What video annotation tools are out there?
Today, video annotation tools are mostly online applications. They’re collaborative tools, either existing platforms that have started offering an annotation feature, or newcomers who offer a more complete service. Some web solutions are even specialised for cinema, complex team management or, like Skeem, for corporate AV production factoring in the needs of end clients, who are often unfamiliar with these new technologies.
Ease of use and speed of adoption are key factors for video annotation tools. We’ve all tried to suggest digital solutions to clients who haven’t had the time to get to grips with a new online tool or to train their teams. The same goes for all the features that would come in addition to video annotation, such as collaborative production scheduling, or centralised information and communication.
Video annotation and its many other names...
Video annotation, video review, reviewing, approval tool, comments on files, commenting, video feedbacks and advanced tagging… in short, there’s a long list of ways to say video annotation tool. Behind all these terms, there is a single simple system to understand each other clearly during the (highly rewarding) phases of finalising a video project… Did you say version n°12?
How do you add comments to a video, technically speaking?
The technology behind it is sophisticated, but the application is very easy to use, allowing you to write feedback directly onto a video. For those unfamiliar, reviews can add comments to videos in the following ways:
- Click the relevant position on the progress bar, to add a comment at exactly the right moment.
- Click directly on the image, to pinpoint the exact area on the video being referring to.
- Type directly into the textbox on the video to “stick” the comment onto it.
- Click “Add” to share it with everyone and notify everyone working on the project.
You can find more information on video annotation best practices in our article on understanding how to annotate a video.
The limits of video annotation in a client relationship
Although video annotation is an essential tool, is not enough on its own. The smoothness of the client relationship depends on excellent overall communication, from the beginning of video production to the end – and well after delivery. For AV professionals, credibility in the eyes of clients requires a high level of professionalism throughout the production process, and not just at the most challenging stages. We have to think of our clients! From their point of view, they have a great number of complex issues to manage, which we need to take into account. The main problems mentioned by clients of AV agencies often stem from a lack of understanding of best practices or poor visibility of what is happening during the video production.
- To boost understanding, video annotation tools should be supplemented with centralised sharing tools which make it possible to explain and provide the information necessary for each step to be understood.
- To increase visibility, the video annotation tool should be supplemented by a shared scheduling tool which allows the whole production to be centralised in one place, providing a reassuring overall view.
Clients often waste a lot of time searching for information and trying to make sense of it. Making this easier for them will build loyalty.
To do this, the annotation tool has to be supplemented by a tool that enables collaboration and feedback at every stage of production: the video’s outline, proposed graphics, the choice of actors or music, location scouting, etc..
What about other media?
Naturally, if we want to cover every stage of production, we need to be able to add comments to every type of media:
- Audio track comments
- Image or photo comments
- Text comments
- Video comments
If the idea is that an optimal client-creator partnership leads to a successful video, there should be consistency across the board, allowing feedback to be added even to the shortest and most limited stages of production. They’re just as essential, and could include the CVs of voice-over actors, planning for the filming stage, preparing subtitle text, and more.
Video annotation is the ultimate collaborative tool: let’s always remember that clear feedback is the foundation of good communication, concrete understanding and, ultimately, peace of mind.
It’s just what we’re looking for to be our most creative!