Design and Programming:
- Arrehn Oberlander
- Joseph Wain
- Sho Kyong
- Sammie Benoir
- Fifi MetaHarper Oh
- Deb Heron
- Jenna Dirval
- Meegan Danitz
- Sho Kyong
- Diawa Bellic
Design and Programming:
If you look backstage at your favourite performance theater you might see a mesh logo like the one in the picture to the left, the MetaHarper harp-mermaid.
If you click this object, you will be given a notecard containing useful information for show creators. Some of this information will be of interest to MetaHarper Show Tools (MST) users, and some of this notecard will be of interest to anyone who creates acts for this theater regardless of the tools they use. You will find:
These pieces of information are useful to configure your MST Performance Engine (aka, the ‘newAct’ object) . You do not have to use the above pieces of information– you are free to rez your own MST centerpoints if you have access to do so, but using the official centerpoint will help keep the theater decluttered.
In addition to centerpoint info above, you will find a full permission, color-coded theater template, for anyone who wishes to make acts for this theater. An example of one is shown in the image below.
White areas show walls that your audience will see. You may wish to cover these with your props or retexture them.
Black areas represent obstructions that are built into the theater, such as columns, walls, stairs, etc. Avoid any movement in your act that would cross into black areas. It is also recommended not to cover these up with props or retexture them- leave them alone. Additionally, there is often a black prim near the lower-front of the stage to provide an indicator of how high above the theater floor the stage begins.
Grey areas represent backstage space where other performers or props can be safely out of sight of the theater audience. It is recommended that you use the grey areas to temporarily hold props or avatars that move in and out of your act scene.
Blue areas represent ‘thrusts’ in front of the main stage curtain that are visible to the audience. The blue areas can be safely retextured or covered to fit your scene, but be aware that it will be visible before the curtain opens.
You may use these templates by travelling to your build area of choice, opening the ‘MST Theater Template Instructions‘ notecard you received from the theater’s backstage harp-mermaid object, and clicking the embedded object icon next to the template’s name. You will be presented with a dialog asking if you wish to copy the template to your inventory. Confirm ‘Yes.’
From there, drag the template from your inventory to your build area.
If you are using the MST suite, navigate your camera under the template’s floor and find the bright white ‘centerpoint marker’. Edit this object in your viewer’s build window. Take a note of the marker’s position coordinates and rotation values. You may which to copy these values to your clipboard by clicking the lowercase ‘c’ button next to each section, then pasting the values into a temporary scratch space such as a notecard, chat window, or external editor.
Next rez your MST Venue Centerpoint, and set its position and rotation to the values you have recorded above. You may click the lowercase ‘p’ button to paste in the values from the clipboard directly, saving time. When you are finished, your red centerpoint should be lined up with the white marker under the stage floor. Give your red centerpoint a name that matches the suggested one in the template’s notecard.
Now, when you build acts on in your workspace, you will have confidence they will line up perfectly with your target theater!
Special Note: The white sections of the template are spaced out a little in front of the target theater so they can accept your own textures without “z-fighting” graphical interference you would normally get if you place two objects too close together.
If you wish to retexture the white or blue surfaces, unlink these prims from the template, retexture them as you like, and then pack them into your MST performance engine’s rezzer similar to any other prop. When you unpack them at the actual theater they will be in the correct location and look just as you would expect.
If your favourite theater does not have a backstage MST informational notecard giver like this, and you would like one, I’m happy to work with the theater owner to set one up.
Happy Show Creating!
After months of development, the 6.x release of the MetaHarper Show Tools is ready for ‘Early Beta’ access! This release is very different than all previous releases and you may wish to review the changelist and documentation. Major highlights are:
The full list of all changes in the 6.x release can be found in the release notes, under the blue headings. Additionally, all of the website documentation for MST has been updated to match the 6.x versions of the tools. In additional to the website written documentation, video tutorials contributed by Elayn at The Studio have also been linked here for your convenience.
Right now the beta has passed a number of tests and has been used in a few live acts already, but I do not plan on marking it for general release until it has been tested further and used for additional live performances. If you wish to explore the beta release, you may find the beta vendor on the MetaHarpers Technology Platform in the Eyefliez Region, above our new Immersive Theater project. The vendor for it is in RED on the 2nd shelf.
Early access to the beta release is currently 500L$. If you own an older copy of the MST tools you will be able to get a free upgrade to MST 6.x after the beta period is complete! Feel free to support development efforts by picking up the early release version, or wait until the beta is over and grab a free upgrade to your current 5.x MST. Any support is appreciated to support the intense development effort of this release.
Thank You, and please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and feedback,
Located in the Eyefliez region of Second Life, we’ve created a new kind of live theater and act gallery that explores some new types of show formats and stage technology.
We use the SL “Experience” System to give the illusion of a seamless experience where you are transported away to different lands to become part of a scene.
This area is under construction but will soon contain a gallery of interactive scenes as well as hosting occasional live scenic events. Further technical details about the experience are described in the comments below.
I’d like for the MST 6.0 release to focus on ease of use, and reliability in high-lag environments. I’m open to rewriting pieces, if it makes them easier or simpler to explain. For example getting rid of the concept of boxing/unboxing of the performance engine.
I’ve started to capture the various ideas that may inspire the MST 6.0 release below. I’d love to hear your ideas and your feedback!
MST Performance Engine Improvements
General Suite Improvements
Over the weekend I experimented with yet another method for avoiding script lag from rezzed, scripted objects.
You may not realize your region suffers from rezzed object script lag. This is a large topic but for a quick test, do this: Wait till your region has only a few avatars on it. Open up the performance monitor in your viewer with control-shift-1. Scroll down about 2/3rd of the window, and find the line that says ‘Scripts Run”. If this number is lower than 80%, Your region likely suffers unduly from rezzed object script lag.
I’ve been experimenting injecting a script into rezzed objects. The idea is that this script that can stop and stop the other scripts inside that object, on demand.
This would allow you to do things like stop all non-essential scripts in the sim during the hours it was hosting a performance.
I tested pausing and resuming scripts within objects managed this way, as well as setting up exclusion zones, so you could say “I want to pause all scripted objects more than 100m away from my theater”. This would allow all your performance objects to continue to run.
The starting and stopping mechanism is more like a “pause” and is not destructive like a script reset is. When the managed objects are resumed, they pick up processing where they left off.
One drawback to this method is that it can only be used for objects where the owner has MOD rights, and is only efficient for managing objects with 2 or more scripts inside them. Even so, early research is that it could make a significant impact on script lag from rezzed objects.
At this point I’m like to hear from you if you’re a region owner who might be interested in using this method to control script lag. If there’s interest there is some advanced potential, for example building a system that pauses some kinds of low-priority scripted objects when their owners are away and unable to notice.
Until Soon, -Arrehn