By Luke Schneider, Business Development at Globaledit
Welcome to the final part of After The Shoot, the blog series shedding light on the enterprise-level creative post-production process. Through the previous entries, we have discussed best-practices for file movement, editing/approving final selects, marking up files for retouching, sending/receiving files from outsourced retouchers, and versioning/approving final campaign assets.
Now we get to finalize the assets and distribute them to the outside world to serve their purpose–generating buzz, establishing brand image, and raising revenue for the company that produced them. But before the marketing department can utilize the assets, metadata has to be applied, usage rights and contracts have to be met, and many different crops, layouts, color profiles, and sizes must be generated for print and digital channels to look consistent.
Versions, Crops, Color Profiles, and Layouts
Once an asset is approved to be finalized, it must be resized, re-cropped, and processed with multiple different color profiles. Assets from commercial productions are used on billboards, digital screens, magazines, online as web banners, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, subways, buses, and bus stops. Pretty much anywhere that they can be posted, they will be. Print versions must have CMYK and print specific color spaces, while versions being displayed online should be sRGB for accurate color rendition on mobile, online, and digital screens.
To add to the versioning madness, Instagram crops are different than Facebook, Snapchat, website banners, and other online ads. Billboard crops are different than subway ads, bus stops, magazine spreads, etc. In order to optimize the marketing spend of the assets you just spent precious time and money producing, it helps to have files organized, tagged, and searchable in a variety of different crops, sizes, resolutions, and color spaces. It is also imperative that the marketing teams are only interacting with finalized assets, not work-in-progress versions, as this is an issue in the industry more than one would think. Keeping these files organized and accessible can be a challenge and a significant time drain when the right tools aren’t available.
Metadata, Shoot Info, and Usage Rights
In order to keep visual assets organized, metadata can be used to attach searchable text descriptors. Common metadata fields utilized in the commercial production industry are “photographer name,” “shoot location,” “date,” “camera model,” etc., but metadata’s capabilities have yet to be fully tapped. Assets can be tagged with clothing SKUs, colors, styles, and sizes of each garment to name a few.
Tracking usage rights for each model and image in a campaign also adds time to the production and marketing process. Using Globaledit’s custom metadata schemas, usage rights expiration dates can be added to assets to aid in this process. If the production didn’t include a full copyright buyout from the photographer/videographer and talent, using an asset in an unapproved way can lead to a legal nightmare. With proper metadata usage, you can list on each asset what rights are included and when they expire. Going one step further, assets within Globaledit can automatically be restricted on those expiration dates.
Archiving–storage for the long-haul
While metadata may not be the most exciting part of post-production, proper metadata hygiene will save businesses countless work-hours and reshoots. A closet full of hard drives is not a safe way to store digital assets. Should anything happen to the building or room those hard drives are in, millions of dollars worth of assets could be lost in one fell swoop. An on-prem server is safer, as it will likely have redundancy built into the system, but this is still vulnerable to the environment in which the server exists.
Cloud-based storage off-prem is the best way to ensure that assets are safe. Cloud solutions allow redundant storage across the world and limit risk due to local environmental catastrophe. Keeping copies of RAW, PSD, TIFF, and JPEG files allows the company to go back to the content years later should it be needed in any format, limiting reshoots of product and projects that have already been produced.
Here’s where Globaledit comes in
Because Globaledit has granular security and permissions control, administrators can ensure that production teams only have access to work-in-progress folders and that the marketing team can access only finalized assets. Metadata tags can be applied to denote the asset’s destination. Thanks to Globaledit’s elastic search, file names, metadata tags, ratings, color tags, approvals, and comments can all be searched quickly within the platform. Marketing employees need only to use the search tool to query “Instagram” to find all Instagram-ready versions of a project’s final assets. This search technology, combined with good metadata practices, makes it easy to go through millions of assets to find the one you were looking for without wasting time searching.
Globaledit’s metadata capabilities make it easy to track photographer and talent usage rights. Image restrictions can be applied and custom metadata can determine when and where each asset may be used. They can also add a layer of legal protection by limiting access when usage rights expire.
In the growing world of AI, Machine Learning, and personalization, proper metadata practices make it possible to make relevant and personalized product recommendations that keep shoppers browsing your site for longer, thereby increasing revenue and return on ad spend.
Globaledit also offers archival cold storage, powered by Amazon Glacier, which significantly reduces cloud storage costs while keeping files safe and accessible. The platform is able to search and generate previews of assets that have been archived and data is redundantly backed up around the world, ensuring that your assets are safe for the long haul. Un-archiving assets is quick and easy, and because it is fully searchable within the platform, Glacier makes it possible to keep all of a company’s assets close at hand without the need for on-prem servers.
Wrapping a photo or video production is a significant accomplishment; countless hours have gone into putting together creative decks, talent scouting, negotiation of rates, building creative teams, and putting together manageable timelines for the entire project. Globaledit ensures that the back-end of creative production is in good hands. From secure and fast file movement, cloud-based approval, communication, and review tools, visual retouching markup, metadata enrichment, robust permissions, and archival storage capability, we take pride in being the best tool for the job.
We are happy to share our expertise and even offer digital experience consulting to set up best post-production practices for your company, studio, agency, or brand. Contact us here or head over to www.Globaledit.com to learn more about our platform. We look forward to talking shop soon!