Watchout - A first use Review

For 3 years I was told by my college professor about this wondrous show control program called Watchout that was super easy to program, incredibly powerful, and the total industry standard. The only drawback of it was the cost of having dedicated computers for each projector connected. I finally got the opportunity to use it and i waaaaaas......

Honestly a little disappointed. Of course it could never measure up to the level I had set in my head but it has presented me with a few flaws.

The Timeline is a very user friendly way of programming a show. At least at the beginning. My problems came when I was trying to cross fade into a video without it effecting where it was on the timeline. It took a day of researching (the Watchout online community seems very hidden/small) but eventually I did learn you could make another timeline, then use a play cue to fade into that timeline, but then you have to be absolutely sure there's a way to stop that second timeline or else it will cover your video for as long as you let it run. I will admit besides that I was programming my show in about an hour and felt comfortable with the program. My next problem came when integrating qlab into running my cues.

The Midi integration was at first very easy to use, simply naming cues as I put them in. However the problem I consistently keep coming across is that when you jump to a video it stay black for the first few second an a half. I'm hoping to fix this problem by chaining the codecs of my videos but we'll have to wait and see.

Watchout would be a great program for shows where there's always a background image up but when content needs to pop in and out it certainly falters. It bills itself heavily on its website as being the best for corporate presentations and museums and for that I would totally agree.

Of course these are simply my opinions and I've had no formal watchout training which id say actually reflects positively on the program that you could quickly have a basic understanding very quickly once you start using it.


John EricksonComment