Advanced usage of VidProv

Room Owner

As a room owner, you have control over unlocking and locking the room. When the room is locked no one can enter it, and anyone still in the room will be immediately booted from the room. It is important to keep the room locked when not in use. When you exit the room you should return to the foyer to lock it, but if you do not, it will lock automatically after 5 to 10 minutes.

Please, do not stay in the room when you are not using it, as this will accrue usage charges.

Setting a Host

There will be times when you want to give someone else extra controls, for example to run an exercise, or to direct a scene. You do this by making them a temporary host.

To enable hosting for one of the users, hover over their thumbnail image to open their menu, and then select make host.

To take control away, just open the menu again and select unmake host.

Host Settings

Access the host's settings through the menu, or press H.

Layout Modes

The layout is controlled by the host (currently the room owner). There are three modes available.

Grid

In grid mode (the default), people are arranged into rows, forming a simple grid-like layout.

This is a good general conversation mode, and makes maximum use of the available screen space.

Circle

Where would improvisers be without the option to stand in a circle!

In this mode the participants are arranges into a circular layout. Useful for warm-ups etc.

Circle+

Just like the circle mode, but with one person in the middle. The person in the middle will always be the last person in the order (see more on ordering below).

Scene

The scene layout is intended as a virtual stage.

In scene layout, you can move your own video around the stage, and this same movement is reflected on other people's screens. This allows you to play with spatial relationship.

For simplicity, the video scales automatically so that when you go upstage (towards the top of your screen) you appear smaller, and as you come downstage (towards bottom of screen), you appear larger.

Likewise, videos further downstage appear in front of those further upstage.

Wings are shown on each side of the stage. When you go into the wings your video is obscured, and shrinks to a thumbnail size.

Cut-out

Cut-outs are a bit of fun, based on the frames that you sometimes find in tourist spots where you put your head through a hole to have your photo taken.

In cut-out mode, you can select the cut-out to use from the Background menu. Each cut-out has predefined spaces where your video will appear behind the cut-out image, so that you are looking through the hole.

Some are people, or paintings or statues, and some are animals or inanimate objects.

Backgrounds

There are TWO separate background settings. One that is applied when in Grid or Circle, and a separate one for Scene mode.

You can access both through the host settings, H, or quickly change the background for the current mode by pressing B.

You can also instantly choose a random background image by pressing shift + B.

Note: Cut-outs also use the Background menu, although strictly speaking they are a foreground.

You can add your own custom backgrounds. For more details, see the making custom backgrounds page.

Order

For the circle and circle+ modes, it's useful to be able to change the position of people in the circle. This also has some applications in grid and cutout modes.

The order is controlled by the position of each person in the bar at the bottom of the screen. The owner or host can rearrange people by dragging their seat around in this bar. They can also randomise the order by pressing shift + O.

Breakout Rooms

To access break-out rooms selecting from the menu or press K.

Break-out basics

The break-out dialog lists all the current participants and which room they are in. The main room is designated as "-". As you place people in rooms, you will see a list of who is in which room in the "Occupancy" table at the bottom of the screen. Changes only occur once you press OK.

Reset

The reset option resets everyone back to the main room.

Assign

The assign option, opens a new section where you can set a group size, decide whether to include the room owner, and then automatically groups people into the rooms.

Rotate

The rotate option, can only be used after automatic assignment (as above), and does its best to mix the groups in a way that is repeatable. It works very well for pairs, but groups of more than 3 start to become complex.

Using break-outs

Even when in the break-out rooms, everyone's thumbnail still appears at the bottom of the screen. Those people who are in a different room are shown faded.

Chat and symbols remain the same, so everyone will see any chat messages, no matter which room they are in. This can be used by the owner to contact everyone with instructions, or to let them know they are going to be brought back to the main room.

The owner can visit any room, by opening the dialog, and putting themselves in the relevant room.

Timer

You can create a count-down timer, that shows a clock with a count-down to 0:00. The same clock will show on everyone's screen.

Set the timer

  1. Select from the menu, or press T, to open the Timer dialog.
  2. Enter the desired time. You can enter as seconds (e.g. 120 = 2 minutes), minutes and seconds (e.g. 2:30 = 2 minutes, 30 seconds), or a fraction of minutes (e.g. 2.5 = 2 and a half minutes).
  3. Select an action to do at 0:00. Options are "no action" (do nothing), "return all to home room" (used in conjunction with breakout rooms), or "lights down" (e.g. to end a timed scene or exercise).
  4. Press OK to start the timer.

Pause the timer

Press the space-bar to pause the timer (make sure not in Chat window first).

Change the time

You don't have to clear the timer to set a new value, just open the dialog and set the new time.

Clear the timer

To clear the timer, just open the dialog again, and set the time to 0.