Technical Tips QLab For Mac

I am not a QLab (MAC) or vMIX (PC) expert so I won’t know the answer to any question you may have about these products. I do know that these programs have been used successfully to run productions using our Animated Projections in the past. There may be other products that will run a stage presentation successfully –  I’m just not aware of them at this time. One of the most important features of this type of software is the ability to put clips in any sequence desired and play them, to be able to dissolve between them and to be able to fade-in and fade-out when needed.

Here’s a little technical info for you, or your staff, on how the clips should ideally work…

For MAC presentations I have noticed that many folks use a program called QLab software on their MAC computers. I am not aware of programs similar to this for a PC but I’m sure there are.

As you will see there are clips labeled as “Intro” and clips labeled “Loop” and other clips that are obviously meant to be played in one pass like the “Dorothy Surrender” or the “Tornado Arrival” or “Tornado Interior” clip.

A typical sequence like “Munchkin Land” would go like this…

  • “Munchkin Land” clip, loop that awhile then play
  • “Munchkin Land Glinda Arrival” then back to the
  • “Munchkin Land” clip then
  • “Munchkin Land Glinda Departure” then back to
  • ‘Munchkin Land” to end the scene.

The “Intro” clips (if you choose to use them) should lead into a “Loop” clip and the “Loop” clip can be played over and over until the scene on stage is completed. Now that being said the “Loop” clips are not perfectly seamless there will be a jump as a “Loop” clip starts over at the beginning. Maybe the sky will jump or a tree’s movement will jump, etc.

If you want to avoid that jump I found it best, and it’s possible in programs like QLab, to “stack” multiple “Loop” clips one after another, enough for the scene on stage to complete rather than actually “looping” the one clip in QLab.

Say you have a scene that on stage takes 8 minutes. You would need three 3-minute looping clips to cover that amount of time.

By stacking multiple “Loop” clips you can have a short “dissolve” between the clips and the jump will not be as noticeable on screen. At any time you can fade to black when the scene is over on stage and be ready for the next clip in the sequence.

Clips that are labeled as “seamless loops” will repeat smoothly with no “jump” so there may not be a need to “stack” or have multiple iterations of the same clip to create more time on stage.

Windows users shouldconsider vMix – Video Mixing Software 

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