Where Do You Focus?

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One of the newer developments in the dance world has been the emergence of cam systems.

Rather than having audience members cam around willy-nilly, cam systems direct the angles of the viewer’s camera.

The point of the cam systems is to give the audience an optimum viewing of the performance.

I’ve used them on several different occasions as an audience member.

Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t.

The freedom of knowing that I won’t miss anything (because I was looking the wrong direction) is nice.

This is especially true when the performance is at various locations throughout a sim – I’ve missed entire routines because I was looking the wrong way.  😦

I’ve used them when routines were happening at various locations – although I never moved.

Again, sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t.

I’m not sure sometimes if the performer or someone else is setting up the camera angles.

I just know that often, they are most definitely angles that I would not have chosen.

Feeling ‘immersed’ in the scene is good – being close enough to look up someone’s *ahem* nose, isn’t.

Quick cuts – where the angles cut from one avatar’s face to another’s, for instance, is nice.

Long pans – sometimes good, sometimes not.

But after using these camera systems several times, I got to thinking.

Where does everyone else focus?

As an audience member, when you go to a show, how do you cam?

Do you pull back so the entire stage is in view and then leave the cam set?

Do you cam around, viewing everything at different angles?

If you do, does it cause you lag?

Does it cause the dancers to go out of sync?

Do you cam in close and just focus on the performer?

As a performer, do you watch the audience?

Do you watch yourself?

Do you cam back and forth?

When I perform, I try to watch the other acts (because I’m trying to take photos for the blog, usually).

So I cam to the stage.

When I am actually on stage, however, if I leave my camera looking out at the audience, 9 times out of 10, I will lag out.

I lower my own computer settings before a show, trying to avoid that.

So I have just, over the years, gotten in the habit of watching the stage for pretty much the entire show, even when I am performing.

What about you?

6 thoughts on “Where Do You Focus?

  1. I’m not keen on controlled cameras, they can change unexpectedly and that makes me nauseous, I also feel that it detracts from the feel of a live performance and turns the show into more of a music video where the director decides what you will see and what you won’t.

    Personally, when I’m at a show I cam to view the whole stage (hard with some of the larger venues), sometimes i’ll cam in close on the performer. When I am performing my camera is pointed at the stage, if I cam to the audience it is generally too laggy. When I’m mcing i’ll cam the stage when there is someone doing something there, some of the time i’ll be camming around the crowd, some of the time i’ll be cammed on myself so I won’t crash.

    1. Yes, I agree about the ‘music video.’ I like the concept so I don’t miss anything, but I have found that I do not like many of the angles I’ve seen used.
      I prefer to focus on the performer, which is why I often miss much of the stage. And there are a few venues with stages so large that if I cam out enough to get the entire stage in view, the dancers are teeny-tiny!

  2. Agree with Zed, it becomes a pre made, pre wrapped music video. When its controlled cam I just want to hit CTRL + H and wait to see it on youtube in my own time.

    1. I think that’s part of the reason I avoid YouTube when looking for music. I don’t want someone else’s ideas in my head for the song. :/

  3. I first saw this at GB and it took a lot of of getting used to. Fortunately they don’t use it all the time and you can get out of it. On the whole I prefer to do my own camming thing. I go to a lot of performances and I tend to start with a view of the whole stage to get the effect and then cam in on the dancer or dancers. I really like some of the smaller venues where the scale between the dancer and the set is more “normal”.

    One thing that I find annoying is when a group of dancers is spread out across the stage too much so that if you cam out to include them all they are too small. I think there is an optimum number of dancers (probably 5 or 6 if couples) too otherwise they are not in sync. Yes I know about turning off avatar imposters etc.

    If I cam too quickly I often freeze and have to relog which is a pain since I miss things then. The joys of a Macbook Pro. If I dance, which apart from my one solo at Dawn of Dance, it is as a ball warmer for a couple of friends and I have to use a PC desktop which doesn’t have these issues and yes I watch the stage at all times.

    Some venues are much worse than others for lag and crashing issues and mesh clothing and attachments not rezzing. I think as more of them use Mesh in the buildings and furnishings the worse it becomes for me. Paramount and Idle Rogue are very problematic for me as is the Sable Club. My FPS rate drops in half if I go to Idle Rogue even when there is no one there! Sighs.

    1. Ouch. Yes, it can be very taxing to deal with lag. I try to be very script-conscious, especially as an audience member. These days it’s pretty easy to keep your scripts low and still look good. 🙂 I’ve had rezz issues as well, but I’ve not noticed it at particular venues. If I get too laggy, I will turn down (or off) particles, lower the number of avatars I can see (although that sometimes can result in invisible dancers!), or drop my graphics setting to help.
      I wonder how much better things would be if clothing had to be made with the same eye to ‘impact’ as mesh objects (like decor/home items) are?

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