Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shadow Dancing

Shadow Dancing 120929

Yesterday Princess Diawa dropped by the area where I am creating the dance show, SOMBRA, that I have recently been writing about. Diawa was interested in shadow dancing. I thought a little explanation of the details of how to make a shadow might be helpful if you want to try it.

You will see in the SOMBRA show that I will do a lot of shadow dancing, in other words, dancing with my shadow. There are several ways to make a shadow, but the one I have used involves making a shadow avatar using the Tattoo layer. The way to do this is to put an all black tattoo layer on the shadow avatar. You can make this all black tattoo layer easily using the SL tools available when you go to Appearance. First remove any Tattoo layer that you are currently wearing. Often make-up is done with a Tattoo layer.

Here I am in Appearance with Edit Outfit selected.

I select the line "Tattoo not worn" then click the gear icon in the lower left to get the choice of New Clothes or New Body Parts. I select New Clothes then choose New Tattoo layer. This gives me a window for making a new Tattoo layer.

Click one of the three windows marked with a big "X" and choose Blank. Here is a picture where I have already done the Head Tattoo and am now doing the Upper Tattoo.

After you have switched all three (head, upper and lower) to Blank, you can now color your tattoo. For a realistic shadow click on Color/Tint and select Black. Of course you can choose any color you want like red, purple or yellow, although you will see the colors other than black allow some of the body features (such as boobs) to show. Here I am in black.

Close Appearance and there you are all black. Next, remove your clothes. I keep on a black hair and my Nottoo's Famous 2005 Color Changing Shoes, which I make black. Once you have done this ... there you are as a shadow.

If you don't want your eyes to show, put on some black sunglasses.

To dance with your shadow you need a second avatar. I borrow the avatar of my RL best friend, Nottooo (3 o) and we put on the same shape. One of us wears the shadow costume and the other regular clothing, then we can dance away ... dancing with our shadow.


vixtris Sells Illegal SL Dances

vixtris Sells Illegal SL Dances 120929

I got a notecard today from a DANCE QUEENS member whom I know very well. Here it is:


Hey Nottoo

My GIrlfriend has run across a new Illegal dance seller

I checked the profile of the seller (vixtris). She and her boyfriend (darrinster) joined SL last month.

Creators names are
Easy Babcock,
mustang Letlow
Dave Bellman,
Abramelin Wolfe
Live Gears

The dance names have been changed


As usual I am not disclosing the name of the member who found this, but thanks to her. I am sending this information to Easy Babcock (owner of Sine wave, but a waste of time since he never responds), Dave Bellman (owner of Animazoo), Abremelin Wolfe (owner of Abranimations) and Live Gears (owner of Studio4D who also has disappeared). I also added vixtris to the Illegal Dance Seller list.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Henmations Offers Zumba Dances

Henmations Offers Zumba Dances 120928

Hendrik Schroeder sent the following to the Henmations group today ...


Dear Customers,

after a short summer break we are proud to present lots of new Dances!

Enjoy the full Sexy House and new Zumba Dance Series now...

Now completed & Pack available! 
30 new and super sexy female Dances, rl performed to todays top Club Beats.

Start your Zumba Party now on SL!
With 12 wild & sexy Dance Animations performed to Latin Rhythms & Beats, HipHop and Reggaeton.

One of the new Sexy House Dances is available FOR FREE now at the GROUP GIFT Box (Shop Landing Area)!

Be prepared for an exclusive Set of Animations performed by Kien, one of the best real life Dancer in the world who was on Stage with Artists such as Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon, Robin S and Sabrina Setlur (German Artist). Kien has been personally coached by Marty Kudelka (LA/USA), who's the choreographer of artists such as Justin Timberlake and Mariah Carey.
Capture Session Video & Previews will be released soon... first Animations next Weekend :)

Have a nice Weekend!

MoM Offers October Anims

MoM Offers October Anims 120928

Nomasha Syaka sent the following notice to the Ministry of Motion (MoM) Group today ...


A man goes to the doctor and says: "Doctor, there's a piece of lettuce sticking out of my bottom." The doctor says: "I'm sorry to tell you son, it's only the tip of the iceberg.""






"Chilin' Flow'" - These "Chilled" series are one of our most popular
"Chillin' Out" - and again, but even chillier!
"Come on!" - A little sexier!
"Rhianna - Cardio" -  Simple Rhianna type grooves for a cardio work out!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Henmations Group Raffle

Henmations Group Raffle 120927

Hendrik Schroeder sent this notice to the Henmations Group today ...


Thu, Sep 27 2012 12:10:31 PM PDT

Enjoy another Round of our FREE Group exclusive Raffle. Join now and use the chance to win a DC Couples Dance Engine loaded with 30 Dances (worth 10.500 LS)...  drawing is in 24h... Good Luck!!!

Unity Productions Opens New Show

Unity Productions Opens New Show 120927

Tiviyah sent us this invitation to the new show by Unity Productions ...


((Please note, I am sending this admitting full well that I am completely ignorant of any pre-established religious beliefs you hold.  This is in no way meant to insult you.))

My Dearest Friends ~

You know that I hold very few things close to my heart, but when I DO find something I hold close, I hold on tight.  And some of you know that I'm not necessarily the most religious person out there, but I do perform with Unity Productions, a god-centered dance troupe who dances to spread a message of love.  Not just God's love, but love in general.  Love right where you're at, no matter who you are and what you've done.
Some of you may know about the "Stations of the Cross"... the steps that Jesus took from exiting Pilate's palace to the point of being laid in the tomb after his crucifixion.  I've seen this in pictures on the walls of church sims, etc... but I've NEVER seen something like the sim I'm standing in now.

The Via Dolorosa sim here in Second Life is a real-time tour THROUGH the stations of the cross.  You walk from the landing point to station 1 where you're encouraged to turn on your music to hear Gregorian chants.  You then walk to Station 2 where you are given a cross to wear... male, female, and child sized crosses.  After that, you turn off your AO and follow the instructions to allow a scripted track take you through the stations... 3-14.  This whole tour takes about 15 minutes... and it's wonderful.  Heavily religious or not, this is a fantastic experience.

And now the problem... there has been financial hardship... and the student who built this sim has gone back to Indonesia without internet... and school was paying for the sim and his premium account.  Because he can't afford the account, it has been locked.  Currently there are only 2 Deacons around who still have any control over the sim: the cross Animator and the track Scripter.  They have approached us with a need.  A need for tier, a need for traffic, a need to get the word out.

Unity Productions has been invited on Friday evening (yes, this Friday, the 28th of Steptember) at 7:30pm SLT.  We will be 'opening' our new show "Shaken Into Peace" here at a benefit fundraiser.  I'm including a landmark for two reasons.

1.) Come visit!  Even if you're not a heavily religious person, this is still a pretty powerful thing to see.  You are... quite literally... carrying a cross through the streets.

2.) Come to the benefit.  Tell your friends.  Promote however you know to do so.  Even from me, lukewarm as I tend to be on issues of religion, this is an amazing place that should not go by the wayside as so many sims in SL do.

((And as I told the Unity girls tonight, I'll throw a right royal fit if this place closes.))
Sorry this was so long and so much information.  You know I love you all, right?  :-)

Peace and Blessings (and come see the sim!)
~ Tivi

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DMC Couples, Pose and Solo Dances

DMC Couples, Pose and Solo Dances 120926

DarkMoon Lilliehook sent us this info today ...


DMC - DarkMoon Creations ~~~ Authorised Loader (Intan Eksotics) ~~~ AnimaZoo Partner

Hello there and friendly greetings!

Time for some news!
~ 7 new Couple Dances from A&M as Poseballs and as Intan Ready version
~ 3 new Couple Dances from There in Spirit as Poseballs and as Intan Ready version
~ 2 new male Pole Dances from A&M - pre-loaded in our Multifunctional Dancepole, and as Pack in copy or trans
~ New Solo Dances from Akeyo and MoM
~ New Solo Dances as Packs
~ New Music-Streams - 1000 listeners, Auto-DJ function (1 or 2 GB space), Control Panel, Webbased Admin Panel - for daily, monthly, and lifetime use starting at 60L$

Henmations Releases Sexy House Dances Part 2

Henmations Releases Sexy House Dances Part 2 (120926)

Hendrik Schroeder sent this notice to the Henmations group today ...


NEW Sexy House Dances Released!
Wed, Sep 26 2012 11:28:41 AM PDT

we just released the second part of the new Sexy House Dance Series!  RL Performed to todays top House Acts .. LM attached

Making a Dance Show 3

Making a Dance Show 3

This is the third in a series of blog posts about making a dance show. Please read posts 1 and 2 first.

I have now created the script and the set. I have the costumes ready and the actors in place. I haven't gotten the audio of the play done yet. Ideally, I would want the complete recorded play finished so I can do the choreography from beginning to end. I am including in the definition of choreography for this play the movements and animations that the two actors, Nottoo and her Shadow, make between songs as well as the dances. BUT, since I don't have the audio yet, I decided to start choreographing the dances and add the movement between songs later.

Choreographing the First Song - Quien Sera

In this dance I wanted to have Nottoo dancing with the Director present but not visible. Nottoo's Shadow is also dancing behind Nottoo to the right doing the exact same dance as Nottoo. Since this is the first dance with the Shadow, it is really the audience's introduction to the concept of a shadow. I want the shadow to behave like a RL shadow during this song. The song I chose for this is Quien Sera. It's a song that my mother likes so it has some extra meaning for me. It has both Spanish and English in it and is like me with one foot in each language. The version I decided to use is by Arielle Dombasle. Here it is on youtube. I also like this song because it is upbeat and should be fun to choreograph.

I have previously described how to do choreography to a song. I followed this process by listening to the song several times to identify where I heard changes. Here is what I found. Note I calculated the time between changes also:

0:00 - 000 sec - start - plays 9 sec
0:09 - 009 sec - first horn sound starts - plays 6 sec
0:15 - 015 sec - volume increase and other instruments start - plays 16 sec
0:31 - 031 sec - voice starts - plays 32 sec
1:03 - 063 sec - language changes and horns start - plays 14 sec
1:17 - 077 sec - voice starts - plays 17 sec
1:34 - 094 sec - instrumental starts - plays 15 sec
1:49 - 109 sec - voice starts - plays 13 sec
2:02 - 122 sec - support singers start - plays 12 sec
2:14 - 134 sec - lead singer starts - plays 24 sec
2:38 - 158 sec - end

This list of changes in the song identify where I can consider dance changes. All of this took about 15 minutes.

I mentioned that I plan to use the DanceMaster Pro 6 to control the dances in this show, but to do the initial choreography, I decided to use my Barre HUD. This dance is simply one dancer and a follower doing the identical dance sequence. Once I have choreographed the song, I will buy new copies of the chosen dances and put them in the DanceMaster Pro 6 with the sequence timing. The Barre HUD also has all of my dances, so it is relatively easy for me to use the Barre to identify possible dances I want to use for this song.

The step of choosing dances for this song means I listen to the song over and over, while trying different dances that I think might work. I might use 5 to 15 dances for the song depending on what I find and the selected changing points. I chose possible dances for this song in two ways. First, I just listened to the song and played dance sequences that I felt fit the music. My club experience dancing to a DJ really helps with this approach. The second way is to use the DANCE QUEENS database. Since Quien Sera is identified as a mambo, I searched out the mambo dances and tried them. With these two approaches I made an initial list of about 60 medium speed candidate dances for the song. I then listened to the song paying particular attention to swaying motions since the song is also named 'SWAY'  and has the word sway in the lyrics. This gave me a shorter list of candidate dances (listed with loop times):

*White Silk|26.2|
*All my Glory|24.7|
*Heat Wave|24|
*Crushed Velvet|26.9|
*Pussy Galore|22.5|
*Yes Master|24.2|
*Yes Mistress|28.9|

All are from the same maker, A&M, which should make the choreography easier. Next, I compared the dance loop times with the change points in the song. The match up wasn't particularly good with loop times of 22 to 27 seconds and change times in multiples of 12 to 16 seconds. Fortunately many of the dances do not venture too far from the centerpoint and maybe I can find transition points in the middle of the dances. This initial selection of the candidate dances took about an hour.

Next, I tried the different dances from my short list with the music. I paid attention to the lyrics and tried to find places where I could have a significant dance movement occur when there was a significant music event. When there is 'boom' in the music I like a boom-like move in the dance, or a crescendo in the music matched with a crescendo feel in the dance. This adds to the challenge of making a good dance sequence to a song since it takes me beyond just matching speeds and centerpoints. Of course to help with the choreography I used the choreography grid looking down. The grid is especially helpful for working with transitions.

Choreography Grid Looking Down

After about an hour of trying the different dances and massaging the order, I had a basic sequence that I liked, but with some transitions and timing that were a bit off:

[NAME]Quien Sera Test|*White Silk|26.2|*Yes Mistress|4.8|*Heat Wave|32|*Crushed Velvet|31|*Yes Mistress|15|*Yes Master|27|*Hip-notized

I had to make some trade-offs on the final sequence. I accepted a couple of less than beautiful transitions so I could have the dance match the music by swaying when the lyrics said sway and by being on the floor when the lyrics said on the floor. I also added two Amimation poses, one at the beginning and one at the end. All in all I was happy with the final product. The whole effort to choreograph the first dance took about 3.5 hours.

Here is the sequence:

[NAME]Quien Sera|*AMIMATION* Sexy Pose_015|2|*White Silk|28|*Heat Wave|32|*Crushed Velvet|30|*Yes Mistress|15|*Yes Master|26.5|*Hip-notized|21|*AMIMATION* Crouching_001

When I looked at my iTunes counter for the number of times I had played Quien Sera from the beginning it said 88. Wow! You had better like the songs you choreograph for a show.

Using the DanceMaster Pro 6 for the First Dance

Bryndyn Burton, the creator of the DanceMaster and I had a long discussion yesterday about the DanceMaster and its capabilities and limitations. Since I am writing this from my perspective, I hope he will add comments as he sees necessary. I like the capabilities of the DanceMaster and it can do some things that other show control systems cannot do, but it is a challenge to work with because of its complexity and as we (you and I) go through this together, I may express some of my frustrations with it.

When you first get the DanceMaster Pro 6 (or the other versions) and open the folder in your inventory, you see a few objects and 14 notecards ... and they are long, detailed notecards.

14 Notecards in the DanceMaster Pro

Bryndyn likes to provide detail and that is helpful, but right from the start you are looking at trees when what you care about is the forest. So, to give you a little help, here is what you need to know overall about the DanceMaster Pro.

The DanceMaster Pro allows you to control several things important for a show:
  1. The animations and dances that each avatar performs
  2. The position and orientation of each avatar on the stage
  3. The movement or change in position and orientation of each avatar around the stage
It does more such as rezzing objects or controlling particles, but the three things identified above are what really sets the DanceMaster Pro apart. In simpler terms it means you can, for example, have an avatar walk from point A to point B and dance a sequence while another avatar runs around the stage. All of this is controlled by the DanceMaster Pro and, once set up, is operated by one or a few clicks.

To set up the DanceMaster Pro you really need to worry about three notecards that are placed inside it:
  1. *DM dances - This notecard identifies the dances and animations that you use in your show. You have to put the dances and animations in the DanceMaster then list them on this notecard. Like with HUDs the names must be spelled right and you are forced to use a system of labels, but this notecard is easy to set up.
  2. *DM formations - This notecard identies the position and orientation of each avatar relative to the position of the DanceMaster controller. Positions are identified primarily through specific formation types, like a line or circle, and require some calculation to figure out exactly the right numbers to enter on the notecard to place your avatar at the position and the orientation you want. In learning the Dancemaster, this was one of the most challenging things for me. But, don't worry, now I sort of know this and I will explain as we go along. For now the concept of relative position and orientation is all you need to know about this notecard.
  3. AnyNameYouWant or PCL Notecard - The final notecard is one you add to the DanceMaster. It is essentially the step-by-step program that you create to go through the show. It is like the detailed sequence of events. It's a pain learning the commands that you can use and the format of the commands, but this is how you join the dances with the positions and orientations of the avatars AND how you change positions and orientation.
So, let's get the dance sequence for Quien Sera created above into the Dancemaster Pro 6.

The first thing I had to do was to set up the Dancemaster Pro and get it operating. You only have to get it set up once, but this can be a challenge. I decided to place the DanceMaster Pro on the roof of the stage. I set it up centered at the same place as the stage, but 9.0 m above the floor of the stage. This makes the DanceMaster Pro easily accessible to me, but not visible to most audience members.

Placing the DMP

I also oriented the DanceMaster Pro so it had no rotation (x at 0 degrees, y at 0 degrees and z at 0 degrees).

To get the DanceMaster Pro working you have to follow the one-time start-up procedure. Okay, here is a complaint. The start-up instructions are not in the Read Me First notecard and not even referenced in the Read Me First notecard. It's not so obvious how to get it started until you find the twelfth notecard named DM Pro Quick Setup Guide. Once you find this, the steps are laid out for easy start up. I did this in five minutes since I had learned how on a previous show.

One of the key outputs of the start-up procedure is that you define an x, y, z position that is called the origin. All positions that are specified in creating the show are relative to the origin. My origin is 32.0000, 8.0000, 1751.0000.

Remember that there are three important notecards that are inside the DanceMaster Pro: *DM dances, *DM formations, AnyNameYouWant or the PCL Notecard. When you edit the DanceMaster Pro and look inside the contents tab, you find the initial *DM dances and *DM formations notecards are loaded with content. The content is useful if you are setting up the DanceMaster Pro for a club or if you are in training mode, but for making a show like we are doing, the content is not only unnecessary, but uses up some of the resources you may need later. You want to be able to see the initial content in these notecards, so what I do is copy this content to two notecards that I place in my inventory where I have all the DanceMaster Pro content. This allows you to see the content when you need it. Next, I delete all of the content in the *DM dances notecard that is in the DanceMaster Pro and replace it with

*group*: 1

and I delete all of the content in the *DM formations notecard that is in the DanceMaster Pro EXCEPT the first three lines. My *DM formations notecard looks like this


Finally, when I look in the DanceMaster Pro I do not see a notecard called AnyNameYouWant. You have to create this and add it to the DanceMaster Pro. I decided to call mine *SOMBRA. Hahahah, a catchy name. Initially *SOMBRA is empty.

This completes the one-time set-up of the DanceMaster Pro.

Everything else I do with it is to add content. I need to say that the set up sounds a lot more complex than it is (once you know how). Don't be too put off by the set up and I will help you if you need it.

Once I had the DanceMaster Pro operating, I was ready to put the dances from the sequence I had created above into the DanceMaster. Since I had not followed my own advice to always buy copy dances, I TPd to A&M and bought all of the dances in the Quien Sera sequence. The Amimation poses I had were copy so I did not have to buy them again. Once I got back I edited the DanceMaster Pro 6 and placed all of the dances in it.

Then, I again edited the DanceMaster Pro and opened the *DM dances notecard inside it. I entered the dance information for Quien Sera into the notecard. There are a few important things you need to know to work with the *DM dances notecard. First, you are limited to 144 dances/animations in one DanceMaster *DM dances notecard. I expect to use at least 100 in this show. A really large show could exceed the limits. The second important thing to know about the *DM notecard is dance names can only have 10 characters. Hey, what a restriction since some have as many as 25 characters or more. To get around this there is a system for labeling dances so the name label length is 10 or fewer characters. I use this system for all of my dances. Here is how it works. Each line starts with the label followed by a colon (:) then the dance name as it is in the Dancemaster Pro. Here is an example:

groove:Into the Groove Dance

The dance name is Into the Groove Dance and the label used is groove.

When I make labels I like to use the label name to help me know where the dance fits. I think just seeing what my *DM dance notecard looks like will help explain this

You can see that I am using labels like QN-1 or QS-6 for the dances. You may also notice that I have repeated the dances. The reason I do this is that in your dance notecard you also have to identify the avatar for whom the dance is intended. This is done by adding another colon (:) in the line and a position number. The position number is discussed next, so for now just accept that Nottoo is position 1 and Shadow is position 4.

Remember the *DM dance card only identifies the dances used. The actual time for each dance is included in the *SOMBRA notecard that we will discuss in an a bit.

Whew, one notecard done and now to the second, the *DM formation notecard.

The *DM formations notecard simply identifies where the avatars, Nottoo and Shadow in my show, are . Each place where the two avatars stop must be included in the *DM formations notecard. By stopping, I mean the centerpoint of an animation or dance. Since the version of the DanceMaster Pro I bought can handle up to 6 avatars at once and I only need two of the positions, I need to find a way to modify the settings to fit my need.

The Dancemaster Pro uses preset formations such as lines, circles, grids and more to identify the locations. For each of these pre-defined formations the six positions are set. For example for a line, the order is avatar 1, avatar 2 ... avatar 6 in a straight line. The avatars are evenly spaced on that line. For example, let's start the line at x ,y ,z coordinates 32, 8, 1750 and we end the line at 37, 8, 1750. Avatar 1 is positioned at 32, 8, 1750, avatar 2 at 33, 8, 1750 ... avatar 6 at 37, 8, 1750.

For a circle formation with a circle of say diameter of 4 m, the six positions are set every 60 degrees around the circumference of the circle.

You choose the position number you want each avatar to be on. I always choose position 1 for the lead avatar, Nottoo in this case. In my previous two-person shows using the danceMaster Pro 6, I have used position 4 in one show and position 6 in the other for the second avatar. For this one I will use position 4 for Shadow. The main reason why I do this is that there you can only have 12 formations of each type (line, circle, etc.). Most of my formations are lines, but when I have exhausted all 12 line formations and need more formations, I can use circles just like lines by using position 1 and 4 since they are on opposite sides of the circle.

Let me show you an example entry for a formation in the *DM formation notecard

The first line is the name of the formation, in this example, L1. Line two defines the type of formation, a line in the example. Line 3 is the starting point of the line RELATIVE to the point called the origin, which was defined in the set up. If the origin in our example is at 32, 8, 1751, the start of the line is at 29, 8, 1751. Line 4 identifies the end of the line using the same approach. The last line in the example defines the orientation of the avatars, in this case facing right compared to the direction of the DanceMaster Pro. There are a lot of options in the formations that I wont go into, but now you should understand the basic idea.

So, I had to set the formations for Quien Sera. Where did I want the two avatars, Nottoo and Shadow during the Quien Sera song? Although I went into great detail about the choreography of the song, Quien Sera is really a pretty simple song to choreograph ... two dancers dancing the same sequence and the avatars not changing their centerpoints. If this were the entire show, I would have just used two poseballs. But, this is only a small part of the show. I planned for Nottoo to be positioned at the same centerpoint throughout the song, and I envisioned Shadow to be behind Nottoo about 1 m and 1 m to the audience's right. I wanted Nottoo in the center of the stage and a bit toward the audience.

My origin point is x ,y ,z 32.00000, 8.00000, 1751.00000. The stage center is x 32, y 8 and the audience is in the south direction. With all this information I decided I wanted Nottoo facing south at 32, 6, 1751. That meant that Shadow would face south at 33, 7, 1751. Since I have selected position 4 for Shadow, I need to calculate where the end of the line is to put Shadow where I want her. The end of the line is position 6. The DanceMaster has a means to help you with these calculations and I will use this help in future dances for this show, but for this dance I just calculated the sixth position using my geometry skills and found the end of the line at 33.67, 7.67, 1751.

All this boils down to my line formation that looks like this:
I know some of you have glazed eyes right now and are ready to say that show dancing is better done with freestyle choreography on a HUD or at most sequenced choreography with a HUD maybe using a controller like the DB system or XPOSE. There are many shows where the control system can be a HUD and it can be a very successful show, BUT if you have a show where precision in terms of dancing, position and movement (without jumping) is needed, you cannot achieve it without something like the DanceMaster Pro ... period. We still have one more notecard to go, so bear with me if you really want control.

This dance is the easiest in the show and I intend to make the other dances much more complex and intertwined. The choreography and use of the DanceMaster will get even more complex as we go on, BUT once you understand the basics, the more complex dances and movement will be easy to understand. I really hope that this show and the detailed description will help people advance their show creation skills.

Okay, off the soap box. Let's do the last notecard, *SOMBRA.

The final notecard is the step-by-step program that needs to be written to join the dances with the formations and allow movement and timing to be controlled. I don't know how to program, but I do understand the idea of a step-by-step process and that is all this is. The DanceMaster uses something called Performance Control Language or PCL, which is a simplified language that Bryndyn developed for the DanceMaster Pro. I don't plan to make you a PCL expert, since I am not one, but I will show you what I developed for this dance and explain what the lines mean.

Let me begin by explaining the three types of information in the PCL notecard.

The PCL notecard *SOMBRA has three basic types of information. Control Statements are the first type and are preceded by a period, for example:

.wait 10

means wait 10 seconds before you continue.

Sometimes, the control statements can be used as a marker, for example:

.section Part 1

is a reference point in the notecard. This is a helpful control statement for testing individual sections of the PCL notecard.

The second type of information are commands for the animations, formations or objects that the DanceMaster controls. With this concept you can see the the PCL notecard is executed by the DanceMaster one line at a time. So, something like

.wait 2

means that the dance with label QS-1 (for Shadow) starts, then immediately dance labelled QN-1 (for Nottoo) starts and they both go for 2 seconds before the line following the .wait 2 is executed.

formation L1 is another reference that means open formation L1 and the avatars will be moved to the exact positions defined by that formation in the *DM formation notecard.

The third and last type of information in the PCL notecard is just information for you. Any time you see a double hash mark // all of the information on that line that follows is ignored by the DancceMaster. This is helpful as it gives you a place to put in plain English (or your own language) what is going on at that point. As you will see when we finish all the dances that the PCL notecard will be long and these human language cues help a lot.

Here is the PCL notecard so far:

In the notecard there are a few things I have added that I had learned are needed to make it work. These are included in the instructions. What I want you to concentrate on is where .section Part 15 begins. You can see I first set up the formation L1 that positions Nottoo and Shadow, then I start on the sequence. You can see the labeled dances starting then waiting the appropriate length based on the choreography I did earlier. At the end I put a .pause statement for now.

I loaded all the notecards into the DanceMaster Pro 6 and reset it according to the instructions. I had learned previously how to make the DanceMaster run and ... ta da ... it worked. Nottoo and Shadow danced the sequence using the DanceMaster Pro.

All of the work to put the Quien Sera sequence into the DanceMaster took me about an hour.

A Final Comment for Today

We have covered a lot of information in this post. Don't despair. I have done choreography for a long time and those of you who are experienced choreographers will know that the choreography work for this first dance is pretty simple. If you are new to choreography, you need to gain experience in choreography for simple shows before you learn the DanceMaster for complex shows.

The DanceMaster part is not simple. The first time I did one dance, Razon de Vivir, using the DanceMaster it took me 125 hours to do it. About ten hours were spent choreographing and 115 learning the DanceMaster.

In this post you have learned to do the one-time set up of the DanceMaster and you have seen how to transfer the dance sequence made in the Barre to the Dancemaster as well as define the positions of the two dancers. You may need to read this note several times or even buy a DanceMaster and begin to play with it. If you are willing to work at it, you can learn the Dancemaster. It won't take you 115 hours the first time because you can refer to these posts and I will help you (so will Bryndyn), but be aware that the DanceMaster is the most complex system that a dancer can work with. It makes learning the Huddles or Barre or INTAN a piece of cake.

I will continue with the next post in a few days by showing you how to use the DanceMaster to move your avatar from position A to B without a jump, like walking from A to B.

So, that's all for now.


Extreme Announces New Animations

Extreme Announces New Animations 120926

Extreme Batista sent this note to the Extreme Group today ...


New Releases !
Wed, Sep 26 2012 10:39:25 AM PDT

60 New Adult animations released (30 poses)
Mesh Sofa (Adult version) + 200 Animations Released

Landmark Attached to Group Note

New Couples and Individual Dances at TIS

New Couples and Individual Dances at TIS 120926

Dancing Lemon sent this notice to the There in Spirit Group today ...


NEW Couples Pack and follow-up to the 7 Deadly Sins!!!
Wed, Sep 26 2012 6:40:13 AM PDT

Fed up dancing like Fred & Ginger? Our new DUI (Dancing Under the Influence) couples dances lets you stomp around the dance floor like its last call at your local!! 

Also for you sexy ladies out there we have the follow-up to the 7 Deadly Sins, Goddess of Dance - Although your halo might slip with these!! LM Attached :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making a Dance Show 2

Making a Dance Show 2 (120923)

This is the second article on Making a Dance Show. Please read the first post before this one. This post picks up with the overall planning for the show finished and the script written.

Since I now know what I want to do, the next step is creating a set. I do the set before the choreography, then adjust the set as needed to fit the dancing.

Set Design

If you have seen the sets for the Dance Festivals, you know that show designers make some really incredible stages and sets. Sometimes, there are multiple sets with moving items and even particles. I love seeing these type of shows and am always impressed. One of the nice things about SL dancing is that it lets you express yourself in your own way. My expression in shows is visual in that I try to make the dancer(s) really stand out. My way of doing this is usually to use very simple sets with a striking contrast between dancer and background.

For this show the script I created is focused on the interaction of the dancer and her shadow. I don't need any set changes and don't need a lot of complexity in design such as backgrounds or particles. I just need a dark stage and a lighted stage. There has to be enough room for the two dancers. My experience is that a stage 16 m wide and about 8 m deep will give me enough room for two dancers. So, the next step is to make a simple stage.

The first thing I wanted to do is to put down a base for the stage. Since I decided to make the stage and surroundings 40 m wide I set the base of the stage base at 40 m. I decided previously to make the stage 10 m away from the audience sim and with an 8 m deep stage I need a total of 18 m for the depth on the stage pad. Riddle arrived when I was doing this and the first thing he said was, "I feel like I am on a chessboard." I told him to be patient since I was about to put down the stage pad. I did and here is what it looks like.

Stage Pad
I decided to color it black so it would not be a distraction to the audience. I put it directly on top of the platform with no overlap of prims.

Next, I built a simple stage leaving out the back initially and placed the stage on the pad so the back of the stage and the back of the pad were flush with each other.

Simple Stage on Pad
When I looked at the stage and visualized myself in the audience, I thought that the stage needed to be closer to the audience. It is tiny compared to the space. I had to figure out a way to make the very wide front with the audience usable with a small stage. I decided to move the stage 6 m closer to the audience. To fill the huge space to the left and right of the stage I would put the show title and at the end the show credits.

In the script the character Nottoo turns on the lights and then can see her shadow. To create this effect I needed a way for the shadow to be not visible and then to be visible. I decided to use the prim color changing script to accomplish this. I took the same script that is in "Nottoo's Famous Color Changing 2005 Shoes" and put it in a curved prim for the back of the stage. With this script I can make the background all black or all red with three clicks. To make the background a bit more appealing I added a gradient texture to the prim. The results is in the two pictures below ... the first with an all black background and the second with the red. That's Riddle to the right goofing off.

Black Background

Red Background
I like this look and can visualize Nottoo and her shadow dancing with the red background. At this point I felt the basic stage was okay. I would add the areas for the title and credits later. As a last step I made the back of background prim transparent so I could see through it from the back.


Since this was a show I wanted to perform by myself, I needed to find an extra avatar that I could use. Of course, my first choice was to use my RL best friend Nottooo's avatar. I called her on the phone and she agreed I could use it. That was helpful because we have very similar shapes and some overlapping accessories.

The Director part is voice only so no avatar was needed for him.

For the voices I thought about native English-speaking voices I had heard in SL. I asked two friends to do the recording for me. Laz Dresler agreed to be the Shadow and I asked DanLange Diavolo to be the Director. Laz responded immediately with a 'yes.' Dan hasn't responded yet, but I am hopeful for a 'yes' since he has done this for me previously. I asked Laz to make separate mp3 files for each line she would record.

For the mixing of the final voices and music I would ask Riddle to help me. He has equipment for doing that.


Since I had created a one-act play, there was no costume change needed. Using one costume always makes doing a show easier. BUT, I had to decide on the right outfits. For the shadow this was easy ... ALL BLACK. This I could make using an all black tattoo layer for the Shadow then remove all of her clothes except sunglasses to cover the eyes and black shoes.

For Nottoo I really had three choices because my palette is limited to my favorite colors of black, red and white. I rejected a black outfit because when I danced alone with a black background there was not enough contrast. This left a choice of a white outfit or a red one.I didn't want a long skirt because I wanted to have Nottoo and her shadow dancing closely together. Skirts would cover some of the intertwining of legs I visualized in my head.  I wanted the outfit to be sexy so I thought in terms of pants, shorts or a very short skirt. I chose a very short skirt because I feel legs are an important part of dancing and the contrast of Nottoo's legs with the black Shadow's legs would be more sensual. Skirts are also more sensual to me than shorts.

I tried a sexy white outfit and a sexy red one with the two backgrounds.

Red Costume with Black or Red background

White Costume with Black or Red Background
I liked the yin and yang feel of the white costume with the black shadow, but the use of three colors was too much for me. I liked the red better. It felt 'hot' to me.

I also chose the same hair for both Nottoo and the Shadow. The hair felt both sexy and at the same time a bit sophisticated.


At this point I will stop for today. I have all the preparatory work for the play set up and now I am ready to set up the DanceMaster and start the choreography. I've spent maybe five hours total at this point on the show, but I have set the framework for what I want to do. The show is clearly a personal expression and that is what makes shows fun for me.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Want Ad: Guerilla Burlesque Dance Audition

Want Ad: Guerilla Burlesque Dance Audition 120923

chryblnd Scribe sent us this invitation today ...


Guerilla Burlesque is Idle Rogue's dance juggernaut, presenting shows every friday night at midnight and appearing around the grid as part of Idle Rogue Productions. We currently have a vacancy for one dance soloist and will be auditioning on Saturday October 6 from 10pm SLT.

We encourage ANY interested dancer to audition. Please read the attached notecard to find out how to submit your name for the audition process.


Guerilla Burlesque will be holding auditions to fill a regular soloist vacancy in the current roster. The auditions are open to both male and female dancers.

Please read

Prospective dancers will become aware of occasional auditions. In the event of being invited to audition, you should produce TWO full dance acts that showcase your concepts, skills and style. You will be asked to provide our DJ with copies of the tunes you intend to dance. You will present a routine to a panel who will confer in a private group chat during your audition.
If your audition is successful, you will be invited to return to present your second act.
You will be advised of a result at a time agreed to at the audition. You should also consider all of the following information before submitting for the audition process:
*Guerilla Burlesque currently runs a roster of 12 soloists and more than 20 backup dancers. Soloists are rostered to appear in 6 out of every twelve shows. Shows are held at midnight on friday nights SL time (12am Saturday SL time) and run for one hour. Special event shows may start at 11pm and run for two hours. There are currently no plans to produce shows at other times, however, opportunities to take the show to other venues, festivals and exhibitions may arise from time to time.
* Dancers are required to present their act at a rehearsal at 12am on the monday prior to their performance. The act is required to be finished and ready for presentation at that time, or it may not be included in the show. Dancers should primarily consider themselves as soloists once appointed to the roster. Though you may prepare an act that features backup dancers or a group of soloists, the revue showcases the premiere dancers of the troupe.
* Dancers must choose a piece of music and choreograph a set of their own animations to it. You are also required to build a stage set and costume your act. Additionally, your avatar is required to be fitted out to a very high standard at all times you are associated with the show. Please understand that dancing is an expensive hobby that might occasionally be offset by tips received during the show. It is not a pursuit you should consider for profit.
*Guerilla Burlesque dancers are paid an equal percentage of the tips received during the show. If you do not dance, you do not get paid. In the case of group acts, the dancer who devised the routine is paid the share. As a rough guide, dancers usually receive 14% of every linden paid to the tipjars as it is paid in. The remaining 2% goes to Idle Rogue, as SL tipping devices are not able to split payments to any finer degree. In return, Idle Rogue bears the costs of running the sim, theatre and show.
* As part of the Guerilla Burlesque troupe, you are encouraged to work as a member of a team. One of the keys to our success is that we keep our private lives out of our work, respect and encourage each other, and help where we can. Dancers are strongly discouraged from considering Guerilla Burlesque as a competitive environment, and if you dislike the dynamics of team performance, you may wish to consider another of the many dance troupes performing in SL.

and be sure you understand the contents. Please IM chryblnd Scribe if you have further enquiries.

If you wish to submit your name to present an audition, please drag the following notecard to your inventory, then complete it, save it, and return it to chryblnd Scribe before October 3, 2012. Please rename your card to include your own name, so that I can find your details on the day of auditions.

Avatar Name:
Avatar Age:
What time zone is your real life in?
Previous Experience in a dance show in SL:
Do you use a dance hud? Which one?
Have you been to a Guerilla Burlesque show?
Do you currently hold any other jobs in SL, or commitments that might interfere with your availability?
Please list the names of two avatars who would be willing to provide a character reference for you (you will be advised if we intend to approach your referees)

Anyone is welcome to audition for Guerilla Burlesque, however you should be aware that we present a very high quality show, and this is one of the main criterion on which we will base our decisions.

Additionally, we will consider your audition in terms of originality, professionalism, and audience appeal. You can expect to be judged on your choreography, building and overall demeanor. Experience is an advantage but by no means the deciding factor. Your knowledge of the show, the Idle Rogue sim and our operations will count in your favour.
On receipt of your notecard, you will be given an audition time and an invitation to the Idle Rogue group, to allow you to rezz prims You will also receive a template of the stage area to allow you to construct your sets to fit our stage.The sim will be closed to the general public for the duration of the auditions, please advise if you wish to have a support person present.
You must leave the Idle Rogue sim after your audition.

Idle Rogue, Idle Rogue Productions and Guerilla Burlesque are owned and operated by chryblnd Scribe, whose decisions are final.

Vista 50% Sale

Vista 50% Sale 120923

Vista Barnes sent this notice to the Vista group today ...


Sun, Sep 23 2012 10:06:56 AM PDT


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Diesel Works Announces Kneeled Part 2

Diesel Works Announces Kneeled Part 2 (120922)

Rogan Diesel announced the following in the Diesel Works group today ...


Kneeled Part 2 is here!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Making a Dance Show 1

Making a Dance Show 1 (120921)

I am now working on my third show using the DanceMaster Pro as the means to control avatar positions, dance sequences and movement. I want to do a show on a split sim and will schedule time on Una Milena's LunaMar Performing Arts Center to perform when I have the show ready. A split sim, as you probably know, helps reduce lag in a performance with a relatively large audience.

I thought it might be helpful for those of you learning to put on shows to follow the details of how I do it. Of course, there are many more prolific show creators in SL, but most do not use the DanceMaster Pro and I thought it might be helpful to see the details of how I use it. So, I plan to publish a series of articles about developing the show. If you do not plan to use the DanceMaster Pro or won't put on shows, these articles will likely be more than you want to know.

Planning for the Show

I've written before about all that is necessary to put on a show. For this show I wanted something simple that I could perform completely by myself. I love all kinds of dance shows, but for the ones I make I like to have simple backgrounds, an emphasis on dancing, and a simple plot or story.

To get started first I visited the LunaMar Performing Arts Center's LMPA Stage 1 and Stage 2.

LMPA Stage 1

LMPA Stage 2
Visiting the venue helped me with several things.

First, both are split sims with the capability to handle large shows. The area for the stage is 64 m wide and 60 m deep. My two-person show will be pretty small on the venue, so I thought about making the area around the stage relatively large. The actual audience seating area is about 40 m wide so I decided to make the stage and surroundings that I would use a total of 40 m. The actual show will be in a small area but audience members will be camming so that won't be a problem. I also decided to put the stage a little away from the audience maybe 10 m.

Second, I preferred Stage 1 only because it has a more modern look and has my three favorite colors: black, red and white. My show will feature those colors and will match the audience area better.

Third, I noted that the audience is south of the stage. This is important for setting up the DanceMaster since changing the orientation of the DanceMaster after creating a show has been a problem for me previously. I will make the stage and the show orienting the same way as where I will perform it. The stage will face south.

Fourth, I also looked at the x, y, z coordinates of the stage area. I decided to create my show on my sim at exactly the same coordinates that I would use for the venue at LunaMar. This would make moving and setting up the stage easier. I used my avatar to determine the center of the stage area of the venue to be at 32, 30, 1749.

Ater visiting the venue, next I went to get a new DanceMaster Pro. I TPd to the DanceMaster store. The sales items are just inside the door on the left. I previously have used the DanceMaster Pro 6. There are other sizes that are larger and more expensive but I only needed two dance slots. Bryndyn Burton, the creator of the DanceMaster, had previously suggested a DanceMaster Mobi, but I knew enough of the Pro series that I didn't want to relearn anything. So, I plunked down my 2500 L and got a new DanceMaster Pro 6.

Purchasing a DanceMaster Pro 6
The Pro 6 can handle up to 6 dancers.

I prefer to use a new DanceMaster for each show I create. It's a bit expensive but when I am done I have the entire show in one device. I often use over 100 animations per show and the cost of the DanceMaster relative to the animations is pretty small. You have to have a financial commitment to put on a show.

So, after a little break swimming and dancing with Riddle, I set up a platform on my sim at the exact coordinates of the LMPA Stage 1 on Una's sim. I chose to put a floor of black and white tiles spaced 1 m apart.

My Platform for Making the Show (Facing North)
If you want to visit this space, you can see my progress at any time. Once I finish making this show, I will leave the empty platform there and anyone can use it.

So, now I had what was necessary to go on to the next step of designing the show.

Designing the Show

I believe there is not much really new that is invented. Most things that are creative are based on things that others have done with a twist of some sort. I have already said what I wanted in a show:
  • simple backgrounds
  • an emphasis on dancing
  • a simple plot or story.
As I thought about what I wanted to do, several things came to mind. First, I love to have the dancers as outlines on a relatively plain background. If you look at the video of the show Riddle and I did for the Choreography Show II you will see I used a black background with white, almost transparent dancers.

I really liked this effect, but I had already used it. Next, I thought about a show that I saw with Slappy Doobie and Ellie Criss in which Slappy danced in the headlights of a car and Ellie was the shadow. It was really visually effective and I liked how they did it. Then my mind went to a video that Bryndyn Burton had told me about by Jo Ellsmere called "The Mask: a synchronicity." In this video the dancers are all positioned at the same x, y, z coordinates and the movement is quite striking. Finally, I thought about the set of videos that Florine Writer had made of MaHal dancing burlesque. I particularly liked the visual effect that Psyche Lunasea designed of a solid colored dancer in red on a solid black background.

So, out of this came the idea of dancing with a shadow. Of course, shadows are black so a black background would not work, but a black shadow against a red background would give me the visual 'pop' I wanted. Dancing with my shadow gives me plenty of material to work with. It provides something that I felt had not been seen previously. It has that visual pop. It let's me dance individually and as a couple using the full capabilities of the DanceMaster. Finally, it offers an opening to a story line of dancing with one's shadow.

I wanted a show of 20 to 30 minutes. This would let me perform the show as a stand alone or in a format like Zhaza Zerbino's Variety Shows. I decided that I needed perhaps six songs in the show with dialog and an opening and closing.

I use sequenced choreography when I make a show. The DanceMaster demands it since the dance animations are located in the DanceMaster. I also like to use animations during the dialog and those also have to be built into a sequence. For me it is most fun to choreograph to a song I like. For me that means latin music, blues and rock. So, I began to listen to some Latin music with the idea of shadows and a simple story. It didn't take long for me to develop the idea of a plot of a dancer, named Nottoo of all things, working with her Director. The Director has the idea of using a shadow for a dance performance and this is when Nottoo first discovers a shadow. I thought about ways that Nottoo could interact with her shadow and decided to find a way to get Nottoo alone with her shadow, then strike up a conversation. I felt I could weave a little bit of the inner self into the simple dialog along with the dancing. So I started writing a script. It took about three hours of writing and listening to music to come up with the following script. Of course the name fell out right away ... SOMBRA or Shadow in Spanish:

===== SOMBRA Script =====

** INTRO MUSIC - Tambour D' Eau, Batterie

** 40 seconds into the music the script begins; the Director is not visible; Nottoo is off stage to the right (Stage left)

DIRECTOR - Hey Nottoo, are you ready?

** WAIT 3 sec


DIRECTOR - Nottoo, can you hear me now? Are you ready?

NOTTOO - Yes, I am ready

DIRECTOR - OK, come on out and let's practice that last number once more.

** Nottoo walks from behind the right curtain and stands at center stage facing the audience

NOTTOO - Here?

DIRECTOR - Yeah, that's fine.

** WAIT 2 sec

DIRECTOR - The music starts in three seconds ... 3 ... 2 ... 1

** MUSIC - Quien Sera ... 5 seconds after starting music stops

DIRECTOR - I'm sorry, Nottoo, I forgot that for this dance we want to try something new.


DIRECTOR - Yes, turn on the special lights ... see the switch just off stage to your left?


DIRECTOR - Well please walk over there and turn the lights on.


** Nottoo walks to the right of the stage behind the curtain. There is a thump and the stage is illuminated.

NOTTOO - Is that what you want?

DIRECTOR - Yes, now come back and let's finish up.

** Nottoo walks back to center stage and her shadow follows

DIRECTOR - For this dance I want you to have a shadow.

NOTTOO - Shadow?

DIRECTOR - Shadow .... 'sombra' in Spanish

NOTTOO - Oh, a shadow.

** Nottoo turns and looks at the shadow, then turns back

NOTTOO - I have never seen a shadow in Second Life

DIRECTOR - Well, don't get too attached to it. It's just for this number.

** WAIT 2 seconds

DIRECTOR - Okay ... 3 ... 2 ... 1

** MUSIC - Quien Sera - Nottoo and shadow dance. at 1:28 into music the phone rings twice ... music continues

DIRECTOR - Hello! ... Yeah ... OK, I'm coming
** NOTE This must be done in 4 seconds or less

DIRECTOR - Nottoo, I've got to go home... See you tomorrow. Turn off the lights when you are done.
** NOTE This must be done in 7 seconds or less


** MUSIC finishes, then Nottoo walks to the right curtain, but the shadow stays. When
Nottoo disappears the Shadow speaks

SHADOW - Wait ... please

** Nottoos head appears poking from the curtain

NOTTOO - Wh-who said that?

SHADOW - Me ... your shadow

** Nottoo looks at the shadow, then walks on stage and Nottoo and Shadow face each other

NOTTOO - I didn't know shadows could talk

SHADOW - I am part of you ... but only when we are alone can we talk.

SHADOW - We can even dance together.

NOTTOO - Dance together?

SHADOW - Let me show you.

**MUSIC - Oblivion by Piazzolla

SHADOW - Dance with me. (NOTE: determine when to ask this)

** MUSIC ends

NOTTOO - Why have I not heard you before?

SHADOW - You hear me all the time, but only from the inside. We argue in your head a lot, but this is the first time I have been outside you in Second Life.

NOTTOO - Why do you speak English so well when I can not.

SHADOW - Ha ha ha. In your head you hear yourself speaking perfectly in English.

SHADOW - AND I know all about you, because I am part of you. For example, I know you like Cuban music ... like the RUMBA

NOTTOO - Yes, but ...

** MUSIC Rumba Negro (Spanish Stomp) Count Basie

SHADOW - Come dance. It's like masturbation of the soul.

** MUSIC Finishes

NOTTOO - I like other kinds of music too ... like blues

SHADOW - I know that. We can even dance as one or separately. Let me show you

**MUSIC - Where's My Woman Been - Muddy Waters

NOTTOO - This has been a surprise for me, but now I am getting tired. So, one more dance and I go to bed.

SHADOW - Let's do Ne Me Quitte Pas or Do Not Leave Me
(NOTE: pronounced ne as in net, me as in met, kitty, pa)

NOTTOO - Ha ha ha, OK, my shadow ... I won't

**MUSIC ends, Shadow is inside Nottoo and she walks to the stage on the right. There is a thump and the lights go off. Then a door opens and closes.

**WAIT 5 seconds

**MUSIC Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli - Chasing Shadows




As I was writing the script I was visualizing the dances that I wanted and how Nottoo and the Shadow interacted. I wanted to have them dancing side-by-side, dancing as a couple and dancing overlapping. As the show progressed they would get more intimate visually. You may have noticed that I also like to choose not only music I like but songs that in some way reflect the story. It's a little fun I have.

I will stop here for today and continue this series of articles as I make progress in putting the show together.