10 - Command Line Parameters and Utilities

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10 - Command Line Parameters and Utilities


You can start SCRATCH with several command-line parameters to change how SCRATCH is run. Though these command-line parameters are primarily for technical troubleshooting there are a couple that are useful to know. First is the –dd parameter. 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. The other important 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 Windows, command-line parameters are added onto the end of the line that runs SCRATCH. For example, to run SCRATCH in debug mode, use a line like this in your batch file:

“C:\Program Files\Assimilate\bin\Assimilator.exe” –dd

Notice that the –dd must be OUTSIDE the double-quotes.

On OSX platforms, Command-line parameters require entering the Terminal shell and use a the same order where the parameter is added after the line that runs SCRATCH. For example, to run SCRATCH in debug mode, the line should look like:

open -a /Applications/Scratch.app/ --args -dd

The table below lists all current command-line parameters.

-d or -dd

One or more increases the 'debug' level.


Enable the performance counters in the statistics. This shows the cpu usage graphs. (Windows only)


Treated as a clip specification and loaded directly into the player, by-passing project/user selections. Nothing is saved in this mode. (E.g.: Run as Zone-1)

 XML file

Treated as an xml script as you would load through the watch folder. See Appendix B for more details on xml commands  scripting.




ACOPY (available on Windows platforms only) is a standalone, command-line utility for copying entire folders from one location to another. ACOPY uses a sequential copy method that ensures edits are optimized for real-time playback. Standard Windows drag-and-drop copying can result in files being copied out of order. As a result of this, the media drives perform additional searches to play back the files in sequential order. This can result in degraded playback performance.

It is recommended that ACOPY, or some other sequential copy program, always be used to transfer media onto the SCRATCH media drives.


To run A COPY, first, open a command prompt by going to the Windows START menu and selecting “Run…”

Type cmd into the command window that appears and press Enter.

This will open a DOS command prompt.

Use the CD command to change to the location of the ACOPY executable. By default, this is C:\Program Files\Assimilate\bin.

Type acopy [source] [destination]

The destination path is optional. If it is not specified, then the current location is used.

Tip: Open two Windows File Explorers and navigate to the location of the source files in one explorer, and the destination location in the other. Then, drag the folders from the address bar in Explorer into the command prompt window; they will be added to the end of the ACOPY command.

ACOPY displays the current source and destination file being copied as it works. At the end of the copy process, a summary is displayed in the DOS shell window.


There are several command line options that you can use with ACOPY. Command line options are specified immediately after the ACOPY command and before the source and destination paths.

The –r option allows ACOPY to copy all the directories under the specified source. Without this option, ACOPY only copies the files found in the specified source folder; it does not work its way recursively through all sub-directories.

The –s option simulates the copy process, but no actual copy operations are done. This is useful for testing to be sure an ACOPY command will have the intended results,without actually having to execute the command.

The –b## option is used to adjust the buffer size that ACOPY uses. Normally, there is no need to adjust this value, but the option is available, if necessary.

An example ACOPY command line would look like this:

acopy –r “S:\render\scene_01” “T:\SCRATCH_MEDIA\my_project\scene_01”

This command would copy all files and sub-folders (because of the –r option) in S:\render\scene_01 into the destination directory T:\SCRATCH_MEDIA\my_project\scene_01

Note: The actual destination folder must already exist. If you had only specified T:\SCRATCH_MEDIA\my_project as the destination, then all files would have gone into that folder. A new sub-folder would NOT have been created.


For a complete list of usage and command line options, type acopy with no options at the DOS prompt. This prints the options into the DOS shell window.

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Last Modified:Monday, March 12, 2018