Friday, August 24, 2012

Converting to the Barre from the Huddles - 3

Converting to the Barre from the Huddles - 3 (120824)

This is post 3 of my experience in converting my main dance HUD from the Huddles to the Barre. Please read post 1 and post 2 first. This post picks up with the creation of the notecards for the Barre.


I had my strategy for making the notecards for the Barre in place. I planned five notecards for my Sequences, five for my dances not in sequences, and one for the freestyle dances I would have available.

As I was making the notecards for the 400 or so sequences I have, I realized that I could save space in the notecard by combining things. I had originally planned on following the 10 slot approach I had used in my Huddles. In the Huddles I put on line one my Transition Dance, Sultry Down Body, then I put the name of the group of sequences, such as VERY SLOW SOFT. This was followed by seven sequences and finally the waiting dance, rythm6. In the Huddles this approach always told me where I was in my HUD and give me options to transition or wait.

Picture 01

In effect I had used three of the slots for information and management and only seven dance slots for sequences.

Since the Barre allows you to move quickly from one notecard to another, I decided to name the notecards according to speed. I also numbered them so they would be in order when I clicked the Oreo icon. For example, I named the first notecard 01 Slow, the second 02 Med-Soft, etc. In this way I could select the speed of the sequences by selecting the notecard. This made me wonder whether I needed the information that I had placed in the second slot as in Picture 01. As I thought about it I reflected on what Psyche and I had talked about concerning classifying dances. I knew that all my slow sequences were slow in tempo, but they were not all the same. So, I decided to put them into groups of sequences that seemed to be similar, for example, Sultry or Very Slow. I liked the idea of emotions for classification.

If you have read this far, you probably have a large collection of dances and sequences, or you are planning ahead. Either way, the important point I am making is that the advantages of the Barre in accessing your dances and sequences gives you a lot of latitude in organizing your dance and sequences. You don't have to use my system, but this is your chance to really organize your dances and sequences. It is worth taking a lot of time at this step to think about organization.

After I had decided to add more information about the sequences on each page, I had two thoughts. I wanted to minimize the space needed in the notecard. So, first I decided to use the same approach I used for my Freestyle dance notecards in the Huddles. I moved the waiting dance to the last page and when I clicked on Sultry Down Body I had two seconds to move to the last page and click on the waiting dance (or sequence or finish dance). This allowed me to free up the number 10 line on each page. The second idea was to combine the information about what was on each page with the transition dance. To do this I used the [NAME] function. For example, I put Sultry Down Body on line 1 of each page, but I named it with the Title of the group of sequences on the page. Here is what I ended up with in Picture 02.

Picture 02

M@SDB-Urban on line 1 is my code that tells me the sequences on this page are in my Urban classification. The SDB reminds me that this is really just my transition dance Sultry Down Body. Clicking on it activates Sultry Down Body. You can also see now I have nine slots for sequences.

So with this approach I set out to put all my sequences in five notecards. I found I needed to check the length of some sequences so they would not exceed the 256 character limit. I just copied and pasted the sequence into the box on and clicked on Calculate Characters. That way I was sure all my sequences were 256 characters or fewer.

I then proceeded to make the five notecards with dances not in sequences and the one notecard for freestyle. The Freestyle notecard was designed just like in the Huddles as I have previously described.


Since I now had eleven notecards and the default number of notecard slots in the Barre is four I had to add more notecard slots to the practice Barre I was working with. I tried using the Barre Toolbox that comes with the Barre HUD. I registered myself on the website, but I could not get the right scripts to transfer to the HUD from the Toolbox. I kept getting a You Are Not Registered error message.. So, I just looked in the HUD at the script names and saw scripts named !RR Database Slot 01 through !RR Database Slot 04. I figured these had to be for managing the slots. Then I went to the toolbox and found !RR Database Slot 05 through !RR Database Slot 11 and transferred them from the toolbox to the HUD. This worked and let me add all eleven notecards that I had made.

In adding the new notecards I had made to the Barre, I selected the diskette icon as per the instructions. Since I already had three notecards in the Barre from my earlier tests with the Huddles notecards (Main A, Main B and Ordered), I just chose to replace the Huddles notecards in the first three notecard slots. This worked perfectly, and it made me think about how I would modify notecards. With the Huddles (or any dance HUD) the riskiest operation is to rezz the HUD on the ground. I learned long ago to make changes to my Huddles notecard by editing the HUD while it was on. I kept a copy of each notecard in the Huddles HUD in my inventory and made the changes in the inventory copy. Then, I would edit the HUD while wearing it and cut and paste to the notecard in the HUD. That way I never had to risk rezzing my HUD except to add dances. So, I modified one of the notecards and tried the same thing with the Barre HUD. I edited it while it was on and changed the notecard in my HUD by cutting and pasting from the inventory copy. To activate the revised notecard in the Barre HUD all I had to do was click on the diskette icon and choose the storage spot then load the revised notecard. Simple.

Well, that easy loading of notecards got me thinking about how many notecard slots I really needed. As I said in Part 1 I actually have 22 notecards in my Huddles HUD. Most of these are special purpose notecards for doing shows or teaching classes. I realized that I could store all these special notecards in my Barre HUD and activate them only when I needed them. Activation takes about 30 seconds, so it is almost painless. As I thought more about it, I realized that the five notecards and scripts that I had allocated for the dances not in my sequences did not need to be visible either except when I wanted them. All I really needed to dance in clubs was my five sequence notecards and one or two notecards for freestyle. WOW! I liked that because I used fewer scripts. So, I yanked out five of the scripts from the Barre HUD. When I want to make sequences or dance something special like a show, all I will do is switch notecards that are active.


Next I thought I should test my practice HUD under high lag conditions to see how switching notecards worked. So first I ran the notecards through the paces at my home sim. I was all alone on a full sim (frame per second rate of 45) at the time and there was absolutely no lag in switching notecards, moving to the last page and activating dances. As fast as I could click on icons the Barre responded.

Then, I TPd to Ambrosia Dance Club. I have danced there for fun before with my Huddles HUD and I knew it was usually busy. When I landed there were 44 avatars on the sim with a frame rate of 36. I tried the Barre again going from one notecard to another and clicking to get specific dance sequences. Sometimes, I had a delay of maybe three seconds in loading the list of notecards or in opening a notecard. Sometimes, no delay at all. NOT BAD AT ALL. Finally, I went to a sex sim packed with 60 people in the sim and a frame rate of 24. The result was the same as with the Ambrosia sim.

So, now I had done all the preparation and testing I could think of with the practice Barre HUD. I was ready to transfer the all of the dances (copy and no copy) from my Huddles to my Barre.

I will complete this in a final note in a day or two.


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