Skitter Tutorial #2 - Adding Lights & Sounds!

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Adding Lights & Sounds!

The first tutorial introduced AIBO motion files (making AIBO move).  Motion by itself is ok, but AIBO is more expressive when lights & sound are used.   Even little things make a big difference. 

This tutorial shows some basic steps for enhancing AIBO skits.  

Our goals are:

Let's get started!

1.0 Open AIBO Performance

If Skitter is already running, open the performance you created in the first tutorial.

Otherwise, open your "action directory" in Windows Explorer.

Assuming Windows got configured as described in the first tutorial, double click on  "firstwave.aib" (or whatever filename you used).  Skitter starts & opens the skit.

If not, start Skitter manually & open the skit.

Skitter now displays the Motion, LED (lights), and MIDI (sound) editors for action "firstwave":

2.0 Editing AIBO Light/LED's

First, let's focus on the LED editor.   Click on the toolbar "LED" button twice.   The first click brings the LED editor to the foreground.  The second fills the Skitter window (see below).   If you keep clicking, the LED editor keeps toggling between the normal & filled views.

Down the left side are editing controls, and the list of AIBO's lights.   Below the toolbar, is an AIBO LED preview (non-movable), and the same timeline/ruler-bar from the motion editor.  

For reference, the blue keyframe tabs are visible in the timeline -- however, they cannot be changed here.   Only the motion editor can affect keyframes.

Let's dig in.   It doesn't require much to make useful light patterns.   AIBO lights are illuminated by LED's (light-emitting-diodes).  Some lights have multiple LED's, such as the 210 tail, or 310 horn.  

First, select LED brightness.   Click the "100" button -- for maximum brightness.

Now at around time 8, click those LED's that make AIBO seem "happy".   Some AIBO's only have one, others several.
  • ERS-110 owners, click "Happy Eyes". 
  • ERS-210 owners, click "Right Eye 2", "Left Eye 2", and "Tail Blue".  
  • ERS-220 owners, click "Right Eye 2", "Left Eye 2", "Left Tail" and "Right Tail". 
  • ERS-310 owners, click "Horn Blue". 
  • ERS-7 owners, click "Happy Right 1", "Happy Right 2", "Happy Left 1", and "Happy Left 2".

Next, we need to stretch those LED color-bar's.    Click the middle of a  color bar (doesn't matter which).    It turns orange, meaning its selected.

Move the mouse to the right edge of the highlight, until it changes into a resizing cursor.   Click-n-drag the edge to time 120.

Repeat for each LED turned on in Step (3).

The LED file is now finished, and the editor should resemble the image below.   Click the toolbar "Save" button to save it!

3.0 Editing AIBO Sound

The Skitter MIDI sound editor is similar to the LED editor.   To display the MIDI editor, click the toolbar "Sound" button.

Down the left side are editing controls, and the piano-bar.   Below the toolbar is the timeline/ruler-bar from the motion editor again.   Between the timeline & score-sheet is the velocity (or volume) bar.    Musical notes have volume which is adjusted there.

The sound we need to finish up this performance is very simple.   First, click on the blue keyframe tab at time "60" (it changes green once selected).

Second, we must select a note duration (how long notes are played for).  Click on the eighth-note button.   New notes added to the score-sheet, will be approximately 1/4 second.

Piano keys are grouped into octaves.  Seven white piano keys form an octave, and are called "C-D-E-F-G-A-B".   The letter refers to the pitch.   Numbers after the pitch, refer to the octave. (ie:  "C6" means pitch C, octave 6).

On the piano-bar, click B5, followed by A5  --  the two white keys below the small "6".

(5) The A5 note needs stretching a little.   This works exactly like the LED editor.

Select the A5 note to highlight it, then move the mouse to its right edge (until the resizer cursor appears).

Click-n-drag until A5 is around twice the length.

Our simple sound file with two notes is finished.  The editor should resemble the image below.   Click the toolbar "Save" button to save it!

(7) Congratulations!   You've finished the second tutorial!

Open the AIBO Window (View menu -> AIBO Window), and try out your new & improved skit!

Adding some simple light & sound effects makes AIBO more engaging.   Instead of just waving, AIBO now seems happy & says "hel-lo".

You've learned the basics.   Now try experimenting.    If you make a mistake, use the Undo feature (Edit Menu -> Undo).

Got a question?    Ask Dogsbody!


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