Spikemark Tip O’ The Month – Time Delay

Timely Tip About Cue Timing

For our January Spikemark tip, we’re going to discuss a common situation when writing cues: You want two cues to be linked, but you need a delay between the completion of the parent cue and the start of the child cue. For instance, you need a prop wagon to travel onstage, wait 15 seconds and then travel offstage. Your first instinct might be to write a Time Link to Cue #1 with a delay of 15 seconds, but Time Links are triggered from the start of the cue, not the completion. With a simple Time Link between two cues the wagon would move offstage 15 seconds after it started moving onstage regardless of how long the onstage move takes.

A Better “Dummy” Way
 The solution is to write a dummy cue. Say you have Cue 1 that moves your wagon onstage and Cue 2 that moves your wagon offstage and you need a 15 second delay before the wagon tracks offstage. Insert an intermediate cue 1.5, and give the motor in this cue the same target as the completion target of Cue 1. When Cue 1 completes, Cue 1.5 will start and stop immediately, since it’s already at it’s target. Now make Cue 2 a Time Link off of Cue 1.5 with a delay of 15 seconds. The delay will start with the start of Cue 1.5, which is the same as the completion of Cue 1. Now you’re all set.

That’s it for this month. If there’s something you want to know how to do, or if you’ve figured out a trick of your own that you’d like to share, please let me know in the comments or email me at sales@creativeconners.com.