Get the chance to trial a Cintiq Pro or MobileStudio Pro in your creative team

Get the chance to trial a Cintiq Pro or MobileStudio Pro in your creative team

We’re offering up an awesome opportunity for you to trial Wacom’s powerful Cintiq Pro or MobileStudio Pro tablets in your creative team for a limited time. To be in with a chance of trying the tablets, simply let us know what your team is most looking forward to doing with them.

If you’ve been thinking about kitting your studio out with Wacom’s leading design tablets, now you can put them to the test before you fork out the cash for them. So, which tablets are available to try?

Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 and 16

wacom_cintiq_pro

The Cintiq Pro lineup comes in two sizes: the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13, which has a 13.3″ display, and the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, which very logically has a 15.6″ one. They both feature sleek edge-to-edge displays, which lead to slimmer, swisher designs and a more realistic ‘pen on paper’ feel. The 13″ model has an HD screen while the 15.6″ has a 4K resolution one, and they’re colour accurate for 87% and 94% of Adobe RGB respectively.

The Cintiq Pro ships with the ridiculously sensitive Wacom Pro Pen 2, which boasts 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and virtually no lag. It also has a built-in kick stand, and an optional Wacom Stand with three levels of elevation for anyone who wants more flexibility. There are no on-tablet ExpressKeys, but anyone who prefers physical buttons to the Cintiq’s touchscreen controls can invest in a Wacom ExpressKey Remote.

Wacom MobileStudio Pro

wacom_mobile_studio_pro_16

Wacom have packed your entire creative studio into one handheld device. MobileStudio Pro runs on Windows 10, and with powerful Intel processors, supports full versions of your favourite creative software like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and more, as well as email and word processing applications like Outlook, Word and Excel.

The more powerful configurations are 3D-ready allowing users to run demanding creative 2D, 3D and CAD applications wherever they like, so you can ditch your laptop.

MobileStudio Pro boasts top-notch displays with 4K resolution on the MobileStudio Pro 16 and 94% coverage for Adobe RGB. This means you can render each fine brush stroke perfectly and reproduce even the most subtle shades. Like Cintiq Pro, the tablet is accompanied by the Wacom Pro Pen 2 which features four times more accuracy than the previous version.

What do I do next?

Simply fill out the form below and let us know why you’re excited to try either Cintiq Pro or MobileStudio Pro. If you provide a great answer, you’ll go to the top of our list to try out a tablet for two weeks. We’ll be in touch as soon as we have an available slot, although you may not receive a trial tablet if we experience overwhelming demand.

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

Want to find out more about our Wacom offering? Visit our online store, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and gossip, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or like us on Facebook.

Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

We’ve been supplying leading creative technology solutions for more than 25 years now, and we’ve worked with some of the UK’s top creatives for just as long. We realise that lots of creative teams manage with the basics when it comes to storage, security, servers, and the other less glitzy IT stuff, but it’s essential to ensure that your assets and files are protected against the unknown.

Of course, nobody ever expects massive data loss to happen to them. And while it may sound dramatic, it’s probably worth asking yourself what you’d do if your premises went up in flames overnight. If your team are working from a shared hard drive on the office floor, saving assets and files to internal hard drives on your computers, or backing up to a server sat on the floor above, you could be putting all your work at risk.

Reportedly, 58% of small business aren’t prepared for data loss, with a further 60% closing down within six months of losing critical data. And while you may even be storing duplicate copies of your files on separate hard drives, there’s still a risk of those failing too. By slacking in the backend, you could face losing years worth of clients’ work, your company’s entire history of creative branding and marketing collateral, and more. Fortunately, there are solutions out there that’ll help prevent a file-related disaster before it happens, and will have your back on the off-chance one does occur. Here are a few of our top recommendations for keeping your precious work out of harm’s way…

For data backup…

If your business currently handles over 1TB of data, our very own Backup24 is perfect for keeping your files safe. It offers secure, offsite protection for all your digital media assets, and you can leave everything with us so you don’t have to bother with the management headache. Backup24 is scalable, meaning you can increase or reduce the amount of data you backup quickly and easily, with pricing starting from just £40 per terabyte per month. Users will also benefit from professional over the phone support, anytime access to data, fast and simple data retrieval, and much more. Unlike when you go with bigger providers, we can physically check your data everyday and don’t charge you to access your backups. You can find out more about Backup24 here.

For data security…

Security should be a top priority for every creative team. It’s important to consider what protection you have against hacking and infiltration, and to have a plan in place in case your data is compromised. Lots of teams use services like Dropbox or Google Drive to store files and assets, and while they may be cheap and convenient, this can leave your data wide open to malicious attacks.

If this is something you’re concerned about and want to ensure that your files stay private and secure, or if you’re a larger organisation that needs complete control and visibility over lots of assets, we’d recommend Acronis Access Advanced, which addresses common file security and privacy issues. It’s ideal for businesses who need a safe method for users to access and share content both internally and externally across a range of devices. The solution allows users to work with business files anytime, anywhere, bolsters content security and privacy, increases IT control and ensures compliance, boosts end user productivity and improves collaboration between colleagues. It also offers comprehensive security functionality and controls to better manage and protect users, apps and data, and the whole solution is easy to install, administer and use.

To receive a 30 day free trial of Acronis Access Advanced, head over to their website. In the video below, the Acronis team asked business people where they think their data is being stored and what would happen if it was lost or stolen…

For data transfer…

If you’re going to start regularly backing up your creative files and assets, you’ll require connectivity that’s well-suited to handling bandwidth-intensive processes and applications. For this, we reckon ATTO’s ThunderLink devices are ideal. Basically, they act as external adapters for Thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SAS and Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and Fibre Channel. They connect all-in-one systems and laptops to storage devices while delivering high data transfer rates, as well as link aggregation and failover, redundancy and increased availability for critical network applications to protect against potential system failure.

ThunderLink devices provide optimised, scalable connectivity and are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructures. ATTO’s latest ThunderLink lineup boasts superior throughput to meet modern bandwidth requirements – respective devices deliver 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and scalable 16Gb/s and 32Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Fibre Channel connectivity – perfect for speedy data backups and transfers of large creative files and assets. You can find out more about ATTO hardware here.

If anything we’ve discussed has got you thinking about the way your team secures, stores, shares and transfers creative files, get in touch with our specialist team on the details below and they’ll be happy to discuss any of the products mentioned above and any workflow requirements you may have.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Your leasing options with Jigsaw24

Your leasing options with Jigsaw24

We work with leading third party finance providers to offer customers finance and leasing solutions for their purchases – but why should you lease from Jigsaw24?

There are lots of benefits to leasing, and spreading the cost of expensive purchases is just one of them. Here are a few other great reasons…

Flexibility. Leasing lets you adjust the capacity of your IT infrastructure at any time.

Easy to budget. Costs are more predictable and transparent – you can manage your cash flow more cost-effectively.

Stay up to date. Leasing keeps you up to date, significantly reducing the risk of your IT resources becoming obsolete.

Tax deductible. Lease payments count as an operating expense and are therefore fully tax-deductible.

No debt or equity. Choose from different types of leasing to take advantage of different accounting standards appropriate to your needs.

Your leasing options

Our third party providers offer different types of lease depending on your specific requirements. These include…

Master lease agreement. Provides one set of lease terms and conditions.

Operating lease. Off balance sheet funding, allowing you to rent equipment with lower monthly payments and avoid obsolescence.

Finance lease. On balance sheet funding, providing fixed terms for lease periods up to five years.

Sale and lease back. Offers funding solutions for equipment already purchased out of capital.

We can tailor-make a finance model running from 12-60 months, with repayments being made either monthly, quarterly, termly or annually.

For more information about finance and leasing options for your purchases, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 400 888 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your Adobe MAX 2017 roundup

Your Adobe MAX 2017 roundup

We’ve been working with Adobe for more than 25 years, and are an Adobe Platinum Reseller. That means we’re always super excited for the Adobe MAX conference – Adobe’s annual event promoting the very latest releases and developments – and it’s safe to say this year’s conference delivered.

Adobe announced a ton of awesome new features and fresh innovations, all of which are sure to boost your team’s productivity and help make them more creative than ever. So, without further ado, lets get into it…

The highlights

Brand new apps

Expand your team’s creative capabilities with Dimension for 3D graphic design, XD for user experience design and Spark for visual storytelling, and produce impressive content like never before.

Deeper Adobe Sensai integration

Adobe have further embedded artificial intelligence capabilities across all applications and services, enabling creators to go from concept to completion much faster, and bring the power of advanced technology and deep learning to accelerate the creative process.

Updated Illustrator

Enjoy all-new panel layout, improved font flexibility and Puppet Warp functionality, allowing you to twist and distort your work while transformations appear more natural. And Illustrator now starts up 30% faster, meaning you can get to work even quicker.

Enhanced Photoshop 

Use the brush smoothing slider to remove jagged and wobbly edges on drawings, and the new Curvature Pen tool to create paths intuitively, and then simply push and pull segments to modify them. Save new fonts into your library and share with colleagues, and organise brushes into folders so they’re easier to access.

Adobe Stock additions

Stock’s asset library now includes hundreds of professionally created motion graphic templates for Premiere Pro and After Effects. New filters have also been added, including depth of field and vivid colour options.

More efficient After Effects

Adobe have improved the efficiency of motion graphics creation by streamlining your ability to create data-driven graphics and deliver high-quality VR and 3D results. And it does it all faster than before with GPU performance enhancements.

Adobe Character Animator 

Previously in beta, Character Animator has finally received a full release. This 2D animation tool helps bring still image artwork from Photoshop or Illustrator to life. New features include pose-to-pose blending, new physics behaviours and visual puppet controls. Adobe Sensei also helps improve lip-sync capability by accurately matching mouth shapes with spoken sounds.

Collaboration in Premiere Pro

New deep collaboration features have been introduced to Adobe’s industry-standard video editing application, as well as state-of-the-art immersive 360/VR workflows and responsive motion graphics controls.

One-click access to assets and inspiration

New integrated assets and extended services across Adobe Stock and Typekit, plus expanded education resources to help customers get started.

Adobe Capture improvements 

Simply take a picture of a font you like, and Capture will use Sensei AI technology to analyse and provide you with similar fonts.

If you’d like to find out more about Adobe Creative Cloud and how its powerful apps can improve your team’s workflow and bolster creativity, get in touch with our expert team or visit our Creative Cloud homepage. We’ll also be happy to advise on any financial requirements your team may have, and can discuss Adobe’s different subscription models and find one that suits you best.

Still got some questions? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Creative trend: Why augmented reality is an essential tool for the future

Creative trend: Why augmented reality is an essential tool for the future

The augmented reality (AR) trend is one of the fastest growing across the technology, marketing and advertising industries. It’s estimated that by 2020, the AR market will be worth £90 billion, and with such impressive financial projections, now’s the time for creatives and marketers alike to explore and experiment with AR, and make the most of it while it’s still fresh.  

These days, iOS and Android devices can power through demanding augmented reality apps with no problem, and developers are more optimistic about its future than ever. Having already proved popular, AR opens the door to a whole new world of technological possibilities, including three dimensional advertisements, immersive storytelling, virtual tours, interactive decorating and style apps, engaging games and much more.

In retail, companies are always looking to create fresh, immersive brand experiences that leave an impression in consumers’ minds, meaning AR presents an incredible opportunity for creative agencies to offer cutting edge services around it. Brands such as Tesco and Ikea have worked closely with agencies to develop apps that allow customers to experiment with furniture in their homes, while Lacoste and Converse created apps that let users try on virtual shoes before buying the real thing. Agencies are also helping brands to liven up conferences and exhibitions with the creation of location-based AR events, where visitors can engage with rich virtual content as they move around. And now that creative agencies are mastering AR and realising its potential, they’re better positioned to deliver unique and innovative campaigns for clients all over the world. As part of this, they’re assisting brands in the development and visualisation of concepts, and are working hard on UI and UX design to produce AR experiences that are both appealing and easy for customers to use.

With Apple launching powerful tools like ARKit, and Microsoft spending huge sums on their HoloLens mixed reality headset (including the billion dollar acquisition of Minecraft-maker Mojang to bring the popular game to the device), it’s clear that industry giants are taking tremendous steps in their pursuit of the AR top spot, and are committed to making the new technology a success. With that being said, it’s apparent the creation of engaging content that provides realistic interactions while offering unique technological value is the way forward for companies hoping to turn AR into the next big thing.

The story so far…

Believe it or not, AR technology was first developed back in 1968 at Harvard University. Although extremely primitive, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland had successfully produced an AR head-mounted display system that used computer-generated graphics to show users basic wireframe drawings. In the years that followed, university laboratories, private companies and governmental organisations began researching and experimenting with the technology, and in 1990, Tom Caudell, a researcher at Boeing, gave it a name – ‘augmented reality’.

Throughout the 1990s the technology advanced rapidly, and by 1998 the NFL adopted AR, using it to display a yellow marker on the field during the broadcast of a live game. Over the next few years, developers became more familiar with AR, and in 1999 Hirokazu Kato developed the ARToolKit. Still popular today, the open-source computer tracking and software library is designed to allow developers to create augmented reality applications that are capable of overlaying virtual imagery on the real world through the use of video tracking functionality. Having already made the jump to entertainment and media, AR was finally ready for consumer audiences by the end of the noughties.

Augmented reality today

By extending live experiences far beyond the screen, AR is proving to be an industry-shifting trend, and audiences are responding well to the technology even though it’s still in its infancy. It’s already a part of our daily lives, with sport and news broadcasters regularly relying on AR to bring statistics, stories, newsrooms and more to life. Games are changing too, and have come a long way since the days of Snake – people of all ages and demographics downloaded Pokemon Go (which had an incredible 45 million daily active users at its peak), and were encouraged to take to the streets in search of their favourite creatures. With such a huge user base, it was a positive sign for AR.

Despite this, British police logged an unbelievable 290 incidents relating to the game in 2016, demonstrating its real world influence and forcing developer Niantic to urge players to “abide by local laws” while gaming. A couple of months after launch, the number of daily users had fallen dramatically and continues to drop, showing that developers need more than initial intrigue and excitement to keep users coming back to their AR apps.

Snapchat filters are used by millions every day to liven up everything from a casual selfie (what would teenagers do without the dog filter?) to large group photos. Snapchat’s AR filters have even managed to become popular memes – everyone remembers the horrifying face swaps with inanimate objects, the dancing hotdog and rainbow vomit, and it’s safe to say that the app’s AR capabilities are a key part of its continued success with younger audiences. In their first proper attempt at taking AR mainstream, Apple’s upcoming Animoji with iPhone X is sure to make traditional emoji more exciting and engaging.

Similarly, ARKit – which was introduced with iOS 11 – is, in Apple’s own words, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. Users can combine digital objects and information with the environment, allowing apps to break free from the confines of the screen and interact with the world in real time. ARKit utilises powerful A9, A10 and A11 processors to provide breakthrough AR performance, and comes packing TrueDepth Camera for robust face tracking, Visual Intertial Odometry (VIO) functionality to effectively track the world around it, and Scene Understanding and Lighting Estimation to ensure everything looks as it should.

What does the future hold?

With so many advancements and landmark developments over the last couple of years, the future looks bright for AR. Powerful design tools are allowing developers to be more creative with the technology than ever before, and evidence and research suggests that audiences are eager for more. It’s estimated that AR headset sales could hit almost £1 billion this year, and with Microsoft going full steam ahead with HoloLens and rumours of other tech companies such as Google, Apple and Samsung following suit, that figure looks set to grow. It’s even starting to play a part in social media strategy, with marketers looking for innovative ways to engage with customers online.

Whatever happens, AR is up there with VR as a soon-to-be essential technology for marketers and content creators (click here for our kit recommendations), and it’s definitely worth striking while the iron is hot to put yourself ahead of the competition.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NewTek release the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera – and it’s available now!

NewTek release the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera – and it’s available now!

NewTek have released the world’s very first native IP camera designed for Network Device Interface (NDI) video workflows in the form of the NDIHZ-PTZ1. Touted as an affordable, IP-based pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, NewTek are calling it the best way to acquire live video for input into their revolutionary IP-based live production workflows. 

With Newtek’s NDI standard already pioneering the move from SDI to IP with their hybrid live production systems (such as the TriCaster TC1 that was announced earlier this year), it makes sense they’d follow suit by integrating their NDI standard into a camera.

They set out to produce a camera that can be placed on an ethernet network and work right away, and they’ve done just that. The PTZ1 is a broadcast-quality IP video camera that doesn’t require a capture card and a PC, USB dongle, or any other add-on or accessory to get up and running – it’s capable of sending video solely through ethernet. It transmits full native HD resolutions up to 1080p 60fps and 20x optical zoom to NDI-compatible receiving devices available on a network, and is perfectly suited for IP-based live productions and streams that require single or multi-camera setups, such as sports and events coverage, video conferencing, lecture capture, distance learning, media communications and surveillance.

The camera’s ethernet input delivers audio and power, and provides bidirectional communication that supports PTZ camera control and tally. If you’re still transitioning to an IP workflow, it also integrates with baseband equipment thanks to it’s industry standard 3G SDI and HDMI video connections. And thanks to the recently announced NewTek Spark HDMI and SDI converters, you can also incorporate your existing into video cameras into your IP workflow to work alongside the PTZ1.

Lastly, both the PTZ1 camera and NewTek Spark models are compatible with hundreds of production solutions, including NewTek live production systems and third-party video switchers, as well as software-based video tools such as Livestream Studio, OBS, Streamstar SW, Telestream, Gameshow, Wirecast, VidBlaster, vMix, XSplit, plus all other NDI-enabled products (NDI version 2.0 or higher).

The NDIHX-PTZ1 is also compatible with popular desktop video applications – such as Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, WebEx, Zoom and more – thanks to an NDI|HX driver.

Check out some of its key features:

– Native support for HD video formats up to 1080p 60fps.

– Integrated and automatic tally support via NDI.

– Motor-driven PTZ operation with preset positions.

– Remote control and monitoring via web-based user interface.

– Remote control over IP via NewTek Studio Monitor.

– Remote capture and recording via NewTek Studio Monitor.

– Power over ethernet via POE+ (802.3at) or included DC 12V 1A external power supply.

For more information about the world’s first native NDI PTZ camera, visit our online store here or get in touch on the details below.

If you want to know more about IP workflows and NDI, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Don’t miss BirdDog Studio NDI and more at IBC 2017

Don’t miss BirdDog Studio NDI and more at IBC 2017

BirdDog are bringing their new Studio NDI to IBC in Amsterdam this month. First demoed back at NAB to resounding success, this impressive bit of kit allows your existing cameras to be included in a new IP workflow for your live productions. 

Touted as the world’s best NDI encoder, Studio comes production-ready with Tally, PoE and video conversion. While still a few weeks away from shipping, punters will have the chance to get an up-close look at the device, which enables more flexible video inputs into live productions and access to video resources anywhere in your facility.

The BirdDog team will also be on hand to showcase real-world integration with NewTek TriCaster, vMix, Telestream Wirecast, and NewTek NDI Tools, and answer any questions you might have.

Features

NDI made simple

Studio allows users to convert baseband SDI and HDMI to take full advantage of IP networks. That means you can access live video in realtime from anywhere on your network, so there’s no need to run long SDI cables or purchase pricey video routers.

Dual colour Tally 

Studio can display Tally onboard and externally via Tally out, and provides both Program and Preview tally indicators.

Power from anywhere

Handily, the device can be powered from an ethernet cable thanks to PoE technology. Alternatively, users can power it up via DC power supply or optional V/Gold-mount battery plate accessories with power pass-through functionality (which are coming soon).

Central fleet control

Users get complete control and configuration capabilities for multiple Studio devices through the admin panel, which can be accessed on both desktop or on mobile devices.

Monitor loop-out/format converter

BirdDog Studio’s SDI and HDMI ports are always live, meaning users can convert from HDMI to SDI and vice versa. Users can also connect a monitor to the device.

Upgradable software

The BirdDog team are always hard at work creating new features for Studio, which will be made available free of charge via the site deployment wizard as soon as they’re ready. The wizard will also ensure all BirdDog Studio devices in your facility are updated and running on the most recent software version.

In other IBC news…

NewTek and Vizrt will be demoing the NVG1 – their IP Graphics Server – at IBC this year, with the system being made available in the UK soon after. As a realtime 4K-capable graphics system, the NVG1 is designed for deep integration with the NewTek IP Series and TriCaster TC1 video production systems, and streamlines graphic operations by utilising NewTek’s NDI IP video standard to bi-directionally transfer video, audio, key, control and metadata on a single network cable over existing GigE infrastructures. It also combines the NewTek 1RU server platform with NDI IP video connectivity and Viz Trio/Viz Engine software to deliver best-of-breed live graphics for NewTek’s end to end IP-native video workflows.

If you want to know more about the biggest news and announcements from IBC, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our roundup post.

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 is shipping right now!

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 is shipping right now!

That’s right, the wait is over. The fourteenth iteration of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is shipping as we speak and we’re super excited. Existing Resolve users can upgrade free of charge, with version 14 promising up to ten times faster editing speeds, professional Fairlight audio, revolutionary collaboration and more.

Users will be able to take advantage of hundreds of new features and improvements for editors, colourists, and – for the first time ever – audio production professionals.

Resolve 14 comes packing a fresh playback engine that dramatically increases editing performance and responsiveness for trimming and playback, even when working with processor-intensive formats like H.264 and RAW.

Colour correction

Likewise, colourists will continue to enjoy the industry’s most powerful primary and secondary correction tools, complete with an advanced curve editor, tracking and stabilisation, noise reduction and grain tools, Resolve FX and the rest. They’ll also have access to a range of new filters, which include automatic facial recognition and tracking that allows users to quickly smooth skin tones, brighten eyes, alter lip colour and more.

Fairlight audio

For audio pros needing a complete end to end workflow, Resolve 14 includes Fairlight audio post tools that provide users with everything they need to record, edit, mix, sweeten and master sound for up to 1000 channels in realtime. The software also supports huge Fairlight audio consoles, and users can mix down and master to multiple formats, including 3D audio space formats such as 5.1, 7.1 and 22.2.

Collaboration

The latest version even boasts innovative new multi-user collaboration tools, including bin locking, chat and timeline merging that let editors, colourists and sound editors work on the same project simultaneously. That means you no longer have to waste precious time conforming or waiting for a locked edit before you can start work on colour and audio – ideal for hitting those tight deadlines and working in parallel so your team can spend more time being creative.

The free version of DaVinci Resolve 14 – which contains everything you’ll need for working on SD, HD and Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second – is available to download now on macOS, Windows and Linux. If you require even more creative tools and options, Resolve 14 Studio, which you can purchase from our store here, provides support for 4K and higher along with frame rates of up to 120 fps, as well as lots of additional features that help make your work even more impressive.

Why Jigsaw24?

Working closely with Blackmagic Design and the DaVinci development team, developing qualified, scalable workstations on every platform has enabled us to become the go-to experts for Resolve in the UK and Nordic countries. We are one of the few partners chosen globally for DaVinci Resolve on Linux, showing that Blackmagic Design have a strong respect for our capabilities and understanding of the complexity and requirements in high-end grading systems and workflows. In 2015, we won the Blackmagic Design Outstanding Achievement award for our ongoing dedication to providing expert solutions and the best possible customer experience.

If you’d like to receive an expert demo (and a cracking cuppa) at our facility in Soho before upgrading, you can book in today by clicking here. Alternatively, you can arrange a test run with one of the team by dropping an email over to soho@Jigsaw24.com or calling 03332 409 285.

If you want to know more about DaVinci Resolve 14, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

Our creative team understand just how critical a hassle-free workflow is. When your team’s trying to hit tight deadlines, the last thing they need is to be slowed down by the same old problems.

Below, we’ve listed 10 of the trickiest workflow issues that are causing trouble for creative teams, and some software solution recommendations that’ll help you fix them. You can stop pulling your hair out now.

“I need to see proof copies of my team’s work and be able to compare amends on PDF files.”

As every creative team knows, long paper trails are a real pain when it comes to proofing and amends. Luckily, there are PDF editing tools which offer document tracking and management functionality that streamline the proofing process and cut turnaround times. They should allow users to create, edit and sign PDF files, while providing cloud features that let you work on them anywhere. Keep an eye out for the ability to compare files, review differences between them, and visualise and filter changes, as well as mobile functionality that offers access to recent files across mobile, desktop and web, meaning you’ll be able to carry on working even if you’re away from your main computer. We use Adobe Acrobat DC – which offers all of the above – so we recommend giving that a look.

“I need to ensure all our staff have their devices backed up, so they can access files if they get lost or stolen.”

With a variety of options out there, such as Code42’s CrashPlan, we recommend you spend some time search for an easy to manage solution that enables users to restore lost files files without additional support from IT. Software like this works in the background of your team’s machines to silently and continuously back up all distributed end user data so you have complete visibility and control on a single, secure platform. Leading solutions will also allow your team to benefit from unlimited storage with no bandwidth caps or file type restrictions, rock solid security complete with advanced encryption for your data, and tons of backup options across numerous devices and hard drives.

“I need my team to be able to work remotely without a load of IT hassle.”

These days, lots of businesses want to equip their staff with the ability to work remotely, and there are a variety of office suite solutions that can help with this. One such example is Microsoft Office 365, which comes with apps your team should already be familiar with, and is great for handling those not so creative bits that are the backbone of organisation and productivity. Top office software makes collaboration and document sharing nice and simple, and should include the latest versions of your favourite applications in both web and mobile form, as well as cloud services that provide access to files, emails and documents anywhere, any time.

“We want to back our servers up offsite with the ability to restore any files or folders quickly and efficiently.” 

There are lots of cloud backup and storage solutions to choose from, but Backup24 is a solid choice for creative teams who need secure, offsite protection for their intellectual property and digital media assets. Solutions like this should be scalable for businesses that have over 1TB of data (with no upper data limit), and usually allow you to leave everything with the team behind the software meaning you don’t have to manage a thing. Offsite managed backup services also provide users with some great benefits too, including anytime access to data, fast and simple retrieval, zero recovery costs, over the phone support and guidance when your team needs it, and much more.

“We’re a small team who need to cut the time it takes to find and manage our digital assets.”

With so many DAM solutions to choose from, we’d suggest giving Extensis Portfolio a try (this is the solution our creative team use). Management solutions such as Protfolio are built with speed and simplicity in mind, and help cut out all that time wasted spent searching the network, browsing countless folders and consulting team members. They can be used to manage images, video, audio or documents, and automatically catalogue and extract metadata for all assets. Users should be able to organise multimedia files into refined collections, and browse, preview and search for files, while automated keyword creation and previews make it simple to quickly sift through your team’s hefty file bank. DAM solutions are usually built for a certain amount of assets as standard, but can be increased by purchasing additional asset packs.

“We need to streamline our design workflow, but have to manage a large amount of product information.” 

Keeping on top of your product information and digital assets is a key part of modern day marketing, and ensuring a high response rate across multiple sales channels is a growing task for modern businesses. With a few different solutions to choose from, we recommend finding one that offers comprehensive, integrated product management and publishing, that’s all about streamlining your team’s design workflow and bolstering your marketing and sales efforts. For this, we’d suggest a solution such as MatrixCMS. Solutions like this mean design teams and product managers can work even more closely together, and their automated tools mean you don’t need to sweat the small stuff like repagination. They should even hook into InDesign and allow for easier proofing and editing.

“We want to access files quickly and easily while on the move.” 

This stuff can get pretty technical, so your team needs a solution that combines great functionality and complete ease of use. Acronis Access Connect does a top job, with solutions like this allowing Mac users to have the same access to Windows file and print servers as PC users. They’re also packed full of features that are specifically designed to deliver the fastest file and print services available, and help resolve common cross-platform file sharing issues. Teams can also benefit from bundled mobile apps (such as the Access Connect app for iOS devices), which allow users to remotely access file shares from any location that has network access through in-app file browsers. Most such apps should also come preloaded with document editing applications that lets users to carry on working while away from their desks – ideal for proofing and amending while out and about.

“The number of products and digital assets our business needs to manage is getting out of control.”

There are a few PIM (product information management) and DAM (digital asset management) solutions around right now. When scouring the marketplace for the right software, keep an eye out for something that offers powerful cloud-based product information management system with near-infinite power to handle unlimited amounts of product information. They should also allow for total ease to use, while providing adaptable tools that let users create the rich product content that customers demand, and permit retailers to publish automatically across multiple channels. For a quality DAM solution, you want something that makes it easy for you to organise, find, retrieve and share files from a centralised digital library. It’s also ideal if the solution delivers fast, controlled access to digital assets, while managing them in the most efficient way possible and keeping all digital assets automatically associated with their relevant products through product codes. For this tall task, we think something like Pimberly is perfect.

“Our designers need to organise their font collections into a single, searchable location.” 

If your designers want to better organise their fonts, look for an intuitive, stable and secure font management solution for individual users. They should provide direct access to your font collection from within your creative applications and via the cloud. One such solution – Suitcase Fusion 7 – utilises TypeSync, which enables designers to sync their fonts on any machine. Equipped with exclusive Font Sense technology, Suitcase Fusion fingerprints each version of a font using multiple criteria. This enables the application to provide highly accurate font matching functionality.

“We want to centrally manage our typographical assets.”

For teams of any size wanting top-level control over their font collections, we’d recommend looking for an on-premises server solution that’s integrated with macOS, Windows and Adobe Creative Cloud, which is built to help creative teams streamline the management of their font collection, while reducing costs on unused fonts and avoiding legal complications. No matter how big your team’s font database, a solution like Universal Type Server 6 provides centralised storage that makes it easy to find, sort, use and distribute fonts, while also identifying fonts and even recognising duplicates. Enhanced diagnostic reports provide in-depth insights into font usage, and alerts users when unlicensed fonts are being used that could cause legal issues.

Why Jigsaw24?

If your in-house creative team are experiencing issues and want some answers, you’ll be pleased to hear that after 25 years in the game we’ve heard every workflow problem before, and our close relationships with leading vendors mean we can recommend a solution to fix them all. But whatever your team’s issue – whether it’s refining your day to day processes, automating tasks or seamlessly integrating software – we’ve got you covered with essential solutions that’ll free up your design team and give them more time to do what they do best.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential software solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

With social platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch.tv and Periscope in full swing, industry experts are calling live streaming the hottest trend in social media. As a result, creative teams, marketing and PR agencies are looking to get involved and use live streaming to increase engagement. 

Cisco estimate that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based by 2021. And with studies suggesting that live video is more appealing to brand audiences – 80% reportedly prefer watching live video to reading a blog, and a further 82% favour live video to social posts – it’s no surprise that the world’s media and marketing giants see it as a great chance to deliver high quality content to their audiences.

Popular platforms

Social media live streaming really found its feet following the launch of Facebook Live in April 2016, with the opportunity to reach a user demographic of two billion people proving too good for brands to miss. It allowed them to communicate with consumers in a way that was previously reserved for costly television productions, with interactivity and user engagement at its core. Viewers can post comments and react during Facebook Live broadcasts, providing brands with the unique opportunity to respond directly to their audience.

While Periscope proved popular and beat Facebook Live to the punch by launching over a year earlier, Facebook Live quickly established itself at the top of the live streaming game. Unlike Periscope, Facebook didn’t have to spend any time encouraging people to sign up, and it didn’t take users long to figure out how to use the new functionality as it was built directly into an app they were already comfortable with. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook users already had access to a large network of contacts, deterring them using another live streaming service with a smaller user base.

With one billion hours of video content being watched daily and over one billion active users, content producers and businesses alike are using YouTube’s live streaming functionality to increase their presence on the world’s largest video network and reach a colossal portion of internet users. Conversely, Twitch.tv is a popular live streaming platform used primarily to broadcast video gaming, eSports, creative content and music events, with 2.2 million unique streamers. In 2014, it was ranked fourth in peak time US data traffic, besting Facebook and Amazon among others, so is a great choice for creative agencies looking to attract more eyes to their work.

How has the business world responded?

Right now, every media and marketing company is trying to harness the power of social media and its humungous (and continuously growing) user base, and live streaming is just another way for them to make the most of it.

Live steaming is especially effective for news and political broadcasting. From leading media organisations to local newspapers, the news industry dove right in, with big players like BBC and The Guardian regularly streaming live across social platforms during newsworthy events – recent examples include the 2017 general election and 2016 EU referendum results. Likewise, CNN broadcasted live on Facebook for a solid eight hours in January as the United States prepared to announce its next president. The video received a total of 24 million views, and placed within the top ten most watched of the year. Even the White House have been making use of Facebook Live, airing speeches and weekly addresses live to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world.

For businesses who rely heavily on advertising revenue and brand awareness, live streaming can seriously bolster their content output. Social media behemoths Buzzfeed and LADbible specialise in creating attention grabbing content that pulls in tons of clicks. In this video, the Buzzfeed team tested how many elastic bands it would take to make a watermelon burst. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this video had an impressive 807,000 live viewers, and has a current total of 11 million views. Videos such as this likely have something to do with why Buzzfeed earned a cool $3.1 million from Facebook just to provide live content. Similarly, LADbible live streamed an ice cream showdown in July 2016 to see which of their four lollies would melt quickest – as of writing, the video has almost 6.5 million views.

Should you bring live steaming in-house?

If you want to utilise social media’s multi-billion-strong user base, then yes. With proven results demonstrating its effectiveness in increasing engagement, as well as all the stats suggesting that audiences prefer video content to everything else, it really is worth taking advantage of. While it’s tempting to get stuck in and start shooting on your phone right away, we reckon that you’ll see better results if you invest in some dedicated live streaming products. Not only will they allow you to brand your streams and produce more complex broadcasts, the overall quality will be better too, which is ideal if you want to stand out from the competition.

It’s worth purchasing technology from reputable brands as they’re far more likely to provide all the technical support you might need. They usually offer upgrade paths that’ll help you get your hands on the latest kit when it’s released, support incoming trends, and provide users with the ability to record and reuse content down the line. If you’d like to check out our essential equipment recommendations, you can read more here. Once you’re kitted out, we suggest running some test projects before you start streaming for real. Things can go wrong when you’re live streaming, so that way you can get a feel for producing live content and ease growing pains, develop your internal workflow, and avoid any silly (and costly) mistakes on your first proper shoot.

If you want to know more about social media live streaming, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email designsolutions@Jigsaw24.com. If you’re ready to start shopping head to our design storeFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.