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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. I'm diving in to a project with several odd shaped LED walls, and virtual displays make an elegant solution. In the manual, it warns to be careful about creating too many virtual displays ("Using a large number of virtual displays may degrade the performance of your system.") I'm just trying to figure out how many displays will start degrading performance. I realize this is dependent on my system, I'm trying to understand how virtual displays impact overall performance.
  2. I would second the preference for HAP. It is very high quality and playback is much better than any other format I have tried. I will sometimes use ProRes, but that is generally in a "get it on the screen" mode when that is the format delivered. If you can do a minimal amount of planning, there are plug ins for Adobe to allow rendering directly to HAP. Once I started using HAP, I've never looked back.
  3. So sad to hear. Thomas was always a great contributor on this forum and an asset to the community.
  4. Adobe has responded to the request thread asking to bring HAP back, and they say it is now in the latest release. https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/33853372-support-the-hap-codec?tracking_code=f30b83b57ef5a3a3eec8c04c7bad6399. There is also a plug in developed by Disguise that will add HAP encoding to the CC products https://github.com/disguise-one/hap-encoder-adobe-cc/releases.
  5. In the windows display control panel, you can say "identify all" and windows will put a number on each screen. Those are the numbers Watchout will use.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. My understanding of how Watchout works is what Mike says. However, based on this when you reach the 10 file limit you shouldn't be able to add other files. That is the interesting part of this. Does anyone have an explanation of why Alex can change to a different file and add another 10 instances?
  15. 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.
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