Friday, July 11, 2008

Clip Notes for Collaboration

Well, the first day of the NATIA Pre-Conference classes has come to a close. Today was jam-packed with opportunities to learn new things and bounce ideas around. And, who could ask for a better venue, Adobe headquarters.

I know that this is a Photoshop blog, but you have to get the images to Photoshop somehow. For those looking at adding Premiere Pro CS3 to their labs, or for those who have it already, Dave Helmly showed off an outstanding collaboration tool that's built into the program. It's called Adobe Clip Notes.

If you are working with someone across town, or across the country, how do you get a video clip to them? How can they sit down and identify which frames to pull and work on without being there next to you? Adobe Clip Notes. Sure it's been around for a little while, but did you know it was there? Did you realise how much time it could save you? Let's take a look at how easy it is to use this powerful tool.

When you've finished your work in Premiere and are ready for your colleague's input, click on File>Export>Adobe Clip Notes. It'll bring up the Export Settings dialog box. From here, you can choose to add a password and secure the document - or leave the password field blank. Really, just enter your e-mail address and click OK. Now, the feedback will be directed to your mailbox.

The program packages up the video clip into a standard Acrobat file, a file that anyone can use with the standard free Acrobat Reader (hopefully you'll have Acrobat Pro). The person reviewing the file can enter his/her name in the Reviewer Name field to help you track who wants what frames. Then, they simply play the video. When they come to a point where they want a frame, they can press the pause button. The time code is entered automatically in the notes field and the Reviewer can enter some descriptive text. 

When they are finished, they just have to press the Save and Export buttons. Their e-mail program is launched and the exported data file is attached to a message addressed to you. When you receive the XFDF file, save it in the folder containing the original Clip Notes file. Then, double click it. You see the Reviewer's notes - giving you instructions on which frames to export to still images. You can then work on the images in Photoshop - as usual.

This little gem has been hiding under our nose for a while. Premiere Pro users, check it out. You'll quickly see ways to utilise this handy little tool. If you are looking to buy Premier - this is just one more reason to add to your list.

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