Despite the overwhelming and well-documented drawbacks of living through a global pandemic, we were able to look at the bright side and find silver-linings. One of them was the introduction of new habits that indirectly cast a much-needed spotlight on inefficient workplace practices.
As the world slowly made the shift towards remote work, we now understand that working in an office space has become a luxury. That’s where collaborative video tools come in; not only does it remove the obstacle of space, but no more physical limits to the creative brain.
Collaborative video editing tools keep everything centralized. Producers and managers can easily supervise projects and timelines by making instant reviews, while editors can make proposed changes simultaneously. The result saves time and, more importantly, money, without ever losing a creative edge.
Given the opportunity in display, a significant number of options emerged over the years. But what tool best serves your needs? Allow us to break it down for you:
Evercast’s powerful real-time collaboration platform securely streams any creative workflow with uncompromising quality and ultra low latency. It’s the first virtual workflow resource that combines full video conferencing, HD live-streaming, and full-spectrum audio in a single, easy-to-use web-based platform.
- Ultra Low Latency Anytime, Anywhere: No matter where in the world they are, users can securely stream any creative workflow (live cameras on set, Avid, Premiere, Maya, Pro Tools, etc.) with ultra low latency and uncompromising quality.
- Hardware Free: Evercast requires no file sharing and no proprietary or complex hardware for most use cases. Only a computer and software are required to stream, thus it is easily adopted across all stages of production, among teams large and small.
- Collaboration with On-Screen Drawing and Time-Stamped Notes
- Streaming from Any Media Source (live camera or any creative software)
- Privacy: Evercast’s security protocol is approved by all major Hollywood studios.
- Recording: Sessions can be securely recorded and played back interactively. Each stream and webcam feed is captured individually in HD.
- Not available on Android
If you’re interested in integrating Evercast into your workflow, get a demo here.
Think of Wipster as a shared workspace, a cloud-based place designed to streamline digital media projects that allows you to upload media, invite reviewers, and collaborate with creatives, clients and stakeholders, wherever they are.
- Integration: Wipster can work seamlessly with Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Dropbox, Slack, Wistia, Vimeo, and Brightcove, just to name a few.
- Playback Standards: This tool offers near-perfect video encoding as well as crisp playback.
- Open Access Application Program Interface (API): Wipster allows customization of the application for better integration and a smoother workflow.
- Frame-by-Frame Comments
- Cost: Many users report exceedingly steep charges for the type of service rendered.
- Mobile App Needs Work: There are several reports that the mobile app functionalities run into constant issues, being useful mainly for viewing.
- No On-Screen Drawing: As opposed to a tool like Evercast, Wipster doesn’t support on-screen drawing.
- Pricing: The move to a second tier can be far too costly for smaller companies, especially when compared to other options on this list.
- No Closed-Captioning Feature: This is a serious drawback for companies working with hearing-impaired clients.
Filestage’s target clientele is agencies and marketing teams. Their video tool simplifies review workflows and the feedback/approval process from anyone who has a say so-- putting to bed the days of overwhelmingly full and scattered inboxes.
- Video-Annotation: The tool facilitates in-context feedback allowing video engineers to react quickly and decisively.
- Customizable Workflows, Task Automation, & In-Built Versioning
- Allows Bulk Uploading
- Cost: Filestage’s pricing is on the high-end if the project in question is sizable. In the same vein, the Pro plan doesn’t offer enough features to justify its price-point.
- No Closed-Captioning, Video Looping, Privacy Options, or Video Streaming: The lack of such important features is a significant drawback for Filestage when comparing with the capabilities of Evercast, Frame.io, or even Vimeo.
- Better Suited for Reviewing than Editing
Frame.io offers a simple solution to the common problem of remote collaboration without compromising high resolution material. With Frame.io, users can upload footage and other digital media from one central hub, then make it available for team review..
- Review Technology: The software allows for time-stamped feedback on video reviews, making client notes more specific.
- Mobile App and Premiere Pro Integration: Allows for a drastic change in workflow and leads to clear productivity gains.
- Lack of Storage: This can be particularly challenging when it comes to high-bandwidth video work.
- Highly Technical: Frame.io often requires users to send clients an email covering how to use the software.
- Bugs and Server Issues: Many users report constant bugs that slow down reviewing or hinder the upload process altogether.
- Feedback Homogenization: Separating internal and external feedback is important, but Frame.io provides no such feature.
- Hyperactive Email Notification System: If multiple users are simultaneously leaving feedback, this can provide a frustrating collaborative experience.
- No Android App
QuickReviewer’s main functionality is spoiled by its name. This online proofing software was designed for marketing agencies, website development companies, and brands looking for a faster design approval process.
- Video Proofing
- Reddit-like Annotation: Each color-coded reviewer can reply or upvote one another’s comments.
- Lacks a Functional Mobile Version: This may be an issue for users who aren’t as tech-savvy and might want to use smartphones and tablets to leave feedback.
- Forever Free Plan: Despite the alluring name and what it promises, this plan— although indeed free— offers only 100 MB of storage, which swiftly eliminates most company’s needs on the video front.
- No Live Updates: Online review sessions are rendered useless because the software requires constant refreshing.
- Limited Capabilities: Not suited for big productions and projects that require complex interactions and a vast array of integrated tools.
- Not Tailored for Video
6. Adobe Team Projects
In an effort to make collaborative efforts easier across teams, Adobe created a cloud-hosted collaboration service that improves workflows and addresses concerns related to collaboration, efficiency, and scalability in the post-production phase.
- Perfect for Users Who Already Use Other Adobe Tools: Allows editors and motion graphics artists to work within Premiere Pro and After Effects.
- Ideal for Remote Editing, including Where Proxies Are Used
- Creative Cloud Subscribers Have Open Access to Team Projects
- One Editor at a Time: Even though Adobe designed Team Projects to help users work collaboratively, the feature doesn’t allow for multiple editors to work on the same project, in real-time. Instead, each user has to create a copy of a project, which is then added to a mutually shared folder that users can view.
- Learning Curve: In order for the collaborative process to happen, users need to set up a “mother” project and the parties involved need to know their media management setup. Otherwise, linking can be challenging.
- No Default “Hot Key” Share or Receive Changes
Hightail went Prince’s route. Formerly known as YouSendIt, this cloud service lets users send large files, preview content, collect real time feedback, assign tasks, monitor team and project activity, and route approvals. It’s a one-stop shop for remote collaboration.
- High Resolution Previews: Hightail allows streaming through your browser at high resolutions.
- Real Time Conversations: A team can see comments as they happen and receive email notifications for project updates in real time.
- Task Assignment and Management
- Preview Files with Side-by-Side Comparison
- Bulk Uploading
- UI Isn’t Always Intuitive: There are reports of video recipients being confused about how to download files.
- Shared Links Expire Too Quickly: Instead of resetting, a user is forced to create a new link every time.
- Clunky Mobile UI: Most users of Hightail’s mobile version report a clunky and counter-intuitive interface.
- No Closed-Captioning, Video Looping, or Privacy Options
Best known as a video-hosting platform, Vimeo also allows for video sharing, hosting, and content creation. Because the company’s founders are filmmakers who were looking for specific streaming needs, they switched their tool to serve a holistic approach to customization.
- Version tracking: Vimeo allows easy project version organization and smooth video replacement without changing the URL.
- Shared Links: As opposed to other tools listed here, Vimeo makes downloading videos a convenient and easy process.
- Domain Control: Certain clients can be particular about where certain videos can be embedded or shared. Vimeo caters to their specifications.
- Customizable Branding Elements, Engagement Graphs and Tools
- Live Streaming
- Basic Video Editing: Vimeo is a decent option for creating high-impact social videos, but overall the tool can be limited in its offerings for more advanced users.
- High-End Price Tiers: By far one of the most expensive options available in the market.
- Complex UI: It can be quite challenging and technical to understand how to best use Vimeo for your needs.
- Streaming Can Be Slow and Unreliable
Presented as “a new collaborative media platform for content creators,” ftrack is yet another cloud-based collaborative video, media review, and approval tool. It’s designed for creative teams working in post-production processes and often attracts creatives working on single projects with multiple participants.
- Remote Review in Sync: ftrack’s software allows you to jot down feedback, sketch and skip through a video, a process accessible to all collaborators in real time no matter where they are. They will all see the same frame at the same time, in high resolution, and with full-speed playback.
- Integration: ftrack features an embedded panel with tools like Adobe’s Creative Suite and Autodesk Maya.
- Valuable Data: The tool offers analytics and reporting that help users understand the status of a project and what needs to happen to take it over the finish line.
- Customization: ftrack offers an open-source API which enables customization
- Centralized & Streamlined Management
- Project Navigation Inside the Integrations Can Be Challenging
In Mixcut’s creator’s own words, the idea for this online collaboration tool came “from a friend who earns a great living producing videos for YouTubers.” The company goal is to make it easier to make linear edits and elegant-looking titles for your footage, no matter where a production team might be located.
- Linear Editing Capabilities: Mixcut moves common linear editing capabilities into a real time multiplayer context.
- Real Time Team Collaboration
- Limited Capabilities: Mixcut lacks several functionalities that make other tools on this list more appealing, as the company’s target audience is mainly casual videographers or hobbyist creators.
- It’s in the Early Stages of Development
The most important factor when it comes to collaborative video editing is access. No matter where users and creatives are in the world, they need to be able to jump in and out of the workflow without complications, and these tools give you that option. The other key word is “real time.”
In today’s fast-paced world, sending notes back and forth instead of having a creative conversation is a missed opportunity and a waste of time.
Finally, by not setting rigid boundaries to creativity, companies have the chance to broaden their horizons and collaborate with freelancers all over the world.