Tradeshows are traditionally frantic febrile environments; – The underlying commercial urgency of displaying, demonstrating and selling of wares, stoked by the stories on newswires, media outlets, bloggers and commentators; all wanting to to make sure that you heard about the next big thing from them first. Instead of the typical reseller lensed ‘overview’ where a “roundup of picks” at IBC conveniently coincides with various lines that the reseller carries – I will try and focus instead on highlights, shifts and trends in technologies that for us are shaping the way we approach, finish and distribute our work. We will do a few product oriented posts and deep dives also, but shifts and trends it is for each days roundup.
So far this year there are a couple of firsts and none of them are quite shipping yet, but have one thing in common- they involve remote online based editing and collaboration services.
Avid and Adobe both showed remote editing capabilities, but that is about where the similarity ended. With Avid, it was Interplay Sphere the remote access streaming on the fly front end, to the Interplay collaborative database backend. With Adobe, it was Adobe anywhere, described as ‘a software toolset that creates a multiuser collaborative private cloud.’The aim being to provide a rich, secure online editing and collaborative environment.
The future of online editing and in cases FX has been chased by various companies over many years-and these ‘public’ forays into online editing effects and collaboration have not been huge successes in the past. (not to be confused with the big private production clouds that large media companies run and use on a daily basis already)
Indeed, first out of the gate way back in 2004 or thereabouts if my memory serves was Forbidden Technologies and they are still going strong today. The big difference today is the preponderance of cheaper bandwidth, pervasive connectivity and considerably better codecs and underlying enabling technologies.
With online editing being made so much of, companies such as Aframe have decked their stand out at the show as a garden- complete with real flora- all in an attempt to compel users to understand that you don’t have to be physically near material to touch, view, mark, log assemble edit and review your footage. The challenge with online editing is of course the upload. Forscene has ‘in premis’ servers that auto transcode and upload footage for online consumption by production staff. Aframe have upload centres where you can take your bag of drives and have the content logged and digitised for you. In Avid Interplay Sphere’s case, you can remotely edit on material back in the Interplay storage, via a streaming plugin, and you can in turn upload back to base any additional content that you add from local camera sources or additional file creation along the way as you build your sequence.
What everyone is betting on though, is that this is the way of the future, The big question is exactly how long it takes to go really mainstream, where the talent stays at home and edits, perhaps comes in for the grade and the craft finish- and finally puts paid to all those Soho loss leading offline rooms. But for other users, especially those generating many terabytes of content on set per day, (particularly in bandwidth starved locations) remote editing and collaboration is a reality that is a pretty big step away. However this year, was the year it started getting significantly closer.