Wardrobe Animation Tech SL Stagecraft

SL Stagecraft is the integration of best practices in live theatre performances on SL with artistic taste and style relevant to the particular production.

Ina Centaur, the visual director for our production of Hamlet, explains in detail:

“SL Stagecraft is reminiscent of traditional stage tech, but rather than being a mere virtual representation of its original counterpart, it also contains components that may not be possible in real life… For example, gravity isn’t mandatory on SL; thus, other than for aesthetic reasons, there’s no need for complex systems of pulleys and such for Elizabethan special effects like flying across the stage. Weather and ambient lighting, especially relevant for an outdoor theatre, can also be perfected to a weathermonger’s dream. The alchemist is also vindicated; gold and jewelry cost about the same as coarse cloth… But, limitations with SL’s current avatar system prevent actors from conveying precise facial expressions or even syncing avatar lips to words live. Lag and system differences are the virtual analogs of myopia and other forms of distorted perception; one audience member’s perfectly rezzed view may look like a gray dystopia in another’s. And, let’s not forget the serendipity of crashing or power/connectivity loss on the user side—the virtual analog of falling asleep or suffering a heart attack in medias rea. Oh, but, we can actually combat those particularities using, for example, precise camera controls on audience chairs to “zoom in their view” on the speaking actor(s). Also, we could have “mandatory preloading preshows,” entertaining enough to watch but could just be left to idle; they basically help cache and load in the textures and animations used in a play—the audience would be free to grab their homemade concession items, make popcorn and chatter before the show begins. Finally, when an audience member crashes, his chair (cushion, rather, as we would be staging our plays in the SL Globe Theatre) would record the loss of an avatar, and would be able to track the text of the missed lines to IM him when he logs on again during the play and sits back down again. He’d be able to follow along even after returning from the SL analog of a near death experience… In sum, it’s also a fine art of turning SL’s quirks into features.”

—Ina Centaur,
Visual Director
SL Shakespeare Company