Last month we heard from one of our customers that they completed not less than 36,000 clips in the last 3 months. These 36,000 clips, representing 500 clips per work day, were produced on 3 to 4 seats (workstations). That’s more than 125 clips per seat per day, or 15 to 20 clips per hour per seat.
How did they achieve this productivity ?
According to our customer this is due to a combination of factors. First, obviously, is the human factor. We are in the presence of well-trained operators, with years of experience in Video.
But credit is also due to the latest version of Clip-factory-Pro where the workflow has been streamlined. The operators are following a step by step approach. They first select the channel and the program that they wish to view, then they delimit the segment of interest, and that can be for example a sports event, which they can follow either in Live or from Actus log server Archive. In the case of Live events, the software platform will extend the segment up to the Live moment, allowing the operators to edit the clip as the event progresses.
During the event, the operator has the option to mark a specific moment of interest, such as a goal scored in a football game, and within seconds to add a short description and to export it on the fly to the Web page or to any social Media, such as Facebook or Youtube. The export process, including a multiple bit rate transcoding, is done in parallel to the operator’s manual work, and several clips can be exported, to several destinations, while the operator is already working on the next moment of interest.
Editing the clip prior to export may include specific editing functions such as blurring a face or an advertising billboard that appears in the image, or muting certain sounds, or removing logos, and adding new logo instead. In addition, the operator preparing the clip has the possibility to add metadata, thumbnails image, text, overlays, pre or post-screen, as well as pre or post-roll video. All this editing is fast, frame accurate, and really easy to learn. The end result is that when the event is complete, the enriched clip, with all its Metadata, is immediately ready for distribution.
In the case of Live sports events, our customer believes that it is of paramount importance to distribute short and meaningful clips to millions of viewers within less than 60 seconds from the event.
In addition to the manual editing, Clip-Factory-Pro also comes with a comprehensive API that allows fully automated, or semi automated editing.
Allow me to present this workflow.
This is applicable for TV stations that have access to the As-Run-Log. This Log is a very precise list (accurate to the video frame) of every segment that is being broadcasted. It is produced in real time by the broadcast automation systems, and the Actus system is able to read this log and “understand” what has been broadcast and exactly when.
For example, during the “Evening News Hour”, the As-Run-Log will provide the precise timing of each of the news stories, or any jingle and any Ad. Our customer was able to write a simple script that reads the As-Run-Log, and convert it into another script that creates markers (separators) within the Actus Clip-Factory-Pro. In addition, the scripts is able to “recognize” which segments should be “excluded” (such as Ads, or weather).
The Actus workstation operator then receives a “clip project”, almost ready to go. The operator has the option to review the script result, eventually change one story from “rejected” to “included” by a single mouse click, re-align the position of a marker, and perform any other editing function. After a minute or so, the clip is ready for export to the list of pre-established destinations. Each destination will receive one or several clips at the pre-agreed format, resolution, and bitrate.
During October, we participated in the “Sportel” exhibition in Monaco. This is the place to be if you want to meet all Sports content owners, as well as all TV broadcasters. We also met some other existing video editing systems. The Actus Clip-Factory-Pro was exhibited there for the first time and as far as we can tell, it was very well received and seems to respond precisely to the needs of most of the dozens of visitors that came to the demonstrations.