Set SCRATCH Command Line Parameters

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Set SCRATCH Command Line Parameters

SCRATCH can be run using several command line parameters that can modify various aspects of the software. Most of these command line parameters are used for low-level technical troubleshooting. However, there are a few command line parameters that are very helpful to know.

Benchmark and Troubleshooting

The first useful command line parameter is the -dd option. This parameter runs SCRATCH in "debug" mode. This simply means more information is written into the Assimilator.log file, and several benchmarking buttons will become available in the Player.

With the -dd parameter used, five additional buttons are added to the right side of the Player Settings menu.

These buttons allow you to execute benchmark tests of the disk storage system and the video card performance. The results of these benchmarks are written into the Assimilator.log file. The benchmark results can be used to help troubleshoot performance issues or test optimization methods.

Note: SCRATCH uses the currently loaded material to run these benchmark tests. You will need at least a 500 frame long timeline that is configured exactly for the performance you would like to test. This includes any color grading, SCAFFOLDS or, in the case of RED material, decode resolution.

Enhanced Performance Meter

Another useful command-line parameter is -perf. This parameter adds more information to the Performance Meter that is opened using the Quick Key: F1 in the Player. Individual CPU core performance is displayed, instead of the aggregate display that is used by default. This can be valuable for evaluating CPU load and performance on multi-processor systems.

Using Command Line Parameters

Normally, SCRATCH is run by double-clicking the SCRATCH icon on the Windows desktop. This icon is just a shortcut to the SCRATCH executable. You can create additional shortcuts on the desktop to run SCRATCH using different command line options.

For example, to run SCRATCH in debug mode, open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Assimilate\bin. There you will see a file called Assimilator.exe. This is the SCRATCH executable.

Right-click on the file and select Create Shortcut from the menu.

Drag this shortcut onto the desktop. Right-click on the new shortcut and re-name it to ‘SCRATCH_BENCHMARK’.

Right-click on the shortcut icon again and select Properties from the context menu.

You will see the Target text box already highlighted. The text will be the location of the SCRATCH executable that you clicked on to create the shortcut - usually "C:\Program Files\Assimilate\bin\Assimilator.exe” if you installed in the default location.

Move the cursor to the very end of this line and add a space and –dd. Notice that the –dd must be OUTSIDE the double-quotes.

Hit OK to close the dialog. When you double-click this new icon, SCRATCH will be run using the -dd command line parameter.

You can use this same technique to create a shortcut for running SCRATCH with the -perf option.

The most recent list of SCRATCH command line parameters can be found in the ReleaseNotes.txt file located at C:\Program Files\Assimilate.

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Last Modified:Friday, June 12, 2009