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synVideo is one of the toys which can be played in Arcadia. It is a chat tool which lets you share video snapshots and jpeg files with the other players on the server.

To get SynVideo, download Arcadia then Fetch Toys

How To Play:

synVideo is very simple to use. The screen has a list of images on the left, and an image display area on the right. Click on an image to see it. As people send you new images, they are added to the bottom of the images list. If you are currently selected on the bottom image on the list (the most recent one), then you will automatically display each new image as it comes in. Otherwise, the display will remain fixed on the image you selected.

How To Send Images:

To send a jpeg file, just right-click on the Images List and select "Send Jpeg File" from the menu which appears. This will open a file browser you may use to locate the file. Note that you can only send JPG files, so if you have images of another format, you will need to convert them to jpegs first. And while you're at it, compress them a bit as well.

Please do not send inappropriate images. Use a password-protected server if you need to send images of a nature inappropriate for the general audience. Do not violate your Arcadia Terms of Service (see your HELP menu for more details)

How to Send Video Snapshots:

If you have a video source connected to your computer, then you can easily send snapshots to the other players. First you must turn your camera on, by pressing the TOY PREFERENCES button (on the Arcadia toolbar) and checking the "camera on" checkbox.

This should give you a dialog like this:

This should show a live preview of what your camera is looking at.

The SELECT SOURCE and SETUP VIDEO buttons will bring up dialog boxes which will vary with your brand of camera, but between the two of them you should be able to select a particular camera (if you have more than one!), set the size of the snapshot, and play with various lighting and contrast effects.

When you have yourself posed attractively (as shown above), press SEND IMAGE to send your face to the other players.

How Do I Send an Image to Just One Person?

If you un-check the SEND TO ALL checkbox, then your images will only be sent to the person who you have selected in the Arcadia player list (so be careful not to click on the wrong person!). Otherwise your image goes to everyone on the server.

The Image Goes to EVERYONE on the server?

Well, no. Even with SEND TO ALL checked, your image may not reach an individual player because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • Your image is too big. Players can specify the MAX FILE SIZE they are willing to receive, so that 13 Megabyte image of your vacation in Hawaii probably won't be seen by anyone.
  • You are being muted. If a player has muted you in Arcadia, then they won't see any of your images. Just like they won't see any of your chat text, or hear your microphone speech.
  • Your image is not a JPEG. And to qualify, it must also have the JFIF token inside the file. (Your paint program probably knows how to fix this if you have a jpeg without it.)
  • You are behind a Firewall or Proxy server. Images are fetched by the players from your PC. If your PC blocks these fetches, then you cannot send images. This applies to all Synthetic Reality games.

Your Greeting Image:

Much as an answering machine can deliver a greeting message when you are not there, you may assign one of your images to be your greeting image. People can fetch your greeting image any time they like by right-clicking on your name in the Arcadia player list and asking for it.

You set your greeting image by right-clicking on an image in the Images List and selecting the proper choice from the popup menu.

What Other Options Are There?

Not many, really. SynVideo is a very simple toy. Perhaps someday I will let you scribble moustaches on people's images. But, for now, all the options are in the menu which appears when you right-click in the Images List. These include:

  • Send JPEG File. Let's you send any old jpeg you have lying around, whether you own a camera or not.
  • Resend <current image>. Let's you send again any picture from your collection (in the images list). And if they already have it, they just redisplay the copy they already have.
  • Save Image As... Let's you save a copy of the image to another folder on disk.
  • Make <current image> your greeting image. This sets the selected image as your greeting image, which can be fetched by any other player by right-clicking on your name in the Arcadia player list.
  • Stretch Images to Fill Screen. You can also toggle this by clicking in the main image display area. The image will either be stretched to fill the screen (while preserving its aspect ratio, of course!) or will be shown 'real size' (which may not all fit).
  • Show Image Date and Size. Shows the date of when you received the image, and its size.
  • View Diary Page of Sender. Opens the Arcadia Diary page for the person who sent the image (if it can).
  • Reload Image List. In an emergency, this reloads the Images List with all the files which still exist in your toy's frames folder.
  • Sort by Date. Sorts the image list by date.
  • Sort by Size. Sorts the image list by size
  • Sort by Name. Sorts the image list by name
  • Delete <current image>. This lets you get rid of an image you don't want any more.

Drag and Drop Support

By the time you read this, I may have added support for dragging files to and from the image list. (dragging TO synVideo will send the image, as if you selected it via Send Jpeg File). Note that synVideo imposes maximum image sizes in varying ways. One way is based on dimensions, so if you drag in an image wider than 1K pixels or so, it will be refused.

So, Why Do I Want to Do This, Again?

I dunno. My reasons for making it were to allow me to help my kids with their math homework when I had to work late. They can hold the book up to the camera if I need to see a picture. You can probably think of other uses, but I hope you will only use it for noble purposes.

Toy Status:

The toy is not a game, just a fun way to share your face with other people.

To Install Toys:

  1. Run Arcadia
  2. Select your 'channel'
  3. Push the "Check for New Toys" button
  4. Follow Instructions.
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