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Re: Frame io or Adobe Team Projects for working with an editor in another city?

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Don Hertz
Re: Frame io or Adobe Team Projects for working with an editor in another city?
on Dec 16, 2016 at 4:26:03 pm

Hi Max,

Frame.io thoughts:

I've used Frame.io on several projects. It's great as a review and approval tool, not for true collaborative editing. Our projects were large, so transferring all of the footage through Frame.io was prohibitive from a timing standpoint. Editor #1 preps the footage, folder structure, and creates a Premiere project at his location. Then the entire thing is shipped on a drive to editor #2. Each works on their own part of the video, again, it's not collaborative. We can then send review versions of our edits directly from within Premiere to FrameIO using their free extension panel. Those reviews can include markers - so we can place notes throughout the timeline before uploading. The producer logs into their Frame.io account (works on web browser, ipad, smartphone, etc.), watches the edit and leaves their own comments. Comments can be general or frame accurate. They can even use drawing tools to circle something on a particular frame that needs fixing. Those comments come back to the editor as markers in the their timeline. We all like the workflow, it's a step up from using Vimeo but it's not really collaborative editing. If your project was small enough you could transfer the full resolution video and audio files through Frame.io, but then the workflow is pretty much the same.

Adobe Team Projects:

I have not yet used Team Projects, however, I have used the Adobe Anywhere which is the collaborative editing solution that Adobe is turning into Team Projects. With Anywhere, the production company bought their own servers and ran the entire solution themselves. With Team Projects, it looks like Adobe is installing similar servers themselves and letting users connect to those for the collaboration. At least that's my guess, since the functionality looks identical to what we used with Anywhere. With that in mind, my notes are specifically based on my Anywhere experience, NOT the newer Team Projects version of the solution. Anywhere is true collaborative editing. Multiple editors can have the same timeline open at the same time, each making their own changes. When changes are made, an icon changes colors for the other editors, letting them know changes are available for syncing to their own system. They can then choose to review what was changed and accept the changes to their own sequence if they want. It's slick, and worked better than I expected. However, a few things to keep in mind:

1. With Anywhere, the servers were local to the production company (although the editors were remote), so someone there could quickly load up media through a much faster connection than uploading through the internet. With Team Projects, the servers are at Adobe, so all full resolution media will need to be uploaded through Creative Cloud. This could be time consuming based on the amount of footage you have.

2. You'll want all remote editors to have a pretty fast and reliable internet connection as the servers are streaming the footage into the editing system in real time as you work (and yes, that works!). If the connection goes down, no editing can be done until it's back. Adobe recommended at least 25mbits to the client at the time, although I know they were working on reducing that through better stream optimization. Our editors each had 50 so it wasn't an issue. This feature sounded impossible to me until I used it, it actually works, and I had no issues with lag while editing. It felt just like I was working on media at my local machine - although the resolution was proxy level. It sends a full frame when you pause, so we could color grade and tweak effects on full res frames. (The solution did locally cache any frames it had already streamed down too, so that helped that it wasn't repeatly pulling the same frames down over and over again.)

3. You will probably want to stay away from third party plug ins. In the case of Anywhere, every machine had to have them installed in addition to every Anywhere server in the server room. So you couldn't buy 1 copy of a plug in, you have to have several. We stuck with built in effects only. I suppose you might be able to work around it by applying the plug in to a clip, exporting the clips, and bringing it back into the project as a new clip with the effect already applied. When a local editor adds a new piece of media to the project, Adobe recognizes it as such and automatically begins uploading it to the server in the background.

4. When we used Anywhere, it only worked with Premiere. If we wanted to take any elements to another software package for additional work, you have to work around it by exporting everything you needed to your local system. Go do the work in a separate software package, then re-upload the new clips to the Anywhere server. It wasn't ideal, and we mostly kept to Premiere as a result. It looks like Team Projects now supports After Effects and Prelude, which is great. But if you want to take your audio to use Audition, Resolve, Maxon, or anything other than those 3 applications, you'll need to the exporting/importing routine mentioned above.

5. One benefit of the above server approach is that the servers were fast, and they were handling all of the rendering, not the local Mac, which just became more of a client system. So renders and exports went very quickly as they had the full power of the multiple servers installed in the production companies server room to draw on.

So bottom line, decide how important collaborative editing is to your project, versus just review and approval, and whether the above drawbacks of the Adobe solution outweigh it's benefits. And as others have said, test both workflows thoroughly before committing! Frame.io has a free version with limited storage space that will let you test all you want before committing to a monthly plan.

Good Luck.

Sincerely,

Don Hertz
DH Media, Ltd.


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