Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Using Two HUDs at One Time

Using Two HUDs at One Time 111101

One of the surprises from the DANCE QUEENS Survey (1109) was that about one-third of the members wear two or more HUDs at one time. There are several reasons for wearing more than one HUD:
  1. To give you faster access to your dances - If you use the Huddles HUD or the Fleursoft HUD and have a lot of dances or dance sequences, you find that you have to click a lot to get to all of your dances. It is very frustrating to hear a great song start and you know the right dance or sequence for it, then have to click for half the song before you get to the dance. Using two HUDs lets you position them so you have, for example, slow and medium speed dances on one HUD and fast and specialty dances on the other. There are other solutions to access dances.
  2. To use modifying dances for yourself - Modifying dances are special animations that affect only part of your avatar. You can run a regular dance then start a modifying dance with a second HUD and make only some parts of your avatar move. For example, maybe you want a dance with your head spinning 360 degrees around your neck. You have the perfect dance, but no head spin. You start the perfect dance, then start the modifying dance with the second HUD ... the result is the perfect dance with a 360 head spin.
  3. To access more dances when your HUD notecards are full - Most people do not have so many dances and sequences that their notecards get full. From the survey there are a few who either have or are close to having full notecards. I am one of them. I am close to filling a second notecard. For example, I estimate that 320 sequences will fill a notecard to capacity. I cannot use two notecards on the same HUD easily for club dancing since it takes about three minutes to change notecards in my Huddles HUD. To help the power users a second HUD allows access to two full notecards which is about 640 sequences.
  4. To access special capabilities for yourself - I like to play the guitar and dance. To do this I use two HUDs. One is for dancing and the other has all my guitar animations. I wear my guitar and play all those great guitar riffs using one HUD, then I dance to the singing parts. It's lots of fun and easy to do with two HUDs. This is an example of a special capability.
  5. To have a back-up dance always running - If lag is problem for you and you cannot overcome it with other solutions, you can use a second HUD to run a low-priority back-up dance. Instead of you stopping and standing there while your desired dance slowly loads, you default to the back-up dance running all the time on the second HUD.
  6. To control two or more groups of dancers - This is a common use of two HUDs for use in show dancing or in group dancing. You control two sets of dancers and can even synchronize them.
Here are some tips for using two HUDs:

Smart Screen Real Estate

My real estate friends say the secret to real estate is "location, location, location." The same is true for SL as far as screen real estate is concerned. One HUD takes up screen space and two even more. The Fleursoft HUD has a nice feature of adjusting the width and both the Fleursoft and Huddles have a minimize button. Where you place the HUDs is a personal choice. I put my main HUD in the upper left and my second in the upper right. If you use Viewer 2 or 3 you have to deal with those awful pop-up screens from the right, so you may want to make them floating. If you always use SL full screen, an alternative is to put the second HUD in the center top then edit it and slide it left next to the first HUD so they are side-by-side.

Starting and Stopping Dances

If you use two HUDs and use only individual dances not sequences for yourself, you can usually switch back and forth between the HUDs with no problem. Most dances are priority 4 and every time you start a new dance with either HUD it takes control of your avatar. If you use sequences in both HUDs as I do, you have to think about stopping the dance you are switching from. The reason for this is that both HUDs are running different sequences. A sequence has a set time to run a dance, then switches you to the next dance. So in HUD 1 the dance sequence may switch to the next dance in HUD 1 even if you are currently dancing using HUD 2. To solve this problem, after you switch from HUD 1 to HUD 2, you need to click the HUD 1 stop button once. If you click twice your avatar stops dancing. Clicking once only stops the HUD 1 from running.

Using the '"Me" Button

If you are leading two groups at one time, you probably want to dance with only one at a time. The "Me" button on the Huddles should be clicked to red on the HUD you do not want to dance on. This makes the dances work for the people on that HUD, but not for you.

Synchronizing Two Groups

If you are leading two groups of dancers each on one of your HUDs and you want to synchronize their starting times, map the dances or sequences to the F keys. When you depress the mapped F key, both HUDs start its group on the dance or sequence for that HUD at the same time. Diddy Hyun innovated this.

Buy Copy Dances

If you want your dances in two or more HUDs they must be copy. Here is some advice.

Using /99n Commands

The Huddles /99n Name Command gives you some possibilities for leading two groups at once, if you use two Huddles HUDs. Since both HUDs are on communication channel 99 entering /99n Name in chat affects both HUDs. If you have a named sequence or dance in both HUDs, for example [NAME]SVELTE, entering /99n SVELTE will play that sequence on both HUDs. If the named sequence does not exist on a HUD, it will continue the current dance. This way you can create a dance show using the two or more HUDs and an external notecard. You put all the NAMED dances or sequences that you want in each HUD, then make a list on an external notecard in the order you want to play them. Just copy the NAME you want from the notecard and paste it is chat. At the exact moment you want to play it, hit enter and any HUDs with that NAMED dance or sequence starts the dance or sequence.

You can use HUDs from two different makers, for example the Huddles and Fleursoft, and play with this concept since they communicate on different channels.

Adding Facial Expressions

See here for how to add facial expressions while dancing.


If you have additional ideas for using two or more HUDs, send them to me.