2012/10/18

YUMMY - #8 - Costume Functions, Malfunctions, & Unctions

Hello again...

I was actually asked by someone to blog about a topic and it also just so happens to be near and dear to my heart, my favorite current topic of the time. It was from a person whose troupe experience about an 80% wardrobe-malfuction rate during the festival.

Wardrobe/Outfit/Costume Changing. Outfit Stripping. Performance Automation.

 I've spent about 4 hours a day, 7 days a week,  for the last 10 months experimenting with costume changes and clothing removal.   But I put off blogging about it because it was impossible for me to talk about the subject without mentioning the hud I am working on that I had been developing for myself ...and I felt a blog might come across as self-serving. Then i was asked by someone else if I was going to ever blog again.

Its been a long while, was the implication.

. Well this is the only topic (other than "technical difficulties) that I've been passionate about recently so, I decided to throw caution to the wind and blog on it and accept those criticisms that may come, as hopefully some good tips will come from this that people can gain from that don't necessitate having access to my private project.  I decided that because it is not currentaly available for sale, I can't benefit monetarily from this blog, and I also made every effort to describe how you can manually achieve many of the things I try to do with my hud as well as share some tricks to combatting wardrobe malfunctions, that I have found helpful if you are obsessed with outfit-changes as I have become. But its hard to talk about problems I've encountered without describing my approach to solving them.

More and more performers are including costume changes as part of their routines...often multiple changes, so while I admit costuming has little to do with "dance" per se, it is pertinent to "dancers" concerns with regards to them enahcing their live performances And could a solo party dancer do unhidden non-skin-revealing costume-changes at a club? Yes they can.



IN THE BEGINNING



How did I get involved? Glad you asked.

Back in the dark ages there was a practice known as pole-dancing. I lived thru this dark period. I was... a... pole-dancer, in my former life. Unlike today there was no beginning and no end. You got on. You danced. You revealed your top when $ tips reached a certain amount and  you removed your bottoms when $$ tips reached about double the amount for the top. Emoting was expected. I always adlibed and pole dancing sessions averaged about  2 hours. It was a lackadaisical pace. Lots of time to strip and chat it up. Clothes came off..went back on...came back off. La-ti-da, la-ti-da. Oh I tried to do my best to spruce it up..make it sizzle and did ok...but...one could only do so much.

So when I learned of this new entertainment medium called (neo-) burlesque/cabaret, saying  I was very excited and hopeful was an understatement. It had a stage and choreography and sets and lights and costumes and lights and fx and group-dancers, s and a captive audience. It had comraderie. It meant that your creative energies could matter. Well ok the captive audience was a bit scary and intimidating and still is, but still the excitement of the "big show" permeated the air and the potential to create and be expressive, tintillating, and seductive, seemed to uncap the limits self-defined by grinding on galvanized pipe.

My first opportunity to grace the stage was at a club that was sort of hybrid between pole-dancing and show-dancing but it had a 1-song feature act. Oblivious to synchronized dancing, I was freestyling to random song selections from the DJ and during my feature act I was excited because I got to wear a costume and had a captive audience and a stage and so when i got tipped to remove my top, and then more to remove my bottoms, I didnt realize it because I was so busy selecting dances, emoting, and chatting it up with the audience...and so when I did realize it, the song was almost over. I felt so bad. I did a rush strip with seconds to go. I was not happy with myself. I had no idea time went by so fast when on stage during a single song.

 I think it was then that the seeds were planted to come up with a techy-based solution that would help alleviate the pandomonium and panic that sets in when one is trying to do a lot of things in a certain order and in relatively short time.

Fast-forward a bit. 



RLV



I  somehow got the idea of using a technology called RLV (Restrained Love Viewer) which is normally used to restrict and control a partners behaviors inside of a roleplaying Dominant/subissive relationship. Enabling RLV is very easy if you are using Firestorm or Phoenix viewers. One click of a checkbox. (Ok so truth be told my first product finished,d ocumented and was ready to ship was a set of huds for syncrhonized stripping and costume-changing...then i got the idea to focus on the solo-performer and shelved its release...to focus on the solo perfomer....so here we are)

 I got the crazy idea to use it to help my dilemma. I wanted a solution where I click 1 menu  button and my top goes off. I don't have to search my inventory to find it. And this button would start with 1. So i know its the 1st item to be removed. And the bottoms would start with the number 2. So I got that working. If I needed to remove more than one item along with my bottoms,  I simply give them all the same number 2 on the notecard and they would all get removed at the same time. Actually I allowed for up to 10 strip-rounds as I realized that these new fancy burlesque shows and costumes provided for more interim opportunities to remove garments than the old tops-and-bottoms pole-dance-strip.

Fast-forward some more.



AUTO-STRIP



In a flash one morning I got the idea to automate the stripping because this new form of stripping was based on tip-per-garment-removed.

So, I press a button and then every so many seconds, a strip-round is executed. I could set the interval short for practice. Well this was an amazing find. I didnt have to worry about pressing buttons for each round. Just press this  new "play" button and it would run thru the strip rounds one after another in numerical sequence.

Well then..why not have it deliver emotes that were sent to my IM window where I can cut and paste, or to openchat, and have them deliver a fixed-number of seconds prior to the actual strip round? So I implented that. And it worked.



AUTO-EMOTE



 You can enter the emotes on a notecard or even using the HUD. I added abilities to create, change, insert, list, and delete emote-sets using the HUD. So me and my helper advanced from 2 strip rounds to 6 for our practice sets and it slowly developed into an art form.

The HUD is copy so I can save a copy of the HUD with an outfit and simply wear the outfit and I will have my HUD all set up to match it.



AUTO-ADORN



 Well we wanted to add fans at certain points which meant not removing but wearing or attaching items. So I discovered a way to wear items at each round....all automatically. That was cool seeing fans, masks, canes, top-hats, appear mystimagically at the same time as other items are being removed. We envisioned routines that were anti-strip...as in witnessing a person actually dressing up from naked or near-naked to ready for work or ready to go on stage. And all automatically accompanied by descriptive emotes delivered at the appropriate times.

My tensions were relieved. I could go into a performance comfortable that things would happen automatically which would free me up to interact with the audience and not worry about missing an emote or strip round.

Ok so I dont' want this to sound like an infomercial and so far you're thinking to yourself, "Fine, so what's in it for me, since I have no plans to buy yet another HUD that I have to wear. And "my" problems are that I either wear items that don't rez... or wear items that stick to other items"?

Yes I hear you, loud and clear. Stay with me.

So I leaked to Nottoo that I was excited about being able to use RLV to help automate "stripping". I had a stripping HUD. She somehow heard me say that my HUD would do costume changes. Well I was in shock. It didnt do that. I feared her and didn't dare tell her that she had mispresented me. I was sure she bit hard and deep. So I slunk back down in my dingy basement think-tank and proceeded to see if could make the HUD do costume changes as well. Panicsville. I had to deliver. Research time. Lucky me. I found a way. So now the HUD did complete costume changes as well as automated and manual stripping. So it turns out that Not's claim was a blessing in disguise as it opened up a whole new area of wardrobing. A serendipitous  happenstance. So I should be grateful.

And this is where I discovered some useful tips and additional uses for the HUD that it wasnt designed for that could help resolve some costume-change issues.

First, what do we already know about costume changes from the blog history?

This is what I could find on costumes from previous blogs here and I think it bears repeating.

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COSTUMES


Costumes are an important part of the show, but changing costumes is always difficult with a crowd. Clothes changes always take longer with a crowd and can lead to the wrong outfit for the dance or different dancers with different outfits. There are things you can do to make it easier:

a. MINIMIZE COSTUME CHANGES - Some groups actually have no costume changes. This eliminates the problem entirely, but is not always feasible. If you have costume changes think about using the same clothes in different ways. For example, can a top be used twice. This multiple use reduces the number of changes that you have to make. Another idea is to layer your costumes. You have three layers of tops (undershirt, shirt, jacket) and three layers of bottoms (underpants, socks, pants) plus skirts and gloves. An option is to wear all three layers with each a different costume. Then all you have to do is remove items for costume changes.  (This works if they cover each other up in a manner so as not to reveal one below another)

b. CHANGE COSTUMES BEFORE THE SHOW - Costumes that have been worn and seen by you and others will load faster. If you go through the entire set of costumes just before the show, this will load them into your cache and speed up the change for you and the audience. You can do this backstage and it will help the audience even if they cannot see you.

c. TIME FOR COSTUME CHANGES - Another way to deal with costume changes is to allot more time. This can be done by closing the stage with a curtain or a rezzed screen so the audience cannot see you or by going backstage. The problem is that during the costume change nothing is happening onstage. This leads to audience attrition. If you set up a light show or particles while you are changing, this adds to lag and worsens the problem. If you have a large dance team, you have the option of some members being offstage for costume changes while others are onstage. This allows you to have the show go on and the costumes to be right each time.

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THOUGHTS



The above are good points and I had considered layered costumes but it can be restricting if the new and old outfit are not coordinated just right. And the more different the costume change, the more effective the change is.

I agree with the pre-caching of outfits by going thru the change prior to showtime.

I personally am all for making the costume change part of the show as opposed to it happening off stage for the reasons staged above. While I include "particle effects" as a way to help mask an on-stage costume-change, I realize some are sensitive to the client-based lag that can occur so I have also added the ability to rez objects  that mask the costume change as part of the costume change, and these happen all automatically and with creative choices.

Anyway, so what I have discovered is:



WEAR/UNWEAR/WEAR



A cleaner form of costume change that I chose for myself as an alternative to the SL REPLACE option is my WEAR/UNWEAR option. While my HUD can do it with 1 button-press, it you can also accomplish the same thing by 1- WEARING the new outfit, then 2-REMOVING the old outfit, then if need be, 3-WEARING the new outfit again.

This results in less bare-skin shown and a seemingly more pleasing outfit change.

This happens faster, very fast, than it sounds, well using the HUD it does and I allow for adjusting the time between these 2 or 3 (or more steps).

Now what I discovered is that sometimes items fail to rez...usually attachments...and Ifound (I think from our experience) that they tend to happen more often with items that have a lot of prims like hair, shoes, and jewelry.  Anyway part of my solution that worked was to repeat step 3 above. Sometimes 2 times, sometimes 3 times, sometimes 4 times.  I got my hud to do the retry automatically in that I can set the number of times I want it to retry as well as the number of seconds between retries for those anticipated laggy situations.

I guess it is at this point that doing manually what my hud does becomes prohibitive and unreasonable during a fast-paces show. Already the 1-function SL Replace has been supplanted by a 2 to 3+ process of Wear/Unwear/Wear.



RLV FOLDERS


To use the WEAR/UNWEAR, requires me creating RLV folders. This is a process that requires me to be anal about the process . I only need to do it once for each costume. One folder for the costume I want to UNWEAR and one folder for the costume I want to WEAR. RLV folders are  also required if I want to implement ADORNS or remove only 1 of several layers where I might have up to 5 layers or 5 attachments to a given body area.


MY REPLACE


Along with my WEAR/UNWEAR, I created a REPLACE. My replace only requires that an RLV folder exists for the new costume. It also works item by item. The SL Replace removes everything first and then adds the new outfit. I realized that most of the time I want to keep my huds. Also if I am dancing, removing my dance hud stops the dance I am dancing. I have an "exclusion" entry on a notecard that lists all the hud positions as items not to be removed (or excluded from the removal step). Should I want to override this feature for a particular hud then simple remove that position from the notecard.  Not sure if I will find situations where this REPLACE method is preferable to the Wear/Unwear method but I keep it around just in case.



ANCHORS



Another nice feature of my REPLACE is that it has an ANCHORS option. When I specify that I want a body-part anchored, it means that I dont want it removed during the removal step. Very similar to "exclusions" but exclusions are more global and apply regardless of costume (usually) where as anchors are very situation (costume) dependent.

Exclusions can also be seen as a safeguard. Maybe I know there will never be a case where I want my undergarments removed..ever. So I  simply add 'underpants' and 'undershirt' to the "exclusions" notecard. Now whenever I do "my" REPLACE, they will never come off, regardless of whether the new outfit has them or not.

 The reason for this ANCHORED. feature is that if means less changes which can mean less skin shown and fewer opportunities for glitches to arise. Why remove a clothing layer or attachment if its just going to be replaced?  I have since added an AUTO-ANCHOR feature that will figure this out for me by simply wearing the new outfit..



COMBOS



I can also easily place hair and shoes into their own RLV folders and then trigger them using the ADORN option, then if I choose  WEARITALL, it will cause a WEAR/UNWEAR and an ADORN all at same time, meaning that the hair and shoes will be worn in their own time segment (This is the old way. There is a better new way called SmartChange)

Of course YOU, without the hud, can manually perform step 3-WEARING again, and again if necessary as well as separating hair and shoes and maybe jewelry into their own folders and wearing or replacing them separately.



TATTOO LAYERS



It is a known glitch that having one or more tattoo layers on while changing outfits can cause the process to jam, stick, cause double-attachments or missing hair and or shoes and lower legs. So I also added the ability to remove all tattoo layers prior to the outfit-change process and an option to do a rebake at the end (handy when no tattoo layers are involved) since I never know how each client will perform, I can choose to do this as a common courtesy. At the end of the outfit-change process it adds the removed tattoo layers back in. And finally if this wasnt hair-brained enough, I realized that the lag-monster can still refuse to cooperate so I am adding an auto-teleport (preferably same sim but up in elevation (or down) to a less populated area, then costume-change then return you back again (assuming your spot is masked by effects or rezzed object).

All of these instructions are part of the SmartChange set...so it knows what to do when you select a set and press the WearUnwear button.



Using AUTO-STRIP to do COSTUME-CHANGES




Well as I heard horror stories of items not rezzing and having seen this  first hand of dancers with bald heads and missing feet, it occured to me that my HUD had an addiitonal unforeseen use that could help solve this problem and that is using an AUTO-STRIP and/or AUTO-ADORN in each of several closely bunched (say 1-second) strip-rounds. This would unbunch the clustered approach of the SL REPLACE, SL WEAR options and spread the operation out over time

And I have since added what I call "meta" functions in that I can now use the AUTO features of my hud to "schedule" a costume change to happen automatically. With the new SmartChange I could schedule of to 5 changes to happen over time but this seems unlikely in my foreseable needs since there is enough time between acts to manually trigger a costume change prior to the next act going on.




SEPARATE FOLDERS




And yes I and YOU could accomplish this manually by separating each wardrobe piece into its own folder and doing successive wear/replaces as appropriate. Maybe this is only necessary for the highly scripted or high-prim items. This might be worth the trouble if I or you are changing off stage in a laggy environment. There is no guarantee but it is an extra tool in the toolbox to try, short of having to TP to an empty sim and doing the change there which is often a last-resort option. Ok well the last resort might be and has been to relog. And sometimes to designate an empty sim to log back in to.



FIRST and LAST



Another thought is to wear/replace the troubled items (hair,shoes,jewelery)  either 1st or last. (The SmartChange allows me to indicate whether I want to add these items BEFORE or AFTER the costume-change.  So far it only makes sense to add hair and shoes etc BEFORE the costume change so there is no bald-head time. (I prefer double hair to bald-head). Same for shoes. Double-shoes vs. missing feet or angled shoe-base or missing  lower leg.

And it was discovered that a good use for the AFTER choice in the SmartChange is when using mesh to add your alpha layer in the AFTER sub-folder. This forces the mesh to wear 1st followed by the mesh, meaning there is less time that say the middle half of your body is missing. Sometimes its perfect, other times it may be a second of missing-body but this is opposed to several seconds of half-body whent the SL changeorder chooses to add the alpha 1st, which I think seems to be "always"..


Without the hud, ...if you are changing out of sight, then go naked, wear hair, then shoes, then the rest...or try reverse order..wear everything but the hair and shoes...and then adding them in last. This is a way of avoiding the lag-monsters clogged-pipe damage of stuck layers, stuck attachments, unrezzed hair and/or shoes or double-attachments. Is it a guarantee? No. But I've seen it work during times when I would almost assuredly have a malfunction with my high-primmed hair and shoes...I was always malfunctioning.



The TATTOO-LAYER MONSTER



A little known gotcha is that having 1 and especially more than 1 tattoo layer on while changing clothes often causes double-attach or failed-attach issues.

Solution: Remove all tattoo layers 1st then do your costume change, then add in your tattoo layers back in after the change is complete. I can do this manually of course and it is a good thing to remember. Sometimes just removing the tattoo-layer(s) late in the game (as in, when there is a problem) can help you with bad-rez issues (assuming you chose not to remove them in the 1st place) I added this feature to the hud to remove all tattoo layers prior to any normal changes and readd them all back at the end.


UPDATE: SmartChange



I have since just recently come up with a brand new hair-brained scheme I call SmartChange. I was noticing that shows are having more group routines and thus more participation from dancers to wear more outfits. As a backup dancer I might be required to wear 2 or 3 outfits during a show. I realized that in the near future, as many as 5 costume changes might not be out of the ordinary for a head-liner. So I concocted a methodology where I can set up up to 5 ouftit changes ahead of time. I call them SmartChange Sets. Each set describes the outfit to remove and the outfit to change into along with any special handling like pre-and-post loading of special troubled items, tattoo-layer removal, auto-rebake, and auto-teleporting.

If I you set this information up ahead of time then you can do a manual wear/unwear and special pre-post processing, accomplishing the same thing without the hud but at a cost of added manual intervention.



Another Trick



I also learned another new trick. I had attachments stuck that wouldn't come off. I wasnt wearing any tattoo layers but I got a brainstorm. What if I added a tattoo layer. BINGO! I was able to remove the attachments after adding a tattoo layer that I really didnt want or need. So I just removed it afterwards. No hud involved.



Another Way to Strip



I was made aware of the method of creating multiple outfits, each with succcesfully fewer clothing and then simply wear them in sequence such that it appears that you are stripping. No hud involved.



DeRuthing Objects



Sitting on a deruthing object can often help resolve rez problems. I have seen it help rez those invisible mesh items. If you don't have one, contact me as I have free full-perm ones available. No hud involved.




Attempt to rez an object failed.




If you get this error after trying all the tricks listed above, and its quite likely in heavily lagged venues, then its best to TP home or to an empty sim and do your costume change or last relog into SL of reboot your machine, or reset your router/modem.




Secondary Idle Dance Hud



An extra added benefit is that I can play a dance (or AO) with this HUD (not sequence) which means it can serve  in place of the HUD I was using before to play an IDLE animation that would play in between the times when I am selecting dances from my main HUD...good when freestyling or when I may not have your dances precached. I want to avoid that default standing pose whenever possible.


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I am currently implementing the ever popular current trend to make things as well as avatars "move" during a show. These can be tied to my auto-sequencer which means I can automate exactly when the external enviroment or my avatar responds.

 And on that note, I've seen someone do something I've never seen done before, not in any production or SL machinma SL, akin to what you'd see in movies...so there is a glimmer of hope...with promises from the visionary....of more special applications to come. I am proud to have been an enabler so we shall see what the future holds....

...but my outlook (ok call me "debbie downer") for the hud's future may garner serious sustained adoption of many as many as 5 dedicated stubborn visionaries. But since my intention was to create a tool for myself, then any use that others can find is icing on the proverbial cake. But I shall see it to its end as its end is very near. (crossing fingers and toes)

And I will add this bit. I am a strong proponent of huds whose design, data-entry, error-reporting, and navigation, aid in the creative process in that they have a user interface that encourages creativity and minimizes the dependency on the editing of notecards to make things happen. This makes the process faster, less-error-prone and just damn more fun.  I've invested half the time to that end. (95% of notecard data can be changed using the hud). Otherwise I'd been done months ago.


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POSTSCRIPT



As I said, I was hesitant to blog about this topic because i didnt want it to seem self-serving.

And hold your cards and letters as I am well aware of the ability of certain dance-hud(s?) and performance-controllers to sync up and control their environment. My little HUD was not 1st nor is it alone in this arena. Each device has its pros and cons so its a matter of choosing which tool (or mix of tools) best suits your particular needs and the way you like to work and which approach one wishes to take with regards to timing when things happen.  Is it easy to use? Is it documented?  How is the support? What is the initial experience like? How does it perform?  Yes you can itemize things that my hud doesnt do I imagine there are things that it does do that others don't and won't do anytime soon as its not in their. 

(I get asked so so often, will it sequence dances? It's not meant to but i just realized that a recently added feature to address a dfferent need, will actually allow it to sequence dances but I in no way am touting it in the same arena as any of the established dance huds. I in no way back its ability to sequence dances under lag-laden situations. It may or may not perform. Its untested but i have my serious druthers. And other huds do that job already and so well. But you could use it to do interim testing of your dance sequence in sync with other things without going to an external dance sequencer but i strongly suggest using an established dance-hud/machine for the final performance. My hud can also trigger dance huds that allow for external control and that is the suggested way to go.

I would like to mention that I think that ,with shows evolving in to complex productions, it seems a new way of thinking I call "event-based" is more in line with how I think productions mandate structure and the way production creators think.

Things happening.

Period.

Things happen so many seconds into the show from the beginning. So I can predefine events as elapsed times into a "show" (as well as the commonly used durations as in song durations), and base all functions as happening at, prior, or subsequent to these events. Well this has led to beta users demanding sub-second timing and  perverting the use of the hud so that it ends up driving complex mini-productions and now the little Stripper Hud as its currently called (maybe now misnamed) seems a far distant cry from its humble inception. Now the cry is for more of this and more of that, none of which has anything to do with stripping or costume-changing.

So I counter....I say, well if you want more than 10 events, load 2 huds. The hud is copy/mod. "No, I hear producers crying. Not enough !!! We want it to control a whole 1 hr production". Well, holy moly, Batman! Take a breath.

And I thought...well...the hud can add attachments of which an attachment can be the hud itself...so auto-add another Stripper HUD so it can do hud-chaining and trigger events in more than 1 hud...(Just-in-time hud loading) so while it could do it...this horse maybe escaping the fenced area...but who knows? maybe for greener pastures?



PIE-IN-THE-SKY



But enough about the pie-in-the-sky hair-brained scheme of mine. Whats the reality?

Well it has worked. It can dazzle at times and be a work and stress saver for me and a few beta-friends.

So the fantasy is, "Yes, let me have it..its the wonder-tool I've been waiting for. I will shine and do wonders"...

But....

The reality is and has been....as with many new technologies...there is a learning curve....there is preparation time to make it do mysti-magical things. This is true with current and coming technologies.   And so many try and fizzle out...so this can be the  story, not untold before, of "a lot but with a price". To quote that new TV series "Once Upon A Time" ..."...magic comes with a price...".  Maybe the price is too high. But I shall persist on as the finish-line is near by.

There is that resistant urge to do things the old way because you can do them faster that way. You are under a time crunch. You will set this new toy up it on a shelf and get back to it later. Only "later" never happens The more time that passes, the more you forget and the less apt you are to plunge back in. Most are too busy with ongoging shows to put in more than the initial 3-hr one-on-one time I alot, nor read thru the documentation. Many are working several venues, several acts even within the same venue. Then RL interrupts.  Maybe its not always worth the time to prepare outfits or change notecards that describe a stripping process.

If you are are say just removing a coat or shirt. 1 item. pffft. Who needs it?

Also there is nothing magical or impressive about say a costume-change. We all do it everyday.  The audience won't be impressed. They expect it to work. Its when it doesnt work that you and me then "wish" you and me  had tools to combat the issues that contribute to wardrobe malfunctions. Even with stripping...everyone does it. Its the dancer who feels less stress but with no seen extra benefit to the audience.

"Why spend an hour or 2 preparing for an event (costume change and/or strip) that lasts for only a second?", is that I think artists might ponder.  The crucial prep time needs to be spent on the choreography, the set-making, the song choice, the theme and costuming. Makes sense since thats what occupies most of the audiences viewing time.

Well here's the flipside of that. I've seen many times and even very recently...a failed outfit change not only frustrate and become a sore and attention-focused stand-out but cause performers to quit the rest of show out of frustration. I've also seen dancers change the way they do things out of fear of costume glitches. And the perfect-storm worst-case-scenario is, I've seen of a costume-glitch cause  a relog, and then an inability to to log back in because the sim was full. I've seen a dancer bald, legless, or in a different costume than everybody else.  So ...when you weigh it all...for those who are perfectionists...its a bad day.

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Also....

I've heard this comment a couple of times "Well  maybe you are making it "too easy" for people". Well damned if ya do..and damned if ya don't.

Too easy?

Too hard?

 It appears that for those seeking a quick and dirty solution akin to sitting on a dance-pole and setting it to random...this won't do it from what I've seen due to the effort to learn and use it.  The people who seek easy ways to do something are not the kind that will put in the effort required, IMHO.


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SUMMATION


So in summation from what I've seen of other new experimental products that are (some may argue over-engineered) that offer a wide assortment of power-tools at a cost of a formidable learning curve, it appears that the real seasoned adopters are fewer than might have been dreamed. Those with big dreams and  visions and who are the key-people responsible for big production content are the ones who seem to benefit most, are most driven, and with the most perseverance to weather the storm of learning and surmounting the challenges of wrangling new technology. They seem to have the most to gain, have the extra time, and can reasonably justify the efforts needed to put in to show preparation and automation.

Also there is a push to make more happen by solo-performers as in making mini-productions...i.e. set-modifications, sets transitioning into other sets, sets and props moving spinning, lowering-raising, texture-changing, Hollywood-type-effects, automating objects and avatars, triggering effects, making actors appear and dissappear, in essence "big noticeable changes or events" "payloads".

Standard performers are wanting to keep in pace with the innovators and leaders but with each new 'thing" to control, its added pressure to not only remember what to do but when to do it. Costume-wearing, staff-group-select, role-call for group dancers, costume-checking, set rez, prop-placements, tping in crashed show-members, group-chat-watch-and-respond, curtain-time, song-cue, tip-jar-log-in, dance-invites, emotes, strip-rounds,costume-changes, special fx-controls, final-pose timing and selection, set removal, tip-jar log-out, tip-payouts, etc..   So expect custom single-purpose scripts, new problem-solving-necessity-as-mother-of-invention-products, and forced adaption of current advanced technological automative tools in order to "keep up with the jones" or maybe "be the jones".



FAQ




1) Q: Will the HUD  become available to the public? If so, when will it be available?


    A: I don't know. It is in 2nd beta now.


2) Q: If it does become available, how much will it cost?


    A: I don't know. There will "may" likely be a crippled version that has the most used features enabled that will be offered for FREE,  withh the special advanced features AUTO-POSE, AUTO-REZ, and AUTO-FX inclulded in a pay-version. I am more interested in seeing it help advance the art than earning lindens.


3) Q: My screen is already crammed with huds. How can I justify using yet another hud?


    A: Well this hud is not meant for the casual dancer where stripping or costume changing is not that prevalent or important. It was meant for those who live and die by some form of clothing removal as part of their common routine. Its for those where costume change and item removal are the or a main focus of their entertainment offering. They are in it for the long haul and are willing to put in the time it takes to not only learn but experiment and become creative with the process of 'stripping', costume-changing, and production control. I was told that by someone that they currently use 2 huds ( a very popular dance hud) to accomplish stripping AND emoting at the same time. If you are stripping or exchanging costumes now, then you have the inventory window open taking up screen real estate. It would no longer be needed.


4) Q: How does your hud work under laggy conditions? Have you tested it?


    A: Yes I tested it at a club with 71 people and it did the AUTO-STRIP with AUTO-EMOTE as expected. I have "seconds" turned on in my chat-log so I can verify that events are happening within a second of when they are supposed to occur.


5) Q: I've seen a hud that does something similar? How is yours any different?


    A: I know there are a couple of HUD products out there already that will remove clothing but it requires that you must set up an RLV folder and doesn't have an auto feature nor integrated feature-stripping of complex costume-changing. And with my HUD you aren't forced to create RLV folders for stripping (unless you need to remove just 1 of several items attached to the same body part). And as I said, there are products that can control as well as be controlled by other products. But each has it's pluses and minuses.


6) Q: Has it been used in live shows?


A. Yes. And even by more than 1 person in the same show. Basic functions like Costume-Change, Auto-Stripping, Auto-Emoting, and Auto-Adorning have been used successfully.


7) Q: What is your most coveted accomplishment or feature to date with regards to the hud?


A. Well by accident while correcting a mis-alinged-rezzed object  i stumbled upon what has evolved into what i would call "embedded intelligence". This means giving hud-rezzable objects embedded intelligence to behave in varied and certain complex sequenced ways in sync with the performance such that now you can even use your own objects to embed my intelligence into. This makes the hud extensible for the 1st time. You can rez multiple objects that have their own life-cycle and of which I have seen the beginnings of including the  controlling other avatars. The closest thing like it would be guided-tour systems.Imagine one on steroids.


Yummy,
 
 and thats my taste of things





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