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How good are the new "Dancing Queen" avatars for RL virtual performance?


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They're back after 40 years and they've done it again🤩 👉 You know who 👈 
I thought oh no, don't tell me it's more songs about personal relationships 🙄 and so they are, but wow. Ultra nerdy, ultra quirky but so loveable.
It's the combination of Agnetha & Fridas voices metinx. (as it has always been). I teared up during "Don't shut me down". 
They've also jumped from the ancient recording realm of Analogue smack bang into the digital age which in itself is an incredible achievement,
because as they've said, nothing from the original world wide multiple smash hit recordings was ever written down or saved.
(Music? yes. Recording settings or techniques = no) 
Their 3d avatars for their upcoming virtual performances are amaaaazing.
Just search their "new their name videos" and there they are.
 Pure excellence yet again.
Yabbadabbadooo! 😍❤️



 

Edited by Maryanne Solo
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I find the 2 newly released songs a bit disappointing.
Like the band has never turned on a radio after they broke up. Music has evolved 40 years since then.
But those two songs are right out of 1973-1975.
And besides that, on one of the two songs one of the two ladies is not totally 100% in tune all the time IMHO.
Every producer should have heard that.
 

Edited by Sid Nagy
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16 minutes ago, Jaylinbridges said:

I was looking for the neck seams - guess they have better avatar technology than SL.

   Neck seams aren't really an issue of SL avatars as much as it's been an issue of head and body makers not cooperating, most 'big brand' stuff no longer has any major neck seam issues due to the 'universal neck' collaboration. 

   Complex mesh models practically always has seams for the UV mapping, to accommodate the unwrapping into 2D for texturing, but many mesh programs and texturing programs often reduce the visibility of those seams as entire models can be textured intelligently as cohesive units whilst in 3D view - that's not how we do things in SL, I'd gander most of the relevant textures (skins, tattoos, BOM apparel, etc) are produced with only the 2D maps available, since you often have different people making the different components of your avatar.

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Also, why are their avatars from decades ago? :S It is allowed to get older! 

David Bowie's 'Blackstar' would have been so pointless if he'd used a Ziggy Stardust avatar to promote it instead of being himself as an older man...

Actually, I find ABBA really depressing 🙁

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The avatars are rather creepy but I'll always love their music. Caught me in my formative years and I still remember all the lyrics. Saw the Chess musical in London decades ago and it was awesome.🤩

 

4 hours ago, Rat Luv said:

I know that all Swedish people luv ABBA and play them every day.

They also like Hej Hej Monika. Played it every day for Swedish friends and they get so excited 😏

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12 hours ago, Orwar said:

   Neck seams aren't really an issue of SL avatars as much as it's been an issue of head and body makers not cooperating, most 'big brand' stuff no longer has any major neck seam issues due to the 'universal neck' collaboration. 

   Complex mesh models practically always has seams for the UV mapping, to accommodate the unwrapping into 2D for texturing, but many mesh programs and texturing programs often reduce the visibility of those seams as entire models can be textured intelligently as cohesive units whilst in 3D view - that's not how we do things in SL, I'd gander most of the relevant textures (skins, tattoos, BOM apparel, etc) are produced with only the 2D maps available, since you often have different people making the different components of your avatar.

The way Utilizator did it with Kemono is quite clever.  Instead of the normal upper and lower body templates, they have left and right, each including upper AND lower together. Because they are symmetrical you can easily make a skin seamless, but also separate so you can make an asymmetrical design if you want to. 

Now, if all body makers did this, and if head makers worked off a similar template (split through the head vertically), it would be much easier to match and make the whole thing virtually seamless.

Except, if anyone else tried to do this, Utilizator could slap them with a DMCA... :S

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19 hours ago, Jaylinbridges said:

They would fit right into the Second Life music scene.  I was looking for the neck seams - guess they have better avatar technology than SL.

I read about it in one of Norway's two biggest newspapers (can't remember which one). The article went to great length explaining how Fortnite already has (virtual) live music events fairly regularly but did not mention Second Life or Sansar at all...

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22 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

I find the 2 newly released songs a bit disappointing.
Like the band has never turned on a radio after they broke up. Music has evolved 40 years since then.
But those two songs are right out of 1973-1975.
And besides that, on one of the two songs one of the two ladies is not totally 100% in tune all the time IMHO.*
Every producer should have heard that.
 

* The spotify single release of I Still Have Faith In You, doesn't have that problem.
Seems I'm not the only one who noticed it.

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That’s right Fernando, I can listen to music from these Visitors daily and play it On And On and On until the Happy New Year!

Mama Mia! The audible serotonin of their voices can send any One of Us back to happy memories of Our Last Summer…

So Don’t Shut Me Down and Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimme more!

See you at Waterloo and Voulez-Vous!

The Winner Takes It All, after all……

((my Canadian Partner frequently suffers through it when I’m DJing and the Scandinavian Urge takes me. Their music makes me feel sixteen again - and that’s a dangerous condition if you’re me…..))

image.gif

Edited by Amanda Crisp
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14 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Thanks to this thread I can't get that damned song out of my head so now I'm going to have to listen to the cringe all the way through so it will go away! 

   Things I've learned in life.

   If someone complains about having a song stuck in their head, don't hum Barbie Girl in their ear unless you want to get punched. 

 

   But I've also learned that punching people through the monitor doesn't work. So, you're welcome!

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53 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   Things I've learned in life.

   If someone complains about having a song stuck in their head, don't hum Barbie Girl in their ear unless you want to get punched. 

 

   But I've also learned that punching people through the monitor doesn't work. So, you're welcome!

 

Never heard it, not gonna listen to it now. 😝

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/3/2021 at 10:05 PM, Doris Johnsky said:

Is there a reason you're not saying "ABBA"?

Because when I talked about it with friends in RL they all went.....👉👀🙄😬
I've always been deeply involved with music, playing and production,
These are ancient, wonderful friends from high school days and way back then
they couldn't understand my connection to music. Not 1 of them has any musical ability whatsoever.
None - Zero - Zilch. 😌
When mentioning this, I saw them, (just for an instant), flashback to those early days 🤪
@ 15yo, I got invited to join a cracking live performance dance/band and they realised, exactly what it was all about. 
There's nothing like having pockets full of money when you're still at High School lolololol. 🥳

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To answer the post title question - they are pretty good. The avatars are done well and they look like who they are supposed to be. They will doubtless be animated through the live performance in realtime -  the animations created in advance but somebody is going to be there with their hand on a speed jog-wheel to make sure they stay in sync with the audio (which will be made easier by the fact that almost certainly the musicians will have a click track - think "metronome" - in their monitors and will perform every song at the exact same tempo every time.

In SL, though, true "virtual performance" - by which I mean genuinely syncing  up visuals and audio - is VERY difficult, in many cases impossible. The visuals and audio are served from different sources, the SL region server and the stream server. Some aspects of the visuals are only rendered client-side (animations), There is usually approximately a 10-20s buffer in the audio stream so you're hearing it that long after the artist actually played or sang it. Commanding a change in a performers animation or a change in the stage rig has an unpredictable delay - usually shorter than the delay on the audio but varying from client to client...

It is for this reason that more than 80% of SL "live" performers set their av into a single anim loop for the entirety of their set and leave them there. The only thing live is the audio. This is the most important thing in a musical performance and I wouldnt dream of arguing that it somehow "isn't enough" but the vast majority of the time you're getting a single dance/performance animation and a radio show.

In addition to being a musician, I'm a geek and a SL scripter. When I was making my SL stage rigs meshes and mesh copies of my RL guitars I wanted to see if it was possible to go beyond that as a solo performer. It was, but I knew in advance that a true virtual performance was never going to be on the cards.

The easiest part was making my stage rig use projector lights and respond to cues to change the lighting for each song. Explicitly NOT using the "light cones" built in to many dance-floor and stage lights in SL. Those are a left-over from pre-deferred "point lighting" and now only have a place for things like pinlight and laser effects. When lit by a combination of projectors of different colours an object or avatar in SL shows the combination of colours correctly and all the lights cast independent shadows. Just like you'd see IRL. This was made a lot easier by only modelling one type of light, the ubiquitous parcan. I have RGB LED parcans in my RL rig and translating those cues into colour vectors in a SL scripting is a piece of cake.

I made a few custom anims for each of my guitars. You wont see the difference unless you look close, they are all a basic "12 bar loop" but the bento fingers on the left hand are making different chord shapes in different places on the neck, there are variants that change the right hind between "bento fingerpicking" and a hand action more like strumming with a flat pick. Nobody is going to consciously notice this. They do, nonetheless, introduce a feeling of being "slightly different" at a subconscious level to an observer. In practice, however, there are one or two for each guitar I use for 90% of my songs. In making cues for each song I haven't lived up to the potential I built into the kit. ABBA will, of course, have a unique and custom set of animations for each track. As a solo SL performer making all my own stuff I'm NOT going to put in a dozen hours customizing animations every time I bring a new song into my SL setlist rotation (there are currently over 100 songs I've performed in SL at least once)

There's a central controller script that detects my presence, which guitar I have attached to my av at the time  and responds to SL controls to step forward or backwards through the cues preprogrammed into a NC for each set. I provide those control inputs with a set of USB footswitches that emulate keystrokes.

But all of this doesn't address the sync issues. From purely empirical testing I know that if I hit the "next cue" footswitch about 4 bars into a songs intro, the lighting and anim change will "more or less" line up with when my audience hear me start playing it. If they are on a slow connection and it takes a while for the new anim to start rendering on their viewer then that may lag a little behind the lighting change but thats ok, the lighting changes are the things folks notice most and so as long as THAT is mostly in sync I'm "good enough". Stopping the anims and reverting to a built-in "stand" is faster and so at the end of a song I wait no more than 10 seconds to advance the cue. (I made a practical decision that the lighting cue for the previous song will persist until I start the next, not going to try and have different lighting for the time I spend gabbing between songs)

It's still not as "live" as ABBA are going to make it with a production crew part of each performance but it's about the best that can be reasonably achieved by a solo performer in SL, I think. For "live virtual performances" in SL that actually LOOK "live", the quality of your avatar is the LEAST of your worries.

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Their two new singles seem not to take off at all very well on Spotify.
I get the feeling that ABBA misjudged where they stand in 2021 after such a long absence.  It is no certainty their shows will be a hit with these low listening numbers for their new songs. No hyping going on. Their original fans are 60+, not the average concert audience.
Maybe a lot of technical and financial investment for very little outcome.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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