UpStage v1

Creating Graphics

Before you can upload media to UpStage to use in your cyberformance, you must either find or create it. If you are finding media online, it must be in the public domain or with a license that allows you to use it. Usually you will want to create your own media that is specifically designed for the theme and artistic style of your cyberformance. This chapter provides tips for creating graphics for UpStage.

Graphics (image files) can be backdrops, avatars, props or curtains on the live stage. An image file can also be uploaded as a cover image that displays while your stage is loading.

File formats

Images can be uploaded in the following file formats:

  • .png - recommended for avatars and props, to retain transparency in clear-cut images
  • .jpg or .jpeg - suitable for backdrops, cover images, curtains and any media item that is square or rectangular (not clear-cut)
  • .gif - can be used for still images and gif animations
  • .svg

Size and dimensions

As images can be scaled on stage, the precise size of your image is not important. However, you don't want it to pixelate when you increase the size, so estimate the size you will want to use it at on stage and make the image approximately that size. Usually something between 300 to 500 pixels should be sufficient to allow scaling of an avatar or prop without losing quality.

You may need to have a few tries before getting it right. If you are making a lot of media for one performance, it can be a good idea to create a template image. Once you have the size of that right, use it as a base for the rest of the graphics. If you are making several variations of the same image to get the sizing right, you can use the "Replace" function in the media edit interface to replace the file rather than upload anew. If you upload multiple files that you later don't need, please remember to delete them from the server to avoid unnecessary clutter.

Backdrops cannot be scaled. A standard size of approximately 800 pixels wide by 450 pixels high will usually fit well and fill the screen when the browser is in full screen view. Remember that your audience will be on a range of devices, with browser windows at different sizes, and they may not be in full screen view; they may see space on either side of the backdrop. You can set the colour of this space to fit with your backdrops.

Graphics software

You can use any graphics software to create your graphics as long as it can save or export files to the accepted formats. We recommend open source graphics applications including:

  • GIMP - a bitmap editor;
  • Krita - a Photoshop alternative;
  • Inkscape - a vector editor;

Animated Gifs

Gif animations can be uploaded to UpStage as backdrops, avatars and props. Looping is defined within the gif itself, not in UpStage. The speed of the gif animation cannot be adjusted in UpStage, and you cannot stop it at a specific static frame. If you want to do this, consider creating a multiframe media item instead of a gif.

When a player moves or resizes a gif media item, the animation will start over again, because the image has to re-render on the stage. If you don't want this to happen, create a multiframe media item instead.

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