Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dancing With Dance Chairs

Dancing With Dance Chairs 120614

I don't do a lot of dancing with Dance Chairs but I thought it might be fun to have a way to dance with my HUD using a chair.

So, my first step was to get the Dance Chairs that are sold in SL. I limited myself to the MOCAP makers since I wanted to look sexy and not robotic. I also decided for now to skip the chairs that are for two people, i.e. one seated and the other dancing. I found three: the A&M chair, the Henmations chair and the Sine Wave stool (left to right in the picture)

A&M makes three different versions and Henmations makes a lot of versions, but each vendor's versions only are different in color and texture. I display the red ones because I like red.

In each chair there are dances and a script to manage the dances. There are a total of 30 dances (three from A&M, twenty-one from Henmations and six from Sine Wave). Each chair starts the dancer at a different point. I used the choreography grid placed under the chair to show you the differences, then took a pic from above.

Here is the start of an A&M dance which is about 3/4 of a meter behind the centerpoint of the chair. Two of the three of the A&M dances start at the same position. One starts about 1 meter to the right of the chair.

All of the Henmations dances start about 1 1/2 meters to one side of the chair.

The six Sine Wave dances all start with a different position. Here are two examples:

The Sine Wave dances are much older than the the A&M or Henmations dances and they were not designed for sequencing. The dance makers at Henmations and A&M have developed a more sophisticated understanding of our dance sequencing needs and generally start their chair dances with the same position (thanks Jariah and Hendrik, xxx). The Sine Wave dances also are for a stool rather than a chair. This means that the avatar dancing any of the dances from Sine Wave would go through any chair that has a back. Because of these two negatives on the Sine Wave stool dances, I decided to set them aside and concentrate only on the A&M and Henmations chair dances.

I think chair dances could made more useful if they started from a sitting position. Then, you could sit in a chair like anyone else until you wanted to dance and BOOM, up you stand and start dancing. Then you sit again at the end. (This is for you, Dance Makers)

Anyway, next I wanted to see if I could match the A&M dances with the Henmations dances. To do this I needed to find a place where the transition would be okay. Since one of the A&M dances starts at about the same place as the Henmations dances (to the right of the chair), I knew that transition would be okay. The two A&M dances that start behind the chair also have places in the dance where the dancer is to the right of the chair facing forward. Woooo! I knew then that all three A&M dances could transition reasonably well to the Henmations dances.

Next, I looked at all of the Henmations dances to see if there are any that position the dancer behind the chair facing forward at any time during the dance. If so, this would be a transition place. I found two that did this and stopped looking. I knew that I could build sequences that use all the chair dances from A&M and Henmations.

Then a thought occurred to me. Since the chair dances all start off the center point, are there other types of dances where this is the case? Most good MOCAP individual dances start at the center point, which would place the dancers legs in the chair ... not what I wanted. BUT, couples dances almost always are off-set from the center point. I had several couples dances in my HUD and I tried them. For example, the female part of The Butterfly worked perfectly with the chair. There was no overlap of my avatar with the chair and it started at a position where I knew I could make a reasonably good transition. There was also a place in The Butterfly where I could transition back to a Henmations dance. Here is the starting point of The Butterfly.

WOWIE!!! Suddenly, this opened up a whole new use for me for couples dances. Some can be used as individual dances with certain props like Dance Chairs. HAHAHAHA. I love it ... AND ... the reverse is possible, Chair Dances can be used with some couples dances when you want a good transition to individual dances from a couples dance. HAHAHAHA. WOW!

You can tell I am a fanatic when this type of discovery opens up new dance possibilities. You probably are part fanatic too if you are still reading this.
Once I had the transitions figured out, the next step was to make the sequences. I wanted two options for each dance sequence. Option one was to rezz the chair as a part of the sequence. Option two was to rezz the chair separately then dance on it using my HUD. Option two is really easy. You can just rezz a Henmations or A&M chair and sit on it, then use your HUD. If you want to be fancy, you can remove the dances from the chair and put in the freebie dance (in the Free Stuff Box in Dance Central) I made called "standing back 0.5 m" which positions you behind the chair in a standing position. Here you can wait until the music starts.

Option 1 involves putting the chair in the HUD and rezzing it. Both the Barre and Huddles HUDs allow this and the process is described in another post. You might consider making your own chair instead of using the A&M or Henmations chairs for rezzing  during a dance. Both are sculpties, which are good for saving prims, but are slower to rezz than regular prim chairs. If you are into building things, think about making anything you want to dance on ... a stump, a large egg, a large beach ball ... as long as the height is right you can dance on it.

Well, I have kind of exhausted myself with all this excitement. Maybe, I will let you do the fun of making some dance sequences for your HUD that involve chair dancing. Send them to me and I will publish them.