SkyLight 4 Alpha...

SkyLight 4 Alpha...

v.1.3

 

CONTENTS

 

  1. Introduction

  2. Libretto

  3. Skystage

  4. Skysets

  5. Skyscenes

  6. Interactivity

  7. Schedule

  8. Technical

 

 

 

Introduction

Since the realization of the SkyLight global video-conference event is one of the first (if not the first) of its kind, its success depends on many and diverse technical factors. Regardless of their severity most part of these factors can be controled by us. The rest small part (though crucial such as: internet connection stability) cannot. But this has not prevented us from making the first step already!  In SkyLight we will try to keep our efforts within the lowest possible infrastructure, while at the same time we will try to make it a viable engaging example for future reference. In order to achieve this we will try to predict, to adapt, to prepare for, to solve and to overcome as much obstacles as we can... 

This blog serves as a potential guideline document for the SkyLight events that are going to take place while at the same time it summarizes in brief all possible kinds of interaction between the Alpha contacts and the teleconference platform throughout our effort. The document is mainly addressed to all Alpha contacts but can be useful for anyone interested to be informed.

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The libretto

The libretto of our online opera is now in progress. Please contact with Mr Oded Ben Horin or Mr Petros Stergiopoulos to provide you with the link to the Google-Doc.

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The Skystage

"Skystage" is actually an Adobe Connect Pro meeting room named as such. It is our virtual meeting point serving as a "stage" in which both the virtual rehearsals and the final events will take place. It is different from Skype and Google Hangouts in terms of screen manipulation and content management which is a feature that can be useful in our effort. Using Skystage as an Alpha contact can include more features than just activating Camera & Voice but this kind of usage will be determined for each one of us depending on our technical capacities, availability and will.

 

Skystage on rehearsal mode

As an Alpha contact you are free to use Skystage in rehearsal mode whenever you want. Skystage can serve as a meeting point where you can exchange ideas, share word documents in double-zip (zip file containing another zip file with the document), share your screen, share jpeg, ppt, pdf, flv and mp3 with other Alphas in real time (the same way you do it in other teleconference platforms). Files can remain on Skystage for other Alphas to see and you can remove files you consider unnecessary. (Please use file share pod responsively. All Alphas please keep backup). Skystage can be used freely anytime but, as we move on, a timetable for scheduled rehearsals will also be announced as time goes by.  

 

Skystage on locked mode

Once the final Link Scenario is prepared and agreed and the general rehearsal have been completed, Skystage will be put in “locked” mode which means that no other alterations can be made until the end of the final performance except the ones made by hosts. Access could also be restricted during this mode.   

 

 Access

Access to Skystage is achieved through the URL you already know. This access is now open and free to anyone who has the URL so, for the time being, knowing the URL is also the "key" to this stage. Alpha contacts will be provided with credentials if necessary but for now, we as Alpha contacts, are responsible for the keys to our stage. Access to Skystage with credentials means that you as Alpha will also have the responsibility of magnifying and restoring skysets. Your interaction with the Skystage windows (skysets) is broadcasted live to all Skystage participants.

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 “Skysets”?

The virtual scenery of sets for Skystage are windows ("pods" is the right term but), let's call them "skysets". Apart from other virtual stage aspects, skysets can be classified in terms of bandwidth consumption from "light" to "heavy" as follows:

  1. Chat (skyboard)
  2. Image
  3. Voice
  4. Powerpoint
  5. Camera & Voice

(For “image” and “powerpoint” classification depends on the file size of course. Don’t forget that Skystage is a live broadcasting environment and files shared in the "share skyset" are distributed to all participants in real time. The lower file size the better).

As an Alpha contact you are able to use Skystage for performance from the moment you enter. You have the right - “by default”- of magnifying and restoring the size of skysets at will. This means that apart from being able to activate either your Camera & Voice, or just the voice from the Talk button below the screen, you are also able to use the maximize button of any skyset. If you click at the maximize button, skyset maximizes. If you click it again skyset restores itself to its prefixed size. This feature can personalize the participation of each Alpha on stage, especially when used on a powerpoint slide or an image. In this way interaction is not limited to the low resolution of the webcamera.

Skyset manipulation affects Skystage and all participants directly in real time. This means that what you see in your screen is what everybody sees in theirs. A skyset is responsive to all of us in real time so two Alphas must agree on its use just as if they were “touching” the same real object in the same real stage. So if you have one or more skysets (pods) in a layout (skyscene) then every Alpha contact can maximize or restore them at will by default. That means that skyset manipulation is common to everybody by default. This feature, which affects skystage as a whole, is activated by default but can be deactivated from the skyset's settings.

 

Powerpoints as “skysets”

Each Alpha contact can upload a 1- 5 slide powerpoint with images (or words or links or all of them) to support or accompany the performance directly on Skystage. As a suggestion the powerpoint can show: images from the preparation of the event, an experiment related to the event, a link to a page, an image used as scenery, an image used as a reference to what we see and hear. The powerpoint skyset is used to support the scene prepared.   

 

Videos as “skysets”

Skystage can support the live synchronized video performance, providing that all participants are linked with sufficient bandwidth. Final video skysets are submitted and uploaded on Skystage prior to a rehearsal. A combination of skysets is actual a screen-layout, let's call it: a "Skyscene".

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“Skyscenes”?

Skystage is a multiple-screen-layout environment. Different compilations of skysets will be arranged in different layouts (screens as scenes), called “Skyscenes”. This works just like preparing “scenes” on a play. A skyscene is a saved compilation of skysets including the “Camera and Voice”, the “skyboard” and the “Powerpoint” skysets. Skyset-sizes are prefixed by host but they can change during the rehearsals.

Skystage will include two kinds of Skyscenes: draft and final

  • A draft skyscene is prepared for rehearsals. Except from the above skysets, a draft skyscene contains also an attendee list pod (so that everybody sees who is present) and a file share pod (for uploading and downloading material). Skystage is now on rehearsal mode so the skyscene which is now active is a draft skyscene. Skyset sizes can change upon request to the host and a draft skyscene is subject to change any time.
  • A final skyscene contains the fixed locked size of “Camera and Voice”, the “skyboard”, the “Powerpoint” skyset with its final .ppt content and any other skyset requested during rehearsals. Each country will have its own Final skyscene on Skystage.

The sequence of the final skyscenes is managed by the host according to a Link Scenario. 

 

 

The Link Scenario?

The “Link Scenario” is the sequence of skyscenes which will be derived from the WASO libretto and the scenes of the Opera. It is useful for the hosts but it will also be useful for everyone who wants to understand the "skystage" activity or "technical" profile of the libretto. 

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Levels of interactivity

Depending on circumstances and capabillities the levels of interactivity describe three possible situations of interaction with skystage: High, Medium and Low. High and Medium levels are synchronous.

 

(1) High (synchronous)

Advanced interactivity includes a powerpoint or video presentation which will be broadcasted live assisting a live audiovisual event. The final version of the powerpoint presentation will be based upon the Skylight powerpoint protype and it will be uploaded to Skystage prior to the rehearsals. The ppt will be consisting of 5 or even more slides. These slides will serve as background or side-images of the main skyscene. A change of the dimensions or number of skysets on a skyscene can also be requested to the host by the Alpha contact.

A second Alpha contact could be engaged to react on the scene, upon a certain scenario. This means that a skyscene can interact with another skyscene from another Alpha contact. An action, a movement, a sound, literally any event can trigger response upon another skyscene can be adapted as audiovisual communication or response between two or more Alpha contacts (e.g. a divided melody between two Alphas, an experiment taking place in two or more different locations, etc.).

Two or more Alpha contacts can also prepare and rehearse a common skyscene or multiple skyscenes according to the scenario. Audiovisual response between them can be the basic means of interaction but, literally, pure imagination is the limit.

Advanced interaction include the responsibility of online rehearsals and distant collaboration between Alpha contacts and their communities.

   

(2) Medium (synchronous)

Medium interactivity may include one powerpoint presentation up to five slides and an audio or audiovisual event. These slides will serve as background or side images of the main skyscene as described above. 

 

(3) Low (asynchronous)

Low interactivity includes a video/audio or powerpoint skyset uploaded to skystage and the possibility of participating with chat. No live online event will be prepared.

 

Alphas can be identified by the above classification as A1, A2, A3. This classification will help as all define the type of interactivity within a Link Scenario.

 

Contributors or Other ways of interacting with Skystage

The Beta contacts

Beta contacts are remote guests to the skystage.  Beta contacts maybe educators or distinguished guests wishing to attend live rehearsals of SkyLight. Beta contacts may also act as facilitators or contributors to any content prepared by Alpha. These contacts are the people who will attend the Opera as live audience and will serve as "Skylight ambassadors" spreading the word.  Invitations to live rehearsals or SkyLight preparation activity with skystage are sent from Alpha to Beta contacts. Beta contacts can only access Skystage as guests without credentials. 

 

 

Some technical aspects

Please take a look at the instructions on http://connect.ea.gr/skylight_info_doc/

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Schedule a live testing session with the "admin" !

If you are an Alpha contact please feel free to schedule a test-meeting with Petros Stergiopoulos. The following poll is availble for scheduling:

http://doodle.com/poll/naedw8h8mf3i2f6f

Each test-meeting will be verified through email.
(Please contact plagiavlitis@yahoo.gr at least on week in advance so that you receive a verification-email).

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Thank you all,
Petros Stergiopoulos
Associate to the Ellinogermaniki R&D Department

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