MLPV2 Users Tutorial

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  • MLP User Help Version 3.7. Chaz Longstaff. Originally published December 2006. Updated April 2011.

An MLP Product is one with a set of scripted animations in it. This combined core set of scripts and animations may sometimes be referred to as an "engine."

It is commonly used in furniture, cushions, rugs, etc, for a variety of purposes and themes.

MLP Products rez "pose balls" for the users of it to sit on, after which the animations act upon the people sitting on the poseballs.

The animations may be selected one by one via a menu (that you click the product to access), or the animations may progress sequentially by scene.

MLP is a solid product with a long history in Second Life. It was first invented in 2006 by Miffy Fluffy, and has been updated since 2008 for the benefit of the Second Life community by Lear Kale. Your personal support for your MLP Product is provided directly by the person you purchased the product from.

This help is intended for purchasers of MLP Products. It walks you first through bringing the product home and getting it started, then covers some more advanced topics that some users ask about from time to time.

We hope you will enjoy using your MLP Product as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you! Cheers!


FIRST TIME USE

  • Place the MLP Product where you want it;
  • Left-click the MLP Product to activate it;
  • The very first time you use it, it will take about a minute to load all the data it needs to know;
  • When everything has loaded (the green chat messages stop appearing on the screen), it is ready to use;
  • You'll never have to go through these steps again;
  • Now left-click the mat again for the menu;
  • Select a pose;
  • The appropriate poseball or poseballs will be generated automatically;
  • Some types of bed, chairs, sofas, etc. may have high, dense cushions that cause the poseball to be hidden out of sight – should that happen, pick another pose that lets you see a poseball, sit on it, and then use the menu to choose the pose you actually want;
  • To use a poseball, right-click on it and select SIT from the pie menu;
  • A prompt will appear on the screen asking for permission to animate you;
  • You need to say "Yes";
  • To change positions, left-click on a spot of the MLP Product that you can see to bring the menu up again and choose the new position;
  • You will be moved automatically to the new position, without further permission prompts and without having to stand up, etc;
  • When you have finished, you can stand up by clicking the "stand" button that will appear at the bottom of your screen;
  • The poseball(s) will automatically hide themselves again when you either click the "stop" button on the menu, or the "off" button (under the "Shutdown" submenu). The Stop button basically just hides the poseball; the "off" button actually turns it off, and will reduce the script count on your parcel should you ever need to do that;
  • Note: there is no need to use the stop or off if you don't mind the poseball(s) showing.


A NOTE ABOUT THE POSEBALLS

There is no need for a hide or show command, as there is with individual sets of pose balls: these poseballs show themselves when needed, and hide themselves when not!

Unlike other poseball(s), these aren't "real"; they are just "virtually generated" copies of the ones inside the MLP Product. If you right-click over a poseball and delete it, a fresh poseball to take its place would be regenerated the next time you activated or restarted the MLP Product.

This also means, though, that you can't adjust sit positions by adjusting the poseballs, as you do other poseballs. Any positioning you did in this fashion -- by using edit arrows to heave them about -- would be lost the next time the mat was shut down and restarted. Instead, the positioning they use comes from inside the MLP Product. See the "Adjusting Positions" section for information on how to adjust positions.

As well, should an MLP Product be taken away while poseball(s) are generated above it, the poseball(s) left behind will auto destruct in a matter of minutes if its MLP Product is more than 10 metres away (again the MLP Product will just generate new ones in its new location.) If some sim weirdness happens and they don't self-destruct, just delete 'em.


ADJUSTING POSITIONS

  • Activate the menu and choose a position as described above; leave the menu running.
  • Sit on a poseball.
  • Look for the Advanced button; click on it to arrive at the Advanced sub-menu;
  • In the Advanced sub-menu, look for and click on the button that says "Adjust Pos".
  • You'll see that the poseball(s) get transformed into semi-transparent beams -- these are what you adjust.
  • Right-click the beam for the poseball you are on. From the pie menu that appears, left-click the Edit choice.
  • Use the up, down and sideways arrows to adjust the position, as well as the rotate option (if you haven't yet worked with any of these items, you may wish to first create a disposable prim of any shape somewhere else and try moving it about to gain the dexterity first.)
  • To see how the pose is coming along from all angles, use the right and left arrows on your keyboard to swivel around, and the up and down arrows to zoom in and out
* Tip! When doing this, you may wish to place the pose mat on a chair or sofa in a relatively unobstructed area, so that you don't swivel around just to find your view blocked by a wall, etc.
  • While doing all this, leave it at the menu where you found the "Adjust Pose" button
  • When you are happy, click the "Save Pose" button. You may even wish to click it as you go along to consolidate your gains, as it were. This saves information about the pose into the memory of the MLP Product (not into the .positions notecard -- more on that later).
  • Should you wish for some reason, you can adjust the pose to be up to a maximum of 10 metres away from the MLP Product (this 10 metres maximum is an SL system limitation)
  • When it's saved, if you wish to move onto another pose to adjust that pose, click the back menu to get back to sitting choices, choose a sit pose and start the process all over again
  • To get rid of the adjusting beam, click the "Adjust Pose" button on the menu again to toggle it off.
  • While you have the adjust beams out, whenever you move to another pose, the adjustments you made to the previous one will be automaticaly saved. However, on the very last pose you adjust, if you don't go to another pose, they won't be -- so even though you may need need to go to another pose to adjust it, just do so anyway -- go to any other pose, to make sure the last one you did gets saved.


Z (ON THE FLY) ADJUSTMENTS

  • Now it's going to be impossible to get some poses exactly right for everybody. For instance, a very short person may find him or herself sitting on a sofa with his/her legs dangling off of it; a very tall person may find her/himself sitting with her/his feet embedded into the floor. For on the spot adjustments, "sitters" can use the Z adjustments on the Height menu (under Options.)
  • Note though that Z adjustments apply to all the poses not just the one currently being used
  • The increments are in centimetres. By default, they are set to do plus and minus 1 cm; or, plus and minus 10 cm. If you want to edit the increments offered through the user menu, you need to change those increments in the menu notecard.
  • To reset it after a particular guest has made him or herself comfy using the Z positions, just edit the MLP Product and look in the description line - that's where the adjustment is stored. Just clear it out of there.


BACKING UP POSITIONS

Getting positions just right can be a lot of work. And what a nuisance to lose them and have to do them all over again owing to some SL weirdness! That's where the .POSITIONS notecard comes in -- you can backup in them the memory of the positioning you saved.

  • To do this, go into the Options menu, and click the "Memory Dump" button.
  • The memory of the positions will be "chatted (i.e. printed) out to your screen"
  • You will get lines that look like this:
[23:11]  {default} <-1.964,0.054,0.293> <124.4,79.8,67.0> <0.700,0.000,0.700> <0.0,0.0,-180.0>
  • Go into chat history (the history button at the bottom of your screen, highlight all the position info, and go Control-C to copy it (Apple-C on a Mac).
  • Right-click over the MLP Product, choose edit, click on the MORE button if the bottom of the edit info box isn't showing, then click on the Objects tab. Location the .POSITIONS notecard. Right-click over it and choose open.
  • Delete out everything that is in there, and paste in what you just copied. Don't leave any blank lines. Save and close the notecard. You now have a safe backup of all your positions.
  • Note: when can positions be lost out of memory? Positions stay in memory even after the MLP Product is shut down, restarted, taken back into inventory or moved about and placed somewhere else. They only get lost if the memory gets too full (by adding other positions or menu items) causing it to crash, or if the memory gets reset back to blank by resetting scripts.
  • Note: so if the memory gets blanked out, how does the .POSITIONS notecard help? If the memory is blank, the MLP Product will read positions instead from the .POSITIONS notecard.


PROPS

Some of the animations will rez cushions, ETC, to go with them. If there is an animation that you'd rather this didn't happen with, note the name of the animation. Edit the .Props card inside the MLP Product, delete the line for that animation, save your work, and restart the MLP Product using the restart option under the shutdown submenu.


ACCESS CONTROL

  • The Owner of the MLP Product is the only person who can: initially start, shutdown and restart the MLP Product. This is a limitation of the MLP script used as the engine, and can't be changed.
  • To make it easier for your guests to fire it up as needed, instead of shutting it down after use, just use the Stop button. Then all your guests have to do to use it is left-click it to cause the usermenu and the poseball(s) to re-appear.
  • If you wish to restrict choices to various menus and actions, edit the .MENUITEMS notecard (using the same procedure as for the .POSITIONS notecard to find it and open it up.
  • Wherever you see | ALL beside a menu option that is where you can change permissions by swapping out the ALL keyword and replacing it with another. Valid keywords are: ALL, GROUP and OWNER.
  • By default, many of the settings-type submenus come restricted to group. This stops any old tom, dick or harry wandering by from monkeying with them. Group members just need to have the group tag activated to access these sub-menus. If you have a large public group, you may wish to restrict this further by changing it from Group to Owner.

What about group-owned land?

If all residents are allowed to rez objects, no problem (however, see note about auto-return, below).

If group members are allowed to rez objects, the MLP object must be set to the land's group.

Otherwise, the object must be deeded to the group. If the object is copy/no-xfer, your only recourse is to change the land settings to allow group to rez.

  • Note If you just deed it to group, the OPTIONS menu will no longer be available. To avoid this, before deeding it, edit the .MENUITEMS notecard and change all MENU lines to use "GROUP" rather than "OWNER". Then, anyone in the group can use the OPTIONS menu.

There is a special case, which is very confusing. If object creation is not permitted (by all or by group), but a group *role* has "always allow rez" checked, the MLP will *seem* to work when the MLP object owner is present. However, when the MLP object owner logs off (or leaves the region and is not in an adjacent region or another region on the same simulator) the MLP will no longer be able to rez poseballs, after a minute or two.


HELP!

Q: Something weird is happening with the poses. I'm using them, but it looks like I'm up in the air. Or, the transition between poses has gone all jerky and slo-mo. A: Yep. We've seen it. It's happened to us, both with the MLP Products and with many other many-driven pose things in SL. It can be a real pain, especially when it's a bed-pose menu and you're, um, right in the heat of things! Essentially, it's caused by SL weirdness at that moment. Sometimes only you see the weirdness, sometimes others see it instead of you, sometimes you both see it. It's a temporary display thing on the screen, and nothing is wrong with the MLP Product or your eyesight. The visual display will fix itself on the screen of the person seeing the weirdness the next time they log into SL. To fix the visuals right away, the person seeing the weirdness needs to log out of SL and back in. That almost always fixes it on the spot. The 1% of the time it doesn't, the display will resolve itself the next day. Granted, logging out can kill a special moment like nothing, so sometimes we just "pretend" that everything looks as it should.

Also, sometimes the first pose you fire up can be off, even though you left it just fine the night before. Switch momentarily to another pose, then back to the pose you want.

And *above all*, see if an AO (Animation Overrider) is turned on. Some poses and animations in SL will work with someone's AO turned on, but many will not.


Q: In my inventory, my MLP Product says "no modify." So how can I edit the notecards, etc? A: Second Life permissions are somewhat primitive, and misleading at times even. In your inventory, the MLP Product object is showing as "no modify" because it has animations in it which are no modify. If even one item within an object is "no modify", the whole object will show misleadingly as "no modify." In truth, however, when you rez the MLP Product, you will see that you can edit it, change the texture, rename it, edit the notecards, etc.

Q: Sometimes, I click the MLP Product to start it up, and then when it's started and I click it again to use it, I get asked if I want to continue because [someone's name] has just selected the menu. A: Yep. We've seen that from time to time. Just click "Yes" to continue.

Q: The scripts in the MLP Product won't run for me. A: Yep, we've seen that one, too. Check to see if the following is true: you are on rented land or in a rented house, and if there is an icon at the top of the screen showing that scripts are disabled where you are. Normally, when land owners disable scripts, they still leave them enabled for group members - and normally, renters are invited to be group members. So, do the following (a) if scripts are enabled only for group members and (b) you are a member of such a group: Stop the MLP Product using the menu. Pick the MLP Product back up and take it back into your inventory. Set your active group to the group in question (Edit - Groups - highlight the land group, and press the Activate button.) Set the MLP Product back out. It will now be set to group. (Or, edit the MLP Product, and on the first tab, use the group button to set it to the group in question.)

Q: How do I turn off the chat info and the whispering? I don't want these informational messages.

Click on the MLP Product to bring up menu. Click options. Then click the Chattiness button. This toggles those messages off and on.


  • MLP User Help Version 3.7. Chaz Longstaff. Originally published December 2006. Updated April 2011.