In this article we will take a closer look at a shared media workflow from content acquisition, editing and distribution. What are the primary production points and how can Vidispine manage your content more efficiently?
In this article, we will cover five production and distribution points in your workflow where media needs to be managed.
But first, some terminology you will encounter in this article.
A media workflow is essentially a description of all involved processes from media creation, and media preparation to media distribution. Today not only the traditional broadcast, but post-production house and the VOD / live provider are also working on optimizing their media workflows. We also see new areas of a business adapting very rapidly to the digital media workflow for video as an additional tool of communication.
No matter the area of business, you need to pay attention and plan your media workflow management. And Vidispine is here to help – no matter the size, capability or scale that your digital media workflow requires.
In this article we will take a closer at a shared media workflow from content acquisition, editing and distribution. What are the primary production points and how can Vidispine manage your content more efficiently?
No matter the area of business, content in the form of media files and metadata will enter your media workflow – followed by some kind of process – to be processed and delivered. Here are the essential building blocks of a digital media workflow management platform:
Media files and metadata can arrive into your media workflow in many different ways and shapes depending on your area of business. RAW media files from on-set in a post-production workflow, broadcast masters, media to be prepared for internet distribution internally or externally are just some examples of many digital media workflows today.
At the content acquisition stage, Media Asset Management (MAM) is responsible for copying and indexing media into the target storage location for processing.
The Vidispine Server Agent (VSA) is an agent locally installed for ingesting media and associated meta-data into the Vidispine media workflow using the Vidispine API. The Agent consists of two media services, a Transcoder and a Storage Handler, enabling you to manage and transcode local files, as well as transfer files to and from your cloud storages. In this process, you can opt to transcode your media locally before uploading or upload the original media file as-is. Associated meta-data will be ingested according to a pre-defined ingest API job defined in the Vidispine API.
The Vidispine API also allows for building customized ingest processes directly into your NLE – such as the panel API in Adobe Premiere. See Arvato VPMS EditMate example for more info.
Media files and metadata almost always need some processing into a house format to be available and accessible in your media workflow. Master files might be too big for browsing and therefore needs to be transcoded into smaller and more light-weighted proxy files, while maintaining the necessary metadata for later conform. Or external metadata needs to be associated with your media files – it all depends on your area of business.
It is not uncommon that metadata needs conforming into a house format for metadata in the same way as media files.
In Vidinet, the Vidispine cloud-based media service store, you will access high performance and scalable media processing services such as the Vidispine Transcoder and AWS Elemental Media Convert for transcoding media into your media workflow while maintaining the necessary metadata relation in the Vidispine database.
Quality control can be many things. From a technical standpoint, you might want to ensure the correct codec, format and audio mapping arrives as expected – and if not, your Media Asset Management software should address the problem and alert the user for visual control. In post-production and distribution environments, there are highly trained specialists for this purpose referred to as Golden Eyes.
Visual QC has been a human only task for until now. In fact, today, cognitive AI-driven services are starting to take over more and more visual and audio measurements such as speech recognition, black detection, bars detection, face detection – yes, even lip-sync services can to some extent be automated.
The Media Asset Management system will be notified and store this information as metadata to drive the next process downstream.
Quality control can, of course, be applied and necessary for both incoming and outgoing media and metadata.
Vidinet, the Vidispine cloud-based media service store gives you access the File-based Quality Control service by Aurora Tektronix. This Quality Control service will analyze not only the existing technical metadata of your media files (such as frame size, codec, format, fps) but also content characteristics such as black/freeze frames, letterboxing/pillar boxing, dead pixel detection, colour bars, PSE/flash detection (Harding FPA), and cadence change.
The results will be stored as meta-data and drive pre-defined dynamic actions enabling content-adaptive workflows in your media workflows such as notifications and automated black removal, letterboxing to mention some examples.
NLE – Non-Linear Editor (AVID, Adobe Premiere, FCP X)
Editing video and audio is the creative centre point in the media workflow. Some media workflow, especially in feature film products require low res resolution versions of the original media – for later confirming the same edits to the original clips based on metadata. A Media Asset Management software can store and update the NLE:s projects based on the editor’s edits.
As the market for video management expands beyond traditional broadcasters, post-production houses and similar – we now see and expects more new editing solutions and environments. An editing project in those new environments might be a more straightforward storytelling product for immediate distribution through one or more social media platforms – for example, news clips. This requires solutions preferably adapted to the expected average knowledge of anyone in the news or marketing team, just like another office product really.
So, the additional editing solutions need to be much more simple, efficient and integrated in the current environment. For this reason, it is not uncommon that more straightforward editing tools are being developed as part of the MAM´s feature set.
Vidispine API includes the necessary metadata data framework to build smart ingest and delivery methods for your chosen NLE. There several examples on panels made for Adobe Premiere – one of them, Arvato VPMS EditMate is an excellent example of how to build a solution on the existing Vidispine API.
Distribution of media can be either an internal requirement or a distribution workflow for targeting your customers and viewers. Either way, the media itself needs to be prepared for the best viewing experience. This process involves the preparation of both your media content and metadata data.
The media files themselves need to be transcoded for distribution to standard target devices such as web browsers, smart devices, Chromecast, Apple TV and similar. This target group for distribution is commonly referred to as OTT (over the top) and will require the media to transcoded into a ladder of different bitrate profiles to fit the currently available bandwidth, and devices decode capability.
Equally important is, of course, the metadata management in the distribution processes were descriptive (title, abstract, author), structural (technical metadata) and administrative metadata (rights and preservation metadata) are correctly updated and applied depending on distribution target.
In Vidinet, you will find scalable and cloud-native transcoding and packaging services available such as Vidispine Transcoder, AWS Elemental MediaConvert and Bitmovin to ensure to the most robust media processing distribution capabilities for your media distribution.
A more traditional form of distribution to typical streaming providers, broadcasters, and cinema is, of course also part of this distribution workflow.
No matter the target, you will need the necessary information to automate this process as much as possible to maintain efficiency by avoiding the human factors as a single point of failure.
The Vidispine API service in Vidinet includes the necessary API building blocks to connect to your existing Video CMS.
Our vision is to be the most innovative and widely used platform for managing media from digital to audience.