Dataton Watchout display system

Dataton Watchout is one of the leading software systems for the creation and playback of multimedia shows on multiple displays. It is used for both live events and show control for permanent installations such as museums and visitor attractions.

Working as a freelance, I can be involved in different stages of a Watchout production depending on the project:

  • Content creation (often at resolutions greater than HD),
  • Media encoding and preparation (video compression, image optimisation),
  • Show design and programming (animation and effect configuration),
  • Watchout operator for live events (including system installation and setup),

I have my own Watchout software dongles which is useful for preparation and testing before the show.

A typical Watchout project may involve animating still images, text, video clips and animations, but it is possible to control multiple timelines, and shows can also integrate live video inputs for advanced picture-in-picture effects. Shows often incorporate several layers of HD, or even higher resolution, video. Watchout can also communicate with other show control systems - emitting or following timecode from sound and lighting systems.

Watchout is perhaps best known for the production of large video walls for multi-channel digital video projections, using multiple video projectors and edge blending to create a large, seamless projections. The display warping function for geometry correction makes it possible to project onto uneven surfaces, while the latest version includes 3D video mapping tools for projection onto 3D geometry using UV maps.

Display Builder 4.0 Release

Display Builder 4

Version 4.0.0 of my Display Builder app has been released.

This is the first release built with Processing 4 using the OpenJDK Java 11 runtime, which adds support for macOs 10.14 and higher and improves support for hi-dpi displays on Windows.
For those still using macOs 10.13, the app can still be run by selecting 'Show Package Contents' and launching the app from the 'MacOS' folder.

September 2021

Display Builder 3.3 Release

Display Builder KSA Tulle

Version 3.3.11 of my Display Builder app has been released. Among the new features are basic support for disguise projector lists and OBJ projection surface objects.

April 2020

Media Server Dongles - Watchout, Modulo, Disguise, Notch

Media Server Dongles - Watchout, Disguise, Modulo, Notch

My collection of media server dongles has expanded beyond my existing Dataton Watchout dongles!

In September 2019, I obtained a Disguise Designer licence dongle after completing the Disguise Fundamental Training course in London. Since then I have followed the Disguise 'Pre-Production Workflows' & 'Creative Sequencing' courses.

Also in September 2019, I obtained advanced certification for Modulo Player, and added a Modulo PI dongle to my collection, which allows off-site show programming.

December 2020

One Billion Watchout Pixels at the SJMC Museum

SJMC Vidémus Watchout - mur vidéo

A record-breaking video installation: 60 Vidémus Watchout players, 77 Datapath FX4, 450 NEC flat screens and 12 BARCO projectors for a total of over one billion pixels.

Dedicated to the memory of the Australian men and women who came to Europe to fight in the First World War, the Sir John Monash Centre (SJMC) is the first museum in the world to feature a total of over one billion screen pixels.

March 2018

Watchout VJ Visuals at London ExCel Centre

UPW19 Control Desk

A Watchout show with a difference: Sending VJ visuals to LED walls of different sizes and shapes in front of 12000 people at London ExCel Centre.

Back at the London ExCel centre for the second year running, with Watchout pushing VJ visuals in a 4K feed to the LED wall at the rear of the stage, as well as 10 HD delay screen feeds. I was also operating the AnalogWay Ascender, switching the feeds to the different screens.

April 2019

Conditional Layer utility for Watchout

Conditional Layer Utility app

An app in development for managing Watchout conditional layers.

Conditional Layers are a handy way to manage layer visibility in Watchout and can also be used for conditional switching of command cues but, with multiple conditions, managing state becomes difficult. The Conditional Layer app is designed to make it easy to switch specific layers, or groups of layers, without affecting the state of other layers and without having to memorise binary notation! Layers can be switched using network commands sent from Watchout, or manually in the user interface.

February 2018

Display Builder 3 for Watchout

Display Builder 3.0.6 interface

Version 3 of my Display Builder app for Watchout is now available.

Now using Java 8, Version 3 of my Display Builder app for Dataton Watchout is compatible with Mac OS 10.11 and Windows 10, and works on hi-dpi monitors.

February 2018

Display Builder & Watchout 6

Viewing a physical grid overlayed on Displays

Initial tests show that my Display Builder app is compatible with the upcoming Watchout 6 release.

Tests with the public beta of Watchout 6 show that Display layouts generated with Display Builder for version 5 can be used with Watchout 6. The new settings for Displays in Watchout 6 - Masks, Muting & Virtual Displays - aren't yet supported, but I'll look into that soon.

More information on the Display Builder project page.

June 2015

Watchout drives 2013 Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette

Watchout triggers audio FX for the 2013 Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette.

Every year, the major department stores in Paris put on spectacular displays of Christmas decorations. For 2013, Galaries Lafayette installed a giant Christmas tree under the dome of their flagship Paris store. Covered in lights, animated marionettes and giant clock faces, the tree came to life every hour for a five minute show.

December 2013

Watchout CreditCoop Mutualité

One-day conference for a highstreet bank at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. Live video and PowerPoint inputs managed by Watchout.

The main screen, as well as the screens either side, were all managed through one Watchout player. The conference idents and titles were amimated directly in Watchout. Presentations were shown as a live input from Powerpoint using a Datapath capture card. The live video feed, provided by another team, was captured in HD with a Blackmagic SDI card and shown on the side screens as well as in an insert on the main screen.

October 2013

Events Watchout Freelancer

Freelance Watchout operator for live events - conferences, corporate presentations, awards ceremonies and political meetings.

Watchout: STEF Convention

After Effects animations, Watchout programming & live operation for the triennial STEF Convention.

Bank Conference Watchout Show

The bank's annual conference, with all content managed in Watchout, featuring projection mapping onto 3D structures on stage.