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Content Guidelines (production details)

Attract Mode: Recording a Temporal Path

When not in use, the exhibit can show content as though under interactive use by a "ghost user". When a visitor turns the dial, s/he gains control at the exact point where the attract mode left off. This choice is, in general, the most engaging - intriguing visitors, enabling you to highlight points of particular interest in your display, and offering an automatic, intuitive understanding of how the exhibit works.

To make a very simple Attract mode can take no more than a handful of minutes. However, to make a rich diverse one typically takes 4-6 hours — not because it is technically complex, but simply because it takes work to make a fun temporal path through content.

When creating a more advanced attract mode, it is strongly recommended that the script specified on the Attract Mode page of the Preferences dialog (typically “Attract.script”) be composed of several shorter scripts, by using the #include directive. This allows easily changing the playback order and easily editing each included script (something you will likely do many times for each script before you are satisfied). Note that we have found that adding a pause of about one second at the start and end of each included script often results in smoother playback.

Clients can record scripts themselves or hire TechnoFrolics staff to do so.

To record and correctly reference scripts yourself, use the instructions below.

1. Create One or More Empty "Attract Script" Files

These are simply text files to which you assign the suffix "script" instead of the usual "txt".

  1. In Windows, on the exhibit computer, navigate to TechnoFrolics\ACL\Scripts\AttractMode.
  2. Using any plain text editor, for example Notepad, create one or more empty text files with the suffix "script", for example: Attract01.script, Attract02.script, Attract03.script. When you are done recording attract scripts you may want to assign more meaningful names, for example WaterBalloon.script, MockingBird.script, etc.

2. Under FrameGlide "Attract" Preferences, Reference an Empty Script File

  1. To display FrameGlide Preferences, hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard while double-clicking the FrameGlide icon on the Windows desktop.
  2. On the I/O tab, make sure "disable all keyboard commands... is off.
  3. On the Attract Mode tab:
    1. Select "Enter attract mode..."
    2. To the right, for the period of inactivity, enter a generous amount of time for now - at least 30 seconds, so that the exhibit won't be constantly lapsing into attract mode while you are working. (You will want to re-set this later to a desired timeout-to-attract-mode duration for the exhibit.)
    3. Select "Play a script" and browse to and select one of the attract files you created.
    4. Click OK to exit Preferences.

3. Record and Review an Interactive "Path"

  1. Launch the exhibit.
  2. Use the dial to navigate to a section of content you want to show in attract mode. Before recording, you may want to explore the content a bit and think about what you'd like to capture specifically. (For example, do you want to scroll forward to a given point, pause, then scroll very slowly backwards, or scroll to a point and come to a stop, or slowly scroll backwards only from point B to point A to show the "undoing" of some process?) Navigate to the exact point at which you want to start logging your actions.
  3. Press ALT-A. A prompt guides you in starting and ending the recording.
  4. To review a just-recorded attract sequence, press A.
  5. If you are not satisfied and want to write Over the current sequence, just press Alt-A again. If you LIKE what you have recorded, and you are recording only a single script, then you're done! If you want to record a set of scripts, you will next want to reference a NEW empty attract script file via FrameGlide | Spin Browser Preferences. Repeat the tasks described above, as needed.

4. Combine a Sequence of Attract Scripts into a Parent Attract Script

In Windows, on the exhibit computer, under TechnoFrolics\ACL\AttractMode, create a text file, with the suffix "script", for example "Attract.script". Edit the file to reference your script files. The following is an annotated sample file that you can copy and edit as needed:

; Meta attract script with 200 ms cross dissolve between segments.
;
; <command duration> CrossDissolve <dissolve duration>
;
; The CrossDissolve command initiates a dissolve from the currently
; displayed frame. The frame is fully opaque at the time the command
; is executed and fully transparent <dissolve duration> milliseconds
; after the command is executed. <command duration> is the number of
; milliseconds to wait before executing the next command.
;
; "Attract01.script" must be in the same folder as this script. "Attract02.script"
; and "attract03.script" must be in the "Subfolder" subfolder of the
; folder containing this script.

; The following is an optional directive that can somewhat "smooth" the playback of unevenly
; recorded motions

; #NumTimeChangeSmoothingSamples 5

#include attract01.script
0 CrossDissolve 200
#include Subfolder\attract02.script
0 CrossDissolve 200
#include Subfolder\attract03.script
0 CrossDissolve 200

5. "Smoothing" Play Back

The following is an optional directive that can somewhat "smooth" the playback of unevenly recorded motions. You can experiment with the specific number. With a smaller number of samples some of the unevenness of unintended hand jerks may still be visible. With too large a number of samples, you may lose some intentionally nuanced movements, especially, for example, if you intended to come to a complete pause at certain points, the pause may be bypassed as a result of the smoothing.

#NumTimeChangeSmoothingSamples 5

This directive can be placed at the start of a single recorded script, or at the start of a "Parent" file that references other scripts. Experiment

6. When Attract Mode is Complete

Bring up FrameGlide | Spin Browser Preferences and be sure to: