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matkeane

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  1. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    Hi Josef, Yes, and that is a really nice time-saver, but it would be even better if it were possible to change the 'advanced' properties of multiple cues (blend mode, etc) at once - similar to the way it's now possible to edit the specifications of multiple displays at once.
  2. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    The recent update to thread about the Photoshop import script reminded me of a feature I think would be a big improvement to Watchout: a scripting API for show creation and modification. When building shows with Watchout, I seem to spend a large part of my time double-clicking and copy-pasting. I’ve already created scripts and small apps to speed up some things, but the current ‘copy-and-paste’ API has its limits. A scriptable API for Watchout would make automating repetitive tasks simpler and quicker. The creator of the Photoshop import script has also created a clipboard manager app for storing frequently used Tweens, etc, which is a good example of what could be simplified. An example I encounter quite often: I have a folder of client videos, each with a different duration. I create a Task with the first files, add the audio file with a generic input for the volume, a countdown and fade out for the end, and so on. Then I duplicate the Task and replace the video file, try not to forget the audio file, drag out the video file to the new duration, move the countdown, slide the opacity tween points to the new end point, rename the Task and so on and so on with my folder of videos, all the while hoping I don’t get distracted in the middle of the process and skip something. If, instead, I could write a little script (Python, Java, Javascript, Lua, whatever...) to loop through all the videos in a folder and build the tasks, with the video set to the correct duration, generic inputs created and assigned, it would be a big time saver. Imagine if, at conferences with hundreds of participants, I could point a CSV file at the Watchout text tool and build all the names with one click! When I’ve shown Watchout to people in the past - especially those familiar with other media server systems - their reaction is often that the Watchout UI is a bit ‘clunky’. A scripting API wouldn’t require adding any complexity to the UI, so it wouldn’t change using Watchout in the normal way. But, when I look at the eco-system of plugins and scripts that has developed around After Effects, for example, I think Watchout could benefit from the added flexibility. It could make it easier to add certain feature requests using scripts - re-usable tween curves anyone? Check out the Flow script for After Effects! Need to change the blend mode of 97 video clips without going crazy? Check out this little script… etc, etc. In the meantime, if it were possible to copy the duration of a video clip from the Media window, that would already be an improvement.
  3. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    Quite often, yes. There's another thread on this forum about strategies for show backups/spares, but quite often I run shows with main & backup player machines controlled from 1 producer machine (usually with a spare producer laptop nearby). Occasionally, on bigger shows, there are redundant systems for everything - production, players, projectors - but then it all syncs to one timecode source... It usually comes down to the budget for the project.
  4. matkeane

    Import Layers from Photoshop

    It is still possible to create data-driven PSD files, although I think the name of the feature has changed in the CC versions of Photoshop - the data & variables functions allow you to create layers or files from a CSV data source. More info here: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/creating-data-driven-graphics.html
  5. matkeane

    RESET command protocol

    @Mike Fahl: That makes sense now, thanks! I just did some quick tests and it works as Mike describes - but uses the STOP, not RESET, command. I opened up a recent project in which I had 6 audio jingle tasks, so I added a new composition into which I pasted a control cue, and then duplicated and modified it to create 6 cues to stop each of the audio jingle tasks. I pasted the composition into all of the audio tasks and now, starting any of those tasks will kill the other tasks, but not the task from which it was called. Are control cues in compositions actually supported behaviour though? They can't be created directly in compositions, but can be copy-and-pasted into place and then modified. This has turned out to be extremely handy in the past, but I'm never sure whether it's supposed to work, or just a useful bug. And, as Mike says, you still need to manually add a control cue for each task you want to kill, but at least the composition trick makes it reusable, and updatable in one place.
  6. matkeane

    RESET command protocol

    Somewhere way back in the epic Feature Request thread, Mike Fahl suggested that this is possible, but I've never quite worked out what he meant - perhaps he can chime in to enlighten us!
  7. matkeane

    Watchout 6.3.1 Bug Copying Tweens

    Hi jfk, The source and target cues were identical (except stage coordinates). It was somewhat related to the other thread about large resolution video playback... Long story short - I hit the HAP import limit at 8000px on the production machine I was using, so split content into 4 UHD slices. Each video clip was made up of 4 separate cues on the timeline but, of course, that then meant that any colour correction had to be applied identically to 4 clips, which is why I was trying to copy-paste hue tweens with a shared generic input. I set up (and tested) the tween and formula on the first video cue, and tried to paste it to the 3 other slices, but no joy. It was about 3am at this point, so I didn't really have the energy to go through all the options methodically to work out why it wasn't working but, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, once I had time to calmly reproduce the problem at the office (with the same media and also some small test images), adding a single keyframe (even if it's ignored by the tween formula) is enough to enable copy-pasting.
  8. @jfk, @Erik - Thanks for that info about the HAP limits. Is the limit imposed by the GPU in the production machine, or is Watchout checking with connected players what their GPU limits are? Just curious, as I often run shows with production laptops which are much less powerful than the player machines - does that mean I might hit the import limit for HAP on production even though a player machine would be capable of playing back the file?
  9. The maximum resolution at which a HAP video file can be imported into Watchout is currently 8000x8000px. I don't know whether that is a software limitation, or whether it is limited by the GPU. Either way, HAP media at higher resolutions must be split into pieces for playback. In general, the graphics company will deliver content at full resolution and quality (i.e. uncompressed, if feasible, or using lossless compression) which might, for example, be a ProRes video file or an image sequence (which makes partial content updates/corrections easier). The file size and data rate will usually make this unsuitable for playback. However, the next step is to use this as your master for slicing up and compressing the content, using a codec more suitable for playback in Watchout - HAP, MPEG2, h264, etc, depending on circumstances. The delivery format may also depend on your physical proximity to the graphics company - lossless codecs are more suitable for delivery on a hard-drive. If files are being sent over the internet, you may want to compromise with some form of compression to speed up transfer times, or use image sequences which can be transferred image-by-image rather than as one huge file.
  10. Hi, It looks that 25Gb file is the full 13824x3464px resolution though. I thought your plan was to split the content into roughly UHD-ish chunks (in any case, Watchout won't accept HAP files above 8000px). On a recent project, I also ended up splitting content into roughly UHD resolution pieces which, at 25fps, were running at around 450Mbps on average. That was a 25 minute show but content was in 1-3 minute scenes which made rendering/copying/importing/updating easier to manage than dealing with content of the full duration.
  11. In my experience, h264 - even with constant data rate and a fixed keyframe interval - is not necessarily decoded in perfect sync across multiple outputs. Also, you haven't said anything about the duration of your media. If your content is long, say 30 mins to an hour then, at the resolutions you're talking about, you might have to think about disk capacity if you use the Hap codec (512Gb SSDs can fill up fast). On the other hand, I've seen long-ish (17 minute duration, encoded by the client) h264 files require 2-3 minutes of preloading to get a clean start without stuttering. I generally encode video with either the Hap codec or as MPEG2 (you can find encoding tips on the forum). I haven't tried playing image sequences in a show yet. For very large resolutions like your video wall, it might simplify content preparation (no slicing required), but you would have to test carefully to make sure the data rate didn't exceed the capacity of the player machines.
  12. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    Thanks Josef - I can't believe I missed that in the release notes!
  13. matkeane

    Watchout 6.3.1 Bug Copying Tweens

    I think I have narrowed this down... I first encountered it during a show just before Christmas, using Win7 Pro producer machines, and was able to reproduce it at home (also on Win7 Pro production) in both the show file and a new test file. I've just started a new test project and I can happily copy-paste opacity and scale tweens but not hue-and-saturation (copy option is greyed out in the menu)... that is, until I add a keyframe. Once there is a keyframe (for any of the hue/saturation/gain values), the 'copy' option is available in the menu. Same applies for other tweens. Why do I want to copy a tween with no values set? Because I'm using it with a formula linked to a generic input, so that I can control the hue/saturation of several clips at the same time. It looks like adding an initial keyframe with a default value allows me to set up a formula and then paste it to another clip, but it seems like copy-pasting of tweens is not always consistent though - opacity, scale and z-rotation tweens can be copied without keyframes, but not other tween effects. Scale and z-rotation I can almost understand, as they can be set in the UI without actually adding a keyframe, but I can copy an empty (no keyframes or formula) opacity tween track... Perhaps only tween tracks with a single property value can be copied without keyframes? So I guess it's not a bug, just user error (would be nice if copy-paste behaviour were consistent though).
  14. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    Multiple, related, requests in one: Can we please change the defaults for 3D object import, so that they aren't silently scaled to 1000px? I first noticed this in 6.1.6, but 6.3.1 has the same behaviour. If Watchout insists on scaling a media file on import, can we at least generate a warning message so that the change doesn’t go unnoticed (and I dumbly start scaling stuff on the stage before I realise the source of the problem)? The Media window displays the object's pixel size, but it never occurred to me that Watchout would modify media specifications without asking/warning me. It would be nice if, after I have set the media settings of the first object imported to be at 100%, subsequent imports used the same settings, to save having to make the same change on every object. Currently, when importing several 3D objects where it's important to respect the relative sizes, I have to change the settings for each one. Better still, could we please add the ability to select multiple media files and change settings with one click? That way, I could just drag all the 3D objects into the media window, select them all and set their scale to 100% in one go. Or, for example, when the graphics person sends me 80 title PNG files with a weird alpha channel, I could select all the images in one go and change the alpha interpretation.
  15. matkeane

    Feature requests? - POST here

    It would be really helpful if there was a simpler/quicker way to enable/disable displays and assign them to player machines than double-clicking each display one-by-one. Once the output ID is set in the display dialog, it would be great to be able to drag-select a group of displays (on the stage or in the stage list panel) and change the player, either in the contextual-menu, or maybe by dragging onto a player machine in the network window. I know that I can assign a player name to a different machine in the network window, but that's not exactly the issue... On a recent project, I had 21 displays, plus another 21 for the backups. Pushing media to all 10 player machines was slowing down show programming enough that I disabled the backup machines while working on the show with the client, then enabled them at night to push media to all machines. I realise I could have cut-and-pasted the backup displays into a text file as a workaround, but a quick drag-to-select then right-click to enable/disable would be quicker still. On the same project, a group of 14 displays required geometry correction. I did the warping on the main displays, then copy-pasted the displays onto the backup tier, but then had to manually reassign the player machines for all 14 displays one-by-one. If, for example, I could drag to select displays 1-4, and right-click to 'assign to Backup 1' etc, it would be a real time-saver. For managing backup displays, it would be even better (from a UX point of view) if I didn't have to duplicate displays on extra tiers at all - if it were possible to associate displays with more than one player, I wouldn't need to copy-paste geometry between sets of displays, I could just right-click and 'add player' to assign an additional machine. In the meantime, anything which speeds up the process and reduces the wear on my left mouse button would be a welcome improvement.
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