Knowledge Base

Video Slave 3 - Overlays and visual events

In Video Slave, there are different kinds of visual overlays. The most basic one is the timecode or feet and frames overlay which can be turned on or off through Video Slave's view menu or by using the shortcut Cmd + T. The size, color, background color and font can be chosen through the application's  preferences.

But Video Slave also offers more advanced visual events to aid you in different tasks such as composing, editing, conducting or recording. Currently, there are four different kinds of visual events: markers, streamers, flutters and ADR cues. These are explained in the following.


Markers are simple overlays that are supposed to help you identify different sections of the movie. They can be used to mark the start of a new cue while composing, the start or end of a section while conducting. They have a start and end timecode.

Streamers Marker


Streamer overlays are used to help you find the start of a new cue, the start of a recording take or similar. Traditionally, streamers (also often called 'wipes') are colored bars moving across the screen. They are usually followed by a flashing circle (the "punch") but this can be disabled in the preferences. In Video Slave, there are a variety of settings to customize the visual appearance e.g. the width and height of the streamer bars, the direction of the streamer or the color. Please see this article for a detailed explanation of all available settings.

In Video Slave, streamers can be either time or tempo based. Time based streamers have a selectable length of either 2, 2.67, 3, 3.33 or 5 seconds. The length of tempo based streamers is set in bars. Additionally, you can set the tempo in the unit BPM.

When creating a streamer in Video Slave, you set the timecode of its "hit point". This is where the streamer ends.

Streamers Streamer

Streamers Punch


Flutter events are basically only a series of punches with a short pause in between. You can set the number of punches to 1 for just a single punch but also to 3, 5 or 7. Flutters can be used as a "visual click" for example to help conductors on tempo changes.

Streamers Punch

ADR Cue (Pro/Dub version only) 

ADR Cues are the most advanced type of visual cue available in Video Slave. An ADR Cue is separated into two parts before and after the actual take. Before the take, there can be two types of cues: a streamer (explained above) or a 3-2-1 countdown as often used in dialog recording (selectable from the application's preferences). For ADR cues, the streamer or countdown length can only be selected in seconds, there are no tempo based streamers.

As ADR Cues are supposed to be used primarily in ADR or dubbing sessions, theses overlays can also display an optional text overlay accompanied by progress bars during the take. This will help the actor to see how slow/fast a line of text needs to be spoken to match the picture. If no text is available, the progress bar overlay style can be changed to only draw a small bar that uses less screen real estate (see the preference settings for details).

When creating an ADR Cue event, you can set the start and end timecode of the actual take as well as the streamer duration. The streamer is set to hit at the start timecode of the event.

Streamers ADRCue

Streamers Countdown

Importing ADR Cues

One important feature of ADR Cues is that they can be imported from various files. Choose "File->Import ADR Cue/Subtitle File" from the menu. A file open dialog will appear which lets you select the file you want to import. Currently, comma- and tab-separated text files are supported (file extensions: .csv, .tab, .txt) as well as SubRip (.srt), standard subtitle files (.stl) and ADR Studio XML script files (.xml).

When importing ADR cues from comma- or tab-separated text files, you must tell Video Slave how to map the fields in the file to events. When a file is opened though, Video Slave will do its best to map as many columns for you as possible. When selecting a .csv, .tab or .txt file, the following dialog will appear:

Streamers CSVImport

It shows a parsed version of the content of the imported file. You can now map the columns to different properties of Video Slave's ADR cue events. You can map start and end TC, character name, take number, text and others. Most of them are optional. Start TC is mandatory and must be mapped to continue importing.

For the other file formats, no mapping is necessary and Video Slave will import them without further user action.

In case you are running into issues while importing a file or if you want to see more formats supported, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..