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The material on this page is available as an audio class in MP3 format. Just download here, and then you can follow along while viewing the pictures on this page or while using the viewer.

Introduction
Using the AO
Loading a Prepared AO Notecard
Creating an AO Manually

Video tutorials are available here.

Firestorm Client AO

The Firestorm viewer has a built-in AO (Animation Overrider). This makes the use of scripted AOs unnecessary, which in turn reduces the amount of scripts you wear, and so server-side lag.

Introduction

The AO is accessed via a button on the bottom button bar.

The AO is activated by clicking the button labeled AO; it will show pressed down, as in the image above. To disable it, press the button again, and it will appear released.

To the right of this is an up arrow. Clicking that pops up a small window, the mini AO view, which gives quick and easy access to a few basic functions, such as moving from one stand animation to another, toggling sit overrides and loading a new set of animations. Clicking this same button again will close the window.

This small window has a screwdriver-wrench icon; clicking that opens the AO window to its largest size, allowing full control of the AO.

Terms Used

A brief glossary of terms as they are used here.

  • AO: Animation Override or Animation Overrider. Generally, a scripted attachment worn as an HUD, containing animations and notecards which, along with the scripts, animate the avatars while it is in certain states, such as standing, walking, flying, etc. Absent an AO, the avatar will use basic default Linden-defined animations. The Firestorm client AO replaces the usual scripted AO by duplicating its functions, without the script overhead.
  • Animation Set: The collection of animations which, taken together, make up any given AO.
  • Animation Group: One or more animations which serve to replace a single animation state. Examples of animation groups include stands, sits, walks, etc. All of the animation groups, together, make up an animation set.

Using the AO

There are Firestorm AO videos are available for you to watch, we strongly suggest watching them; see here. See also the Firestorm Class Recording.

Basic functions of the AO can be accomplished via the mini AO view shown below.

  • Currently loaded animation set: Referring to the image above, the currently loaded set is named “! Default”. By clicking the small down arrow, you can easily select another set (if others are available, of course).
  • Screwdriver-Wrench icon expands the mini window to full size for greater control; see below for more.
  • Left/Right Arrows switch to the previous and next animation in the current group, respectively.
  • “Sit” checkbox indicates whether the AO should override sits animations that are part of scripted furniture. If this is enabled, the AO will try to force the use of whatever sit animation you have in the animation set 1) ; if disabled, then the animation in the furniture will be used.

For greater control over the AO, click the Screwdriver-Wrench icon; this will open the AO window to maximum size. It looks like this.

  • The Current animation set is shown in the top drop-down. Clicking the down arrow beside it allows for the selection of an alternate animation set (if you have others available, of course). You can rename your AO set right here. Just click the name and change it to what you want it to be.
  • The check mark to the right of the animation set name will activate the animation set. click this if you have picked a new one.
  • Default: check this if you wish to make the current animation set the default when you start Firestorm.
  • Override sits: Does the same thing as the Sits checkbox described above.
  • Be Smart: If this is enabled, the AO will try to determine whether the furniture being sat on has an animation; if it determines that it does, it will disable the sit in the AO, so the one in the furniture will be used instead.
  • Disable Stands in Mouselook: If this is checked, the AO will disable stand animations when mouselook is entered. This is useful for combat situations, for example.
  • + Button: Click this button to manually define a new animation set.
  • Trash: To delete the current animation set, click this button.
  • Animation Group: With this drop down you can select an animation group, such as Standing, Walking, Running, etc. Having selected one, you can then change the order in which animations are played, by using ….
  • Up/Down Arrows: moves the currently selected animation up or down in the list, thus changing the order in which the animations are played in the animation group.
  • Trash: Clicking this will delete the currently selected animation from the animation group. This will NOT delete the animation itself; just the reference to it, from the group.
  • Cycle: Enabling this will cause a different animation to be played, from the selected group, at each “cycle time” interval (see below).
  • Randomize order: Enabling this causes the animations in the selected group to be played in random order.
  • Cycle time: Indicates how long an animation should play before the next one begins. Set this to zero to disable.
  • Reload: Forces the AO to reload the configuration of the current animation set.
  • Left/Right Arrows: skips to the previous/next animation in the current animation group. These are the same arrows seen in the mini AO view, described previously.
  • Down Arrow: The arrow in the bottom right corner collapses the full AO window into the mini view, which was described above.

Loading a Prepared AO Notecard

If you own a scripted AO, the type worn as an HUD attachment, you can transfer it to the client AO quite easily. You may follows these steps to do so. Multiple AOs can be loaded, and you can switch from one to another simply by selecting the set within the Firestorm AO.

NOTE: The notecard must be in standard ZHAO II format, or in Oracul format. Most AO creators support ZHAO II so you should not run into issues. However, it must be noted that some major vendors have extended the ZHAO II format, and thus their AO notecard will need to be edited before they can be used in the Firestorm AO. Similarly, older AOs which use the old ZHAO format will have to be converted.

NOTE: Unlike Phoenix, the animations and notecard do not need to be placed in a special predefined folder. However, they do need to be together in the same place. Once imported, the Firestorm client AO creates a new special folder: #Firestorm → #AO. This folder is protected - meaning, it cannot be deleted, nor items removed from it 2) . Inside that are several more folders, containing links to the original animations. So do not delete the original animations used or the AO will “break”.

Method 1

Follow these steps if you are in a location where you can build; if requires the ability to rez out.

  • Rez a cube on the ground.
  • If you are wearing the scripted AO, detach it.
  • Cam into the cube you made, then drag the AO onto it. HUDs are normally very small when rezzed in-world, and can be hard to see if you are not cammed in.
  • Right click AO you rezzed out and select Open. A window opens which will list the contents of the AO; once this has fully populated, click Ok.
    This will result in the creation of a folder in your inventory, containing everything in the AO: scripts, animations and notecards.
  • If the AO is copyable, you can now delete it; otherwise, take it back into your inventory. Then delete the cube.
  • Locate the folder that was created in the step above. This folder can be dragged to another folder where it is out of the way but still available, like the Animations folder, for example.
  • Inside the folder, locate the notecard which defines the AO. An example is shown below.
  • Open the Firestorm AO to maximum, then drag the AO notecard onto the Firestorm AO window.
  • The notecard is parsed and if all goes well, you have finished transferring the AO.
  • Select options to apply, like whether this will be the default animation set, whether to override sits, etc.

Method 2

You can follow these steps if you are unable to rez the AO out in-world, for whatever reason.

  • Location the Animations folder in your inventory - it is at the top. Right Click the folder name, and select New Folder.
  • Type in a name for the folder - for example, give it the name of the AO you are transferring.
  • Make sure the AO HUD is worn; right click it and select Edit.
  • Click on the Content tab.
  • Once the AO contents are all displayed, select all items: click on the top one, then use the scroller to scroll to the bottom, press and hold Shift, and click on the last item.
  • Drag all the items into the folder you created.
  • Close the edit window.
  • Inside the folder, locate the notecard which defines the AO. An example is shown below.
  • Open the Firestorm AO to maximum, then drag the AO notecard onto the Firestorm AO window.
  • The notecard is parsed and if all goes well, you have finished transferring the AO.
  • Select options to apply, like whether this will be the default animation set, whether to override sits, etc.

Example AO Notecard

As noted above, the Firestorm AO supports notecards in the standard ZHAO II format. Here is an example of what such a notecard looks like:

[ Standing ]vAStand01DANGER|VAStand05_DANGER_F|VAStand02_DANGER|VAStand06_DANGERe
[ Standing ]VAStand04_DANGER|VAStand06_iDANGER|VAStand07_DANGER3|VAStand08_DANGER30
[ Standing ]VAStand09_DANGER|vAStand11_DANGER|VAStand12_DANGER|VAStand13_DANGER|VAStand14_DANGER
[ Walking ]08WALKDANGER|DANGERMIXWALK1|DANGERMIXWALK2.3
[ Sitting ]sit01DANGER|sit02DANGER|sit03DANGER|sit04DANGER|sit00DANGER
[ Sitting On Ground ]sitgDANGER01|SitGDANGER2|sitgDANGER3
[ Crouching ]crounch02DANGER|VAmocCROUNCH3
[ Crouch Walking ]vAFLIPWALK2
[ Landing ]landing2DANGER|Landing_Jump03_AN
[ Standing Up ]vA_boxerlanding1
[ Falling ]fall_VA_fly3
[ Flying Down ]vA_DangerFlyDown
[ Flying Up ]vA_DANGERflyUp
[ Flying ]vA_DangerFly|VAmocFLIGHT2
[ Flying Slow ]vAmocFSLOW
[ Hovering ]vA_DANGERhover_v02
[ Jumping ]jump02DANGER|jump_Jump03_AN
[ Pre Jumping ] v3_VA_Prejump|preJump_Jump03_SL
[ Running ]vISTARUN
[ Turning Right ]vATURNR
[ Turning Left ]vATURNL
[ Floating ]fLOAT
[ Swimming Forward ]vA.DIVE
[ Swimming Up ]
[ Swimming Down ]
[ Typing ]typex

Notice how the animation state is in brackets, followed by each name of the animation separated with a pipe character “|”. Lines should not be longer than 255 characters, and in the example above, the animations in the Standing group have been broken up into several lines so they are shorter and easier to read.

NOTE: It is best to delete any/all lines containing comments, before loading into the client AO. Comment lines usually start with a # character.

Creating an AO Manually

There is no need to have a prepared AO with a notecard to create an AO in Firestorm; you can “roll your own” if you have animations to use.

You should have the AO window at maximum size, as shown above.

  • Click the + button near the top right corner to create a new animation set. You will be prompted to supply a name for it.
  • A new, blank animation set is created; make sure it is showing in the list of animation sets. You can now begin to fill. It starts with the Standing group selected.
  • In your inventory, select the animation(s) to be used as stands. Drag them from your inventory onto the AO window. (Note that it is faster to drag them all in at once rather than one by one.) The AO processes, then you can continue.
  • Once you have dropped all the stands in, you can switch to another animation group, like Walking. Again, select and drag the animations from your inventory onto the AO.
  • Repeat this for all groups for which you have animations.
  • Select options to apply, like whether this will be the default animation set, whether to override sits, etc.
  • Do not delete the original animations used or the AO will “break”.

Other options related to the Firestorm AO.

  • Turn avatar around when walking backward: in Preferences → Move & View → Firestorm. If enabled, when you press the down arrow to walk backward, your avatar will turn to face the camera. If disabled, then your avatar will walk backward.

The AO may also be conrolled by scripts. This can be very handy for those who wear collars, for example. For more information on how to implement this, see this page.

1) Note: Animation priority will always have precedence; if the animation in the furniture has higher priority than the one in your animation set, it will be used regardless of how you have this checkbox set. Animation priority is set at upload and cannot be changed afterward, not even by the creator - unless the creator uploads again, and sets a different priority.
2) Therefore, avoid dragging items into it. Should you do so by mistake, please refer to this page to see how to fix this.
animation_overrider.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/04 08:48 by miro.collas