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Watchout Timeline -> EDL or XML?

timeline export edl xml workflow

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#1 doctorhandshake

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:39 PM

Hi -

 

I'm evaluating Watchout for a deployment of a multi-screen (many many screens) workflow wherein I'd like to be able to make some rough editing decisions in the Watchout timeline and then export those trim / start/end points as an EDL or XML or what have you for the purposes of using them in an NLE or compositing environment upstream of the Watchout playback system.

 

Is there any way to do this in Watchout? 

 

Thanks very much,

 

N



#2 matkeane

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 08:05 AM

Hi,

 

There's no native 'import/export as XML' function (maybe in WO6?) but it is possible to get cue data in and out of Watchout using text files and some scripting. I toyed with this idea for a project where the video content was being rough-edited in Final Cut before being added to the Watchout show, but never got around to it. Support for XML import/export could simplify some of the repetitive parts of show creation - Maybe you should add a post to the feature request thread: http://forum.dataton.com/topic/794-feature-requests-post-here/



#3 Mike Fahl

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:38 AM

The show file is in human readable text form. It's not XML, but somewhat similar (albeit less verbose than XML). In v6 I've added some comments to the file to make it easier to navigate by associating each property value with its name (yes, this makes it a little more XML-ish, but still less verbose, and more readable IMO).

 

You may want to take a look at this once V6 is out. Open the .watch file with your favorite ZIP tool, and pull out the DFC_Data file, which contains the show data. Open it up with a text editor and hack away. The same format is used on the clipboard, so you can also copy/paste individual cues, compositions or entire auxiliary timelines in the same way, allowing the data to be "massaged" in between.

 

Mike



#4 doctorhandshake

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 02:18 PM

Hey thanks Mike and Mat — 

 

Questions based on this:

 

• Are there dependencies external to that DFC_Data file that will be corrupted if I modify that DFC_Data directly outside of Watchout?

 

• Do you have a sample v6 DFC_Data file (or .watch) that I can take a look at? Trying to evaluate what parsing this stuff is going to look like.

 

Thanks,

 

N



#5 matkeane

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 05:59 PM

Hi Mike, I'm downloading the WO6 Beta now, so I haven't had a chance to install and play with it yet, but extra comments in the data sounds great - I've sometimes got lost while wading through deeply nested properties, so that will be really helpful!

 

doctorhandshake: I tend to copy/paste data in and out of WO, rather than attempt to modify the show file directly, so there's always the option to undo. Also, if you mess up the syntax while pasting, WO seems to ignore anything it doesn't recognise, so malformed data just silently fails, rather than corrupting the show.

 

An easy way to get started is to drop a few cues on the timeline, then select everything and paste into a text editor.



#6 doctorhandshake

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:28 PM

Makes sense, mat — do you have a WO6 Beta data file you might post for me? (one with some things in the timeline?) 

 

I'm on a Mac with limited access to other machines at the moment but I want to take a look at the markup for scripting purposes ...



#7 matkeane

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 12:00 PM

I've uploaded a simple WO6 test file and media to Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0h5aj5hxnk4pt6e/AACu1AppumF6T3dEW4NwHWV1a?dl=0

 

The project contains 3 video cues on separate layers: The first has no special settings; The second is set to free-run/looping; The third uses the new playback speed setting in WO6.

 

There are two text files - 'media video 01 wo6 project.txt' is the unzipped DFC_Data file (renamed for clarity); 'media video 01 wo6 main-timeline.txt' is the result of pasting the content of the main timeline into a text editor. The main project file structure contains project preferences, displays and the media window content, which you may not necessarily need if you just want to get the timecodes and filenames of cues in the main timeline.

 

Hope that helps. By the way, at home I usually program shows using Watchout in a virtual machine on my Mac - works fine.

 

@Mike: Thanks to your instructions in the other thread, I now have Watchout 5 and 6 running on the same machine, and the comments in the WO6 project data are very helpful. Thank you!



#8 SHOMAN

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 04:14 PM

Long time Watchout user here, since v1 actually.

 

Mike, what is Dataton's official stance on developing utility software that utilizes the WO structure. Clearly it's copywrited and wouldn't want to invest a bunch of dev time writing goodies for watchout if Dataton ultimately decided to send me a cease and desist. :-)



#9 Mike Fahl

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:09 PM

IANAL, but as long as you're writing auxiliary software that supports WATCHOUT and makes it easier/better in some way for some purpose, I personally have no problem with that.

 

Mike



#10 doctorhandshake

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 05:03 PM

Thank you Mat!!







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