Jump to content

Best way to manage cues during show

Stephen Bowles

Recommended Posts

I was wondering what the most efficient form of executing a show via cues would be. I primarily work in corporate events where there is a stage manager who is calling screen presets (watch out cues).


I have of course read the manuals and I know watchout offers flexibility with aux timelines, comps and control cues. I was simply wondering what everyones experience has suggested the best way to handle sequential cues. Should I build a linear timeline with pause and play cues, or stack a bunch of aux timelines.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Stephen- like you I primarily work in corporate events and since the advent of aux timelines I have come to rely on them more and more. So much so that the last two conferences I have done were run entirley from aux timelines, with standby layers on the main timeline if I needed them.

Producers love the flexibility of them and I tend to come armed with a palette of moves and effects for bringing in pips. If you use cues to stop other aux timelines you can do intricate scene changes with one button push. But typically I have all my pips on aux timelines and also background scenes,texts and movies.When i need them I can call them quickly and easily.

One word of advice if using aux timelines to play movies:place the movie maybe 200 milliseconds along the timeline.And before you hit play, hit stop first to signal Watchout you are about to use that cue. I have found occasionally that if I just hit play then one of the displays may fail to trigger.But by pressing stop first this problem goes away.

There is a discussion on this elsewhere on the forum.




All the best

Neil Stratton

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I appreciate the advice. Other questions for you, how are you asking stage managers to call cues? Do you give them cue #'s or names? For example, "standby light 53, IR 46 & WATCHOUT 38" ? Do you label your aux timelines or control cues by the cue # so you can quickly find the proper cue based on a showflow/Q2Q?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stephen-I give the cues names(while you have the aux timeline open go to >Timeline>Timeline Settings and name the aux timeline).So for example names associated with the vt perhaps(Opening Vt etc) and maybe "One Data Pip 2 camera Pips" for example as a scene.Also, using the Stacking Order tab in the Timeline Settings allows you to over-ride the default stacking order.So if you have a full screen playback pip you can set it to 'Always on Top'. Otherwise the timelines will appear as per the order they are in the task window.Top tasks sit over ones below.

I also put numbers in the names to make finding them easier.

Hope this helps


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member

I use AUX timelines almost exclusively at this point. Any show I've built will have zero content on the Main Timeline. My Aux Timelines break the flow down to the smallest parts possible, almost like PowerPoint slides. Every look, every transition, every everything almost has its own AUX. If there is a need for a quick rearrangement of cues in a show (like a presenter is going early, or cancelled, or late, etc) I can either rearrange* my AUXs very quick compared to a linear Main Timeline, or simply cue the AUX Timelines out of order (I tend to stack my AUX in order, Slide 1 on the bottom, Last Slide on top). If a video background needs to end early I can do that by simply starting the next AUX on top of it! No more waiting for a very long cue to time out before you can jump in with a new one!


The other nice thing about the AUX is, as stated above, you can name them anything you want! Some stage managers I work with are very flexible for names and some are very strict. The AUX Timelines allow me to keep everyone happy!


They also have individual run times that report back in the Task window which is nice.


They also allow for a sort of manual "prepping". By pressing the STOP on an inactive Timeline you can get it ready to run. Using the AUX this way tends to give me better sync starts than simply hitting PLAY first. Hitting STOP on an inactive AUX will cause the first frame to show so I either gap the content or use a Tween Opacity to ramp in the content unless there is some reason I want instant content, like cut switching between camera inputs from capture cards.


*rearranging the position of the AUXs requires an Update if you need to maintain the stacking order. You can change the AUX order in Production all you want but if you need to change the Z positions of the AUX themselves so one comes in on top of another and follows your change: this needs an Upate. Updating will cause WatchOUT to drop out so be careful. I tend to make changes on my "backup" or non-live system, update it, then switch over to it and make the same changes on my "main" system which is now my non-live system. This is not very fun if you don't have something like a Spyder between you and the screens...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...