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Video Mill - User's Guide
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Automator - Automation Manager

Automator main window

The Automator allows you to author automation Scripts composed of automation Steps. Then run them with the Script Run Controls buttons. The Automator window is composed of a list of Scripts (left hand column), a run progress bar, a set of over-sized Run controls buttons and a panel that shows a summary description of the current selected Script.

See the Automation Overview section for details on how Scripts work and a list of automation Steps types.


Script Run Controls buttons

These buttons (Figure 1, label F) have the same behavior as the associated Actions menu items.

The Progress Readouts information is displayed above the progress bar. The progress bar indicates Step progress for the Script -- how many steps have executed so far.


Progress Readouts

Automator Control Panels

Figure 1.  Automator window
Figure 1. Automator window

Edit Script menu

The Edit Script Menu has the following functions. Some edit funtions use an Automator 'clipboard' similiar to the Windows clipboard, but they do not affect the contents in the Windows clipboard. The list is renumbered for edit actions add, delete or move items in the list.


Move Script tool bar button behavior

Edit Script tool bar


Edit Script tool bar

Buttons (Figure 2, from left to right): Save Media List, Edit Script, Delete , Cut, Copy, Paste, New Script, Move Up, and Move Down (Save Media List, Edit Script, Delete , Cut, Copy, Paste, New Script, Move Up, and Move Down) .

Figure 2. Edit Script tool bar
Figure 2. Edit Script tool bar

Script List Item Selection tool bar


Script List Item Selection tool bar

These buttons move the list selection cursor to change the current Script selection in the Script List (Figure 1, label C). This tool bar is useful when scaling up tool bar size for using the program as a touch screen interface. Buttons (Figure 3, from left to right): Previous Script, Next Script, Page Up, Page Down, Focus Script List panel (Previous Script, Next Script, Page Up, Page Down, Focus Script List panel) .

Figure 3. Script List Item Selection tool bar
Figure 3. Script List Item Selection tool bar

See the separate page for details on Script Groups.

The View menu items are listed on the Automator - Tablet and Touch Screen Operation page.

Works with Action Apply-To Mode. (some Actions)


Script Actions

Note on Volume Bumps - The current volume is reported on the status bar when clicking either Volume Bump button. If more than one Media Screen volume is changed, it will show the volume of the last Media Screen that was changed.


Step Actions

Step Actions Notes: 1) The selected Script must be running for any of the step actions to be performed. 2) Step actions above apply only to sequential Steps. Offset Timed Steps are ignored.

Actions Warnings


*Step Advance while a Fade is In-Progress

Warning Warning - Advancing steps (with Next, Previous, First, Last, or Jump to Step buttons) while a fade effect is in progress can produce unpredicable results. Fade effects include: AutoFade-In, AutoFade-Out, or Cross-Fade. Wait for the few seconds until a fade completes before clicking any of the Step Advance buttons. If you do this by accident you may end up with two videos partially faded into each other and both likely paused. To resolve this, click the Replay Step button and the video should start its play.


**Run Multiple Scripts Simultaneously

Warning Warning - If you start multiple scripts simultaneously and they include Play Steps, you should ensure the following settings: 1) Set Screens Mode to Multi-Screen; 2) Do NOT use Load Templates; 3) Do NOT use Cross-Fade Mode. Otherwise, Play Steps will be competing for a single Media Screen and when one Play Step executes it will cancel another. In some cases, the automator will prevent a second script from running if it is known to cause an error condition.

Steps List Selector

The Steps List Selector (Figure 4) is an active control. It has some behaviors associated to the actions above.


Behaviors
Figure 4. Steps List Selector
Figure 4. Steps List Selector

Run Script tool bar

Works with Action Apply-To Mode.


Run Script tool bar

Buttons (Figure 5, from left to right): Run Script, Stop, Pause, Resume, Stop and Unload Script, Halt All Running Scripts, Unload All Media Screens (Run Script, Stop, Pause, Resume, Stop and Unload Script, Halt All Running Scripts, Unload All Media Screens) .

Figure 5.  Run Script tool bar
Figure 5. Run Script tool bar

Step Actions tool bar


Step Actions tool bar

Buttons (Figure 6, from left to right): Play/Replay Step, Stop Step, Previous Step, Next Step, Jump to Step(x), First Step, Last Step (Play/Replay Step, Stop Step, Previous Step, Next Step, Jump to Step(x), First Step, Last Step) .

Figure 6.  Step Actions tool bar
Figure 6. Step Actions tool bar

Volume tool bar

Works with Action Apply-To Mode.


Volume tool bar

Buttons (Figure 7, from left to right): Volume Bump Up, Volume Bump Down, Volume Mute Toggle (Volume Bump Up, Volume Bump Down, Volume Mute Toggle) .

Figure 7.  Volume tool bar
Figure 7. Volume tool bar

Tools tool bar


Tools tool bar

Buttons (Figure 7, from left to right): Generate Report, View Automator Log, Reset Automator Log, Validate All Scripts, View Running Scripts, View All Loaded Screens Dimensions (Generate Report, View Automator Log, Reset Automator Log, Validate All Scripts, View Running Scripts, View All Loaded Screens Dimensions) .

Figure 7. Tools tool bar
Figure 7. Tools tool bar

These items change the behavior of the Automator when running Scripts. They are generally useful for running the Automator by wireless remote controllers.


Setting EoM2N and AM2NS

Here's how to set EoM2N and AM2NS to give the Automator common app behaviors.

EoM2N AM2NS Automator Behavior
checked checked EoM2N(checked), AM2NS(checked).
Emulates a Standard Media Player (example WMP, Windows Media Player). Total automation mode. Will play a sequential playlist of videos or images from start to end by simply starting a Script.
__ __ EoM2N(un-checked), AM2NS(un-checked).
Emulates a Slide Show Presentation Program (example Power Point). Manual operation mode requiring the user to push the Next (or Previous) button to advance through a "slide" show. Click the Play Step button to play the current Step.
checked __ EoM2N(checked), AM2NS(un-checked).
Like the Slide Show Presentation mode above. User controls when the focus advances by clicking the Next button. But when you advance to the next Step, the Step will automatically Play. (Useful for some remote controllers with limited control buttons)
__ checked Like the Slide Show Presentation mode above, except focus automatically moves to the next Step when the current playing Step ends. Then the user starts the Step by clicking the Play Step button. (Useful for some remote controllers that do not have Next/Previous buttons)

Warning Warning - When running the Automator in Cross-Fade mode , both EoM2N and AM2NS items MUST be checked or you will not achieve the desired fade effect.