Setting up XKeys Panels

Whereas the main JustMacros screen allows scripts to be written for virtually any purpose at all. JustMacros also endeavours to meet the needs of those users who do not intend to write any scripts at all. For example, a user who wishes to create a simple Programme / Preview Cut panel, can create an entire workflow without writing any scripts. A user accesses the X-Keys screen by clicking on the X-Keys button on the top menu bar of the application.

This screen is again divided up into 3 main sections: Top Left corner shows the list of X-Keys panels currently attached to the system. If the panel was added after JustMacros was started, it will be necessary to execute an… XKeysScanForPanels()… command, or restart JustMacros to pick up the panel. When a specific panel is selected, a representation of the panel will be displayed. If a User pushes buttons on the panel, the representation will indicate a depressed button by turning it Yellow on the screen.

The most important thing to do to any new panel is to allocate it a “Unit Identifier”. This must be a number between 1 and 255. After setting a value using the Text Box, users should select the UPDATE button to send the change to the panel. Now if the panel is removed and replaced, or plugged into another computer, the ID given to the panel will remain.

The bottom left hand side of the screen shows the list of Profiles. A Profile is a mapping table, mapping an XKeys Unit Identifier to Macros and/or built in functions. Essentially it is a virtual panel. Profiles also get IDs, and where the physical Panel ID matches a Profile ID, the two are linked, and so when the physical button is pressed, JustMacros find the linked profile and checks what that profile says should be done when that button is pressed. This model is very flexible, allowing users to configure multiple profiles, and effectively re-task the panel by changing its ID between different profiles. Profiles can be created manually, or the easiest way is to select the EDIT button on the XKeys representation, and then press one of the physical buttons on the panel. A dialog will be displayed asking the user if they wish to create a profile for the panel, answer the question YES.

Because the EDIT process was interrupted by the creation of a new profile, users will need to repeat the EDIT process again to start assigning functions to buttons. After the profile has been created, the EDIT process will respond to a button press by opening a function select screen.

Most common ATEM functions that map to a button action, can be selected from this list. Double clicking or selecting (single click) then clicking OK, will map the action to a button. However some commands require a little more information, for example if a user wanted to define a button to switch upstream Key 2 on and off, the user would select KEYONAIR function. The system would then present the user with a screen to allow them to select the MIXER, ME and KEY numbers.

The user can also enter a couple of lines of caption text. This text is currently only used for Printing XKeys labels. Users can print sheets of labels for panel profiles by right mouse clicking on the Profiles panel (bottom left), and using the “Print Profile Keys” menu option. After the properties are set the user should select the OK button. The XKeys button will then toggle the USK on and off.

In this case the red LED back-lamp will illuminate when the USK is on air. Most of these predefined action buttons will have default LAMP behaviour. For instance, if a Key is defined as a ATEMPROGRAMSOURCE, then when the selected source is on AIR the RED back-lamp will illuminate, but ATEMPRESETSOURCE will illuminate BLUE when that source is on preview. Essentially all the buttons you find on the main Blackmagic Design application switcher page, are reproduced here as predefined button actions.

This should allow for a basic mixer panel to be created. In the sample videos section and on the VIS Visual Information Systems Youtube channel, various videos show different layouts of panels, these samples and other examples are available for download, but users are encouraged to develop their own. As described here, the process is point and click, and this way users can create exactly the layout they need with nothing more and nothing less.