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Tutorial: Previewing and Reviewing Client Videos with Frame.io

This tutorial will look at online previewing and reviewing client videos with Frame.io through the lens of a recent 29-video series my studio produced with myself, a remotely located editor, and a client reviewing the videos in development.

Versioning

In the main video window shown in Figure 2 you can see all the different clips in your project. The underscore and number at the end of the filename indicates the version number, and the number of comments is indicated at the bottom right. I can take the second version and drag it over top of the first to put them together. The number shown in the little triangle in the upper-right corner of the clip indicated how many versions the clip has in it.

No matter how many versions I’ve put together, when I click on a clip, it opens up and looks the same as if I only had one clip--except right above the clip, where there's a V2 with a drop-down arrow. When I click on this, I can select, V2 or V1 or I can compare the versions (Figure 8, below). When I select compare, Frame.io will actually put V1 and V2 side by side so that I could see what the changes were in between the first version and the second version, which is very handy.

Figure 8. Click here to compare different versions of the same clip.

The downside to versioning is, you can only listen to one clip at a time by clicking on the headphone icon above the clip. So it makes it a bit harder to compare audio changes between versions. In addition, you can't read the comments from the first version, and you can't make comments on the second version. There's no commenting ability when you have the side-by-side windows. This is something that I've asked Frame.io to change because I can't see the comments I made to know what changes to expect, and I can't make comments on the new version. I don't want to have to constantly toggle in and out of this tool to be able to make comments on the second version.

Including Others

As you can see in Figure 1, I have the Ted and Anthony project,and I have the WIC Health project. The latter one is the one that faces my client. There are only two videos here. These are the two that I had approved, and then my editor uploaded them to this project. As he finishes the edits and I approve others, they will appear here as well. You can add or remove people from a project in the dialog shown in Figure 9 (below).

Figure 9. Manage users here.

When you sign up for Frame.io, there are different levels: Starter, Professional, Team, and Business (Figure 10, below). In starter, you get 10GB of storage for three projects with 10 collaborators. For the project that I'm doing, 10GB was nowhere near enough. Professional is a little bit more--50GB of storage, unlimited projects, so I can have multiple things going on, and 25 collaborators.

Figure 10. Frame.io subscription tiers

$50 a month gives you 100GB, unlimited projects, 50 collaborators, and five team members, which basically means now you can have five different people creating projects and deleting files and managing the media. Collaborators can't do that. Collaborators can upload media, but they can't create projects. They can't manage other people. When you have five team members, that means you can delegate those duties. You still have authority and other people have authority as well. They have Enterprise plans as well.

Figure 9 is the monthly price, and you could also switch from monthly to yearly and then the prices come down a little bit per month by doing this. For example, the $15/month Starter price is reduced to $13/month with a yearly subscription. But if you need Frame.io in some months but not others, as with this one big project that I'm going to be dealing with for a month or two, it may make more sense to go month by month with this tool. That was important to me as well. I don't always have projects with 29 videos, and 3, 4, 5 versions of each video all at different stages of review at the same time.

The dashboard (Figure 11, below) is where you create users and teams. I am the main user and because I don't have any team members, there's nobody else listed here. Everyone else I have working on this is a collaborator. I’d like to see a fourth level of user that Frame.io currently doesn't offer: now you have the owner, a team member, a collaborator (people who are editing and need to upload data), and then the fourth would be just a reviewer, which would be the client, someone who’s only able watch the video and comment on it and not do anything else. With only three levels, Frame.io potentially gives clients/collaborators a bit too much capability in the interface, unless you restrict it in other areas.

Figure 11. The Frame.io dashboard

You can set it so clips cannot be downloaded, and then, when the project is complete and you are paid, you can "release" the clips. The key advantage here is that when each video is opened up and the client goes to download, they can download the source file you uploaded. So in a big project with lots of videos, I don't have to re-upload 29 videos to "deliver" them to the client. In this project, the client was able to download the videos once there were no more changes that needed to be made without requiring additional uploads from me (Figure 12, below).

Figure 12. Download options in Frame.io

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