Presentation Methods in Second Life

Austin Tate's picture

There are several ways to show presentations in Second Life. The methods are outlined here.

In-world Images: Create images of slides which can be uploaded and used within Second Life directly.

Media URL: Use URLs for the content to be shown, whether it is an image, movie or any web page.

Webcast: Use a web accessible program or script to display content on a single dynamically updated webcast URL. Changing the content can be done by a presenter using a control web page, or tools in-world that make the changes. [ Demonstration PowerPoint Show: audience, presenter ] [ Demonstration Dynamically Set URL: audience, presenter ]

Screencast: Arrange for a computer screen (the whole desktop, a specific application window or a selected rectangular area) to be fed into a video streaming system. e,.g. using Telestream's "Wirecast" and their "Desktop Presenter" programs, and then use the resulting stream as a media URL in Second Life.

Notes

  • "Second Life Viewer 2" provides more media presentation facilities.  Essentially anything that can be shown in a Mozilla Browser can be displayed on any face of any object.  This includes Flash, javaScript and other web pages.  Java applets do not work (as at March 2011). Up to 10-12 such displays may be possible concurrently.
  • The following notes apply to the older "Second Life Viewer 1" (e.g. version 1.23.5)
  • Second Life only permits one "media texture" which can be a URL in any Quicktime compatible format using http:// or rtsp:// protocols for video/audio file or live or recorded streamed video/audio. [Opensim is more capable in ths respect]
  • Objects in-world (such as a screen or presenter console) can be programmed to change the media URL in any area, so long as it has appropriate ownership and permisisons.
  • Images can be uploaded at a cost of $L10 each time (File -> Upload Image). Bulk upload with a single command is possible (File -> Bulk Upload). The images can be used on posters, or on screens that allow next and previous sdelectiosn to be made.
  • Resolution can be quite high, but file sizes and media stream bandwidth can then mean it is unacceptably slow to load for some users.
  • Images in world are resized to a power of 2 on each side, and if not already a power of 2 will be rounded down to the nearest one. So a 1024x768 image will become 1024x512. Larger images take longer to load for all users, so try to use a size sufficient for the content rather than having all slides be very large. The images keep their aspect ratyio when put on a suitably sized screen or object. So use for exmaple a 4:3 ratio image resized to 512x512 as a good target.
  • The Freeview script by CrystalShard Foo in Second Life is freely available as a basis for media presentors in Second Life. Later modifications by Raina Andel 04-16-09 can relay Youtube videos, etc. [ Available on XstreetSL ] [ Freeview Help ]
  • PowerPoint slides can be saved into an image format via File -> Save As -> and select "Save as type" to be one of the image formats. E.g. PNG and JPG can be uploaded to Second Life.
  • Consider use of Scribd (http://www.scribd.com) for uploading and sharing Powerpoint, PDF, etc. Formats Suppported: http://support.scribd.com/forums/35566/entries/25092

Converting Rich HTML Web Pages into Simple Image Files

Handling YouTube Videos

Youtube videos are normally played back in web pages using Flash. This cannot (yet) be handled via the media URL and playback mechanism in Second Life which essentially are Quciktime Player compatible formats, and a simple web renderer (based on a Mozilla library). Hence, Youtube screens in Second Life usually use MP4 versions of the Youtube videos, some of which are stored at youtube, or some are converted and used from the conversion URL. E.g. using http://www.youtubemp4.com just use the Youtube video code as follows:

Handling Flickr Images

Flickr images and all Flickr images with a given tag or category are usually presented via a URL fetched from Flickr or an intermediate service and used as the Second Life media URL.

See for example: http://www.freeslscripts.gendersquare.org/communication/45-images/34-flickr-screen.html

A default image that may be suitable when not showing a specific image is: http://www.flickr.com/images/flickr_logo.gif (or http://www.flickr.com/images/flickr_logo_gamma.gif.v1.2 )

PDF Presentatiion in Second Life via SLoodle Presenter and Image Magick

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYavbka6gIA 

Screencasting via Telestream Wirecast and Desktop Presenter

Telestream's Desktop presenter is a small application which runs on a PC or Mac, and allows a full screen or selected window to be relayed to Wirecast (a commercially licenced product) for onwards streaming via its built in streaming mechanism, via your own streaming server, or via a range of commercial or freely available streaming services. When Desktop Presenter runs, it needs firewall port 7272 to be open for inward connections on the system whose screen will be relayed. The URL used within Wirecast for the relay is http://IP address of presenter computer:7272

  • Desktop Presenter (freely available) and Wirecast (broadcasts are watermarked and H.264 codec only operates for 30 days) is available at: http://www.telestream.net (you have to create a username/password to get in to their downloads page).
  • Local copy of the freely available Desktop Presenter is available for PC (.exe) and Mac (.dmg) via http://openvce.net/resources/wirecast/
  • The computer on which Desktop Presenter runs needs to allow incoming connections on port 7272 through the firewalls at the computer, router, broadband modem and ISP levels. One way to set this up is to confuigure your ISP/broadband modem and route to do "port forwarding" for ANY incoming request to one nominated computer which you will use Desktop Presenter on and then ONLY using that computer's firewall management to decide what you do and don't want to allow through... so you can have it ASK you if an coming connection is okay.  Otherwise your router usually blocks the incoming call and you never know it was rejected.

Suggestion for a short project to provide an easy way to present a slide show into a Virtual World

http://openvce.net/openvce-dev-present

Dealing with Audience Inputs and Questions

There are basically have several methods that can be used in some combination and some do more than others if used in a suitable environment and with appropriate management and expectation of the participants on their mode of use.

  1. Local spatial voice, everyone can speak and hear with a radius of each speaker.  Works only on within a single sim. Suitable for small meetings.
  2. "Group" voice.  Anyone in group and online can join conversation, speak and hear.  Moderators (all officers of the group) have controls to mute and activate people.  Works SL wide and therefore across multiple sims.  No fade off with distance.  This site primary method used in larger meetings.
  3. Video feed, which allows for audo stream within it.  Good or a single speaker feed, but needs media streaming faclities and does not scale as well as (a) and (b).
  4. Separate audio stream that can be used with suitable audio streaming facilities.  Its more often used for background music.
  5. Local text chat (20m range, or 100m if "shouted") - works across sim boundaries.  Good for questions.
  6. Group text chat - works SL wide and therefore in larger facilities and meetings. Good for questions.