Stage Menu

Add 2D Display/Projector

Adds a new display of the specified size to the Stage window. After adding a display, open its dialog box to enter its specifications (see “2D Display/Projector”).

Use this command to add flat panel displays (LCD, LED, etc) as well as projectors for flat surfaces. Also use it for projection on curved surfaces that can be managed using the geometry correction capabilities of WATCHOUT (see “Preview Quality”). For projection mapping or projection onto 3D geometry, use “Add 3D Mapping Projector” instead (see below).

IMPORTANT: Displays and projectors can not be added while Online is selected on the Stage menu.

The secondary menu provides some common display sizes as shortcuts. You can, however, enter any size in the display’s dialog box as long as it is supported by the physical display and the interface card in the display computer.

NOTE: Displays and projectors are added to the current stage tier (see “Using Stage Tiers for Complex Display Arrangements”). Move between tiers using the Cut and Paste commands.

Add 3D Mapping Projector

Adds a projector that can be freely positioned and rotated in the Stage window. While a 2D Display/Projector can be positioned and rotated on the X/Y plane, a 3D Projector can be positioned anywhere in 3D space, and can be pointed in any direction. Use this type of display device when projecting onto 3D geometry, such as a car or a piece of furniture, represented by a 3D model (see “3D Models”).

For more details on how to use 3D Projectors, see “3D Mapping Projector”

Add Virtual Display

A virtual display is conceptually similar to regular 2D displays, with one important distinction. Rather than outputting its pixels to a physical display or projector through a graphics card, those pixels are made available for use within WATCHOUT itself.

When you add a virtual display, not only do you get a display rectangle in the Stage window, but you also get a new media item added to the Media window, with the same name as the virtual display. Use this media item as any other image media source in WATCHOUT. Anything that hits the virtual display on Stage will appear on this image.

One advantage of virtual displays is that they are not constrained to the dimensions supported by common displays and graphics cards, allowing you to use any reasonable width or height. This makes them useful for modeling LED walls, which often use modules of odd pixel dimensions. The video below provides an introduction.

Another use for virtual displays is to generate dynamic textures for 3D models. While you can drop a simple image or video directly onto a 3D object as a texture, this doesn’t give you much control over that image. If you instead use a Virtual Display to texture the 3D model, you have all the layering, compositing, tweening and real-time rendering capabilities of WATCHOUT at your disposal. This video provides an introduction.

For more details, see “Virtual Display”


Sets the viewing scale of the Stage window. A larger preview gives you greater precision in positioning displays and images using the mouse.

HINT: In addition to these fixed scale factors, you can zoom to any area of interest using the mouse while holding down the Control key, or choose "Frame Displays" to scale the Stage window to enclose all displays.

Frame Displays

Scales and scrolls the Stage window to enclose all displays and projectors. This command is useful if you want to get an overview of your entire set of displays/projectors, or if you accidentally scrolled your displays out of view and can’t seem to find them.

Scroll to Origo

Resets the scrolling of the Stage window so that its X/Y zero position is at the top/left of the window. I may occasionally be useful to place 3D projectors or content at negative stage coordinates. To do so, you need to scroll the stage window above or to the left of the zero point (origo). You can then use the “Scroll to Origo” command to reset the stage window’s scroll position.

NOTE: The zero point is indicated by gray lines in the Stage window.


Rotates the Stage window preview so that you can view 3D models, motion paths and other elements from the left or top instead of the front. This is useful when positioning content in 3D space, or editing complex motion paths (see “Rotating the View of the Stage Window”).


Manages stage tiers, which are useful for building elaborate display arrangements (see “Using Stage Tiers for Complex Display Arrangements”).

Selects the main stage tier. There’s always at least one stage tier. Any additional stage tiers will be listed below “Main” on this sub-menu.

NOTE: In order to add or manipulate displays, you must first select their stage tier using this menu. Inaccessible displays are shown with a dotted outline in the Stage window, and a small text will appear when you point at such a display, telling you which tier it resides on.

Adds another tier to the stage, and selects it as the current tier. Any displays you add or paste will now go onto this tier.

Allows you to change the name of the currently selected stage tier.


Connects the production computer to the display computers. Once connected, the display computers will follow as you jump around on the timeline and start/stop the presentation.

NOTE: Choosing “Online” also locks all displays in the Stage window. You must deselect “Online” in order to make any changes in the Stage window.

A stop sign inside a display in the Stage window indicates failed connection to that display computer. Other errors are reported in the Message window.

During the connection procedure, the production computer will verify that all display computers are using the same version as the production computer and have the same components installed. If any display computer is running a WATCHOUT version that differs from that of the production computer you will be asked whether or not you want to update it.

NOTE: Installing a different WATCHOUT version on the display computers using the production interface will also install any components that are present on the production machine.
Online screen 1

If all display computers and the production computer are running the same version of WATCHOUT but there are components, e.g. NewTek NDI® HX, that are installed on the production machine and not on the display computers, then you will be asked if you want to update those as well.

IMPORTANT: The recommendation is to always run the same version of WATCHOUT, with the same installed components, on all display computers as well as on the production computer.

Online screen 2

Live Update

While selected, display computers are continuously updated with any changes made to the show. This greatly streamlines the production workflow as positioning of images and other precise adjustments become fully interactive, giving instant feedback on displays or projection surfaces.

IMPORTANT: In order to allow content to be freely positioned anywhere on stage, all content will be loaded onto all display computers when Live Update is selected. While this doesn’t affect playback performance, it requires more time to initially transfer all media assets and will also consume more space on the display computers.


Updates all connected display computers with any changes you’ve made to the presentation, including transferring new or modified media files to the display computers. This command is not needed while in “Live Update” mode (see above).


Causes all display computers to fade to black, or to the image of any standby layer (see “Perform Normal/In Standby/Both”) and also fades the audio. This is useful if you want to pause the show in a smooth way – possibly to jump to another position along the timeline. Give the command again to restore normal image display. While online in standby mode, an indicator is shown at the top of the Stage window.

HINT: A standby indicator can also be added to the Status window (see “Status Window”).

The fade-out and fade-in times for the Standby command are set in the Preferences dialog box.

Manage Display Computer

The commands on this sub-menu allow you to operate the display computers from the production computer. This is particularly useful if the display computers have no mouse or keyboard connected.

Remote Access
Opens a remote access window onto the desktop of displays selected in the Stage window. For this to work, WATCHOUT display software has to be running on the display computer. The WATCHOUT display software will be reduced to its window mode, allowing you to see the desktop of the display computer. While in this mode, you can interact directly with the display computer, for instance to delete files or similar housekeeping chores.

NOTE: Take care not to do anything that causes the display software to close, as doing so also terminates the remote access session.

End the remote access session by closing the desktop window of the display computer. WATCHOUT display software will be restored to its full screen mode by the Online command.

Power Down
Turns off the power of selected or all display computers. This quits WATCHOUT display software, terminates Windows and turns off the computer. As part of this procedure, the WATCHOUT production software also learns the hardware address of the display computers, which can then be used by the Power Up command.

Power Up
Sends a “Wake on LAN” command via the network to selected or all display computers. If properly configured, this will power up the computer(s) as if their power switch had just been pressed. Put a shortcut to the WATCHOUT display soft­ware into the Startup folder of the display computer to make it launch WATCHOUT automatically.

IMPORTANT: There are two prerequisites for this command to work:

  • The computer must be configured to “Wake on LAN” (sometimes referred to as “Magic Packet”). This setting may be found under the “Power Management” tab of the Local Area Network Connection’s Properties dialog box, or in the computer’s BIOS settings.
  • The production computer must at some point have given the Power Down command to that display computer, thus learning the hardware address of the computer’s network card.

Rebuild Show Cache
Forces the selected display computer(s) to re-build the show cache for the show that is currently active.

Delete Other Shows
Deletes all shows on the selected display computer(s) except for the currently active show.

Download Log Files
Downloads all Log Files from the selected display computer(s). Once selected, you will be prompted for a destination folder. In the selected destination folder, a directory structure will be created that contains the downloaded log files for all selected display computer(s). If the display computer(s) in your show are addressed by IP-address, the subfolders in the directory structure will be named using IP-addresses, otherwise computer- and cluster names are used.

Download Dump Files
Downloads all Dump Files from the selected display computer(s). Once selected, you will be prompted for a destination folder. In the selected destination folder, a directory structure will be created that contains the downloaded dump files for all selected display computer(s). If the display computer(s) in your show are addressed by IP-address, the subfolders in the directory structure will be named using IP-addresses, otherwise computer- and cluster names are used.

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