Solving Remote Editing & VFX Challenges With ClearView

As post-teams continue to take advantage of enticing tax breaks and scattered talent, distributed and remote editing becomes ever-popular. We look at how ClearView is helping post-teams confidently hire and collaborate in real-time with remote teams and the benefits this has to the entire workflow.

Until recently, directors, editors, visual effects artists and producers never dreamed that working remotely from one another would become a reality. But, in the past few years, we’ve seen a fundamental transformation in the way key creative and post-production teams interact on projects — thanks to the arrival of remote editing and viewing tools which have enabled collaboration and creativity, no matter the location of the talent, team or project.

Today, editors and visual effects artists are in high-demand and the top talent can strongly influence where and how they want to work. Productions also want flexibility in how they design and staff projects. Due to enticing tax breaks and scattered talent, it’s not uncommon for a production to be shooting in Europe while sending footage to facilities in New York, as a network of visual effects artists from Adelaide to Anaheim are working in any number of environments, and editors are at their consoles at home or in rented edit suites. However, no matter how that workflow unfolds, creative teams must keep connected, with immediate access to work on and review content in real-time. That’s the only way that schedules, budgets, and vision can be maintained.*

How is Sohonet helping? 

Sohonet’s ClearView suite of remote-collaboration tools are now being utilised by post teams and creatives across the globe to help facilitate this process. ClearView enables clients and teams to view live edit sessions in real-time, securely from anywhere via a real-time encrypted video stream across the Internet (ClearView Flex) or via Sohonet’s Media Network (ClearView HD). This not only gives post and VFX houses the flexibility to hire artists based in another city or country — whether that’s down to financial incentives, talent or the client’s request, but it also ensures that their team is armoured with the right tools to collaborate with one another and their clients effectively and securely. All this helps to speed up and enhance the post workflow without compromising on quality and helps deliver a healthy work/life balance for the artists they work with. 

How does it work?

So, how do these tools work in practice? Let’s focus on ClearView Flex. An editor is working remotely and wants their clients to review an edit session or work collaboratively with their team. They can choose between sharing the output of their edit session via SDI for 4:2:0 (8-bit) colour, frame-accurate reviews with clients/execs or sharing their desktop via HDMI. This allows them to share their edit software, complete with timeline, bins/media libraries and source viewer for a collaborative editing experience with other creatives. Or, as the input can be quickly changed within a session at the click of a button, they can switch between the two as required. They simply connect their creative workstation to the Flexbox, then create a ClearView Flex session and invite up to 5 users by email. The ‘viewers’ can see the output in real-time on their mobile devices, PC or via Apple TV and give instant feedback.

In action. Pairing ClearView Flex and Teradici to enable talent to work remotely and collaborate on content in real-time 

For visual effects company Electric Theatre Collective (ETC), the adoption of remote collaboration tools has been key in their ability to offer flexible arrangements for their clients. Working across colour, CGI, 2D, and animation, ETC’s clients are varied in both their needs and location and remote solutions help solve the issue of distributed teams, last-minute schedule changes, and clashing commitments. With ClearView Flex, their clients are able to remotely monitor and view edit sessions, communicating immediately with the creatives in control of delivering the brief. 

Whilst the majority of their talent is based in their UK facility, they have a well-known artist based in Belgium that clients often request. In order to work efficiently and securely with him, they extend their Flame session via Teradici from their London offices to Belgium over a VPN. They then route the Flame’s output into their Flexbox, which can then be viewed by team members on their mobile devices, laptops, via Apple TV or on the big screen at ETC HQ. Using ClearView Flex, in conjunction with Teradici, “Has fueled creativity, collaboration, and convenience’ George Cook, Head of Engineering at ETC commented, ‘clients can work how and where they want. And as for creative teams, artists and talent, the use of remote technology can free up their ability to work more flexibly – both in terms of time and location.” 

As the adoption of remote work and delocalised workflows increases, post and VFX houses need to provide creative teams with reliable, secure and efficient tools in which to work. Virtual edit and VFX stations are no longer the future but the norm, so ensuring remote artists can fully collaborate with their wider team and the client effectively is of critical importance to the success of client deliverables. 

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