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Steve Farris

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About Steve Farris

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  • Birthday 08/12/1961

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    Portland, Oregon
  1. 23.98 frame rates and playback in WO

    I don't know that i can answer about "real advantage", although I know our editors want to work in 23.98 (since that is what they shoot the original footage at). My experience is that using native 23.98 in WO can result in stutters during playback as WO needs to do a real time conversion to 30fps. The best results I have achieved are to do a render of the final file to 30fps before bringing it in to WO. Since I need to do a render for the HAP file anyway, it doesn't add an extra step to the process.
  2. Can I divide each 4K output in four 1920x1080

    Hi Walter I had a sense that virtual displays could solve the problem, but as I said I haven't tried to do that. I'm wondering about adding "self created" blend masks - if the virtual displays are configured with blends, wouldn't Watchout add the blend masks? I haven't experimented much with this kind of situation. I sounds like this would be a way to create 16 HD displays from one computer, although the machine would have to be pretty beefy to keep up with that much throughput!
  3. Can I divide each 4K output in four 1920x1080

    I have used this concept for input by setting up a 4k output from Keynote and importing through a Datapath card to create a 4 screen input. I have also sent a 4k output through a Datapath Fx4 to create 4 displays. I don't see any reason you couldn't scale to more outputs. One issue you could run in to is that Watchout will see the displays as single 4k displays and won't do any blending between them if you are trying to do a blend. You would have to manage the blend outside of Watchout, and your stage layout will not be able to represent the layout of the displays. On the input side, I can create 4 separate instances of the 4k input with different cropping in order to differentiate between the individual screens. You might be able to accomplish the same thing with virtual displays on the output side. However, I haven't tried to do that.
  4. Watchout with Video Matrix (Discussion)

    I have worked with systems configured similar to both scenarios presented here. There are pros and cons for each. The critical question is to analyze what are the potential failure points and what will happen if those points fail. Then you need to determine if the solution around the failure is more cumbersome than it's worth, or if it introduces new failure points. The Ascender is a similar concept to the e2, just a simpler box that is easier to learn (although the e2 is quite a bit more versatile). I had an Ascender crash on me once (due to a system bug that I believe they have fixed). I've heard of failures on e2s as well. If your entire show goes through a switcher and it fails, the entire show fails. However, failures of those boxes are rare and quite frequently due to operator error. The system you describe is pretty much a true fail safe since you have two identical systems running in parallel. You could remove any component from one system, and the other could just take over. The downside is if they get out of sync you might see a mess on the screen (unless the "backup" projectors are shuttered). Another problem would be if the show has a problem, both machines will hit the same problem at the same time. I commonly keep my backup machine synced by manually jumping ahead as the primary computer runs. That way if running over a cue causes the failure, the backup has missed it. I have switched shows this way with very minimal down time to the screen (although it seems like years back stage!). There is no right or wrong way to do it, just different approaches. Good luck, and I hope you never have to use your backup!
  5. Windows 8 License

    I am setting up a new computer for Watchout use. It is an exact clone of an existing machine that is running windows 8.1. However, when I look for a license to purchase, I cannot find one. It appears Microsoft has successfully pushed everyone to Windows 10. My understanding is that Windows 10 isn't the best choice for Watchout. Has that changed? I didn't want to take the time to struggle through configuring a new Windows 10 setup (if that is even possible), so was hoping to find a place to purchase a license key (don't need the software or discs or anything). Anyone know where to find one? Steve
  6. Watchout Display loses signal when going online

    If the resolution of your monitor is set to something different than the display spec in the stage specs, the display will re-sync to the resolution specified in Watchpoint when you go on line. This will cause a momentary loss of signal. Could that be what is happening?
  7. Reusing Stage Elements

    What I do is to create a "base" show that has all the elements I need on the stage. Then I can start a new show with the base show, or copy and paste as mentioned by Josef. Should parameters change, you can update the base show and then use copy and paste. Not quite as elegant as your wish for the ability to reference the stage between shows, however.
  8. Watchpoint inexplicably opens 3 instances of itself?

    I have run across this problem through various iterations of Watchout (both version 5 and version 6). The most common is on startup, Watchout will load 2 instances of the display if I try to start it using the startup folder. If I manually start, this problem doesn't occur. I have also had the problem with Live Update if the display crashes (crashing seems to be a feature of Live Update, I always try to remember to exit Live Update at show time). Steve
  9. My approach would be to tune the system for Watchout, then create an image of the system. Then you can install and tune the system for your other uses. Create an image of that system. Then you simply install whichever image you need. No conflicts.
  10. Mac Pro/Mini Bootcamp WO 6?

    I've been running the "trashcan" Mac Pros with win 8.1 (Jim is correct, they won't run Win 7). I use them for both displays and production. They work great, although for the money a dedicated PC will be more bang for the buck. Since we use the machines for other purposes as Macs, it was easy to install boot camp and give them an additional use for WO. I am also using the last Macbook Pro retina machine for production (also win 8.1). Haven't tried using it for display, but seems like it should work. I've used older Mac Minis for production and display with Win 7. They aren't very beefy, but will run some simple stuff.
  11. TRAX - Hunt for PAX SAV Adaptor Art. No. 3430

    Once upon a time, Media Fabricators (http://www.mediafab.com/index.html) had quite a bit of Trax stuff.
  12. Change Tween Track on Multiple Cues at Once

    Shoman, thanks for the tip (I did not know that tab moved put me in the tween field without selecting a particular tween track). That did help streamline the process, although I still had to touch every cue. Walter - it does appear that virtual displays would be an alternate solution. However, I have experience with using variables so that wasn't as hard to wrap my head around. I think if I was starting from scratch, I might think about virtual displays. Since I already had a program built, I'm not sure that would have been any faster to implement. Thanks all for the suggestions, I am in a much better place for our move into the hall. steve
  13. Change Tween Track on Multiple Cues at Once

    OK, back to the original problem. Thanks Jim for pointing me in the proper direction. Between you and Thomas, I have now created the proper variables to achieve what I wanted quickly. I still have the issue of having to touch each cue that I have already made. I can not find a way to globally copy the formula I need to each cue. With corner tweens, each cue has 8 parameters so that means I have to click and enter 8 times on each cue. I have 4 projectors, so that means 36 variables to be entered for each "look". It would be really helpful to be able to copy and paste the formulas from one cue to another, much like we currently copy tween points. This is where the generic variables that Shoman mentions could come in handy. As it stands, the best method I can come up with is to copy and paste cues that already have all the variables, then replace the media with the correct media. I still have to manually transfer any other tween points that I have already entered on specific cues. It will be a tedious task, but worth the time savings when I get to the show site.
  14. Tween Expression from Input

    I'm trying to wrap my head around expressions and how to use them. I have a situation that seems ready made for a properly written expression. I have a midi controller with a fader that is set up as an input (let's call it "Hue"). I have a cue with a Hue tween track. I set the expression to be "TweenValue + Hue" and I can control the Hue. It will rotate through the spectrum with the input going from 0 to 1 and the resulting Hue going between 0 and 360. So far so good. What I want to do is limit the values that Hue rotates through. For instance, say my Hue starts at 20. As I move the fader, I want it to move between 20 and 50, so as I scroll up the fader the Hue will never go past 50. This is where I'm stuck. It seems that somehow using a "<" or ">" function would do this. I have tried multiple interactions but can't seem to get the desired result. Any expressions experts out there? Steve