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04 Setting up the Cues

Before setting up the cues, there are several factors to consider:

  • I have six actors. I don’t want to show their names during the show nor the “speaker frame.”

  • I cannot pin all of them in the same spot on the screen at the same time. The best I could do one zoom is pinning one at a time

  • Whenever someone enters or exits the zoom room, the configuration of the windows would change. There could be many factors that result in entrances and exits, such as bad internet connection, zoom closing off, or the device shutting down. AND I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS. <- this is the most painful part

  • There are 23 scenes in this adaptation while my screen could only show 20 scenes at a time. Having to scroll to the list is going to affect my efficiency on operating the show

OBS’ logic

  • it would automatically preset the previous scene after the transition to the next scene is completed. E.g. you are now displaying scene A and the next scene you’re planning to display is scene B. Even if you select scene C during the transition between scene A and B, the selected scene after the transition is completed would still be scene A (and you’re now displaying scene B.)

  • Hotkeys: the first letter of the title of each scene is going to be the hotkey to the scene. I try to disable this as this is a pain in the ass for someone who is used to a certain set of hotkeys but I failed. And thus I named all the scenes with numbers so I wouldn’t accidentally select the wrong scene. You can also set up hotkeys by clicking into the setting, however, it’s original setup would NOT be affected. Thus should you set “c” as the cut in transition and title a scene “Caesar,” your OBS would get confused and randomly operate both or either.

  • Undo, redo, command+c=copy, command+x=cut, command+z=paste, command+s=save doesn’t exist in OBS, which is a bummer

  • You can copy an element in OBS by using the right-click on your mouse, however, be careful when you paste. There are two kinds of paste in OBS: paste(duplicate) and paste(reference). Should you select “duplicate,” the pasted element would be a new one and you wouldn’t change the original element after editing the new one. Should you choose “reference,” the title of the element would remain the same and you would also adjust the original element whenever you edit the new one.

  • I could not preview videos on my screen. It would be shown full screen on live and I would see it at the same time with all the live-stream viewers.

  • (I’ll add on if I come up with anything else.)

The rules of the cue list I built in OBS:

Elements I’ve used:

  • Display capture, I’ll further explain this in the next bullet point

  • Image

  • Image slideshow -> it’s good for creating simple animation- this is how most of the animations in this project were made.

  • Text

  • Browser source -> for live chat, see

  • Group

  • One can always change the setting of the elements by clicking the right-click and select “properties.” If you wish to add effects, also right-click and select “filters”

Display capture

  • As I have six actors, I created 6 screen display captures and named them 1-6. Each of them captures a window on zoom, with the name and the potential space for speaker frame cut off.

  • I placed 6 screen display captures on the exact same place on the screen, layering one another, and made them a group. That way, I could only display the one who I want to show at a time and hide the others.

  • I duplicated this group and distributed them into different scenes.


  • Scenes I created for this show could be put in 2 categories.

  • The first ones are scenes for general use: I named them from F1-6, which means having 1 frame in the scene, having 2 frames in the scene, … etc. I made sure they were NOT referencing each other at all. This set up is the safety measure for the possible crash in any actor’s software/computer during the show. Even if the sequence of the zoom windows changed after the actor returns, I would still be able to have basic scene pictures for the live stream.

  • The second ones are scenes specifically made for a particular scene. e.g. Gallery view entrances for scene 1-1 (I titled them 1-1 entrance 1~4). I used referencing groups every now and then to make my life easier for preset, e.g. group K would be in the same position in the sequences 2 scenes so I’d put 2 referenced group K in both of them.

Titling/Naming the scene/elements

  • I reference a letter to an actor (e.g. Charli-> C)

  • I title all the scenes by number (e.g. Act I scene 1-> 1-1), [space], scene name, [space], character/actor name, e.g. 1-1 Special C

  • I name all the elements by their function/character, e.g. full-screen purple

  • I put the cues in the sequence of the scenes.

Hotkeys: I only use hotkeys for transitions.

  • [command]: cut

  • [shift]: fade 3 seconds

  • [z]: fade 2 second

  • [x]: fade 1 second.

For Qlab it’s as simple as titling all the cues by the name of the scene and having them in sequence. I also made use of the mixer on OBS to manipulate the volume of actors’ voice and sound effects’.

Also, as I couldn’t successfully link Qlab to OBS, I would have to switch between the desktops whenever I’m operating a sound cue. When operating the show, I had OBS on the desktop I was mainly focusing on and only switched to Qlab when I needed to play sound effects.

And thus this is what both of my hands were in charge of while operating the show:

  • Left: [Go] cues: [command/shift/z/x] for OBS; [space] for Qlab

  • Right: select scenes and adjust the volume on OBS (mouse); swipe between desktops (trackpad)

I also wrote down a list of what I should preset for each scene to make sure I’m all set before all rehearsals.


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