Monday, October 10, 2011

Couples Dancing - All About Pose Balls

Couples Dancing - All About Pose Balls 111010

'Couples Dancing - Overview' described the five ways to do couples dancing:

1. No Pose Balls Unsynced
2. No Pose Balls Synced
3. Static Pose Balls
4. INTAN or TIS Hybrid Pose Balls
5. XPOSE Pose Balls

The last three methods all use pose balls. This note describes the pose balls and how they work.



The original way to do couples dancing in SL was to use static pose balls that were provided by the dance creator. I can remember when I started in SL in early 2007 that clubs were littered with pink and blue balls. To dance one person sat on the pink and the other the blue ... it was great because you started dancing together; however you could only dance where the pose balls were, the clubs were ugly with so many pose balls, and someone else often had my favorite dance.

Inside every couples pose balls were two things: a script for syncing the dancers, and a dance animation. 'Couples Dancing - Opening a Couples Dance Ball' describes how to  open the couples pose balls and get the animations. Some dance makers put additional things in their pose balls such as scripts to allow the pose balls to be hidden, resyncing command scripts, waiting dances and other enhancements.

Since the pose balls were made by the creator and rezzed by the owner, one thing that became noticeable was that different creators made different size pose balls and used different colors. Also the pose balls were at different distances apart.



Cecilia Zheng created INTAN and it took over the clubs in 2008. Static pose balls were eliminated. The INTAN allowed rezzing of pose balls at any place on the sim and gave the dancing couple the freedom to change couples dances easily. The dances were actually inside the main INTAN Dance Ball and the rezzed pink and blue pose balls only have a script in them.

The INTAN was not (and still is not) particularly easy to set up and this led to some people offering INTAN Services to clubs and individuals. The INTAN requires taking the animations from inside the static pose balls (or buying INTAN ready couples dances), sometimes modifying the animation names, then placing the dance animations inside the main INTAN Dance Ball. It also required putting notecards with technical information inside the INTAN.

This was a scary process for me the first time, because I was concerned that I was destroying the static pose balls at about 600 L each. If the INTAN did not work, all that money would be wasted.

A key part of the INTAN process is the notecard. You can get the notecards from the INTAN website. You have to search around for the list of all animation makers and have to register to see it. Do it because it gives you a complete list of all SL couples dance makers and couples cuddles and sex animation creators and each of their creations. You also can upload to SL the notecard for each dance creator such as Bits n Bobs or Sine Wave. This list is how I know who the couples dance creators are and what dances they have.

The simplest approach is to put in the INTAN Dance Ball the notecard for each creator for which you have couples dances.



The notecard lists the dances with one entry per line like this:

couple:2-CloseCouples;close couples m2;-.115;close couples f2;0,0,-.146,2;Freestyle

I finally figured out what the items on the line mean. Each line begins with the word couple followed by a colon (:). Then is the name of the dance as it shows up in the INTAN menu, in this example, 2-CloseCouples.

Next is the male animation name, which is close couples m2. Following the male dance animation name is a number that tells the INTAN the height adjustment (z coordinate) for the male pose ball from the INTAN standard height. In the example the number is -.115.

Next is the female dance animation name, in the example, close couples f2. Following the female dance animation name are four numbers.  These are in quaternion form. Yikes, being fond of math, I learned that this is a way of expressing rotation using four numbers. You don't have to understand quaternions to realize that the four numbers simply place the second pose ball relative to the first.

Finally, the type of dance for filtering is identified. In this example the dance is in the Freestyle category.

So, the notecards simply identify the name of the dance, the animations used, the relative position of the rezzed poseballs for this dance and the category of dance.

You can make your own notecard. In this way you can place the dances in the order you want in the INTAN. You also can change the category of the dance. Here are the first two pages from my notecard in my INTAN at Dance Central and you can go there and dance:

couple:Slow 3;Slow-dance v3 - M;0;Slow-dance v3 - F;0,-.147,0,2;Slow
couple:Dont Cha;Dont Cha TIS-M;-.05;Dont Cha TIS-F;-.191,.293,-.099,2;Sexy
couple:Hot Salsa;Hot Salsa 1;0;Hot Salsa;.098,-.039,.06,2;Latin
couple:Ti Amo;36_Ti Amo_m_1_24.13,24.13,36_Ti Amo_m_2_24.13,24.13;-.027;36_Ti Amo_f_1_24.13,24.13,36_Ti Amo_f_2_24.13,24.13;0,0,-.048,2;Slow

couple:Ballroom 1;Ballroom 1 - M;0;Ballroom 1 - F;.552,0,0,2;Ballroom
couple:Waltz;Waltz - M;0;Waltz - F;.0,.17,-.026,2;Ballroom
couple:Tango 2;Tango 2 - M;0;Tango 2 - F;0,-.096,-.042,2;Tango
couple:Slow 2;Slowdance v2 - M;0;Slowdance v2 - F;-.065,.039,0,2;Slow
couple:Slow 3;Slow-dance v3 - M;0;Slow-dance v3 - F;0,-.147,0,2;Slow
couple:Slow 4;Slow-dance v4 - M;0;Slow-dance v4 - F;-.038,0.1,0,2;Slow
couple:Slow 5;Slow-dance v5 - M;0;Slow-dance v5 - F;0,.22,-.025,2;Slow
couple:Slow 6;Slowdance v6 - M;0;Slowdance v6 - F;-.034,0,-.022,0;Slow
couple:Slow 7;Slowdance v7-1M,24.79,Slowdance v7-2M,24.79;0;Slowdance v7-1F,24.79,Slowdance v7-2F,24.79;-.099,.433,-.059,2.;Slow

I wanted my favorite dances listed on page one. Once you make your own notecard, you can remove the standard notecards like Sine Wave. I have over 160 dances in my club. The Filtering System is important when you have so many dances and I will explain that in a future note.



In 2011 There in Spirit (TIS) created an alternate dance system called the TIS Hybrid. Like the INTAN the TIS Hybrid system rezzes pose balls with a click on the Calling Post or main Dance Ball. The pose balls do not contain dances only scripts. The dances are held in the main Dance Ball. You can see a working system at Dance Central.

The TIS Hybrid system does not use notecards. Once you load the dances into the main Dance Ball, the system sets itself up in a relatively easy to follow process.

A comparison of the INTAN and TIS Hybrid Systems is in another note.



The final way of dancing with pose balls is to use the XPOSE System. I have set up XPOSE at Dance central as an example. To rezz the pose balls you simply click on the xpose prim and from the menu choose the appropriate dances. The pose balls rezz and the dancers simply hop on and dance in a synced way.

The pose balls from the XPOSE do not contain dances but only a script. The dances are placed in the XPOSE prim in a way similar to the INTAN Dance Ball. The XPOSE uses two notecards called .MENUITEMS and .POSITIONS. The first defines the number of pose balls, which can be from 1 to 15. An example entry in the .MENUITEMS would be

*POSE •2SexyDance | d7female | d7male

The first line sets up a menu in the XPOSE called 2 that can be accessed by Group members only with two pose balls, one pink and the other blue. The second line tells the XPOSE which anims to use for each pose ball.

The second notecard is called .POSITIONS. The .POSITIONS notecard tells the XPOSE where to place the pose balls relative to the location of the XPOSE prim. The entry in .POSITIONS notecard looks something like

{•2SexyDance} <0.255,1.096,0.9> <0,0,180> | <-0.121,1.096,0.9> <0,0,0>

First is the name of the pose, •2SexyDance. Next is the x, y, z locations of the first pose ball relative to the location of the XPOSE prim. The first pose ball is at 0.255,1.096,0.9 from the XPOSE prim. Next, are the rotations of the first pose ball relative to the XPOSE prim. These are 0,0,180. Following the | symbol used as a separator are the position and rotation of the second pose ball



The great thing about XPOSE is that it is easy to adjust the positions of the pose balls, then get the positions and rotations. The XPOSE instructions tell you how to do this. This is a key advantage in making couples dances from individual dances. You have an easy way to determine position and rotation of the pose balls for use in static pose balls or the INTAN system. How to make couples dances will be in another note.



No comments:

Post a Comment