Jump to content
Dataton Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About matkeane

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

673 profile views
  1. In the past, whenever I've had to deal with very large format Powerpoints, it's been split across multiple PCs. You just have to make sure you have _exactly_ the same number of steps on each slide (going forwards and backwards) and then use something like a PerfectCue to control both machines with the remote control (or a multi-cue, if you need 3 or 4 machines in sync). Managing changes across 2 presentations can be a pain, but it seems more likely that you will manage to get a UHD output from a powerpoint PC working than an 8K signal. Bear in mind that you probably won't get perfect sync between machines though - even on slide transitions with supposedly identical machines - so you probably don't want to try playing video. Although if you need 8K video playback, then you have the Watchout so...
  2. The question is not entirely clear, but I wonder whether the OP was asking about anamorphic lenses - like the concave mirror adapters used to shoot 360 degree video - or motorised mirror heads which allow a circular image to be projected in different directions... I've never seen the concave lenses used for projection, but there was a discussion on another forum about dome projections using a single projector and a convex hemispheric mirror - although apparently it's both fiddly to align and expensive. An example of motorised mirror heads can be found here: https://www.dynamicprojection.com/mirror-head-en/ - and I believe I saw a demo of something similar from Panasonic.
  3. Recent forum posts about slow network transfers when dealing with large media files reminded me of this... The ability to constrain which media gets pushed to which displays in Live Update mode would be useful in some cases. On the last couple of projects, I had two distinct sets of displays, with media created specifically for each area - content for the front screen will never be displayed on the back, and vice-versa. When I activate Live Update, so that I can tweak some effects in real-time, all media is pushed to all servers - resulting in a long wait while several hundred Gb of files is transferred to players which will never use that content. The only workaround seems to be to temporarily deactivate displays, but then the client only gets to see half the content update live, so it’s not really a solution in most cases. Other media server software seems to manage this problem with named servers and string matching with media filenames so that, for example, a media file named ‘my_file_front.mov’ won’t be transferred to a server named ‘back’. It seems a bit of a clunky solution, but it does work. I wonder whether, in Watchout, it would be possible to exclude certain folders in the media window from selected stage Tiers… That way I could put all media files destined for the front screens in one folder, right click to bring up options for that folder, and select only the ‘front’ Tier to ensure media was never pushed to displays on other stage tiers.
  4. The 'Format' shows as Mpeg-4, which is a bit surprising to me. I've only ever used HAP encoded Quicktime movies with a .mov extension. Is this Hap video in an MPEG-4 container, or did it accidentally get renamed as an .mp4? Could that be what's confusing Watchout?
  5. Are you looping by jumping back to the start of the aux timeline, or by placing the audio tracks in a composition and setting free-run/looping on that in an aux timeline? I have found that the composition method usually works better, but I haven't actually tried with a seamless audio loop.
  6. Hi Mike, The problem I have encountered with compositions is that (sometimes) when media cues within a composition use a blend mode other than normal, the cues 'pop' on and off instead of fading smoothly, once I apply an opacity tween to the whole composition in a task. I initially ran into this with a fairly complex wait loop containing free-running loops and various blend modes. Nesting the whole thing in a composition gave hiccups with opacity tweens and looping, but placed in a task everything ran smoothly, but then it was difficult to fade everything out mid-sequence if necessary.
  7. I would find it really useful to have a master opacity and volume control for all cues within an auxiliary timeline, so that I can say something like 'Task 11 - fade out nicely over 2 seconds and then stop!'. Currently I'm doing this by creating generic inputs for my_task_opacity and my_task_volume, but then I need to add them to every media cue in each task timeline, which can be a slow process. For some simpler tasks, like live inputs, I nest a composition in a task with a fade-in/pause/fade-out which achieves the same thing but, having to create compositions for every task is also time consuming. If I could do something like 'setInput my_task_01.opacity 0 1000', I'd find that really useful.
  8. To piggyback on Cowboyclint's suggestion, it would be nice if it were possible to change the timecode display format for a timeline (or for all timelines based on the Project frame rate) and let Watchout deal with the conversion to milliseconds. Content creators (in my part of the world at least) are more familiar with working at 25fps, and doing timecode calculations in my head while also multiplying by 40ms per frame seems like something a computer would probably do faster and more accurately! Also, the ability to enter relative timecodes would be great - e.g. hit ctrl+J and then type +12.20 to jump forward 12 seconds and 20 frames from the current timeline position.
  9. I'm currently working on a Watchout installation at the Paris airshow. In addition to the production and player machines, I have a Watchnet 1.4 server running and a SurfacePro that the client can use to cue various clips on demand. So far the Watchnet setup is working well, but I have a few questions... Occasionally, before or after the show opens, I need to make changes in the control booth and so I put the show in Standby (triggered by Production, not Watchnet). Is there a way to show the standby status in a Watchnet panel, so that the user outside on the floor can understand why the buttons are unresponsive? I wondered about creating a 'standby' panel and forcing the Watchnet UI to navigate to a holding page, but that would require somehow triggering a 'navigate' command on the remote UI. I can just switch the screen off, of course, but a blank screen tends to worry the client, plus it means a lot of walking back and forth! Is it possible to trigger Watchnet commands from Production? Now I have all my scripts set up in the Watchnet server, It would sometimes be handy to be able to trigger them when I need to launch a specific task from production, without recreating the same events in my Tasks. Is there a way to temporarily disable buttons via a script? Once certain tasks are running, I'd like to disable the other buttons until the current task is finished to avoid lots of videos being launched at the same time. And finally, just a detail, is there a way to add a newline to button text? I was trying to add the clip duration under the title, but my attempts at adding '\n' and '<br/>' didn't get me anywhere, and extra spaces seem to get stripped out. Thanks for any help and suggestions!
  10. To expand on JFK's suggestion - I usually then put the live input and the drop shadow/border layer together in a composition so that I can move and scale the whole thing as required without 2 sets of Tweens to manage. Placing the live input in a composition doesn't seem to affect the latency.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. @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.
  • Create New...