TABLE of CONTENTS
- Why is this rezzer special?
- Major Features
- Preparing Your Props for Rezzing
- Rez your performance engine and center it
- Set out props and make sure they have good permissions and names.
- Add the tracker script to each prop
- Saving and Rezzing Props – Basic Steps
- Save prop positions
- Update the ~PACKLIST notecard
- Pick up your objects
- Copy objects to the performance engine’s inventory
- Try the rez/derez commands
- Final touches for a particular venue
- Preparing for show time
- Updating Props
- Updating a prop while keeping its rez position
- Updating a prop to change its rez position
- Adding new prop
- Removing props
- Fast access to the Performance Engine’s Click Menu
- Collaboration with others / Sharing your performance engine
- Allowing other users to operate your Performance Engine collaboratively
- Customizing the MST Performance Engine’s appearance
- Other Rez Commands
- Chat commands
- Rezzing and derezzing specific objects
- Prevent certain objects from being rezzed by default
- Reset locations of inadvertently moved props
- Adding no-mod props
- Permanently removing ~MST rezTracker scripts
- Optimizing contents window load time
- Sleep Mode
1.a Why is this stage rezzer special?
I believe that tools should be collaborative, and you should be able to have your friends (or alts) help you configure them. As much as possible, this tool is designed so that others on your team can share and help you. It is not locked to the owner, unless you want it to be. These collaborative features are very useful for creating shows where you wish to work closely with a team or rehearse shows even if you are not online.
I made this rezzer specifically for use with performing venues where timing between acts is tight and performance needs to be fast and lag-free. The technology in the MST rezzer imposes less load on a region and uses less resources to manage each object compared to general-purpose rezzers. It even includes a sleep mode where it will detect when it is not in use and use even fewer resources, so you do not have to worry about leaving your rezzer out.
This stage rezzer will give you perfect prop positioning on your stage every time you run a show. It will also communicate your stage center to other MST tools such as movers and scripted camera sequences, so that these too will be aligned perfectly with your props.
1.b Major Features
- Provides one single place to store your entire performance – props, animations, cameras, actions, etc. You don’t need to keep track of multiple objects.
- Minimizes rotations and movement after rezzing. Objects won’t swing around distractedly if it can be avoided.
- Allows individual objects to be rezzed/derezzed on demand, as well as all at once.
- Can be easily controlled via 3rd party HUDs and choreography systems, as well as MetaHarper Show Tools. Allows both click dialogs and chat commands for control behavior.
- Some limited support for rezzing no-mod objects
- Can be shared with other users
- Fast and responsive.
- Works well in areas with multiple stages or with many acts in the same place.
- Automatically puts itself in sleep mode when not in use for extremely low performance impact to your region.
2. Preparing Props for Rezzing
2.a Rez your performance engine and center it.
Go to a place where you’ve previously rezzed an MST centerpoint. If you haven’t done this yet, see documentation here. Align the centerpoint to your theater or stage template if you have these.
Rez an MST performance engine if you have not already done so . This is the object named “newAct”. Normally, it will look like a small lemon-colored triangle with a MetaHarper logo in the center. Use your viewer to select edit this object and rename it something specific to you.
Click your performance engine and select “center” from the popup blue menu. It should move on top of your centerpoint, and if there was previously any floating text over the performance engine that said “(uncentered)” this text should now disappear.
2.b Set Out Props – Ensure Props Have Good Permissions, Linkage, and Names.
Envision that the MST performance engine you placed in step 2.a is in your live performance area. Rez your props and move them around the rezzer into the positions that you want them to appear on your stage. You may also wish to put down a floor to cover the MST performance engine prim so your audience can’t see it. Alternatively, you can make the MST performance engine prim transparent. When choosing your props, they need to meet some technical qualifications:
- All props must include COPY and MODIFY permissions or you will not be able to use them with a rezzer system.
- All props must have unique names. Do not have four props named “Object”, for example. This can be avoided by using your viewer to rename your MODIFY-permission props.
- Prop names should not have trailing spaces, or have names that include commas, or “|” characters.
- The more you can link your props together into larger objects, the faster they will rez and the easier the set will be to maintain. However if you do this, avoid linking props with moving parts (such as swinging doors) to props that do not move.
- Any “mover” gadgets you may be using with your act should not be linked with non-moving objects.
2.c Add the Tracker Script to each prop
For each of the prop objects you have set out on and around the rezzer in the previous step, copy the “~MST reztracker” script included with MetaHarper Show Tools into each one. This script will help the props find their correct positions and rez and derez properly.
Do not copy the “~MST reztracker” script into your Performance Engine or Centerpoint.
3. Saving and Rezzing Props – Basic Steps
3.a Save Prop Positions
When you have finished placing “~MST reztracker” scripts in each prop as described in step 2c, you can now save the positions of your props. To do this click the performance engine and select “saverez” from the popup blue menu. After doing this a number of “REZME..” lines will be printed out into nearby chat. Copy these into your clipboard and continue.
Sometimes it is difficult to click your performance engine if it is under the stage floor or other props. Luckily, there are other ways you can access your performance engine’s menu. One popular method is wearing the “MST Choreo HUD” and using the harp logo button to access your performance engine’s menu. You may also shout the chat command, “/8 menu”.
3.b Update the ~PACKLIST Notecard
Open the “~PACKLIST” notecard inside the performance engine and paste the lines you copied in the previous step to the end of the notecard, replacing any existing “REZME” lines.
Visually check that you have one “REZME..” line for every prop object you placed a “~MST reztracker” script in step 1.c. If you are missing one of your props, check that the prop has a “~MST reztracker” script inside it and repeat step 3.a. Save the ~PACKLIST notecard when you are satisfied.
An example of a ~PACKLIST notecard is below:
Paste your REZME lines below: Do not paste any lines with just timestamps and no "REZME" or "NOREZ" marks. Note: You can change the text "REZME" to "NOREZ" if you do not want that object to be rezzed right away. Note2: Any time/date stamps at the beginning of the lines will be ignored. REZME=Feeling Good wall, <-4.503634, 0.423905, 3.725710>, <0.000000, 0.000000, -1.000000, 0.000000> REZME=Feeling Good Stairs, <-2.165010, 0.406470, 1.272430>, <0.000000, 0.000000, -0.707110, 0.707110> REZME=Ruins - Pillar, <-5.427906, 6.000003, 3.964999>, <0.500000, -0.500000, -0.500000, 0.500000> REZME=Feeling Good base, <-0.232758, 0.385536, 0.051865>, <0.000000, 0.000000, -0.707107, 0.707107> REZME=Raised tile 1, <-1.261811, -12.691132, 0.171204>, <0.000000, 0.000000, -0.707107, 0.707107>
3.c Pick up your objects
One at a time, never as a collection, right click your props and select “take” to pick them off the stage and place them into your inventory. Make note of where in your inventory window the picked up props appear. If it is hard to keep track of them, it may be useful to open a second inventory window, create a new folder, and then move the objects into this folder each time you pick one up.
You must pick up the props from the ground and not re-use props in inventory from some previous time. Older versions will likely not have the “MST ~rezTracker” script inside and may also differ in other ways that can lead to surprising results later. When you have picked up all your props and have a largely empty stage, continue to the next step.
3.d Copy objects to the performance engine’s inventory
Now, select the new props you just picked up in step 3c in your viewer inventory window, and drag them into the contents tab of the MST performance engine.
You may see some ‘reloading’ messages when you do this, and these can be safely ignored. When you have dragged all of your new props into the performance engine, continue to the next step.
Sometimes the contents of the performance engine takes a while to display. If you have waited several seconds and it still does not appear, try closing the build window and re-selecting the performance engine again.
3.e Try the rez/derez commands
You are now ready to test rezzing and de-rezzing! Click the MST Performance Engine and select <more REZ> then click the “rez” button. Your props should appear in the correct locations.
Similarly, you can click the MST performance engine, select <more REZ>, then “derez” to clear away the props.
You are now ready to use your MST Performance Engine to handle rezzing and derezzing!
If you do not see “rez” options in your MST performance menu, make sure that it does not say “uncentered” in floating hover text. You will need to center your performance engine using its menu before rezzing props.
Also remember that you can use the MST Choreo HUD to quickly access the performance engine’s click menu. You may also shout the chat commands ‘/8 rez’ and /8 derez’.
3.f Final touches for a particular venue
The owner or director of a particular performance venue will sometimes have special instructions for MST users. For example, they may ask you to name your centerpoint something particular, and then set the VENUE value in your MST Performance Engine’s “~MST_CONFIG” notecard to match this centerpoint name.
You may also be asked to add “ALLOW=…” lines to your “~MST_CONFIG” notecard in order to use a particular theater’s existing centerpoint. These lines allow your performance engine to work with other people’s centerpoints and sometimes camera-enabled seating. Ask your director or stage manager to confirm.
3.g Preparing for show time
Always test centering, rezzing, and derezzing well ahead of rehearsal or your show date to avoid surprises.
If the performance engine menu isn’t allowing you to rez, make sure to tell it to center itself first. If it can’t center itself, ensure in your performance engine’s “~MST_CONFIG” notecard you have the “VENUE=” line set to either ‘ALL’ or a particular nearby centerpoint. Also if that centerpoint is not owned by you, ensure that the owner of the centerpoint is allowed in your “~MST_CONFIG” notecard.
Once you have your performance engine working, it’s typical to leave it rezzed out backstage out of the way, and ready to go.
Pro tip: Use the “stagerez” and “stagederez” menu commands to both center and rez, or derez and return to backstage position all in one fast command. These commands can also be shouted along with the name of your performance engine. For example: “/8 stagerez myGreatAct”, “/8 stagederez myGreatAct”
4. Updating Props
4.a Updating a prop while keeping its rez position
If you want to replace one of the props loaded in the MST performance engine, without changing where it will appear when it rezzes,
- Pick up your new version of the props into your avatar inventory.
- Derez your current props to clear the stage.
- Delete the older version of the prop from the contents of the performance engine.
- Drag the new version of your prop from your avatar inventory into the performance engine’s inventory.
- Rez your props and check that the new version appears.
The new version must have the same name as the old one and must contain the ~MST reztracker script.
4.b Updating a prop to change its rez position
If you want to change the location where an existing prop will rez:
- Rez the prop as usual and then move the prop into the new correct position.
- Use the “saverez” menu button as described in step 3a, or shout ‘/8 saverez’
- Find the “REZME” line in your nearby chat window that has the name of the prop you are moving. Copy this single line into your clipboard.
- Derez your props.
- Finally, open up the ~PACKLIST notecard and paste this new line overwriting the previous “REZME” line for this one specific prop and save the notecard.
- Rez your props again, and verify the position you changed has updated as you expect.
4.c Adding new props
If you wish to add a new prop object to a MST performance engine:
- Place your new prop in the desired location on your stage and add a “~MST reztracker” script inside it as usual.
- Click the MST performance engine and select “saverez” button or use the “/8 saverez” shouted chat command, as described in step 3a. You can save time by just copy-pasting the single new “REZME=” line that includes the name of your new prop, and pasting that single line to the end of the ~PACKLIST notecard.
- Pick up your new prop and drag it into the contents of the performance engine.
4.d Removing props
It is easy to remove an object from your MST performance engine.
- Open the “~PACKLIST” notecard
- Delete the “REZME=” line that contains the name of the prop you wish to remove.
- Delete that prop from the contents of the MST performance engine.
5. Fast Access to the Performance Engine’s Click Menu
If you wish to access the Performance Engine’s click menu without using your viewer camera to navigate to it’s location, you have a few options.
- Use your “Area Search” window to find the Performance Engine by its name, then right click it’s line in the search results and choose “touch”.
- Wear the MST ChoreoHUD Solo (or any other MST Choreo HUD) and use the gear menu to pair theHUD with your Performance Engine. From this point on, whenever you click the MetaHarper mermaid logo on the MST Choreo HUD, your Performance Engine’s menu will pop up.
- Use the chat command “/8 menu”. If you are further away, you may need to use ‘shout’ for your performance engine to hear you. Caution: all MST Performance Engine’s within hearing range will send you their menu. If you only want to access a specific one, you may specify its name. For example: “/8 menu myPerformanceEngineName”
6. Collaboration with others / Sharing your performance engine
You can optionally allow other users to use the stagerez, stagederez and other MST performance engine commands, especially if you have left your performance engine in a storage location backstage in a theater. To allow another user to be able to click your stage or send chat commands, edit the “~MST_CONFIG” notecard and add a line with your friend’s login name or avatar key. For example:
ALLOW=Arrehn Oberlander ALLOW=SomeoneElse Resident
There should be an example of this line already in the notecard. After you’ve added your own line to the ~MST_CONFIG notecard, save the notecard and they will be able to use the blue menu of your performance engine.
Use avatar UUIDs instead of names for the greatest safety and speed. You can find an avatar’s UUID by opening up their profile and looking at the top of the window. It is a good idea to allow a theater’s seating and centerpoint owner by UUID, if that person is not yourself.
If you want other users to be able to update your props, some care must be taken. You will wish to do the following:
- Select the Performance Engine in the build window, ensure the ‘share’ button on the first tab is checked, and that a group is set. Your collaborators should all be members of this group.
- In the Performance Engine’s contents, right-click the ~PACKLIST notecard. Change the permission to allow COPY, MODIFY, TRANSFER and SHARE.
- Optionally grant your collaborators “Object Rights” permissions, if you trust them completely. Be careful with this.
- Your collaborators should now be able to open up your ~PACKLIST notecard in your performance engine, adjust positions, and remove props. It’s likely that due to SL permissions, you will be the only person who can add new props.
If you’re having trouble sharing access to your notecards after doing the above, ensure your collaborators have the same group as the performance engine active. If this still does not allow access, sometimes relogging or leaving the region and returning helps.
7. Customizing the MST Performance Engine’s appearance
You can also change the textures of the MST Performance Engine and make it invisible and/or phantom if you desire. You may also link it to other objects as long as it is always the “root” object in a linkset.
You are encouraged to customize the appearance of performance engine and make it reflect your personality or brand. Audience members often cam around the theater and make their own ‘backstage tours’, so customizing your performance engine can be a subtle way to build your name recognition.
8. Other Commands
8.a Chat commands
The MST Performance engine can be operated entirely by chat commands, not just the blue popup menu. This can be useful for automation or for kicking off commands from a programmed timeline. For a list of chat commands your MST rezzer supports, use the “/8 help” command, or choose “help” from the performance engine’s menu.
If you use these commands be sure to shout them if you are further away than 20m. Also be sure that you add ‘ALLOW’ lines for any users other than yourself who should be allowed to operate your performance engine as described in section 5, ‘Collaboration’.
8.b Rezzing and Derezzing Specific Objects
If you wish to rez a single prop or derez a single prop, you can use the chat commands “/8 rez <propname>” and “/8 derez <propname>”. For example:
/8 rez largePlant
/8 derez sofa1
You can also rez or derez more than one specific object at a time, like:
/8 rez largePlant:smallPlant:table
/8 derez sheets:pillows
Any single “rez” or “derez” line can be a maximum of 256 characters. If you have more objects than can fit on one line, just use more then one line.
These targeted prop rez and derez commands can sometimes be an alternative to using “hide” transparency scripts.
These shouted commands can be cumbersome to type manually but you can program them into an EVENTLIST later, or use gestures.
8.c Prevent certain objects from being rezzed by default
If you do not want one of your objects to be rezzed by default when you use “rez” or “stagerez” commands:
- Edit the PACKLIST notecard and find the line for the object you do not want to rez by default.
- Change the command “REZME” at the start of the line to “NOREZ”. This will allow you to load the object individual as described above, but it will not rez by default.
8.d Reset locations of inadvertently moved props
If you have moved one or more of your props out of its normal position, and you want the prop to return to its normal spot, you can click the performance engine, choose “<more REZ>” and then choose “updaterez”. You may also shout the chat command, “/8 updaterez”.
8.d Adding No-Mod objects (not recommended)
If you simply must use a no-mod object as a prop, sometimes you can get it to work in the MST Performance Engine. Your results may vary. Instead of using saverez (which requires a ~MST reztracker script), shout the chat command “/8 nomodsaverez <name>”. For example:
/8 nomodsaverez pinkcadillac
The above command will print out a “REZME=…” line you can add to the ~PACKLIST notecard, similar to the saverez method from section [2.1]. From here pack the no-modify prop like you would any other prop. There are some limitations with this method:
- It only works if the prop will be location < 10m from the stage center.
- Sometimes the position or rotation of the saved prim will not be accurate. It may depend on the specific object and the rotation of the stage how accurate the positioning will be. This inaccuracy in some circumstances when rezzing no-mod objects is a known SL bug.
- You will have to manually pick up or delete any no-mod rezzed objects from your set when you are finished. They will not be able to listen to “derez” or “stagederez” commands.
8.e Permanently Removing ~MST rezTracker Scripts
If you ever wish to stop managing your props with the MST Performance Engine and wish for them to stay out permanently, you may use the following command to automatically delete the “~MST reztracker” scripts:
8.f Optimizing contents window load time
By default the MST Performance Engine comes with the capability to animate up to 80 avatars at once. You will see 80 “~perm” scripts in the contents of the engine. Do not panic, these scripts are turned off by default and are only turned on when they are used. However, they can make the contents window slower to load at times.
If you wish your contents window to load faster, you may delete the ~perm scripts you are not intending to use +1 spare. For example, if you only need to animate three avatars, keep the scripts ‘~perm0, ~perm1, ~perm2, and ~perm3’ and delete all the others.
9. Sleep Mode
Your MST Performance Engine will turn off most of its scripts automatically if it has not been used in 2 hours. It does this to minimize any script load on the region where it is rezzed. It will automatically wake up again whenever an authorized person clicks it to activate the blue popup menu, or tells it to center itself.
If your region is extremely laggy it may take longer than usual for scripts to ‘wake up’. If you are worried about this, simply call up the menu of your performance engine early to wake it up.
If your performance engine isn’t working as you expect, check your nearby chat window for clues. Sometimes it chats warnings or errors that can help you solve the issue.
Be careful of syntax in your notecard lines. Ensure that any lines that you have pasted into the notecards are complete and haven’t been garbled in some way. If you are still having issues you may wish to check them against examples to see if they look similar, or try only making one prop change at a time.
You may ‘reset scripts’ on the performance engine if you want to return it to a clean state for any reason. If you do this, wait for it to completely finish loading its notecards and announce to you that is ‘ready’ in your nearby chat window. If you do this, you may need to clean up any props rezzed out manually.