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In the 15 years since they first released Premiere Pro, Adobe have done a huge amount of work to expand the range of tools they offer for video, and develop a more comprehensive production and post workflow for Adobe users. While they’ve seen some notable success – taking over ITV’s pre-production process, converting David Fincher and creating live episodes of animated series Mr Bean and The Simpsons – Adobe still haven’t incorporated native media management tools.
This lack of video-centric media management tools means that media managers and broadcast engineers struggle to build consistent, easily-navigable file and project structures. It becomes difficult to ensure all the media needed for a project is grouped together, and accessible to the correct users (and only the correct users).
Traditionally, creatives have not been huge fans of media management tools. Perceived as cumbersome, unintuitive pieces of software that restrict the way you work and don’t always work themselves, they have something of a bad rep when it comes to end user experience, especially in video environments.
Strawberry is not like this.
Originally developed as an in-house tool at a German post facility and now developed by Projective, Strawberry has made its way across the world, picking up an IBC Broadcast Engineering Award en route to installations at a whole range of companies that handle vast amounts of rich media, including Amazon, Arsenal, PR and advertising giants Publicis and Oscar-winning VFX house Double Negative.
Because it was developed specifically for editors, Strawberry is designed to deliver the organisation a busy facility needs to stay efficient, without making creatives feel stifled. For example, if an editor adds locally stored media to their Premiere Pro timeline, Strawberry can automatically create a copy of that media on central storage and mirror any changes made to it. Without the editor having to add any steps to their workflow or waste time copying files manually, you’ve ensured that the next editor to open that project won’t get the dreaded ‘media missing’ notification.
Strawberry presents end users with an intuitive interface that puts the emphasis on finding a file rather than searching for it. Projective’s philosophy is that the less time end users have to spend poking around in a project’s file system, the less likely it is that anything gets misplaced, and to that end Strawberry actually presents end users with a linked version of their project’s file system. They can arrange files and projects however they want in this sub file system, but any changes they make to the project will be saved back to the central storage according to your media manager or engineer’s permissions.
When searching for media by keyword, metadata or any other attribute, users can view low res proxies of any result before opening it, and scrub through layer-by-layer previews of assets created in Photoshop or Illustrator. All of this can be done from a web browser, or from the Strawberry extension panel in Premiere Pro or After Effects, so VFX artists can stay in their application, and benefit from one-click import of the high-res files they need.
While keeping things simple for creatives, Strawberry equips media managers and engineers with powerful tools to improve their workflow. These include Project Mounts, which automates the process of making sure users work in defined locations; an Import Unmanaged Assets feature that moves any footage drag-and-dropped into a Premiere Pro project bin into an organised, central storage volume; template project structures that can be rolled out to users at the beginning of a project, and a deletion protection feature which ensures that media deleted in one project isn’t removed from others where it’s still needed.
The result: less time spent on manual tasks, fewer hold-ups due to missing media, and an reduced risk of user error.
While Strawberry is primarily designed for use with Adobe Creative Cloud, it will also work with software from Avid, Maxon and others. There’s a robust API that can help you integrate Strawberry with other software, such as ContentAgent for ingest or Archiware for archive once your (extremely well organised) projects are complete.
If you’d like to know more, get in touch with the team on the details below. We can help you design, install and support Strawberry itself, the storage that it sits on, and even the workstations your end users access it from.