Sometimes you will have two parties in two locations needing to collaborate on a show, and they have an Isadora Show document (i.e., the .izz file) with one or more User Actors they are sending back and forth.
If the User Actors exist only within the Isadora Show file, or in that file's Document Toolbox, you don't need to do anything special to keep the User Actors in sync because everything is self-contained. Just send the show file back and forth.
But, if you have User Actors in the Global Toolbox, meaning they are stored as separate files in the Global User Actor folder, then you'll also need to send those User Actors along as well if they have been modified.
Before we continue with an example, the important thing to understand is that Isadora will automatically update all User Actors in a file to match the ones stored in the Global User Actors folder.
This powerful feature means that, if you use User Actors from our Add-Ons page and the creator makes a new version, you simply download the updated User Actor and drop that User Actor into the Global User Actor folder. From that point on, any file that you open that uses that User Actor will now be automatically updated when you open it.
But here we want to explain what it means when you are collaborating with a second party in a remote location.
Global User Actor Workflow When Collaborating with a Second Party
When you're collaborating with a someone in a remote location, and either you or the other party might make modifications to actors in the Global Toolbox, you need to pass the Isadora show document and the User Actors back and forth to ensure you're show is in sync.
Here's an example workflow between a designer and a theater technician.
- The designer creates a folder on the desktop called "Designer User Actor Folder". Then they open Isadora, choose Actors > Set Global User Actor Folder, selects the new folder and clicks OK.
- Similarly, the theater technician creates a folder on the desktop called "Theater User Actor Folder". Then they open Isadora, choose Actors > Set Global User Actor Folder, selects the new folder and clicks OK.
- We chose different names for the Global User Actor folder for clarity in our example. They could be any name you desire.
- The designer creates the first version of the new show, which includes two User Actors called My Great User Actor and Display Number. These actors are saved in the Global User Actor folder by selecting them and choosing Actors > User Actor to Global Toolbox.
- The designer saves the Isadora show document, calling it My Great Show.izz.
- The designer then makes a .zip archive of My Great Show.izz, as well as My Great User Actor.iua3 and Display Number.iua3 which, again, are stored in the Global User Actor folder called Designer User Actor Folder.
- The designer sends the .zip archive to the theater.
Initial Use and Modification of the User Actors at the Theater:
- The theater technician unzips the archive and places the two user actors in their Global User Actor folder, which is called Theater User Actor Folder.
- The technician now opens My Great Show.izz on their computer and proceeds to make necessary changes to the User Actors My Great User Actor and Display Number contained inside.
- Having made those modifications, the theater technician makes a .zip archive of My Great User Actor.iua3 and Display Number.iua3 in their Global User Actor folder, and sends them back to the designer.
- Note that, for this example, no modifications are made the Isadora Show document itself. That's why they did not include it in the archive. If they had modified the .izz file, then they would need to send that too!
Designer Receives Modified User Actors
- While Isadora is not running, the designer unzips the archive with modified User Actors and places them into their Global User Actor folder called Designer User Actor Folder.
- Then the designer opens My Great Show.izz in Isadora. While opening the file, Isadora automatically updates the instances of My Great User Actor and Display Number contained inside so they match the latest version stored in the Global User Actor folder.
- The designer's show is now in sync with the version sent from the theater.
See This Process In Action
If you want to see this process in action, please download and unzip this archive attached to this article. In the unzipped folder, you'll find the following files and folders
- Example Global User Actor Folder
- User Actors Folder - Designer
- User Actors Folder - Theater
Now follow these steps to see the process in action
- Copy and paste the files Display Number.iua3 and My Great User Actor.iua3 from the folder User Actors Folder - Designer into the folder Example Global User Actor Folder.
- Open Isadora and choose Actors > Set Global User Actor Folder.. and select the folder Example Global User Actor Folder. Then Quit Isadora.
- Now, open the file designer-patch.izz and choose Output > Show Stages. You'll see the user actors inside look like this:and the output on the Stage looks like this:
- Quit Isadora again.
- Copy and paste the files Display Number.iua3 and My Great User Actor.iua3 from the folder User Actors Folder - Theater into the folder Example Global User Actor Folder, choosing to replace the old files.
- Again, open the file designer-patch.izz and choose Output > Show Stages. You'll see the user actors inside look like this:As you can see, My Great User Actor and Display Number have changed – in fact My Great User Actor has gotten much wider because the names of the inputs and outputs are longer. After make a bit of room, we see this:
In the Stage, we see not only that the color of the text displayed by the User Actor Display Text has been changed to red, but the text is also rotating continuously.
Hopefully this process makes it super clear that by simply opening a file, Isadora will update the actors inside the file to match the actors stored in the Global User Actor Folder.
The important thing to understand is this: if you have a Isadora show document that contains User Actors stored in the Global User Actor Folder, then those User Actors will be automatically updated to match the Global User Actor Folder version when the file is opened.
We hope that this makes the process of sharing Global User Actors clear. If you have any questions or comments on this article, please offer them to us by clicking "No" next to "Did you find this article helpful?" below.