The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts



Prelude LiveLogger

As part of their October 2013 Creative Cloud updates Adobe have released Prelude LiveLogger, an extension to the Prelude family of metadata entry tools, for real-time on location logging. Like us, Adobe realized that there are situations where there is simply no time to log between the shoot, and the need to edit. Adobe offers the example of a football match where plays are tagged in real time during the game, and a highlight real pulled from Prelude moments after the shoot.

Our need was to log, shoot and edit as we undertook the Solar Odyssey, realizing that the only way to allow time for sleep was to log as we shoot.

Right across the production spectrum, editors are being asked to do more, in less time. If material arrives already logged, or at least partially logged, then the editor has more time to apply their creativity to the edit. In fast-turnaround situations like sports packages, there is no time to spool through the show looking for highlights. By capturing the important metadata in real time as the shoot progresses, editorial is one step closer.

While there is possibly some overlap with my own company’s Lumberjack System, I couldn’t be happier for LiveLogger to finally see the light of day. I’ve been privileged to watch this develop since I was shown some early previews and ideas at NAB 2011. Anything that makes it easier to enter metadata earlier in the process (and keeps it throughout the editing workflow) is a good thing.

Until we get fully automated metadata entry (if we ever get there) encouraging the entry of metadata during the shoot is absolutely the direction we need to go. For narrative we have metadata entry solutions like the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, Movie Slate ecosystem, or even Atomos recorders where Scene, Shot and Take metadata can be tracked with the media. Add a script and “circle takes” (mark good) and that’s all the metadata you need for narrative. The script ties it together.

In fact, part of the inspiration for Lumberjack was Adobe OnLocation (now obsolete) which could associate takes with a Story script file, and then associate that with the media by time-of-day later. Ironically, while LiveLogger can synchronize by time-of-day it primarily is based on traditional matching timecode (or by placement of playhead in Prelude). They integrate well within the Timecode Buddy world, among others.

While Adobe and Intelligent Assistance (aka Philip & Greg) have tried to solve the same problem – how to log as we shoot and leave editorial as much time as possible – I’m impressed as to how different the solutions are. LiveLogger is a lot more visual. One of the primary use-cases that LiveLogger appears to have been developed for, is to live-log sports events. It’s extremely well suited to that purpose and can feature images for the players, actions etc.

As LiveLogger will be part of the Creative Cloud apps, it’s free to try. I do think that Lumberjack is a more complete solution (I have to believe!) I am really happy to start talking about LiveLogger after having to allude to “great things coming from Adobe” for so long! It’s a terrific addition to the pre-post metadata field, and I love what they’ve done with it. Congratulations guys.


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  • Robin S. Kurz · September 9, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Is there any word yet on pricing?

    Not sure if and what functional overlap there is, but it at least sounds a bit like what e.g. MovieRecorder from Softron for FCPX does (at least as far as the “work while it’s still capturing” part is concerned), only MR does it from within, not outside of FCPX and also has a pretty cool multicam variant for the same task.

    I’ll have to take a first hand look and find out.

    I just hope that Adobe doesn’t think you were taking too many cues from them for Lumberjack. ;-D

  • Author comment by Philip · September 9, 2013 at 8:57 am

    LiveLogger is included in Creative Cloud. ie no additional money. Lumberjack and LiveLogger are very different and imnsho Lumberjack is way superior. Obviously Adobe could have taken a lot more clues from Lumberjack and should if they want to bring LiveLogger to the standard and features of Lumberjack.



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