music picked, I created the rough choreography using my Barre HUD and its recording feature.

I then tweaked my choreography, added in some beginning and ending poses, and put the sequence in the Artiste HUD.

The finished sequence went on the *sequence1 notecard like so:

Xmas Sequence

Xmas Sequence

The first line (palette=) is to activate the palette mover, something I haven’t taught you yet. However, you can see my sequence, including the beginning and ending poses, along with the dance animations and times.

Now that I knew what animations I would be using, I could load those into the Artiste HUD as well. With the *sequence1 notecard loaded,  the dance piece of the puzzle was complete.

EVENTS

Next, I added my events. Since I wasn’t sure how many events I would need, I just entered about 15 events with 10-15 second durations. Doing it this way lets me ‘tweak’ the durations of individual events as I need to make all the timings work the way I want.

I ended up making several changes to my events notecard as I progressed in creating the routine.  Since I made several changes, you’ll notice that the final *events nc actually has 19 events, not my original 15.

Xmas Events

Xmas Events

Notice that I did not use the quotation marks around the event names.  For safety’s sake, you should use them. 🙂

ADORNS/REMOVES

The next puzzle piece I needed to work on were the costumes. Since I planned to change outfits in this routine, I had to figure out when, where, and how I was going to do that. I had also decided to wear my mesh body (which presents its own set of challenges), so careful planning was required.

The first outfit was going to be a winter costume – a mesh coat and some boots. The second outfit was a risque Boudoir costume with strings of Christmas lights strategically placed. To hide the costume change, I was going to use a rather large particle effect that I could wear.

First I created ‘outfits’ for each costume, including hair, clothes, shoes, makeup, tattoos, etc. Once I knew what I would be wearing for each costume, I could then figure out which pieces I would need to add or remove and when I would need to do that.

I was also going to be using several different particle effects (worn on my hands), so I needed to be able to add/remove them as well.

RLV FOLDERS

The first step in setting up your adorns/removes is to set up the necessary RLV folders. In my case, I would need 6 RLV subfolders.

I had 2 folders for the 2 different hand particles I would use. I had 1 folder for the large wearable effect I was using to mask the costume change.  I had 1 folder to remove the pieces of the winter costume and 1 folder to add the pieces of the risque costume. I also needed 1 folder because I would be removing a mesh body. (I’m not going to explain why here, if you’re interested in knowing, just ask me.)

Once I knew how many folders I needed, I created them and then pasted each item I wanted to add/remove as a link into the appropriate folder.

So my RLV subfolders (created under the !Adorn folder) looked like this:

Xmas RLV Folders

Xmas RLV Folders

All the subfolders follow the required nomenclature (a). So the aLMXMBaubles and aLMXMSnowHands folders are for the two different particle effects I wanted to wear.

Notice that even though I plan to both add AND remove them, I only need one folder.

The aLMXMWinter folder removes the appropriate pieces of the winter costume, the aLMXMBigLight folder adds a large particle effect to mask my costume change, and the aLMXMLights folder adds the appropriate pieces of the second risque costume.

Now that all the RLV folders are set up, I can create my *autoadorns notecard so that the HUD will know when I want each of those things to be added or removed.

Xmas AutoAdorns

Xmas AutoAdorns

Ok, a bit of explanation here, because this will confuse people. In the course of practicing my routine, I decided to add some particles I’d worn in a different routine (those in the aWOTWPixie folder).

Reading through the *autoadorns nc, you can see that on event #1, the HUD will add (‘a’) the WOTWPixie particles. On event #2, the HUD will add the LMXMSnowHands particles.

On event #6, the HUD will remove (-) the LMXMSnowHands particles, and on event #7, will remove the WOTWPixie particles.

On event #10, the HUD will add the LMXMBigLight effect, on event #11 add my alternate mesh body, on event #12 remove the pieces of the winter costume I have specified, on event #13 add the pieces of the risque costume I have specified, and finally, on event #14, remove the ‘big light’ particle effect.

That seems like a lot of things going on, and it is. However, if you look back at the *events nc, you will see that events #10-14 only take a total of 10 seconds. When you watch the final routine, you will see that everything happens very quickly.

AUTOFX

Because I wanted to change costumes in this routine, I also decided to do a set change. The first set is an outdoor snowy scene, and then I wanted it to fade into an intimate indoor setting.

So I created both my sets, placed everything where I wanted, and then added my fader scripts to the pieces (using the ShowHideFade script).

I would need to trigger the fade commands via the *autofx nc, as well as activating a couple of particle effects that I would be rezzing (not wearing).

Xmas Autofx

Xmas Autofx

As you can see, my *autofx notecard doesn’t have much on it. I have a start and stop command for my snow effect, a hide command and a show command for my sets to crossfade, and then start/stop commands for an additional particle effect.

That’s it. (Yes, I know I have two commands on one autofx line; that’s something I haven’t shown you how to do, but it is very simple.)

CONFIG

The last piece of the puzzle is to update my *config nc.  Because I am going to be using various tools, I will want to make sure those buttons are set to ‘on’ in my *config nc so that I don’t have to remember to turn them on each time I wear my HUD and perform.

Here’s my *config nc, showing the buttons I have set to be green/on for the HUD:

Xmas Config

Xmas Config

Here, I have set AutoAdorn to on, AutoFX to on, and AutoSequence to on. (AutoStrip is on as well, but you don’t have to turn it on if you only use the *autoadorns nc.)

FINISH LINE

Once all of these notecards are done, I did a HUD reset to make everything reload and update.

You may, of course, need to tweak your timings and other items to make everything work the way you want, but that’s all there is to it. The HUD does all the heavy lifting from here on out. 🙂

If you go back and look at what I created, you’ll notice that even though I put 19 events in my *events nc, I didn’t use that many. I used only 5 events in the *autofx nc, and only 10 events in the *autoadorns nc. So really, I only needed 12 events for this routine (3 of the events in the *autoadorns nc are the same events as in the *autofx nc).

I could have gone back and changed the event numbers and timings, but since it doesn’t hurt anything to have extra events, I just left it how it was.

Now that you have seen how I created the routine and how I set up my notecards, go back and watch the video again and see how it all works together.

It’s not as complicated as you think! 😀

Preview YouTube video Let’s Make Christmas Merry
click here.