QTAKE is the most advanced software designed and developed for video assist and DIT professionals. It is used to log, capture, playback, edit and process video output and RAW recording of the digital cinema cameras. The main purpose of any video assist system is to provide immediate playback for the crew, but QTAKE goes far beyond that. It provides unique database customizable to fit any project, realtime image processing up to 8K resolution, multi-camera support, on-set color grading, live editing and much more.

The ability to capture metadata from camera and other on-set devices makes QTAKE an essential part of the workflow that fills the gap between production and postproduction. VFX supervisors around the world rely on QTAKE to perform realtime on-set compositing with support for motion control and motion tracking systems, GPI triggering and CGI integration. QTAKE also offers unique stereoscopy support including industry standard 3D output either in live or playback mode, as well as various 3D alignment modes using PLUS 3D VIEW.

After the magazine is ejected from the camera, RAW files can be imported into QTAKE and matched to video recordings to preserve all metadata and on-set color grading and provide fastest and effortless dailies export and sharing. In addition to impressive video assist and DIT software, QTAKE ecosystem includes QTAKE Server and QTAKE Monitor applications that provide unmatched on-set and cloud-based collaboration using low-latency streaming, independent playback and metadata editing.

Thank you for taking your on-set video services to a new level.


QTAKE LITE is a self contained, entry level, dual channel recorder software built on the same technology as QTAKE. The full QTAKE software is comprised of several modules allowing the user to pick and choose the feature set required for their environment and type of jobs. The user also has the ability to add modules at a later date in order to expand the functionality of their software.

NEW IN 1.6

Most of the new functionality in QTAKE version 1.6 is dedicated to streaming. QTAKE Stream was designed specifically for professional filmmakers and gained world-wide praise for its ultra-low latency, frame-based metadata support and studio-grade security. Now we are taking it to a new level with following features:

NEW IN 1.5

Most of the functionality in QTAKE version 1.5 is geared towards the DIT workflow providing new processing engine and future-proof database design, compatible with QTAKE Cloud. Most exciting new features are listed below:


Change log for the latest release of QTAKE can be found here. Following requirements may differ if you are running older version of newer beta build. QTAKE requires macOS 10.14.6 or newer. Recommended AJA video cards driver version is 16.2 or newer. Avoid using UFC firmware on cards that support it. Recommended Blackmagic Design video card driver version is 12.1 or newer. Recommended Deltacast video cards driver version is 6.18 or newer. Required dongle driver version is 8.31, you can download it here.

Upgrading from QTAKE 1.5

It is safe and seamless to upgrade from QTAKE version 1.5 to 1.6, since there has been no changes to database structure or media storage. Updating your QTAKE on every official release is strongly recommended to keep it compatible with QTAKE Cloud.

Upgrading from QTAKE 1.4

If you are upgrading from QTAKE version 1.4, note that the database will be migrated to a new model (910a to 921) during first start of QTAKE 1.5. Migration is a safe process, which preserves all users and projects.

Old database will be backed up to /Applications/Data/Previous Versions subfolder, before the migration process. In case you need to run old QTAKE 1.4 again (not recommended), move all files from this subfolder one level up (into /Applications/Data).

Single Application

Unlike QTAKE 1.4, where each version (HDx1, HDx2, HDx4,…) was a different application bundle (executable), since version 1.5 QTAKE is a single app. Switching between single, dual, four, eight cameras and 4K mode is now done inside the application. Long-click the QUIT button to open version dialog:

After selecting required version, click the CLOSE button to restart QTAKE application using the new configuration. In addition to number of cameras and 4K mode, there are two preferences that are dependent on the version selected:

More details about these preferences can be found in the Simultaneous SDI Input & Output


Version dialog contains STREAM ONLY option that turns QTAKE software into QTAKE Live mode. In this mode, recording, playback, editing, compositing and all other video-assist related features are turned off. QTAKE Live is designed to offer simplified interface and more affordable licensing for productions that require only local or cloud streaming.

See QTAKE Live Modules and Common Modules sections to see what licenses are available for QTAKE Live.

Automatic Updates

On each start, QTAKE will check if the new update is available and will notify you with a red badge inside the STATUS BAR. Click the status bar to open notifications list.

From here you can dismiss the notification or show the update. If you decide to proceed, dialog with update details will pop up:

Based on update notes you can decide to proceed with download or skip the new version. It is always recommended to keep your app up to date.


Networking has become an important part of the video assist and DIT profession. Whether your are connecting multiple QTAKE systems to provide master/slave control, or streaming video to on-set and remote clients, or just connecting external devices to your computer, network connection is inevitable.


Required network bandwidth depends on the use case. Most demanding functionality is the video streaming, which can average around 3-4Mbps per client per camera for a high quality HD feeds. Single access point can handle around 10 wireless streaming clients, so you should scale your network accordingly. Use Wi-Fi scanner and manually select radio channels to avoid dropped network packets caused by interference. When possible, use ethernet cable instead of wireless connectivity.


In most cases, no additional configuration is required to use QTAKE on your network. However, users on restrictive networks may need to allow traffic on certain ports depending on the QTAKE functionality they want to use.


To stream over the local network, enable traffic to and from the following ports on the QTAKE Video Assist System:

  • TCP 7007
  • TCP 8560 (v1.6.008 and later) or 7000 (v1.6.006 and earlier)
  • UDP 8567

For QTAKE Cloud Stream, enable traffic to and from the following QTAKE Cloud ports in addition to the above:

  • TCP 443, 8500
  • UDP 8550, 8551

The QTAKE Cloud Service uses the following domain names:

  • api.qtake.cloud
  • live.qtake.cloud
  • sync.qtake.cloud

If at all possible, do not rely on any particular IP address these currently resolve to.


To access independent playback over the local network, enable traffic to and from the following ports on the QTAKE Server System:

  • TCP 8500 – 8600
  • TCP 44443

For QTAKE Cloud Sync, enable the above ports for the domain you received as part of your project link.


The basic configuration of a working QTAKE system consists of a computer, a video capture card for input (and optionally output), storage for the recorded and imported media, GPU output device and optionally external audio device. Recording, processing and outputting multichannel HD and 4K video is taxing these components and while some older computers will work with standard playback requirements, adding image processing, compositing or higher quality codecs could result in dropped frames if the system is not up to the task.

QTAKE LITE works with a multitude of Apple Mac computers, video cards and audio devices. Listed below is a recommended hardware configuration for LITE version of QTAKE.

What about this device?
You can always find up to date hardware recommendations at: https://qtakehd.com/hardware/


QTAKE LITE is a lightweight, dual camera version of QTAKE. It can run on a less powerful hardware, because it lacks advanced image processing, proxy recording and other CPU and GPU intensive features.

Intel quad-core i7 or M1

8GB memory or more

AMD Radeon Pro 5300 or similar

MEDIA STORAGE (recommended read/write speed of 150 MB/s)
External USB 3 or Thunderbolt Drive

Two 1-channel or one 2-channel video card. In case of live processing, either two full duplex or two 2-channel cards are required.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (or any other external audio card with Core Audio driver)

The LITE version is designed to be a simple but powerful 2-channel recorder. It uses the video card to output either processed or unprocessed video. Advanced GPU output is only available in regular QTAKE versions.


Following SDI video cards are natively supported in QTAKE. Additionally, QTAKE can capture video coming from NDI®, RTSP (Teradek Cube), QLS (QTAKE Live Stream), or video cards supported by the macOS system, such as USB-3 connected Teradek Bolt Receiver.

SDI Inputs/Outputs
Full-duplex Channels
SDI Passthrough
SDI Format
HDMI Inputs/Outputs
4K Support
Independent Inputs
Independent Outputs
ARRI/Sony Record Flag
ARRI/Sony/Canon Metadata
AJA Corvid 88 8 4 1 3G 0/0   PCIe
AJA Corvid 44 4 2 1 3G 0/0   PCIe
AJA Corvid 44 12G 4 2 1 12G 0/0   PCIe
AJA T-Tap Pro 0/1 n/a n/a 12G 0/1 n/a n/a n/a n/a TB3
AJA Io 4K 4 2 1 3G 1/1   TB
AJA Io 4K Plus 4 2 1 12G 1/1   TB3
AJA Io X3 4 2 1 3G 1/1     TB3
AJA Kona 5 4 2 1 12G 0/1   PCIe
AJA Kona 4 4 2 1 3G 0/1   PCIe
BMD Decklink Duo 2/2 1 2 HD 0/0     6 7 PCIe
BMD Decklink Duo 2 2/2 2 3 3G 0/0     6 7 PCIe
BMD Decklink Quad 4/4 2 2 HD 0/0     6 7 PCIe
BMD Decklink Quad 2 4/4 4 3 3G 0/0     6 7 PCIe
BMD Decklink 8K Pro 4 2 2 12G 0/0   6 7 PCIe
BMD UltraStudio Recorder 3G 1/0 n/a n/a 3G 1/0   n/a n/a   6 7 TB3
BMD UltraStudio Monitor 3G 0/1 n/a n/a 3G 0/1   n/a n/a n/a n/a 7 TB3
BMD UltraStudio HD Mini 1/1 1 2 3G 0/0     6 7 TB3
BMD UltraStudio 4K Mini 1/1 1 2 12G 0/0   6 7 TB3
Deltacast 12G-elp-h 40 4/0 0 n/a 12G 0/0 n/a PCIe
Deltacast 12G-elp-h 4c 4/4 4 n/a 12G 0/0 PCIe
Deltacast 12G-e-h 2i1c 4/4 4 n/a 3G 0/0 PCIe
Deltacast 3G-elp-d 8c 8 4 n/a 3G 0/0 PCIe
Deltacast 3G-elp-d 4c 4 2 n/a 3G 0/0 PCIe
Deltacast 3G-elp 40 4/0 0 n/a 3G 0/0 n/a PCIe
Deltacast 3G-elp-d 22 2/2 2 n/a 3G 0/0   PCIe
IN2CORE ScreenPort SDI 1/0 n/a n/a 3G 0/0   n/a n/a USB
  1. Multi-channel SDI Passthrough requires frame-synced inputs.
  2. Not possible to mute SDI passthrough audio.
  3. Passthrough video has 2 frames of delay.
  4. Input formats are limited to same clock family.
  5. Only ARRI Metadata and only with camera set to output PsF.
  6. Only available in 10bit mode.
  7. Does not support VITC1 timecode.
  8. Bus-powered device, no loopback TB port.

What if I use more than one video card?
The information in the table is only valid as a comparison between single cards. QTAKE can use multiple video cards to allow for up to 4 inputs and outputs.

The term “output” in this chart is only referring to SDI output from the video card. GPU output from QOD+ is independent from video card outputs.


Modules for QTAKE or entire QTAKE bundles can be rented through the QTAKE Rental Shop. In order to rent modules you will need to create a shop account and register one or more DONGLE IDs or COMPUTER IDs to it. Once an ID is registered to your account you can rent modules through the shop adding additional features and functionality to your QTAKE package with a few simple clicks.

You can also create a QTAKE Shop account and register your dongle or computer directly from QTAKE. See the LICENSE section for more information.

To create a shop account, register machines and rent modules visit: QTAKE Shop

For instructions on how to use the shop see: INSTRUCTIONS


Unlike other QTAKE functionality, which requires license file with specific modules, Cloud Stream is licensed via consumable DATA. See more info in Cloud Stream section. —


The first time you run QTAKE you will be presented with an End User License Agreement. QTAKE will also create a folder called QTAKE in the /Applications folder of your system drive. In this folder the following subfolders will be created:

  • /Applications/QTAKE
    • /CDL (contains CDL color corrections, only created when a CDL correction is saved)
    • /Certificate (contains SSL certificate that ensures secure communication between QTAKE and QTAKE Monitor)
    • /Data (contains database files)
      • /Backup (QTAKE creates a backup every 20 hours and keeps a total of 5 backups)
    • /Defaults (contains QTAKE project default settings)
    • /Docs (contains QTAKE User Guide)
    • /FxPresets (This folder contains all the CLIP FX PRESETS that have been saved)
    • /GPI (contains GPI settings)
    • /Keyboard (contains keyboard shortcuts)
    • /Layout (contains GUI layouts)
    • /License (contains your QTAKE license files)
    • /Log (contains the Qtake_Log.txt file)
      • /ApplicationLogs (contains log message output from QTAKE)
      • /CrashReport (temporary storage for crash reports)
    • /Logo (place an image file named Logo.png here to create a custom NO VIDEO INPUT screen)
    • /LutDevices (contains configuration settings for LUT devices)
    • /Luts (copy your .cube LUTs to this folder)
    • /Prefs (contains editable initialization preferences)
    • /Projects (contains Project folders with thumbnails)
    • /Tangent (contains configuration files for Tangent Devices, created when a controller is configured)
    • /Videohub (contains videohub settings)

MacOS user account
The QTAKE application should be used only from one system account. Using multiple accounts will cause file permissions problems. Instead of creating multiple system accounts you should create multiple QTAKE users.

QTAKE Preferences
Preferences (PREFS) are shown in MAGENTA throughout this user guide. Changes to PREFS can be made either by editing your QTAKE_Prefs file or by changing their value in the PREFS window. See the PREFERENCES section for more details.


For performance reasons make sure to UNCHECK the following features in the macOS System Preferences:

  • Energy Saver - Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible
  • Energy Saver - Automatic graphics switching
  • It is also recommended to set the Computer sleep and Monitor sleep to NEVER, as well as to disable any screen saver. Turn off Spotlight indexing service for your media drives in the System Preferences, by putting the drive into the Privacy section.

QTAKE is using AJA devices directly. Allowing system to send audio to AJA device can lead to corrupted audio output.


Originally designed as a feature rich video assist tool QTAKE now goes way beyond its roots. It offers complete on-set workflow, from recording camera output to exporting RAW based dailies. Using a single tool for all these tasks saves enormous amount of time, because there is no need to export, import and convert project between various 3rd party apps.

For example, the same look that was established during live monitoring and recording the camera output can be applied to RAW files, which simplifies rendering dailies to a single click action.


QTAKE can record video, audio and metadata from various sources. It is usually capturing uncompressed signal using the SDI video card, encoding it to efficient Apple ProRes codec and storing it into Apple QuickTime file format. See the PROJECT Menu section for more details about the project setup.

Following is an overview of the recording features:

  • Recording 8 camera feeds with up to 16 channels of audio
  • Video, audio and metadata mixed from different sources
  • Adjustable delay for video, audio and timecode
  • Pulldown removal recording mode
  • Manual or automatic record start and stop
  • Setting multiple ranges during recording
  • Thumbnail frame selection during recording
  • Full resolution screenshots
  • Entering metadata during live monitoring or recording
  • Automatic incrementation of the take number
  • Capturing metadata from SDI signal or network interface
  • Simultaneously recording processed PROXY media files
  • Recording live composites if quick export is needed

For more details about recording see the RECORD Menu section.


There are numerous playback options available in QTAKE to provide the best possible navigation through clips, which sometimes contain multiple takes recorded in the single run.

  • Regular speed forward and reverse playback
  • Variable speed forward and reverse playback
  • Speed ramping with multiple key frames
  • Frame-by-frame and custom time skip function
  • Jump to IN or OUT mark
  • Jog and shuttle playback
  • Time slider
  • Multiple IN/OUT ranges with multiple groups
  • Chapter markers with conversion to ranges
  • Loop single range or all ranges
  • Timecode or frame count display
  • Slave playback with custom offset
  • Synced playback with custom offset for each view
  • GPI triggered playback

For more details about playback see the PLAY Menu section.


Traditionally, video assist operator has provided playback for the director. Big downside of this centralized playback concept is the fact that all on-set monitors show the same clip. However, sometimes it is required to show different clip to producer, script supervisor, VFX supervisor, etc.

QTAKE SERVER application solves this problem by providing independent playback for any authorized crew member. QTAKE project is accessed through the QTAKE MONITOR app running on personal portable devices, such as iPhone and iPad. In addition to clip browsing and playback, crew members can enter metadata values independently of QTAKE operator.

All data is automatically synchronized, so users can share all information and duplicate value entry is avoided. For example, script supervisor doesn’t need to enter lens info, because it has been already entered by assistant camera or extracted directly from SDI camera feed.


The most common output from QTAKE is over SDI interface. This can be provided using a video card, but you can also use dedicated QOD (QTAKE Output Device), which offers lower latency and more advanced output options, such as multi-view, stereoscopic output, etc. In addition to traditional SDI, you can use NDI interface, which is providing high quality output over standard network infrastructure. NDI input and output requires STREAM module license.


One of the many powerful features of QTAKE is wireless streaming to iOS devices. Using custom streaming protocol we can provide secure, ultra-low latency output of the processed image for up to 160 clients. Streaming can work over local Wi-Fi network, but it can use QTAKE Cloud to establish remote session over internet. See more details in the STREAM Menu section.

Dolby Vision®

Starting with version 1.6, QTAKE integrates support for Dolby Vision set of technologies for HDR mastering and delivery, developed by Dolby Laboratories. One of the most important use cases enabled by this integration is the remote color-grading. There are many cases when clients can not attend editing or color-grading session in person and can not rely on exported clips, because of the slow turn-around. QTAKE offers solution for interactive and effective remote grading thanks to its high-quality, low-latency streaming of the Dolby Vision enabled content. Current Dolby Vision functionality is included in the GRADE Module.


When starting QTAKE project you need to set HDR MODE to Dolby Vision 2.9 or 4.0 using project settings window.

Next, you need to set MASTERING and TARGET monitor from the available presets.

Alternatively, you can turn on CUSTOM option to manually set values for PRIMARIES, WHITE POINT, MINIMUM LUMINANCE and MAXIMUM LUMINANCE according to your monitor specification.


If available, QTAKE will extract frame-based Dolby Vision metadata when capturing live HDMI signal using compatible video card. In case of SDI, QTAKE will extract Dolby Vision metadata if the signal was generated by another QTAKE system. In addition to live input, QTAKE can also import video files with metadata contained in the external XML file.


When using HDMI output, Dolby Vision metadata is embedded into signal using “tunneling” method, compatible with Dolby Vision TV devices. Additionally, QTAKE can output Dolby Vision enabled content over SDI output. In this case, metadata is embedded into SDI signal to provide connection to other QTAKE system. When remote monitoring is required, QTAKE will embed Dolby Vision metadata into QTAKE Cloud Stream. See more info in the Live Stream section below.

Realtime Analysis

When Dolby Vision output is enabled and no metadata is detected in the input signal, QTAKE will automatically perform realtime Dolby Vision analysis. The result of this analysis is the L1 metadata, used to provide Dolby Vision enabled output to supported systems, such as Dolby Vision TV devices or another QTAKE system.

Live Stream

As mentioned, the most common use case empowered by Dolby Vision support in QTAKE is the remote color grading or editing session. This setup requires two QTAKE systems:

SENDER - QTAKE System residing in the color-grading or editing suite, capturing color-graded Dolby Vision output and streaming it over the QTAKE Cloud.

RECEIVER - client side QTAKE system, responsible for receiving QTAKE Stream and providing output to Dolby Vision enabled HDMI monitor or a TV device.

To enable Dolby Vision metadata in QTAKE Stream, open STREAM SETUP window on the sender QTAKE system, click double arrow next to NETWORK SETTINGS button to reveal HDR option for each stream and set it to DV® (Dolby Vision). On the receiver system, enable Dolby Vision output as described in the Dolby Vision output section.

Dolby, Dolby Vision, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.


QTAKE is second to none when it comes to metadata. Projects and clips contain pre-defined metadata fields to store the most common information, but additional custom metadata can be easily created to fit any kind of production type. Following is an overview of the metadata features:

  • Fast entry of metadata using choices and keywords
  • Selection of the metadata source per field
  • Synchronization of metadata between cameras
  • Automatic copy of value for Shot, Scene or Episode
  • Custom metadata fields with different value types
  • Support for regional settings and units
  • Access permissions using Metadata Groups
  • Synchronization over local network or cloud
  • Static and dynamic (frame-based) metadata support

See the META section for more details about metadata.


Avid Log Exchange is the most popular format to exchange metadata between 3rd party systems. QTAKE provides custom mapping for both import and export of ALE files. You can find more details in the Import ALE and Export ALE sections.


New RAW module enables import, playback and processing of RAW camera media. This is the highest quality media, comparable to analog negative stock. Usually it is uncompressed or slightly compressed read-out of the bayer sensor, which means it needs heavy duty computing in order to transform it into regular RGB image suitable for viewing. Each camera vendor has a different format and a different color science which is fully supported in QTAKE. Following RAW file formats are currently supported in QTAKE:

  • ARRI RAW (.ari) and ARRI MXF (.mxf)
  • SONY RAW and SONY X-OCN (.mxf)
  • RED RAW (.r3d)
  • CANON RAW MXF (.mxf)
  • DMG (.dmg)


Since QTAKE is used to record camera output for video assist purpose, it contains all clips captured by the camera. However, resolution, frame rate and color fidelity of this media is limited by the SDI interface, used on most professional cameras. In order to provide full quality dailies, you can import original camera media.

After importing RAW camera media files, QTAKE is trying to match them to existing clips in order to preserve all entered metadata, live grading, clip effects, sequences, etc. Best matching method is based on CMF (Camera Media Filename), because it is 100% accurate. If there is no CMF recorded, timecode, date and camera letter is used instead. If the result is not 100% accurate, QTAKE will show all hits and let the user decide which clip to link the new media to.

Each imported or linked file will be represented by one row in the matching table. Clicking the row will toggle its color. If the row is discolored, it will be skipped, only colored files will be imported. You can expand each row to select how each file will be imported. There are 4 options available based on the result of the matching process:

  • CREATE - new clip will be created
  • USE - existing clip will be used
  • CLONE - existing clip will be cloned
  • AV SYNC - new audio clip will be created and audio media will be attached to matching video clips

In some cases, you may need to narrow down the amount of clips that QTAKE is trying to match to, in order to avoid false match. This can be done using UNIT and SHOOT DAY filters, which will match import only to clips from specific unit or shoot day. Additionally, you can easily discard import of the MATCHED or UNMATCHED clips using the SKIP filter.


All image processing is performed in realtime, which means it can be used both for live feed and recorded clips. It is recommended to always record clean log image without LUTs or overlays applied. This non-destructive workflow will allow you to tweak any aspect of the final image at any time of the life cycle of each clip.


Most professional cameras will record and output flat signal with a wide gamut color space to provide as much dynamic range as possible. For on set monitoring you can just apply simple Log to Rec.709 conversion using pre-defined LUTs to provide a standard contrast image. But filmmakers often want to establish specific look when preparing and lighting the scene.

QTAKE offers professional color correction tools that are In addition to internal processing, QTAKE can send live color grading data to external LUT box to provide zero delay processing. For more details on color correction see COLOR Group section.


QTAKE has a dedicated room for compositing. It uses two video channels to perform realtime dual layer composite using Chroma Key, Luma Key, Wipe and various blending modes. Each layer can have unlimited number of effects, such as transformation, masking, color correction, blur, etc. If more layers are required, composite can be rendered and used as a single layer, while adding a new one. QTAKE has full control over timing of each layer, so compositing can be used for stacking motion control passes. In addition to GPI triggering, there is timecode chase feature called SLAVE PLAYBACK. This means you can preview blending with pre-recorded background even during the motion control browse move.


When pre-recorded or pre-rendered background is not good enough, there is an option to import 3D CGI scene. Combined with capturing motion control or motion tracking data, QTAKE can create virtual 2D or stereoscopic camera to render CGI background and composite it with the live or playback image. Live layer can be placed at certain 3D depth to have CGI elements appear both in the foreground and background.


Simple built-in editor helps director quickly check continuity. Fast trimming with all popular trimming types works both with precision frame-by-frame and view drag modes. After switching back from the EDIT room, sequence is accessible inside the SHOOT or COMPOSITE room as a regular clip.


One of the most powerful features of QTAKE 1.5 is the new file export. After selecting clips in the LIST, click the FUNCTION button and choose EXPOR TO FILE option.

This simple dialog will open to let you select the export process using the PIPELINE. Click the EDIT PIPELINE button to customize it. Turn on the OVERWRITE option in case the same files were already exported and you wish to overwrite them.


The essential tool that makes automatic export possible is the PIPELINE. It allows you to create the complex template which includes all stages of the process. Pipeline provides the most efficient way to export multiple deliverables, because it supports branching. This means that the parts of process which are common to all deliverables are performed only once.

Pipeline is formed by creating and connecting nodes in five different columns, which represent stages of the export process.


Read node is used to specify rendering source. Set the SOURCE MEDIA TYPE to define what type of media will be used to process selected clips. AUDIO option is used to select if embedded or external audio should be used. IN/OUT RANGE defines if the whole clip duration is rendered or only its part. In case of RAW media, you can select FILE based or QTAKE based INPUT FX RAW SETTINGS as well as RAW DEBAYER QUALITY. If set to AUTO, it will use quality settings from playback interface. Read node can branch into multiple process nodes to speed up rendering of multiple look versions.


Process node is used to apply CLIP FX and ACES ODT. You can choose to render selected clips with all effects stored for specified media type or only the LUT effect. ACES output transform contains all available options from the current ACES version. By default, processing is done in the NATIVE resolution of the incoming frames, but you can select CUSTOM working resolution to automatically scale incoming frames to selected WIDTH and HEIGHT, using selected FITTING method. Process nodes can branch into multiple overlay nodes to speed up rendering of multiple deliverables using different overlays.


Overlay node is used to apply FRAME LINES and BURN IN. Both of these functions are using templates, which can be customized by clicking EDIT button. Overlay nodes can branch into multiple encode nodes to speed up exporting of multiple deliverables using different file formats and codecs.


Encode node is used to specify output file format using MEDIA FILE TEMPLATE. Click the EDIT button to create new templates. Encode nodes can branch into multiple write nodes to provide multiple file copies in a single pass.


Write nodes are used to write resulting file to TARGET STORAGE.

  • INTERNAL - media file will be attached to source clip with specified TARGET MEDIA TYPE and will use internal storage, just as if it was recorded or imported. It is limited to full duration, because each media type for clip should have the same duration.
  • EXTERNAL - used when exporting to 3rd party systems, so clips can be rendered with any duration and written to any destination using a FILENAME TEMPLATE. Filename can be customized using different metadata values as well as a static text. In addition to media, you can export metadata in XML or ALE format. While XML contains complete QTAKE metadata, ALE export can be customized using ALE Export Templates.

Touchscreen UI

QTAKE is primarily designed for use with a touchscreen monitor. This provides users with high level of interactivity, comfort and speed. However, software can be easily used with standard input peripherals, like keyboard and mouse. Almost every control has its dedicated keyboard shortcut to make your work faster using the keyboard. While QTAKE allows you to customize these shortcuts this document will refer to the default values.


The application does not use standard OS controls. We have designed custom, finger-sized controls to accommodate the touch nature of the UI as well as resolution independence.

BUTTON is a basic element of the UI. By pressing and releasing a button you activate a specific command. Some buttons have a secondary function, activated by a “long click” (hold the button depressed for 1 second). Buttons that contain secondary function are marked by a little dot in their lower right corner.

SEGMENTED BUTTON is the set of buttons used to select single of two or more options. By selecting one segment of this button you automatically deselect previously selected option.

INPUT FIELD is used to enter numeric or alphanumeric values for various data fields. By pressing this button you invoke on-screen keyboard used to enter characters in touch-screen application. Note that you can also use a physical keyboard to enter values. Some input fields act as toggle switches where each click cycles through the available options.

SLIDER is a special purpose control used to adjust numeric values. Dragging the slider knob to the left side decrements value. By dragging to the right side you increment the value. Filled area of the slider bar indicates where the selected value falls within the range of values. Most sliders also have an associated input field next to it that lets you enter an exact value.

Some sliders can be set into AUTO mode. In auto mode the slider will transition between the START and END values without requiring interaction from the user. To enable auto mode click on the associated input field and toggle AUTO to YES. Alternatively, double click the slider to start auto mode without entering the on-screen keyboard. The LOOP MODE changes how the slider moves and it can be set to LOOP (from start to end), PONG(from start to end, then back to start) and A/B (alternates between start and end values). TIME INTERVAL sets the interval between transitions.

User interface controls are disabled (greyed out) for the commands that can not be executed in the current context.

ENHANCED INPUT FIELD is used to enter numerical values. The button has three separate functions. By pressing the buttons left side (where the value is displayed) you invoke an on-screen keyboard similar to a regular input field. By long clicking the left side of the button you reset the field to its default value. And finally by pressing and holding the right side of the button you invoke a RADIAL SLIDER that lets you input values by moving the cursor or your finger around its center. The radial slider lets you return to the previous value by moving the cursor or your finger to its center.

LABEL is used to display various states/values of the system. By clicking on some labels you can cycle through various display options.

TOOLBAR is a set of buttons grouped to form a complex function, like PLAYBACK. Sometimes it features dual arrow icon to provide access to 2nd set of controls.

MENU BUTTONS are used to toggle display of toolbars. They can be locked to disallow accidental clicks.

User interface is using 4 horizontal blocks by default, which provides good readability even on smaller MacBook Pro screens. Users can resize UI to up to 7 blocks to accommodate bigger or wider screens using GUI_Screen_Blocks_Count preference.


By pressing a MENU button user enables or disables corresponding toolbar. Button will change its background color from grey to green. If you press MENU button again you will hide its toolbar. Users can arrange toolbars for each room simply by displaying them in the correct order.

Toolbars always appear from left to right. If you hide any toolbar, all other boxes are moved to fill the gap. There is an arrow on top of each Menu title that indicates if the toolbar will appear in the upper or lower zone. You can toggle the arrow direction by a long-click on the MENU button.

You can prevent Menu Boxes from accidental hiding by pressing the LOCK button.

Each ROOM in the application can have its own layout. The orange LAYOUT button allows you to save and recall up to eight different layouts. Click the LAYOUT button to reveal the current layout and the eight slots where you can store layouts, by default named LAYOUT 1 - LAYOUT 8. The currently selected layout is highlighted in orange. The first, - (dash) layout, will become active when you modify a saved layout. To store the current layout long-click one of the slots, now you are able to rename your layout and save it. On the right side of the bar you can CLEAR or RESET the currently configured layout to the default state of the current room.

Fast keyboard access to layouts
You can bind keyboard shortcuts to your layouts for quick access (default shortcuts Alt+1-8)


Visual keyboards are used for data input. They are displayed by pressing the data input fields. Above the input field there is a set of keyword buttons containing commonly used values, words or phrases. These buttons can be customized by entering the desired phrase in the input field and long clicking on the button you wish to change. When using physical keyboard you can disable visual keyboards by turning off the SHOW KEYBOARD setting. You still have access to keywords by right clicking on the field you are editing.


Hotkeys (or keyboard shortcuts) in QTAKE are configurable and saved per user allowing each user to customize their work environment. Reveal hotkeys for each control element by pressing the Fn key on your keyboard. While holding this key each command TITLE is temporarily replaced by its keyboard shortcut representation.

If you click a button while holding down your Fn key a popup window will appear that lets you define a new keyboard shortcut for that button. In this window you also have the ability to CLEAR (remove any existing shortcut from that button), RESET (set default shortcut for that button) / RESET ALL (set default shortcuts for all buttons).

Keyboard shortcuts context
Keyboard shortcuts have to be unique for each button in each room, because all rooms make up a single context. Exceptions are windows that appear on top of the standard UI. Windows are modal and therefore allow the hotkeys from the main context to be re-used.


Screen area is divided into seven zones.

    This is the zone where you choose what part of the application (ROOM) you want to work in.

    System status and log messages are displayed in this zone.

    This zone contains the most commonly used commands, such as toggling the display of sidebars or hiding the application.

    This is the zone where toolbars appear when you click MENU buttons set to top mode.

    This zone is used to display video content, as well as sidebars.

    This is the zone where toolbars appear when you click MENU buttons set to bottom mode.

    The green and black Menu buttons control what UI elements are displayed in each room.


Top bar menu contains the most common commands in QTAKE.


Help screen is used to display QTAKE manual directly inside the application.
Press the HELP button to scale down QTAKE interface and load the User Guide. Press the HELP button again to close it. Help screen will allow you to browse the manual using PREVIOUS and NEXT rounded buttons at the bottom of the page that will jump through the sections. Top rounded button will show you your current position in the document. Clicking this button will open the Table Of Contents and allow you to jump directly to desired section.

BACK and FORWARD buttons are used to navigate through the history of visited parts of the manual.

Turn on the UI MODE to automatically highlight part of the manual that explains currently clicked button in the QTAKE user interface. Use the right click (or left click and drag the cursor out of the button area) if you want only help highlighted without activating the primary function of the button.


Main menu of the application consists of 5 Rooms:


This is the initial room, where you create users and projects, adjust system settings and import / export files. Keyboard shortcut is Shift-1.


This room is used to record and playback clips, enter clip data and adjust various display options. Keyboard shortcut is Shift-2.


The STATUS BAR is located along the top of the interface, next to the ROOM buttons. This area is used to display information about the current state of QTAKE. The first row contains QTAKE version number, current date and time and performance information. The V numbers correspond to the number of frames processed in each view. M corresponds to the number of frames sent to the GUI monitor and E corresponds to the number of frames sent to the external monitor - GPU output.

The second row contains hardware status information such as the ambient temperature (as read by the computer’s internal sensors) and fan speeds. CpuP and GpuP indicate the state of system frequency throttling. Any value other than OK indicates that the system is reducing the frequency of the respective component due to risk of overheating. If you are using default system audio device as your QTAKE output device (which is not a recommended practice), you will also see the volume level displayed here. Click the status bar to show the expanded log message view. Log view can be set to display NOTIFICATIONS or to filter log messages based on their type: ALL, INFO, WARNINGS and ERRORS. The FINDER button is used to hide QTAKE and reveal the current log file in the Finder.


Clicking the LIST button in the special buttons zone (or long clicking the BROWSE button) will open the clip list browser sidebar. This browser gives you an overview of the recorded clips in a convenient list form. Clips are sorted by clicking on any of the column headings. List layout can be customized by moving the columns left or right and by resizing each column.

Custom layout of the LIST sidebar will be automatically stored for current user.

Clicking any row will load respective clip into active view. Dragging cursor through the list will temporarily display thumbnail of the selected clip. Releasing the mouse button will load selected clip into active VIEW. Releasing the mouse button outside the LIST will cancel loading and keep the current clip in the VIEW. By selecting LIVE clip from the list, you can patch current VIEW to live input.

Long click the LIST button the make the LIST sidebar visible in the full-screen mode.


Easy navigation through thousands of clips is possible using various FILTER options. Clicking any item in the horizontal scroll view next to FILTER button will open small list with its options.


Patch filter provides clip filtering by ACTIVE view patch, which means the list will show only the clips that are corresponding to selected DISK PATCH of the active view. This can be based on camera letter or recording input.


This filter is indispensable when shooting multiple units and synchronizing project using QTAKE Server. As with all other LIST filters, you can select one or more units.


This option filters clips by selected camera letters.


When shooting series, you can select this filter to show only the currently shot episodes.


Ratings filters clips by the number of stars.


This option will filter pick-ups, part takes and reference takes.


Time filter is used to filter clips by the time they were recorded.


This filter is based on how the clip was created: RECORDED, IMPORTED, LINKED, RENDERED, SEQUENCE.


Use this filter if you want to show clips from specific QTAKE system.


Bins are like folders, they allow user to group clips that have no metadata to be grouped by.


Use this option to group clips dynamically by their metadata using simple or complex filtering rules in the SMART BIN editor. Alternatively you can use SEARCH ANY field to find clips by metadata and turn the search condition into Smart Bin.


This option is not selectable by QTAKE Operator. It is used by QTAKE Server administrator to limit access to clips. Any shared BIN or SMART BIN can be used to filter out clips that should not be seen by specified roles.


Deleting clips in QTAKE is performed in two steps. First you need to move clips to trash using MOVE TO TRASH function. Then you can either put them back or permanently delete them. Click the TRASH button in the header of the LIST sidebar to display the contents of the trash bin.


At the bottom of the list you will find buttons that provide additional functionality to list of clips.

The segmented button labeled 3 2 1 lets the user set the horizontal size of the list browser. Note that some functionality is hidden when horizontal size is set to 2 or 1.

The BIG button resizes each row of the list to enable them to be used with a touch screen.

The LIVE CLIPS SORT option can help you to quickly set the order of your LIVE clips.

The SEARCH CLIP input field lets the user filter displayed clips by searching for SCENE, NOTE or ANY. To disable the filter simply long click the SEARCH CLIP button again.

The SELECT button lets you select multiple clips to perform a function on. In addition, metadata can be edited for selected clips using META sidebar, CLIP and DATA toolbars.

The FUNCTION button displays the list of options for selected clips.


You can perform additional tasks on a selection of clips. Following functions are currently available.


Use this function when you need to make a quick copy of selected clips to a 3rd party application. This is not a recommended way of export, because it doesn’t include clip metadata, but some information can be smuggled inside filenames. Since QTAKE doesn’t use human readable filenames for its internal media, additional step is necessary to show media files in a single Finder folder.

First you need to select what type of media you want to reveal (Recorded, Proxy, RAW,…) and then select what FILENAME TEMPLATE should be used to generate filenames. If none of the pre-defined templates works for you, you can create your own by clicking the EDIT button.

In case you want to show locations of the linked media files (that were not imported into QTAKE internal media storage), set the MEDIA LOCATION button to EXTERNAL. Select one of the folders in the table to show it in Finder.


This function will move clips to trash bin. Trashed clips will disappear from the list of regular clips, but they can be put back from thrash in case they are still needed. If you are sure you will not need trashed clips anymore, you can permanently delete them.

Relink will try to find link media files that have changed their location.


Use this function to generate screenshots for all selected clips using the poster frame.


Use this function to generate thumbnails for all selected clips using the poster frame. This function will create both clean and processed thumbnail.


Bins function will open dialog that will show you all created bins and number of clips inside those bins that matches current selection of clips. Here you can add selected clips to selected bins or remove them.


This function lets you create PDF report using selected clips the same way as using PDF Report.


Selected clips will be sent to sequence and QTAKE will switch to EDIT room.


Use this function to render proxy media for selected clips. Project settings will be used to setup encoder resolution and quality.


Proxy media can’t be played back with variable frame-rate. In order to do so, you need to transcode it to Apple ProRes codec.


This function will create ALE file for selected clips using selected ALE Template.


Exporting color grading to 3rd party apps. You can export CDLs and LUTs used on selected clips. Optionally, CDLs can be exported as CCC.


Export selected clips to QTAKE XML format which contains complete metadata. Media files of the selected type can be exported in addition to XML.


This function is used to export clips using the Pipeline.


In case you are not using META sidebar, you can use this function to edit multi-clip metadata values in a standalone window.


Use this function to quickly mark selected clips as a reference. If selected clips contain reference clips, additional function will be shown allowing you to unmark clips as a reference.


This function is available only in TRASH mode. Use it to put back clips that were accidentally moved to trash.


This function is available only in TRASH mode. Use it to permanently delete clips and all associated files.


The META sidebar provides a convenient way to view and edit all metadata of the clip in the active view. If the SELECT mode is enabled in the LIST, META sidebar will display aggregated values for all selected clips. This allows you to check if all selected clips have the same value or change the values for multiple clips at the same time.

Long click the META button to make the META sidebar visible in the full-screen mode.


The metadata is divided into categories called GROUPS, that can be collapsed to allow the user to fit just the relevant information into a single list. When using QTAKE Server, each group has separate permissions, so admin can control metadata access per user role.

In addition to clip metadata, META sidebar allows you to edit project metadata using the PROJECT tab. This part contains project and crew metadata groups.


SOURCE column is used to set what source will provide value for each metadata field. If set to AUTO, the latest value will be stored, regardless of the source.

Following is the list of possible metadata sources:

  • Auto
  • User
  • SDI Ancillary Data
  • MetaCoder
  • ScreenPort
  • Ambient Master Lockit
  • Motion Control
  • Motion Tracker
  • Stereoscopic Rig


Copying of metadata field values to next take is controlled by the SPAN column. If the span is set to SHOT, corresponding field value is copied to next take only if the CAMERA, SCENE and SHOT remain the same. If the span is set to SCENE, metadata value is copied to next take until the SCENE is changes. EPISODE means the value will remain the same over the course of the whole episode.


Copying of metadata field values between cameras (views) is controlled by the SYNC column. When set, value from the active view is copied to all synced views, based on COPY LIVE METADATA option. This can be set by long clicking the REC SYNC, CLIP SYNC or PLAY SYNC buttons in the SYNC SETUP window.


You can add custom fields to any metadata group by clicking the + (plus) symbol on the right side of each category heading. New fields will be shared among all QTAKE Server users that have permissions for the group containing these fields. There is also a PRIVATE DATA group that is not shared with other users and you can use it to store your private notes.

When adding a custom field the user is presented with a dialog that lets him set the NAME of the field, its TYPE and any additional attributes for that field type, such as entries for a multi-choice field.


Each clip can have multiple groups of ranges, where each group can contain a text note or a freehand drawing. For example, one group can be used to select parts of clip that represent actions, while another group can be used to set the ranges that will be used in the sequence or composite. Ranges from a single group can not overlap.

You can expand any group to show all ranges it contains. You can set the active view playhead to start of any range by clicking its row. Checkmark displayed on the left side of each row is used to hide the respective range in the time slider. SHARE button is used to share the group with other users connected to current QTAKE project.

Ranges are not limited to QTAKE operator. When used in combination with QTAKE Server, each authorized user can set his own ranges and share them at will. For example VFX Supervisor can use QTAKE Monitor to mark the range that needs a special treatment in the post production.


This button will display a list of existing background tasks of the current session. Background tasks include file copy, upload, download, image processing and media transcoding operations. You can use TASKS window to check the progress of the specific task. Additionally, you can PAUSE tasks, if they are affecting your system performance or even CANCEL tasks, if the results are no longer needed.


Allows you to minimize QTAKE without exiting the application. Note that QTAKE uses kiosk mode when active, which prevents other applications to be displayed in front of the QTAKE interface. Therefore, in order to interact with the desktop or other apps, you need to click HIDE.

In case you prefer using Cmd-Tab to switch between applications, you need to disable kiosk mode using this preference: Kiosk_Mode=0


Toggling the FULL button (or pressing F key) will switch your UI between a regular and a full-screen mode. This will allow you to view the image content scaled to full screen size, by hiding the rest of the interface.

Special case is the LIST, FX and META sidebar. Each of them can be set to remain displayed in the full-screen mode by long-clicking their respective top bar buttons. The underline will appear under the button title, indicating the full-screen mode of the sidebar.


File room is used to setup the project, import or export files and access various settings needed for your work environment.


When starting the application, users can use the auto-load feature to automatically load last user and project. To use this set the following preference:



Project window is used to set the most common properties of the project.


Each project is identified by its PROJECT TITLE, which has to be unique. Toggling the PRIVATE button to YES will limit access to the project to the user that created it.

If you need to change the project name for PDF reports, change the value of the PROJECT NAME metadata field in the META sidebar.


Storage volume is selected using the PROJECT STORAGE field. Changing CUSTOM PROXY STORAGE to YES lets you set the PROXY MEDIA STORAGE independently from the main project storage. See STORAGE STRUCTURE for more info.

QTAKE will not allow you to record media to a system drive. Use a separate drive as your project file storage.


The DOWNLOAD REMOTE PRORES input field controls when QTAKE will download recorded media from QTAKE Server. DOWNLOAD REMOTE PROXY controls the same for proxy media.


Use the SLATING SYSTEM field to select US or UK slating. Additionally, you can specify SCENE SHOT DIVIDER when using there is a need to separate scene and shot names.


The UNIT input field is used to set which film unit is this QTAKE system used on to identify clips in the multi-unit environment. There are four pre-defined choices, but you can easily add additional ones using the META sidebar.



If you are grading using ACES color system, set the WORKING COLOR SPACE input field to desired option. This will also enable ACES SETTINGS effect in the INPUT FX. Additionally you should set the output transform using ACES ODT.

Click here to learn more about ACES.


If your project requires color grading in High Dynamic Range, use following parameters to set your color space and monitor luminance range. PRIMARIES drop-down provides following options:

  • Rec.709
  • Rec.2020
  • P3

Set WHITE POINT to one of the following values:

  • D55
  • D60
  • D65
  • DCI


The segmented INPUT button lets you configure your capture A/V DEVICE as well as other settings for each input. INPUT SOURCE can be set to following types:

  • SDI - video cards from AJA, BMD or Deltacast, most advanced option
  • NDI® - IP video standard by NewTek™, requires STREAM Module license
  • CUBE - Wi-Fi transmitter by Teradek, requires STREAM Module license
  • QTAKE - live stream from QTAKE apps, ScreenPort or a MetaCoder device
  • SYSTEM - any AV device recognized by macOS, usually offering resolution and FPS selection
  • SCREEN - used to capture the contents of the main system screen.

Most of the following settings can be controlled only in case of an SDI input.

If you are using separate video card for each input you will need to set the following preference:


After selecting correct VIDEO INPUT and AUDIO INPUT, you can use DETECT button to set the format based on the input signal. Set AUTOMATIC CHANGE to YES to have QTAKE automatically reconfigure your video card based on the input signal format.

Some video cards will limit the formats that can be selected for different inputs of the same card.

The COLOR CODING selector lets you switch between YUV and RGB to match your input format. VIDEO DELAY field will make video input delayed by specified number of frames.

TIMECODE and TIMECODE TYPE lets you select the timecode input. If your input signal does not contain timecode you can use wireless timecode from Timecode Buddy by setting TC BUDDY to YES. QTAKE will automatically find any Timecode Buddy devices on the same network.

GENLOCK is used to set the clock mode of your SDI outputs. FREE RUN will use internal timing, REF IN will sync outputs to external reference signal and VIDEO IN will use the video input signal to drive the output clock. Set the FRAME SYNC to YES if you want QTAKE to match the timing of all inputs.


The right side of the project window lets you set your CAMERA MODEL, CAMERA LETTER and the recording CODEC for your media files. STEREO 3D, MULTI VIEW and VR 360 fields are used to identify the type of content in the current input. You should also specify the COLOR SPACE of your input signal using pre-defined values (ACESproxy, Alexa LogC, Rec.601, Rec.709, Rec.2020, Rec.2020 PQ, Rec.2020 HLG, P3 D65 PQ).

Codec selection contains PASSTHROUGH option, which can be used when recording stream from ScreenPort SDI or another QTAKE app, to store video track in the native codec of the stream.

If the selected camera supports embedded metadata in the SDI feed you can set QTAKE to READ SDI DATA and also choose to name your media links by QTAKE or CAMERA MEDIA FILENAME. For further information see CLIP NAMING CONVENTION. If you are using METACODER device to preserve the metadata in the wireless SDI signal, set this option to Video or Audio, depending on selected mode inside MetaCoder device.

Enabling REVERSE PULLDOWN will only record unique (non-duplicated) frames from the camera output in order to match the frames recorded by the camera, either in standard camera frame rate or in vari-speed and speed-ramp modes, up to the frame rate of the signal format.

For example, if the camera is recording 40fps into 24fps project, user should set the CAMERA TIMEBASE to 24 and use the 3G-SDI signal from the camera output (that allows transfer of 60 frames per second). QTAKE will record 40 unique frames from the 60Hz signal and it will stretch the audio to match the slow motion video. Playback from QTAKE will look the same as if you were playing back from the camera.

If you need to up-convert or down-convert live or playback signal, set the SECONDARY VIDEO FORMAT and select which outputs should use it. If these settings are greyed-out, it means they are not available on your video cards.


RECORD PROXY enables QTAKE to record a secondary, highly compressed file, along with your regularly recorded media. Hard-link to this proxy file will be placed in a subfolder of your project folder called /Media/Proxy. With the use of QTAKE Server this provides access to recorded clips using QTAKE Monitor app.

Top controls in this sections allow you to set the CODEC (H.264 or HEVC), BIT DEPTH (8-bit or 10-bit for HEVC) and HARDWARE acceleration. Bottom row provides setting of the RESOLUTION and QUALITY of these files.

HEVC codec (also known as H.265) produces same quality output using the same bitrate as H.264 codec, however it is much more demanding in terms of processing power.

The source image for the proxy encoder is the content of the VIEW. This means that the proxy recording will “burn in” any applied effect or LUT into recorded media file, so you should take care not to change the settings while recording.

The same encoded frames used for storing proxy media files are used for QTAKE Stream. If you need different settings for proxy media, use auto-export feature.

To disable OSD burn-in on the proxies set the following preference:


COPY TO ALL button allows you to copy the settings of the current input to all remaining inputs.

The SAVE button will save the current project setup as the default. The default setup will be used as a starting point when creating a NEW project - unless project was created by duplicating another project.

If you have multiple audio devices connected you can choose what output device QTAKE will use when in LIVE or DISK mode with the LIVE AUDIO OUTPUT DEVICE and DISK AUDIO OUTPUT DEVICE buttons.


This section provides insight into how QTAKE stores recorded and imported media files, thumbnails and other internal files.

QTAKE Storage Folder

QTAKE 1.5 uses new file storage based on unique filenames, compatible with QTAKE Server. The main purpose of this system is to provide the most robust way of linking database to files, especially in the new, distributed environment, where files can be accessed by the asynchronous upload or download process.

Main file storage folder is called “QTAKE Storage” and it resides in the root of the volume selected in the PROJECT STORAGE field. Users should never touch the contents of this folder to avoid breaking the database links or QTAKE Server synchronization.

QTAKE Projects Folder

In addition to main file storage folder, there is additional “QTAKE Projects” folder, used for files that can be access by user, such as FINDER, EXPORT or SCREENSHOTS folders.

Additionally, QTAKE will automatically create hard links with human readable filenames to media files inside MEDIA folder, for compatibility purposes. 3rd party tools that needs automatic access to QTAKE media files can use these hard links.

Following filename scheme is used for hard links: [SCENE_SHOT_TAKE_CAMERA] SOURCE-CLIP-INPUT

Automatic hard links inside QTAKE Projects folder will not have their filenames updated after clip metadata change.

Copy clips to 3rd party apps

In case you need to copy QTAKE media files to external storage using the current metadata values, you should use SHOW IN FINDER function. Typical use is copying media files for editor or director.

Spanning multiple volumes

In case your file storage gets full, you can simply attach new storage to your system and select new volume using PROJECT STORAGE field. Old volume will still be used to access old files.

Never try to move or delete files inside QTAKE Storage manually. If you need to free up drive space, delete clips inside QTAKE app and empty TRASH in the LIST.


When you click UPLOAD button in the OPEN PROJECT window, you will be presented with a following dialog prompting you to select destination QTAKE Server. Usually, this will be the instance of the server running on your local machine.

After clicking OK, your project upload will have to be approved by the administrator of the selected QTAKE Server instance.


Sometimes, you will not be the one who is creating QTAKE project. Most common scenario is the 2nd unit QTAKE system, which is deployed after the shooting has already started. In this case, you should use REMOTE tab of the OPEN PROJECT window to select existing project residing on the server and click DOWNLOAD button to download the project to your QTAKE.

If you don’t see specific project listed in the table, ask the QTAKE Server administrator to send you the project link. Double clicking the link will add this project to list of remote projects and allow you to download it.


This is a comparison table detailing what embedded metadata QTAKE can read from various cameras.

FPS - - YES* -

Blackmagic Design video cards will only receive SDI metadata when QTAKE is set to 10bit capture mode.


SDI video usually contains image data encoded in YCbCr color space. QTAKE converts the image into RGB color space in order to perform GPU based processing. Standard YCbCr conversion uses SMPTE levels, which means that the legal range YCbCR will be converted to full range RGB. However, some cameras use full range YCbCr to store the higher luminance range. QTAKE supports conversion to RGB using full range YCbCr to avoid clipping of super-blacks and super-whites. This is controlled using following preference:


When using FULL RANGE VIDEO preference, your video card output and QOD+ will be automatically set to match the input, but if you are using 3rd party GPU to SDI converters, you may need to set the correct video range using the following preference:


Full range video processing is slower. Use it only in case your signal source requires processing of super-black and super-white pixel values.

Both LINK and IMPORT can be performed by hiding QTAKE and dragging the files onto the QTAKE dock icon. In addition to QuickTime movies you can import still images, audio files and CDL color corrections. When dragging a media file to the QTAKE dock icon the DRAG AND DROP window will appear, letting you set options such as FILENAME PARSING, STILL IMAGE SCALING, STILL IMAGE DURATION. Importing a still image can be useful for reference frames, logos or background images for VFX shots.


QTAKE can mark imported files with a specific CAMERA LETTER by clicking SELECT DISK and specifying the desired DISK in the DISK LETTER input box. Selecting AUTOMATIC will assign a disk letter according to filename parsing method.


When using drag and drop import QTAKE has the ability extract metadata from the filename of the imported material but the user has to select the correct parsing filter.

Some external recorders have the ability to read Camera Media Filename and rename files accordingly. When importing files that are named by camera filename use the appropriate camera import filter even if they were recorded on one of the devices in the list.

NONE The NONE filter will mark the imported clips as belonging to a scene called Import.

QTAKE The QTAKE filter uses the native QTAKE naming convention. Files will be organized in the same way as they were created. Scene_Shot_Take-Sbtk_CamReel_(Rt)_IDx.mov

RED The RED filter will import media with RED filenames to a scene called RED (magazine number), The Camera position will be used as shot and clip number as take. CamReel_[CLR]Clip_MMDDXX.mov

ALEXA The Alexa filter will import Alexa files to a scene called Alexa (reel number). CamReelCClip_DDMMYY_CamID.mov

KIPRO The Ki Pro filter will use Scene and Take numbers as entered. SCSceneTKTake.mov

PIX The PIX 220 or 240 needs to be set to Reel_Scene_Take naming. QTAKE will then use those values. Reel_Scene_Take.mov

ATOMOS The Atomos filter uses Scene, Shot and Take numbers. UnitName_SceneNum_ShotNum_TakeNum.mov

CANON Use this parsing template to extract information from Canon media files.

SONY Use this parsing template to extract information from Sony media files.


When importing stereoscopic footage, recorded as muxed side by side, set the segmented button to SIDE BY SIDE. Non-muxed footage can be imported as FAKE SIDE BY SIDE. This can be useful when using 2D footage as a background plate for a stereoscopic chroma key.


When importing quad split footage, set this field to QUAD to enable related functionality.

VR 360

When importing virtual reality 360 footage, tag it using EQUIRECTANGULAR or CUBEMAP options to enable correct interpretation by QTAKE.


When importing footage captured in a portrait mode or upside-down, set this field to 90 CW, 90 CCW or 180 value.


QTAKE can import various still image formats. On import the image is converted to a QuickTime movie. Adjust the duration of this movie by entering the desired number of seconds in the STILL DURATION input field. To adjust the scaling of the imported image in relation to the VIEW use the STILL IMAGE SCALING segmented button. QTAKE will preserve the transparency of imported images.


Set this option to YES to extract metadata from imported file and insert it into QTAKE database.


Set this field to YES when importing new media for existing clips. Read more about this in the MATCHER section.


When importing new media for existing clips, it is important to use correct data to make matching successful. If CMF is not present in the existing clips, CAMERA, TIMECODE and DATE information is used instead. QTAKE is using file date if it can’t find embedded metadata inside imported media. However, file date can be misleading, because usually it is set to time of transcode and not the time of recording. Using OVERRIDE FILE DATE field you can set the correct date of the imported file.


QTAKE comes with two pre-made PDF Report templates. Project Report and Camera Report. To create a new PDF report template first select the report you would like to base your new report on and click DUPLICATE.

The left half of the template editor controls what metadata fields are included and the sorting order of the clips in the report. Use the segmented button to choose whether the fields should be added to the page header or the individual clip entries in the report. To add a field select it from the Available Fields list and use the arrow button (>) to add it. When the report is in Flow Layout both the Page Header and the clip entires have a heading and a data section. These are separated by a horizontal line in the Included Fields list.

Drag the field to move it between the data section and the heading. Each field in the Included Fields list also has a drop-down menu to define its relation to the next field. The options are No Space, Slash, Space and New Line.

Fields added to the Page Header will show up in the gray section of the preview. The Page Header will be repeated at the top of each page in the report. The header would normally be populated with fields from the Project Data group but you can optionally add fields from other groups. If fields with multiple values are added the header will show all values separated by commas.

The Sort Order tab lets you control the sorting of clips and the page breaks of the report. Clips in the report are sorted, in order from top to bottom, by the fields in the Included Fields list. There is a horizontal bar dividing the Included Fields list into two sections just like in the Clip and Page Header. Fields added above this line will cause the report to be divided into sections separated by page breaks based on their values.


The right half of the template editor contains a preview of the report, and controls for the page layout of the report. A segmented button near the top lets you choose between a Flow Layout and a Table Layout for the report. Click TEMPLATE and select the Camera Report for an example of a report in table layout. You can add the name of the template and the date when the report was generated to the report header by setting Show template title in page header and Show date in page header to YES. Setting Full header on first page only to YES will remove fields below the horizontal line in the Page Header tab on all pages of the report except for the first.

The bottom row of controls allows you to change the layout of the clip entries. Setting Begin each group on a new line to NO allows for more compact layout by putting the metadata groups closer together. Use fixed field positions and sizes will make sure the fields stay in the same place in each clip entry by adjusting the size of the field in the report to accommodate the clip with the largest amount of characters in that field. Use full-width clip headers will adjust the thumbnail to allow more information in the header. Skip empty fields will remove fields without data from the report. You can also adjust the thumbnail position and row decoration for the clips.

Pressing a GROUP button in the left segmented button will show the 10 PRESETS in that GROUP on the right. Press SETUP to configure your routing, groups and presets. See the section below.

AJA Kumo default port: 80
BMD videohub default port: 9990

The LOCK button will lock an output to an input. While locked the route is not available for routing.


This room is used for general video assist work - recording and playback.


During recording process you can use following features:

During recording you can set the IN and OUT (I and O keys) points to mark the important part of the clip.

Besides the IN and OUT points you can create CHAPTER MARKS during recording (J key) to help you quickly navigate to the interesting parts of the shot during playback (< and > keys).

If you press MAKE SUB button (P key), the subclip is created based on IN and OUT marks. If there is no OUT mark, subclip range is determined by the IN mark and the current time. After creating the subclip, new IN mark is set at the end of the subclip range. You can repeat this action to create the subclip for each take of the series. In addition, CHAPTERS are created for each IN and OUT point used to create subclip.

Press the THUMB button (U key) to set current frame as the thumbnail for the recorded clip. If you don’t specify thumbnail time, IN point will be used to generate a thumbnail.

You can abort recording any time by pressing the ABORT button in the RECORD toolbar. Current clip will be discarded. Keyboard shortcut is Esc.


When shooting series or multiple actions in a single take, you can use multiple IN and OUT points to mark more than one selection. After pressing IN and OUT points for the first time, this selection is automatically stored and you can set a different IN and OUT points.


Video is usually recorded in YCbCr mode. You can choose to record in either 8-bit, 10bit or 12bit mode. Higher bit depth mode will store video in a higher quality, but it also requires more disk space and more processing power.

This is controlled using the preference:



QTAKE records clips to Apple QuickTime file format. You can compress video to various codecs during record. Select the codec that best fits your postproduction workflow or make your selection based on space and quality requirements. QTAKE lets you use any of the following codecs: Apple ProRes Proxy, Apple ProRes LT, Apple ProRes, Apple ProRes HQ, Apple ProRes4444 and H.264 or HEVC. The codec that requires least CPU resources is Apple ProRes Proxy.

You can specify a different capture codec for each input. When creating a new project the default recording codec is controlled by the preference:

Default_Codec=Apple ProRes Proxy


QTAKE can record RTSP stream from Teradek CUBE over Wi-Fi, without the need for additional video input hardware. To enable the Teradek CUBEs video input you will need to enter the RTSP address in the PROJECT window. The Teradek CUBE has a bonjour enabled web interface that is used to setup the device and update it’s firmware.

Step by step for connecting Teradek CUBE to QTAKE:

  1. Connect to the Cubes admin interface. Click the Show All Bookmarks item in Safari Bookmarks toolbar and select your Cube device from the devices listed under the bonjour heading. For troubleshooting your connection refer to the Teradek Cube manual.
  2. Make sure Teradek Cube is running the latest Firmware. Note that the text on the bottom of the Info > About window in the admin interface should say “your device firmware is up to date.”
  3. Set your Compression profile. Go to Video Setup > Encoder Settings and set it to Baseline.
  4. Disable Quickview. You will need to disable Quickview for proper operation of the Teradek Cube in 1080 resolution. Go to Video Setup > Stream Settings, then click on the QuickView Stream tab and set the radio button to disabled.
  5. Make note of Cube settings. Write down your Primary (RTSP) address and your Output Resolution from the Dashboard section of the admin interface.
  6. Set up QTAKE. Start QTAKE and set Teradek Cube option to YES in your project window. You will need to enter your Primary stream address and set the video format with the format selector. Refer to the Teradek CUBE manual for more information regarding setup.

CUBE video reception is dependent on Wi-Fi signal strength. Using a router with external antennas can improve performance.

Only hardware that supports VDA decoding of H.264s can use other Profiles than Baseline.

QTAKE uses “LIVE555 Streaming Media” software licensed under LGPL. Live Networks, Inc. https://www.live555.com/

A take can be marked as a REHEARSAL and tagged with REF (for reference), P/T (for part take) and P/U (for pick-up) in the TAKE window. Takes tagged with REF will automatically show up in the REFERENCE section of the browser.

The TAKE value is automatically incremented if entered in LIVE mode, before or during recording. If RECORD-SYNC is enabled, clip data entered in LIVE mode is automatically copied to other camera clip.

Extended clip data can be accessed in the META sidebar and the DATA toolbar.

The TAKE value is automatically incremented if entered in LIVE mode, before or during recording. If RECORD-SYNC is enabled, clip data entered in LIVE mode is automatically copied to other camera clip.

Extended clip data can be accessed in the META sidebar and the DATA menu.

UK Slating
You can replace the SHOT field with a SLATE field to conform with UK (European) slating. The SLATE field will auto increment each time SCENE is changed. Slating system can be changed in the project window SLATING section.

The SHOT value can still be entered in the META sidebar.


Recording, importing or rendering clips is producing Quicktime movie files encoded with the selected codec. All media files are located in the QTAKE Storage folder on the PROJECT STORAGE volume, using unique, persistent filenames.

Additionally, QTAKE Projects/PROJECT_NAME/Media folder on the same volume is used to store screenshots and exported files as well as hard-links to your media files. These links can be created using CMF filename or pre-defined QTAKE filename structure:


When using CMF, hard-links will be named according to corresponding clips on the camera magazine. This only applies to clips that are recorded while QTAKE receives valid record flag and filename metadata embedded in the SDI output of the camera. Clips that are recorded while the camera is not recording will be named by the standard QTAKE clip naming convention.

IMPORT CLIPS and LINK CLIPS function can parse multiple types of filenames, select the appropriate import parsing filter in the Import dialog. See IMPORT QT MOVIES for specifics on each parsing filter.


You can edit basic clip data directly in the BROWSER. First you select the clip, press the FUNCTION button and then select the EDIT MULTI DATA option.


First SELECT the takes that you want to edit, then click EDIT MULTI DATA. A dialog similar to the EDIT CLIP DATA dialog will appear but with each element blanked out. When editing the TAKE attribute a secondary option called INCREMENT will appear. To number your takes sequentially select YES. Note that the order you selected the files is the order they will be numbered.


Pressing the FINDER button will hide QTAKE and show your selected clips in a finder window. Useful for copying key shots to an external drive for instance.


You can delete selected clips by clicking DELETE button. This will delete media files from the storage. This operation cannot be undone.

Enables you to relink selected clip/s.


Export CDLS and LUTS by selecting the clip/s, pressing the FUNCTION button and selecting the export option.


If you need to quickly put selected clips into the sequence, press TO SEQUENCE button. Clips are inserted into the current sequence in the order they were selected.


Click TO FILE button to export multiple takes to iPhone/iPod or AppleTV compatible .m4v format. If you choose to export a file to QT Movie, you can add LUT and OSD to the video frames. Press the BACKGROUND button to start the export in the background. Export to file uses IN and OUT marks to define the export range of each clip.


You can move selected clips to Reference Zone by clicking TO REF button. Access reference clips by clicking the REFERENCE button.


QTAKE will by default synchronize actions across all views (1+2+3+4) when a sync button such as REC SYNC or CLIP SYNC is enabled. The SYNC SETUP window lets you exclude views or break down the views in to smaller groups. Long-click one of the sync buttons to enter the SYNC SETUP window. The views indicated in blue belong to the current sync group. Click one or more of the views to to exclude it from the group.

Views that are excluded from a sync group can in turn be added to their own group by closing the SYNC SETUP window, activating the view and entering the SYNC SETUP window again. The sync buttons will indicate what views are part of the current group in parenthesis under the button title.

Why is the WAVE button inactive?
In order to use the waveform audio display you will need to set:

However you should be aware that enabling audio waveform will increase the performance requirements for the system.

AUDIO INPUT is set in the PROJECT window.

Some half duplex video cards only one audio stream (even though there are 2 video streams inside) you can capture only one audio (which is copied to both A & B clips). Same goes for playback. If you playback both VIEWS, you will hear only the sound of the ACTIVE VIEW.

Audio is embedded into SDI output, both in live and disk mode

Using fully processed SDI playback directly from video card without DVI TO SDI converters Monitoring unprocessed LIVE feed (zero delay) and processed PLAYBACK on the same wire (no need for SDI switcher)

When using a single AJA video card for two channels the inputs need to be genlocked for passthrough to function properly. Inability to monitor processed LIVE feed. Limited compositing capabilities (due to half-duplex nature of the card) Limited auto-rec (since a half duplex video card cannot read SDI input while in playback)


QTAKE can use multi-channel video cards to provide simultaneous SDI input and output. Using QTAKE in this way enables processed live output, but it will also add around 4 frames of latency, because each frame has to be captured, processed and sent to monitor over the SDI output.

Some video cards provide full-duplex channels, which means each channel can be used for input and simultaneous output. But all AJA cards are half-duplex, which means QTAKE will use twice as many channels to provide full-duplex functionality. Additionally, all AJA cards are limited to same format on output, so you need to use one card per camera in order to provide independent outputs.

See VIDEO CARDS for more details)

To enable 2 cards support, set this preference:


This is an alternative to using DVI outputs converted to SDI, although additional image processing pipeline will add 2-3 frames of delay compared to DVI output.

To enable simultaneous SDI input and output, set this preference:


QTAKE Preferences

This section provides description for each QTAKE preference. Preferences are used to control various aspects of QTAKE operation and they are independent of the user or project.

Wait For Vertical Sync GUI
Set this preference to YES to enable synchronizing of video redraw to vertical refresh of the GUI monitor. Disabling this preference will improve performance of the graphics card, but it will cause image tearing in the user interface.

GPU Vertical Sync Mode
Set this preference to NO to disable GPU Vertical Sync, AUTO for Automatic Vertical Sync and FORCE to Force Vertical Sync.

Full Range Video
Set this preference to YES to enable Full Range video processing. Default value (NO) uses SMPTE legal levels, which will clip the super-black and super-white values.


Videoboard Manufacturer
If you have multiple video cards from different manufacturers connected you can explicitly state which cards QTAKE should use. The options are: AJA, Blackmagic Design, Deltacast or AUTO (QTAKE will use the first video card it finds).

Force Board Order
Forces the order your video boards appear in QTAKE, based on serial number.

Signal Detection Retry
Sometimes it takes longer than one frame for AJA cards to adopt to a new input format. Side effect of this can be corrupted audio. If you experience such issues, set this preference to 25.

Reject Wrong Video Format
Set this to NO to allow the input of non-compliant signal. Note however that this solution should be used only as a last resort, because it can lead to unstable performance. We recommend re-clocking your signal to make it recognized by hardware.

Autorecording Start Threshold
Set this to the number of frames by which you wish to delay recording start. Can add robustness in bad signal conditions.

Autorecording Stop Threshold
Set this to the number of frames by which you wish to delay recording stop. Can add robustness in bad signal conditions.

Autorecording Stop Adds SubClip
When using subclips, set to YES to add a subclip at the end of the recording if the camera is set to auto-record.


Enable Video Output
Set to YES to enable video outputs. In case this is set to NO, video board outputs only live passthrough and all other preferences affecting Video Output will be ignored.

Enable TC Output
Set to YES to enable timecode output. Only applies to compatible video cards.

Use Free Genlock For Playback
Set to YES to switch to free genlock automatically when in DISK mode. This will keep stable SDI output if the camera is disconnected and you have no external reference signal. This setting is ignored when Constant Playout Mode preference is set to YES.

Clip Based Video Output Format
When mixing various video formats in a single project, you can set this option to YES to enable automatic switching of output video format based on clip resolution and timebase. If set to NO, QTAKE will scale all clips to match the SDI output resolution, however it will not interpolate FPS to match the output. This setting is ignored when Constant Playout Mode preference is set to YES.

Optimize PSF Input
Set it to YES to improve performance with PSF format input when using AJA video cards.

LTC Output Source
Sets the source of the analog LTC output based on the video output of the video card.


Capture Mode Bit Depth
Set the capture mode to 8bit, 10bit or 12bit. Setting this preference to 10bit or 12bit will also set the internal processing pipeline to floating point precision.

Audio File Format
Sets the audio recording format. AUTO will set the recording format to match the input audio. 16bit, 24bit, 32bit will record audio as integers at the selected bit-depth. 32bit Float will record audio as 32bit floating point values.

Use Internal ProRes Encoder
Set to YES to handle Apple ProRes encoding using internal library. In some cases this may be a bit faster than using external process.

Ignore External Timecode
Set to YES to override embedded timecode. System clock is used instead.

Import CPD From ProRes
Set to YES to import camera positioning data from imported ProRes files.

ScreenShot File Format
Selects file format for screenshots. Options are: JPEG, PNG, BMP, JPEG 2000, GIF and TIFF.

ScreenShot Compression Quality
Set JPEG compression quality for Screenshots in the range 1 to 10. Lower number means lower quality. Default value is 10.

ScreenShot Video Range
Set this preference to define video range of the screenshot images. Following options are available: Auto, Legal, or Full Range.

LUT Interpolation Method
Set this preference to Trilinear (faster), or Tetrahedral (higher quality).


PreRoll And PostRoll For PlaySync
Set to YES to enable preroll and postroll for Play Synced clips. This will allow you to playback clips with various duration in sync.

Use Audio For Varispeed
Set to YES to allow vari-speed audio from 50% to 200% clip speed.

Enable Play Sync Auto Mute
QTAKE will mute view 2-4 when playing back clips with play sync enabled to avoid the same audio playing from multiple views. Set this to NO to disable this feature.

Set Play Sync Offset By TC
Set to YES if you want QTAKE to determine PLAY SYNC OFFSET using timecode of the clips.

Enable Caching
Set to YES if you want QTAKE to cache RAW frames for realtime playback.

Cache Size Per Clip MB
Use this preference to set the cache size for RAW playback based on available memory in your system. Default value is 1000.

Min Cache Length SEC
Set the minimal RAW playback cache duration.

RAW Auto Quality
Set to YES if you want QTAKE to determine quality of RAW debayering to provide realtime playback based on your system performance.


Use Film Style Scene Sorting
Set to YES to ignore letters before numbers when sorting Scene names. For example: 33, A33, 34.

OSD Speed In FPS
Set to YES if you want to display OSD speed in FPS, instead of percentage.

Imperial Distance Units
Will convert values (such as focus distance) to imperial units.

Logo Opacity
Use this preference to set the NO VIDEO INPUT screen logo opacity. Default value is 0.25.

GUI Background Red
GUI Background Green
GUI Background Blue
Set each color channel to value 0.0 - 1.0 to set the custom background color. Default value is 0.12 for each channel.

Use Colored Time Slider
Set to YES to use colored time slider (green=playback, red=record, blue-green=ramp, yellow=trim)

Multiclip Metadata Toolbars Mode
This preference is used to make CLIP, DATA and CONTROL toolbars work with multi-clip selection.

GUI Screen Blocks Count
Adjusts the number of menu “blocks” on a single horizontal row. Default value is 4 and it can be set to up to 8 to support ultra widescreen displays. This preference will effectively scale down the GUI to fit more content.

GUI Menu Blocks Limit
Adjusts the number of “blocks” the menu bars are allowed to occupy. The rest of the horizontal space will be used by side windows such as the LIST, FX and META. Default value is 4, it can be set to up to 8.

Ovide Smart Mode
Use following values if using OVIDE hardware for QTAKE: SmartAssist HD2, SmartAssist 4, SmartAssist Evo 2, SmartAssist Evo 4.

On Screen Controls
Enables playback control overlay on the views. Following options are available: Off, Disk only, Live & Disk.

Kiosk Mode
QTAKE runs in kiosk mode by default. Set this preference to NO to disable kiosk mode. This will allow you to Cmd-Tab between running applications or display window of another application in front of QTAKE UI.

Default Viewer Background
Viewer background can be set to Black or Clear, by default.


AutoLoad Last Project~
Set to YES to automatically load user and project after starting QTAKE.


Prevent Media Drive Sleep
Prevent Media Drive Sleep by recording a small file each specified number of seconds. Set to zero to disable.

Encoding Buffers Count
Allows a specified number of frames to be buffered before encoding. This preference adds robustness for low performance CPUs. Maximum value is 30, default is 10.

Recording Buffers Count
Allows a specified number of frames to be buffered before they are written to disk. This preference adds robustness for low performance media drives. Maximum value is 120, default is 60.

Stop Recording On System Slow
Set to YES to allow recording to continue even if QTAKE is dropping frames.


Use Videohub
Set to YES to enable control of the BMD Videohub or AJA Kumo SDI routers.


Report Main Thread Blocking
This preference is used to test performance of QTAKE and send report if the user interface is blocked.