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CinePlay 1.2 for Mac - image sequences, annotations, host Kollaborate Synced Sessions

CinePlay 1.2 is a major update to our Mac-based media player for video professionals.

Image sequence support

You can now play back image sequences stored in TIFF, BMP, PNG and JPEG formats. CinePlay caches intelligently so it works well even with very long sequences.

Annotations

Illustrate your comments by drawing over a video frame. Annotations are supported for both Kollaborate and locally-stored videos. Changing the color of the marker also changes the pen color to match.

Note: This feature is not yet supported by Kollaborate Server. It will be added in the next server update.

Host Kollaborate Synced Sessions

CinePlay has been able to join Synced Sessions for a while but can now host them too. You can create Synced Sessions and invite users directly within the app and can use the Kollaborate Browser to switch between files.

Synced Sessions allow you to control playback on colleagues' computers and direct them to parts of the movie you want them to see.

Kollaborate caching

CinePlay can now cache cloud files locally in situations where the user is on a slow internet connection. This is an option you must initiate manually by going to Cloud > Cache Current File. This downloads the file to your computer for fast scrubbing and playback but interacts with it as if it were stored on the cloud.

This is a useful option during a Synced Session when different users are on connections of different speeds.

Kollaborate approval

Kollaborate files marked as Needs Approval can now be approved or rejected, along with an optional comment, directly within CinePlay.

Additionally, the Kollaborate Browser now indicates the status of a file under the filename.

Major architecture overhaul

We've re-engineered the playback code within the app to be more modular. This potentially allows us to easily slot in additional formats that are not compatible with AV Foundation and this is something that we will explore in future updates.

Other changes


  • Metadata is now shown in the Info dialog
  • Remote files can be downloaded
  • Activity window allows you to queue up encoding or downloading tasks for a file
  • Kollaborate features have been moved to the Cloud menu
  • Hover over timeline to show timecode
  • Option to make full screen UI show constantly
  • Pause on marker option

CinePlay is an invaluable addition to any video professional's toolkit. To find out more, check the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday February 26 2015 12:59 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Pro Maintenance Tools 2.1 - Plugin crash test improvements, improved Avid support

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.1 is a minor update to our suite of tools to maintain, optimize and troubleshoot Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer.

Plugin Crash Test improvements

The crash tester in Plugin Manager now supports FCPX, the FCPX trial, Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer. This makes it easier to locate a rogue plugin that is crashing your editing application at startup.

Improved Avid support in Housekeeper

Housekeeper can now trash Avid waveform caches and logs, providing easy ways to reduce disk space and troubleshoot problems.

Other changes

  • Plugin Manager - You can now show video / audio plugins only
  • Plugin Manager - Various UI improvements
  • Preference Manager - Minor bug fixes
  • Updated Crash Analyzer definitions
  • Various bug fixes and tweaks

Pro Maintenance Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals that is used by freelancers and major studios alike. To find out more, view the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday February 10 2015 12:46 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Cut Notes 2.4 for iPad - share button profiles with other devices

Cut Notes 2.4 is a major update to our iPad note-taking app for video and audio professionals.

Share button profiles

One of our top feature requests was the ability to share button configurations between multiple devices running Cut Notes. We've now made that really easy.

1. Go to the Settings menu and tap Export Buttons.

2. A Compose Mail dialog will appear along with a .cnbuttons file as an attachment.

3. Email the button profile to an account accessible on the other device.

4. On the other device, tap the .cnbuttons attachment then select Open in Cut Notes.

Note: in some cases it may be necessary to tap and hold for the popup to appear.

5. Cut Notes will launch and ask if you want to import the button profile. Tap Import and your current button configuration will be overwritten by the new profile.

We've also added the ability for Kollaborate project admins to modify the comments of others and fixed several bugs.

Cut Notes is a useful addition to any post production professional's toolkit. To find out more, visit the product page, read the user manual or watch the overview video.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday February 5 2015 2:23 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Video Space Calculator 1.2 for iOS - UI refresh, Blackmagic 4K support

Video Space Calculator 1.2 for iOS is a major update to our mobile codec data rate calculator.

In this version we've refreshed the UI with a darker theme and added support for the Blackmagic Raw 4K codec, in addition to tweaking some of the other codecs.

We've also added a settings menu that allows you to hide codecs you don't use so that you don't have to spend time scrolling around them, as well as giving you the opportunity to switch units so that 1 KB is 1000 Bytes instead of 1024.

The Mac version will be receiving a similar update soon.

Video Space Calculator is an essential tool for video professionals. To find out more, see our page on the App Store.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday February 2 2015 1:10 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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CinePlay 1.5 for iOS released - metadata and Kollaborate approval

Earlier this week we released CinePlay 1.5 for iOS, a major update to our professional mobile video player.

Metadata

You can now view various metadata fields within the app including frame rate, duration, resolution and track configuration. Kollaborate cloud videos will also show any tags that a user has assigned to the file.

Note that we moved the Settings button to make room for the new Metadata button. Settings can now be accessed from the Actions button in the top right of the player - you do not need to go back to the main menu to adjust settings.

Kollaborate approval

Kollaborate videos can now be approved or rejected directly within the player. To do this, set the file's status to Needs Approval within the Kollaborate web UI and then view it in CinePlay. A bar will appear at the top of the screen that allows you to type a comment and approve or reject the file.

The file view shows a file's approval status to make it easy to see which files need approval from you.

CinePlay for iOS is an essential addition to any video professional's toolkit. We also have a free cloud-only version you can give to clients to use with Kollaborate. To find out more, view the feature list, watch the overview video or visit our page on the App Store.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday January 29 2015 12:38 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Kollaborate Server 1.3 - admin area overhaul, comment and task improvements

Kollaborate Server 1.3 is a major update to our workflow platform for video professionals. This is a local in-house version of the update that already made its way to the cloud.

Admin Area improvements

We've made lots of changes to the Admin Area. As well as many improvements to the UI, we've also added the ability for superadmins to promote or demote users to site admin status. (Site admins can view every project on the server and automatically have admin access to them.)

It is now no longer possible to delete user accounts. The reason for this is that some users did not realize it was not possible to delete a user and have everything they created (projects, comments, uploads, etc) remain on the site. To make this clearer, users can now be deactivated instead. This changes their name to "Deactivated User" and frees up their email address to be re-registered if necessary, while keeping their old account around so that their projects, comments and uploads will still be available.

Kollaborate Server 1.3 also has the main features of the cloud update including:

Comment overhaul

We've completely overhauled the comment system to improve performance and provide timeline markers below the video (you can switch this off in the new Playback Settings dialog accessible from the Actions menu). You can click on a marker to highlight it in the Comments pane.

Comments are now sortable by timecode or date (making it easy to see what's new) and can be filtered by color, author, type or matching text. The export dialog also lets you filter by author and you can even restrict exported notes to Favorites only, thus making it easy to build up a select list of comments to send to someone.

Task overhaul

We've also overhauled the Tasks section with a much simpler UI. We now show all tasks in the same list and you can sort and filter them to find the information you need. Tasks are now color-coded, with overdue tasks appearing red, tasks due in the next week appearing orange and high priority tasks appearing blue.

It's now much easier to manage tasks and task status and priority can be batch modified directly from the Tasks page.

Nudging

The Viewers section below the player shows lists of which users have and haven't viewed the file. Any users that haven't viewed it can be nudged, which sends them an email alert reminding them to view it. You can also click the bell icon to be alerted when they view it for the first time (this is a redesign of the old Receipts feature).

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform designed to help you work better with colleagues and clients. Upload files to the cloud, have them reviewed by others and then export their notes back to your editing application. Kollaborate Server gives you all of those features in-house on your own servers and storage. To find out more, view the feature list or sign up for the free no-obligation 15-day cloud trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday January 28 2015 10:16 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Pro Media Tools 1.3.5 released - Render Watcher UI improvements, various bug fixes

We've just released Pro Media Tools 1.3.5, a minor update to our suite of media management tools for video professionals.

In this version we've overhauled Render Watcher's email notifications and particularly the interface for setting them up. The UI is now simpler and some confusing terminology has been changed to be clearer.

We've also fixed some bugs with QT Edit's conform function and Video Check's matte detection facility.

Pro Media Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals. To find out more view the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday January 22 2015 11:59 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Kollaborate Transfer 1.2.1 released with Kollaborate Plugin Pack 1.0.1

Today we're releasing two updates for our Kollaborate helper apps.

Kollaborate Plugin Pack 1.0.1 is a group of plugins for Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro for Mac to allow uploading to Kollaborate directly from your timeline.

This version has a lot more control when creating shared links for users outside your project and adds options previously only available when creating links directly on the site, including custom passwords, the ability to hide the download button, setting an expiration date for the link and granting access to all current and future revisions of the file.

We've also made a lot of minor UI tweaks including an estimate for how long the upload will take.

Kollaborate Transfer is our free tool for batch encoding and uploading files to the cloud.

This version contains the same changes to link functionality as Kollaborate Plugin Pack, in addition to a very useful new option. If you encode the file for the web, you can tick Upload Original File and Kollaborate Transfer will upload the unconverted original alongside it, linking the two together so that the playable copy will play in the user's browser and the high-res copy will download when they click the Download button.

We've also made many other changes and tweaks including improved playback performance in Safari.

These changes are in addition to the great new features recently added in Kollaborate 1.3.

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform for video professionals offering file sharing, remote collaboration and team management, all centered around the Digital Rebellion app ecosystem. To find out more, sign up for the free no-obligation trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday January 19 2015 11:59 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Understanding render options in Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro's export dialog features several rendering options that are not widely understood. All of them are switched off by default because they either degrade quality or increase rendering times, however they can all be useful in particular situations.

Render at Maximum Depth

This renders content at 32-bit color depth. Very few output formats actually support 32-bit color but processing at this depth can produce better quality for compositing and effects operations before being scaled back to the output format's bit depth. It can reduce or eliminate artifacts and banding in your video but that benefit comes at the cost of an increase in processing time, so only use it when completely necessary.

You may benefit from this option in the following situations:

  • Your source media has a higher bit depth than the format you are outputting to
  • Your sequence contains heavy compositing or lots of layered effects (particularly layered color corrections)
  • Your sequence contains very high contrast or very low contrast images (for example subtle gradients)

You can read more about Premiere's color processing here.

Maximum Render Quality

This is a high-quality resize operation that should be used when outputting to a different frame size from your sequence. It can reduce aliasing (jagged edges) when resizing images but is of no use when outputting to the same frame size. This operation significantly increases render times so only use it when resizing.

Frame Blending

This option smooths out juddery motion when exporting to a different frame rate than your sequence. While it may improve motion quality compared to not having it switched on, it's not considered a high quality option. You will probably get better results from exporting with the sequence frame rate and then converting in Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor, a standards-conversion tool like JES Deinterlacer or a hardware conversion device like Teranex.

Use Previews

This results in reduced export times because your sequence render files are used instead of having to re-render the sequence. This is of course assuming that you have a significant amount of your timeline already rendered, which may not be the case if you have a fast computer or your sequence is simple enough to be played back without rendering.

Generally you should not use this option because it is likely to result in reduced image quality, particularly when outputting to a different format from your sequence and also because it will bypass the quality options detailed above. It should only be used where processing time is more important than image quality, such as previews or rough cuts for example, although these are likely to be simple enough that this option doesn't significantly affect processing times.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday January 12 2015 11:10 AM to Video Editing, Adobe, Tutorials
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Kollaborate 1.3 - timeline markers, nudging, Tasks overhaul

Kollaborate 1.3 is a major update to our cloud workflow platform for video professionals. We've listened to your feedback and have added many new features based on your requests.

Comment overhaul

We've completely overhauled the comment system to improve performance and provide timeline markers below the video (you can switch this off in the new Playback Settings dialog accessible from the Actions menu). You can click on a marker to highlight it in the Comments pane.

Comments are now sortable by timecode or date (making it easy to see what's new) and can be filtered by color, author, type or matching text. The export dialog also lets you filter by author and you can even restrict exported notes to Favorites only, thus making it easy to build up a select list of comments to send to someone.

Task overhaul

We've also overhauled the Tasks section with a much simpler UI. We now show all tasks in the same list and you can sort and filter them to find the information you need. Tasks are now color-coded, with overdue tasks appearing red, tasks due in the next week appearing orange and high priority tasks appearing blue.

It's now much easier to manage tasks and task status and priority can be batch modified directly from the Tasks page.

Nudging

The Viewers section below the player shows lists of which users have and haven't viewed the file. Any users that haven't viewed it can be nudged, which sends them an email alert reminding them to view it. You can also click the bell icon to be alerted when they view it for the first time (this is a redesign of the old Receipts feature).

Change video thumbnails

You can change the thumbnail of a video to the current frame by going to Actions > Set Thumb to Current Frame.

Player improvements

  • Shift + Left / Right Arrow navigates forward and back 1 second
  • Added a 5 second skip back button to help you leave comments in the right place
  • The new Playback Settings dialog allows you to loop playback and disable the marker bar and autoplay.
  • The Info button lists the keyboard shortcuts available for playback
  • Images no longer auto zoom - you can now click and hold to zoom in on a part of an image
  • Added an expand button to view images full size

Other changes

  • Import users from another project into your Team
  • Revisions can now be made accessible in shared links
  • File statuses can be batch-edited from the Files page
  • Previously-entered settings are now remembered when sharing a link and exporting comments
  • Files can be filtered by type or status
  • Duration is now shown on the Files page
  • Search for team members on the Team page
  • Annotations now appear automatically when clicking a comment
  • Many improvements to marker importing
  • Several iPhone browsing improvements
  • Many bug fixes and tweaks

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform designed to help you work better with colleagues and clients. Upload files to the cloud, have them reviewed by others and then export their notes back to your editing application. To find out more, view the feature list or sign up for the free no-obligation 15-day trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday January 6 2015 3:38 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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