A Word About Stage Usage

Elysium uses a very large stage. This is so that complex acts requiring a lot of room will have the space they need to fulfil the creator’s vision. However, some acts would be better served using a smaller stage. Such a large space can be intimidating to fill for acts that do not require so much room. Trying to oversize a smaller act can cause a set to look vacuous or displeasing to the eye, for example from textures being stretched too large or props taking on an unnatural relation to walls. Here is a solution.

Try simply using a smaller template for your set. Make a size that works for you. Consider using different shapes than the standard ‘box’ template.

Then use prims to box your set onto the stage, filling in open spaces.

You can colour your prims black or use decorative textures, even animated ones.

So please do not feel you must use all that space for every act. Just use what your act needs. Sometimes, small, cosy and intimate suits an act perfectly. Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts regarding stage usage.

A Word About Sliding

Well, a few words actually. Sliding is when your avatar is moving but your feet are not. Nine out of ten dancers surveyed agree, sliding looks bad. The occasional tiny slide can be overlooked, if it is fast and small and subtle. But sliding across a stage irritates most viewers and makes people feel disappointment. Why? I believe it is because sliding is considered by most to be sloppy and lazy. It yanks the viewer out of being caught up in the realism of a virtual performance, as though the dance is glitching. As a rule, it just does not look good. A dance gives a viewer so much more fulfilment when the dancer’s feet move as the dancer moves. It makes your dance look more natural and realistic.

How to avoid sliding? Time your animations and movers so that the movers are moving your avatar when the animations are moving your avatar’s feet. This gives your choreography a more natural appeal. It is time consuming and can be frustrating, but your effort and hard work will pay off with a more polished performance. You may need to change what animation you use when you want to move across the stage. You can even time it so that you stop dancing and instead walk across the stage by using a walking animation… or a run, somersault, or similar form of linear movement.

Tom Cruise made sliding look good because he got a running start and had momentum moving him along. Also, he was in his underwear and well… those thighs! Who is looking at his feet! But on the SL stage, slides often stand out glaringly, and unless being used on purpose for some special emphasis, should be avoided. What are your thoughts on sliding? Feel free to comment if you would like to share them.

Setting Home and Lag

Setting home on a sim allows an avatar to enter that sim, even when full.  This is critical to performers, as if a sim is full and a dancer crashes or needs to relog, they will still be able to get back onto the sim.

However, there is a drawback.  Setting home also puts a sim in a position where it goes over avatar capacity.  Maximum number of avatars is set on a sim with respect to how many people can be there without lagging out the show and destroying acts.  Performers teleporting onto the sim after the sim is full will run the sim over the limit placed on avatar capacity.   Then everyone gets upset because the show is having lag issues, and acts that people have worked hard on and spent a lot of money on are not displaying as intended.

Thus, it is in the best interest of everyone that performers and staff arrive 45 minutes before show time.  Being there an hour early is even better.  Sometimes, we all must arrive late for a show, as real life or exceptional circumstances in Second Life must be accommodated.  But we should not make that a habit.  All performers and staff should make every effort to arrive and park on a pose stand before the sim gets full.  Using the ‘setting home’ method of entering a full sim should be used for emergencies and exceptional circumstances.

Please consider this, and make every reasonable effort to arrive on show days 45 minutes to one hour before the start of the show.  This will help us to give our audience our very best performances by keeping down lag that is related to maximum avatars going over established limits.


How to Possibly Improve Your Graphics for the New Firestorm Viewer

I’m not real tech savvy but Ormand Lionheart is, and he advised the following for people who have Windows and Nvidia graphics cards.  It has helped me a lot with my FPS and some others, so maybe it can help you too.  Eva explains things better than me and also kindly created the screenshot below to further help explain what to do.

From Eva:

You may be able to improve your graphics for Firestorm!

This is for LAPTOP users with NVIDIA graphics cards:

– generally, your laptop will choose which video card to use – the basic built in one or NVIDIA. You need to tell your laptop to use NVIDIA for Firestorm. My frame rates jumped from less than 25 to 40-100!

How to do it: right click on your desktop, select NVidia Control Panel, and follow this screenshot:


Thank you Ormand and Eva!  And Gman for helping me fix my computer at home.

Update: Ormand also says, dancers might want to set their particle slider to zero when performing.  The audience will still see your particles.  His FPS went from 58 to 180 when he slid his particle slider down to zero.  Of course, when performing, we need to see our particles to fully enjoy our dances and see how the performance looks.  Maybe try sliding it down for most of the show?  Or perhaps derender house lights/particles and so forth, to reduce their affect on your system.

Also close as many viewer windows as you can, that can make a difference of 30 FPS.  Here is a screen shot from Ormand:


Anyone interested in stalking Ormand, let me know, I am thinking of starting an Ormand Stalker’s Group.  😀