Thursday, January 11, 2018

Firestorm Quick Preferences

Hi there. I thought I'd post something helpful instead of the usual Dance Police stuff I post.

I love Firestorm ( <3 Jess!). But I really hate having to dig deep into Firestorm menus to find a control that I want. And I can't remember all of the shortcut keys in the viewer. So, I incorporate some of them into my Quick Preferences menu.

If you don't have Quick Preferences on your toolbar, right-click your toolbar, select Toolbar Buttons, and then drag Quick Preferences to your toolbar.


Okay, let's open it...


Quick Preferences provides easy access to Windlight settings and other helpful controls. That way, you can quickly change to Midnight and turn off Name Tags for an act.

But there's a few more controls on mine than the standard Quick Preferences menu.

Here's some settings that I've found useful:
  • ShadowRenderShadowDetail: Quick control of shadows. You'll need to make this an Integer slider, Minimum of 0, Max of 2.
  • NameTagShowGroupTitles: Quickly turn on and off group titles over avatar heads.
  • RenderDepthOfField: So much easier than digging into preferences and finding the right tab when I want Depth of Field.
  • AutoLeveling: I use a Spacenavigator for my photos, and sometimes I want a weird angle for a photo. But I also want to go back to simple leveling during performances. (I've macroed the right button to do Control ~ for quick snapshots, but that's for another post.)
  • ChatConsoleFontSize & ChatFontSize: I dock my laptop to a 4K monitor at home, so the chat can be hard to read. Makes it easy to adjust.
  • ConsoleBackgroundOpacity: To quickly adjust the text background for Nearby Chat based on the scenery.
  • TranslateChat: So I can quickly turn on and turn off translations in the viewer via Bing Translation through my Microsoft Azure account. (This is not the same as translation HUDs.)
And I've removed LookAt Target and Color Under Cursor because I never use them. (I should remove Avatar Physics and LOD Factor... I never use them either)

How did I do that? Well, Firestorm's website talks about customizing those controls here:

Let me demonstrate...

1. Click the wrench button in the lower-right corner of the menu. You're now in edit mode.


2. Click the plus button. A NewControl control will appear.


3. Change the name of the control in the edit field to a meaningful label.


4. From the drop-down menu that says === Choose ===, select the desired debug setting to control.


You can find a list of the debug settings at Firestorm's website: Or you can scroll through them in the Debug Settings menu under Menu Bar >> Advanced >> Show Debug Settings (shortcut is Control-Alt-Shift-S).

Yes, that list looks scary, and some of those settings will break your Firestorm viewer. But I've listed a few relatively safe ones above that you can play with.

5. The appropriate Type setting should appear. Radio buttons best handle Booleans (On/Off or True/False), Sliders make for simple controls for number values, etc.

6. To save your change, close the Quick Preferences tab, then reopen it.


Other things you can do...

  • If you want to change the name of a control, click the wrench icon, click the control and then change the name in the edit field. (For example, you can change Draw Distance to just Draw.)
  • If you want to get rid of a control, click the trash can icon next to it.
  • If you want to reorder your controls, click a control and then click an up or down arrow in the lower-left part of the Quick Preferences menu.
  • And if you want to go back to your original controls, click the wrench button and then click the Reset button.

For those of you who have already modified your Quick Preferences menu, what settings do you find useful in dance performances and other situations?


I was asked if this can be used with Singulatiry... I don't see a customization menu for Singularity's Quick Preferences, but you can file a maintenance case over at Singularity's site, or you could roll up your sleeves and hack on the XML files that they use to build the menus and modals. (Okay, that's kind of... well... dangerous and difficult)

Oh, and about Firestorm's Quick Preferences, here's a suggestion from the crowd:

  • HighResSnapshot: This toggles the High-Res Snapshot option, which doubles the width and height of the frame before capturing a photo.

Any others?