Knowledge Base

Video Slave

The Main Window

Video Slave 3 - The Main Window

Learn more about the functions of all UI elements in the main window. This includes the control bar with playback and display controls as well as the track view at the bottom with a detailed description of the different tracks available in Video Slave. We recommend any user to read this article to get a better understanding of the basic controls in Video Slave.

The Control Bar


On the very top of the main window, Video Slave displays its top control bar. It contains transport controls as well as information about incoming and clip timecode but also controls for other sections of the main window.


Transport Controls:

The left side of the top bar holds Video Slave's transport buttons. From left to right, they contain the lock button, the return-to-zero button, the rewind/forward button and the play/pause button. When Video Slave receives external timecode or scrubbing information, it will only attempt to attach to it if it is set online. You can toggle the online state with the lock button (Shortcut: Cmd+L). To go back to the first frame of the movie, click the return-to-zero button (Shortcut: Z). Video Slave 3 allows for stepping through the movie in increments of one frame, one second or five seconds using the forward and rewind buttons (Shortcut: Left/right arrow key). When no modifiers are pressed, framewise stepping is enabled. When holding the Option key, one second increments are used, holding the Shift key enables five second increments. The last of the transport buttons is a classic play/pause button to toggle playback. The play/pause button is disabled when Video Slave is set online.


Timecode Info Boxes / Video Reference Status Boxes:

Video Slave contains two timecode info boxes about the incoming timecode and the clip timecode. The box on the left shows the incoming timecode of the timecode source you have selected in Video Slave's preferences as well as the rate of the incoming timecode. The box in the middle shows the current timecode position of the currently selected clip. The box on the right shows the status of the video reference if attached. If no video reference was detected, this box will read "not available". Otherwise, it will read either "Locked" or the video reference frame rate.


Loop, Respect In/Out Points:

To the right of the timecode info boxes, there are two toggle buttons. The left one is used to control the loop you can select in the detail view (see below). When a loop is set in the detail view, this button will show a blue icon. To disable the loop, click the button. When no loop is set, clicking the button has no effect. The second of the buttons is used to tell Video Slave to respect or ignore the clip's in/out points. For each clip in Video Slave, you can define an in and out point. When Video Slave is set to respect in out points - that's the case when this button shows a blue icon - it will not allow starting playback before the in point and it will stop playback at the out point. Otherwise, the in and out points will be ignored during playback.


Display Options

The rightmost set of buttons in the top bar are used to toggle different sections of the window as well as the fullscreen mode. The first button is used to show or hide the view on the left of the window - the playlist view. The button in the middle shows or hides the bottom section of the window - the detail view. The last button toggles the movie fullscreen mode. Video Slave will go fullscreen on the screen you have selected in the display preferences. When in fullscreen mode, Video Slave uses the "Fullscreen Display Device" present in the display preferences' device list. From there you can choose which overlays should be shown when in fullscreen.

The Track View

VS3 Track Large

In the track view at the bottom of the window, Video Slave displays all kinds of time-related information in a timeline wise manner. Similar to common DAWs, the view is split into a track info section on the left and the actual timeline related part on the right. Read more about the different kinds of tracks available in Video Slave in the following.

Timeline Track

VS3 TimelineTrack

The first track at the top is the timeline track. On the very left, it displays the name of the movie currently loaded. On the right, there's a zoom slider you can use to zoom in horizontally. In the timeline section, it shows a timecode ruler. You can also click and drag to create a selection Video Slave will use to loop play in the selected range. To disable the loop playback, just click into the timeline track outside the current selection once or click the loop button the the right of the timecode displays in the top bar.

Event Track

VS3 EventTrack

Below the timeline track, Video Slave displays the movie's event track. The info section contains buttons to go to the next and previous event, to create a new event and to delete selected events and lastly a filter button. When clicking the filter button, a popup will appear allowing you to filter the existing events by actor, event text or cue number. When filters are applied, the filter button will show a blue icon. In the timeline section, all events are shown in a graphical manner. Blue events are streamer events, red events are ADR Cue events, green events are markers and purple events are flutter events. You can learn more about the different event types and what their intended use case is in this article.

It is possible to drag the events around to change their location (Video Slave will show the new start position in the player while dragging) and you can double-click them to change their type, start and end times as well as other properties depending on the type of event. To select an event, you can click it once. To select multiple events, hold the shift or option key while clicking other events. Alternatively, you can drag a selection in the event track's timeline view with the mouse. To delete selected events, hit backspace or click the "-" button in the event track's info section.

Video Track

Underneath the event marker track, Video Slave displays a video track. The info section of this track shows information about the movie such as its video codec, its native resolution and the video frame rate. The timeline section draws preview images of the video at different positions.

Audio Tracks

Video Slave will also read all audio tracks present in the movie and play them without importing. A stereo audio track will look like this:

In the audio track's info section, Video Slave displays a name field, panning controls, a volume fader, audio meters, an output routing control and solo/mute buttons. To modify the track's name, simply click into the the text field once and hit enter once you're done. Depending on the output bus of the track, Video Slave will not show panning controls. Currently, panning controls are only supported for stereo tracks with mono or stereo output busses. The volume fader probably doesn't need any further explanation. The output selection dropdown will show all audio output busses you created in Video Slave's audio settings window. If the audio track's channel count doesn't match the selected output bus' channel count, Video Slave will automatically up- or downmix to playback the audio contained in the track to the output bus. Additionally, Video Slave offers solo and mute features. The button labelled "S" is used to solo one track only while automatically muting the other. To mute individual tracks, Video Slave will displays one mute button for the left and one for the right audio channel (labeled "L" and "R" respectively) for stereo tracks or one mute button (labeled "M") for all other track configurations. In the timeline section of the audio track, Video Slave displays an audio waveform.

In addition to the movie's internal audio tracks, Video Slave can also playback external audio files in sync. This can come in handy whenever you receive the audio tracks separate from the video or if you want to add your own exported audio mixes to play in sync with the movie's internal audio tracks for example. To add an external audio track, you can either drag an audio file to the info section of either track or use the File menu (Add External Audio Track). External audio tracks are drawn in a greenish color to make them distinguishable from the movie's internal audio tracks. To position the track on the timeline, you can either drag it around or you can double click the content to set the start timecode programmatically.

To remove an external audio track, select its track info section and hit the backspace key to remove it from the movie. The file will of course be left untouched and will not be deleted from disk. 

Make sure to save the playlist whenever you add/remove an external audio track to have it stored with the playlist.

If you're looking for more information on the playlist section of the main window, we have a separate article here.