Export choices extending from TXT for teleprompter that was part of last release, to also now include pdf export of script (including customized selection of which scenes, and what elements within them)
Any recognizable web address written into script will act as a link when that script is published
More work continues on script, and we are also now ramping up significant enhancements to Tasks module, first of which is:
Crisper presentation of columns with graphical headings and more graceful presentation of tools within tasks, showing dynamically upon mouse-over
video.Market7 fundamentally responds to the need for clearer communication and tighter organization throughout every stage of producing media, from determining concept through approval of completed footage. Linkages among stages is key. A great example is our release of script export to teleprompter, strengthening the transition from pre-production to shoot. Users can easily determine exactly what aspects of a script to export: which scenes, and which elements within scenes (ex: whether or not to include character names), and then the resulting text file is compatible with pretty much any commercial teleprompter software or system.
People write all kinds of scripts: many or few scenes, heavy descriptions and/or dense amounts of dialog or light in both, varying amounts of media integrated into scripts. We have developed pagination to allow for faster load times by not waiting for an entire long script to load all at once, instead just several scenes at a time. But the right “several” isn’t the same for everyone all the time as some people’s scenes typically include just a few dozen words and others may have hundreds with multiple files uploaded to each. And, some people’s preferences can be to look at lots of scenes on-screen simultaneously or to control the perspective to a very specific set. So we’ve come up with a mechanism that defaults to showing five scenes at a time, but with a few intuitive controls enables complete customization of exactly what scenes are seen.
Here’s a demo:
Our most recent video.Market7 release also includes a few cool enhancements to the Annotative Player which we’ll get posted to the blog soon.
As we complete intensive focus on converting our next-generation V2 Annotative Player, some focus is being re-directed to it’s pre-production counterpart, our Collaborative Script. Our newest release includes:
Published scripts lay out by page, for faster loading and more control over exactly what’s presented
Dedicated upload window when integrating media into script so that when large files (ex: b-roll) are posted, all functionality of service is available without concern about interrupting upload
Troubleshooting when log-in email address isn’t recognized to accelerate user’s access to service
Further enhancement of V2 Annotative Player including compact “toolbox” access to comment enhancement features
Inspiration for Market7 came from involvement I had in production of marketing videos for another technology company. Producers would complain to our company that we didn’t put in enough preparation for them to be adequately prepared for expensive shoots, we’d complain to them about the lack of clarity on how to provide feedback about video content spread across multiple files, and our engineers and marketers would argue about not-quite-right verbiage already committed in the footage. The situation screamed for a better way, so Market7 has emerged, and it also screams for parody treatment and today Scott Adams obliges.
Lots of infrastructure work lately, pace of feature releasing will pick up towards full pace over summer. Most recent release includes:
improved script printing
enhanced robustness of dynamic stream delivery which provides video from current playhead location instead of only doing it from start to finish of video, so that if someone wants to skip ahead, no need to wait while download catches up (more on this functionality here) This is still not turned on across the application, but can be for certain accounts (previously it was just for certain projects) — please advise if you want dynamic stream delivery for all projects within an account, or for particular projects, by emailing to email@example.com
in response to a customer’s request, there’s now 1-step ability to remove certain members across multiple projects (including option to notify people of their removal by email) within a Market7 account, which the account holder can access from the My_Account link towards the upper right
As our base diversifies, including expanding use on bigger budget production projects that tend to involve longer footage, customers increasingly request that our player functionality be immediately and comprehensively available for any portion of small or large video files. Our initial player functionality has been based on progressive download, meaning that once a video is requested, it loads in timeline order, and later portions of the video aren’t immediately available until the download catches up. As part of our assessment, and after experiments with a few commercial streaming servers, we determined the best approach for us is to engineer and implement our own approach to dynamic streaming, which we’ve spent the past month or so developing, along with a few other cool annotative player features, demonstrated here:
To assure good customer experiences, and even though we’ve already extensively tested, we haven’t yet turned on the new dynamic streaming for everyone, and we’re asking for volunteers. If you would like us to turn on dynamic streaming for (a) particular project(s) of yours, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com letting us know which project(s) and we’ll do so. Once we confirm that video play and annotative interactivity works robustly across projects, video files and users, we’ll turn on dynamic streaming everywhere, which should occur during February 2010.
Dynamic streaming, like its name indicates, allows users to click anywhere within timeline of a video immediately upon load, and play of video from that requested point is immediately responsive. Also, in implementing the architecture we have also allowed for Flash (.flv) and H.264 (ex: .mp4, .m4v) videos to be in-the-clear in our player so they do not get transcoded, meaning that they are immediately available for play upon upload, and that they are played at full quality of the source content with no modification. Videos of other formats do still have to be transcoded to Flash for our player, although from the File Actions button in our player, the original states of those videos can be downloaded with full fidelity for file-transfer purposes including to see un-modified in a compatible player. One more change we made to our player is allowing j-k-l keyboard shortcut navigation back-play/pause-forward, and the same for left and right directional arrows and space-bar, with additional benefit of visual fast-forward and rewind by holding down the appropriate keys.
The player enhancements are demonstrated in the screen-capture video towards the top of this blog post. Other enhancements with this release include:
Continuing last couple of months’ theme, we’ve made still more speed improvements, especially this time for loads of project home pages
Improved layout and presentation on printouts of pages from Script, Task and Event modules
Easier flow for inviting new members to projects
Activity feed reflects the first time a new member logs into a project
And again, please do email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com letting us know projects of yours you’d like us to move to dynamic streaming immediately so that you can try it out (and please let us know how it works for you).
Of course, we do have several neat, new features implemented in this release (click any of the images to enlarge):
Shadow-text in draft mode of scripts to clarify where character-name & spoken dialog go:
Script Shadow Text
Ability to click into & manually overwrite comment placement time in annotative player for precise placement:
Comment Time Overwrite
Feedback tab prominently available on every page to interact with us on questions comments etc.:
That last one is part of a broader initiative of ours for better communication with our users about their use of video.Market7 integrated within the service itself, on which Shannon will expand in upcoming blog posts.
Mass Animation project to make an animated short movie through a Facebook application that got 60,000 applicants, of whom 50, worldwide, were selected to collaborate
Versus domination of motion picture animation field by male American professionals, skewing older, the mass animation project was >50% overseas participants, >50% female, age range of 13-48, and many students & people moonlighting from other professions
In big studios very few people influence directions of projects, but when process is democratized so that every contributing artist can access & weigh in on every aspect, the result is enriched by more voices influencing
Dynamic & simultaneous crowd participation in creative development, with Darwinism applied to select results, significantly compresses timeframes and can contain costs
A common liability of user-generated content is the lack of a tight story, but when people collaborate and each scrutinizes the others’ work the results can be superior to the random shooting & uploading that can be found so much now
Script and storyboard are vital guides to direct dispersed animators towards a project converging on a tight end result and not elements overly challenging to stitch together
Distributed creative contribution is getting sufficiently proven to drive full length feature animation or development of an entire video game
Eating your own dog food is sometimes a humbling one. (Here is your opportunity to see me in a dress). We started our first Full Market7 production by writing a ridiculous script revolving around items we happened to have in the office. Seth and I collaborated without communicating directly (which, frankly, is fine by me), relying only on our Market7 tools to collaborate on the script.
Production wrapped last week and the process of using the annotative player to review and comment on the video has begun. Here is some behind the scenes stuff to tide you over.