Digital Rebellion is a well known supporter of post production workflows. Many editors and post professionals have come to rely on their tools such as Preference Manger, Pro Maintenance Tools , Cut Notes and much more. Digital Rebellion have recently launched their new cloud workflow platform known as Kollaborate.  A video collaboration tool designed for professionals that require instant feedback from clients, and features NLE Integrations with Final Cut Pro 7, FCPX, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and Edius.

Uploading Files

Uploading files to Kollaborate is easily accomplished.  Once you sign up for your account, a Quick Start Tutorial will point you in the right direction. After you select you files you can easily begin uploading them to Kollaborate.

Depending on the time you have and the size of the files this method will take some serious time. Even on my fastest connection that I had accessible. It took a nearly an hour to upload a few files. Now this is not because Kollaborate’s servers are slow or that my connection is slow. It’s actually being hampered by the speed of my web browser. Uploading files using a web browser is always slower than an FTP connection.

The folks at Digital Rebellion have already thought of this, and provided you with a free tool to speed up your upload connection.  The free tool known as Kollaborate Transfer not only sped up my upload time to a just a few minutes, it also has a hidden gem. Collaborate Transfer will convert your file type to a more friendly web-optimized version, perfect for screening on almost any device.  Just remember to check off the box marked “ convert to web-optimized version”. Kollaborate Transfer also has the ability to alert other users and email links to clients along with passwords for access.  It does all this for free. I can’t stress enough how important this tool is when using you Kollaboarte account. You can download it free here.

Once you have you files uploaded, you can easily begin managing and organize your files for clients or producer approval.  Kollaborate allows you to create folders and subfolders along with different projects. This will help keep you organized, and allow you to keep track of where each of your files go. I like to use this to keep track of various clients.

Notifications and Support

Kollaborate also has notifications that work very well. If by chance you upload a file that has not been optimized for the web,  Kollaborate will automatically flag it and give you a notification just above the player.  Equally impressive, was the support from Digital Rebellion. Short time after I had uploaded the bad file, I received an email from Jon Chappell notifying me about the issue, and how they could correct it from their end, or how I could prevent it from happening again. This is great to see such a dedication to service and support.

Auto notifications allows people in your team or clients to stay up to date with the latest videos or comments. This keeps everyone in loop, and furthers the a collaboration experience.

Interface

The User interface in Kollaborate is very easy to use. Once your video is ready for playback, you can easily add markers, comments and even annotate videos on specific timecode positions. This can also all be done while having synced viewing sessions.

NLE Integration

Using the free Kollaborate Plugin Pack  ( Download Here ) allows you to export directly to Kollaborate. It also gives you the ability to email the link to a client for notes.

Once your notes have been made by the client or producer, you can re-import their notes as markers back into your NLE easily. Be sure to use the Marker Import Plugin to make your workflow easier and quicker. Just be sure to download the correct version, either PC or Mac.

Cineplay

Cineplay may be a separate application that can be used with Kollaborate, but it can also be very essential. Cineplay  is a media player for Mac and iOS that supports timecode. Cineplay allows you to comment, make notes and annotations on any given specific timecode placement. You can also add markers for easier identification. Title Safe areas are also supported.

Cineplay is also supported on iOS both on the iPad and iPhone. Cineplay was very fast and playback worked extremely well on my iPhone 6. However I did discover there is no way currently to add markers on the iPhone. But Markers are fully supported on the iPad. Let’s face it, the viewing experience on the iPad is much better anyways. The iPhone was just a nice added benefit.

 

Final Thoughts

Kollaborate is a full featured cloud workflow platform, with the added benefits of free plug-ins and apps such as Kollaborate Transfer and Cineplay. Kollaborate works very well and integrates into your current NLE creating faster and more intuitive workflows.  It speeds up the reviewal process and makes it easier for clients on iOS devices to view your work just about anywhere. Top this off with the incredible technical support from Digital Rebellion, and you have cloud workflow that not only streamlines your workflow, but also understands the needs of postproduction professionals.

Update: I was contacted by Jon Chappell at Digital Rebellion and they had some insight on the disparity of uploading speed.  Here is what he had to say 

Kollaborate Transfer is about 10-20% faster than uploading through the site but the primary difference is when the encoding happens. When you upload a file through the site it uploads as-is and then converts on the server but when you use Kollaborate Transfer it converts first and then uploads. So probably the reason for the disparity in upload times was that the encoded file was a lot smaller than the original file.

 

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