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How to freeze / pause a video in free run?


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Hi all.


Is it possible to "freeze" or pause a video during free run?  We're doing a musical and are controlling Watchout via MIDI showcontrol from a lighting console.  We have videos running in free run, to allow us to control the fadeouts (opacity) as needed at random times dependent on the action on stage.  However, we want the ability to pause a video at a random time based on the action on the stage, and resume it when necessary, and then fade it out when necessary.  None of it can be set in the timeline, it all needs to be triggered as needed.  And we don't want to see any jumps in the video by jumping around the timeline.


Is this possible?


Many thanks for your help.

Zach Moore

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Don't think one can pause a free run video. The very description eliminates a pause!

However, instead of free run, choose loop, and type in a duration longer than what you need. Now you can pause the video with another Aux Timeline that has a Pause cue for that particular timeline. This means one Pause Aux Timeline for each Video Aux Timeline.

Alternative is to use a programmable RS-232 keypad (like the ones from Genovation), and configure a key to Pause Aux Timeline, another set of keys with calculator-like numerical 0-9 keys and a 'Take' key with the $0D value. This assumes your Aux Timelines are all referred to as Aux Timeline1, Aux Timeline2, etc  This way, a combination of 3 keys or more are required to pause an Aux Timeline, eg. key "Pause Aux Timeline" + key "2" + key "5" (to address Aux Timeline25), then key "Take" to execute the Pause. Works also with the Run command.


Opacity can controlled by a MIDI Mod Wheel controller assigned to the Opacity tween. Or use the Griffin Powermate with http://www.chromedecay.org/2009/07/02/announcing-ctrl4-ctrl8-midi-control-for-griffin-powermate-puredata/ that converts the Powermate to a MIDI controller Mod Wheel to fade up/down your videos.


good luck!

Thomas Leong

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Sorry but I'm not familiar with the MSC command set to answer that - don't have a MSC capable device to play with. Perhaps someone else here may be able to answer your Opacity control-with-MSC question.


Suggest you also check with the Lighting console manual. Can it output MIDI notes (not just MSC)? Can one or more of the faders be assigned as a MIDI Mod Wheel controller? For a smooth fade in/out, the MIDI Mod Wheel is one way. Another is DMX but this would require additional equipment via Artnet (which a lighting company should not have problems with I guess).


Thomas Leong

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In an effort to make things as simple and consistant as possible, we want to minimize the controls to simply hitting GO on the lighting console to fire all projection cues.


What we figured out today was (like you mentioned) playing the video on an aux timeline, and having control cues in the main timeline to pause / resume the video.  To fade it out, we used an additional aux timeline that fades in a black image over the video timeline, essentially "fading out" the video.  It seems to be doing what we needed, but in a backwards way.


I do wish Watchout would handle cueing a little easier.  It seems that something like a fadeout on cue should be much easier to accomplish without having to use multiple timelines or external devices.  Maybe us in the theatre world are just used to equipment that operates by hitting GO...  I would love a "Fade Out" control cue.


Thanks for your input.


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Well you can also do a fade out with the Standby cue (manual Ctrl-B).


But what you've done - with a black image in an Aux Timeline - is innovative. I wouldn't call it a 'backwards sort of way'. It is innovative as this black can be applied to all video Aux Timelines - i.e. when you have more than one video. Good to know you have achieved your objective.


You can put in a suggestion for a Fade Out control cue in the "Features Request" thread :



Have a good show!

Thomas Leong

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