Cloud editing had been a buzzword for a few years at NAB and this year was no exception. While there’s often the mention of cloud editing in a big keynote like that from Avid there are other small booths around the NAB show floor that specialize in cloud editing.
As a single freelance editor I have never thought of cloud editing as being within the reach of a freelancer like myself or even a small post-house or production company. It has always seemed the realm of the “big iron” like buying a turn-key enterprise system like Adobe Anywhere or getting into the Avid Everywhere ecosystem and having the right parts to enable Media Composer|Cloud. Beyond that even smaller companies like Forscene have required a rather substantial buy-in of both hardware and bandwidth to enable any kind of real cloud-based editing and cloud-based collaboration.
With NAB 2016 Forscene is looking to change that with a new option that can enable even the smallest post-house and/or freelance editor get into the cloud-editing game at a much more reasonable cost. What Forscene has done is move that infrastructure that you might need for cloud-collaboration into the Forscene cloud. Editors on the ground pay a per-user fee for everyone they allow into the workflow. Forscene uses existing technology that runs as a *virtual machine* on your Mac or PC to encode media into proxies and get those up to the cloud. Those people in the workflow sign in via a web browser and use the Forscene editor to log, label, organize, string-out and even edit the media. A conform list out of Forscene lets you conform back in your NLE of choice to the original media.
The availability of this at a somewhat “affordable” level really surprised me so I sat down for an interview with Forscene’s Neil Roberts to get a lot more detail. That’s a 4 minute audio interview as well as a bit of video to see the Forscene interface at work. Take a close look at the “splurge” track of the media on the timeline. It is a unique interpretation of video thumbnails that creates a quite usable high level view of what is in the timeline. And audio waveforms? Nope, Forscene shows audio levels via color: White for louder areas, black for silence and shades of gray between. It’s a unique approach. Have a listen at the interview above and get a taste for it at work in the video below.