01 - SCRATCH Web and Publish

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01 - SCRATCH Web and Publish


GENERAL

SCRATCH Web is an on-line review application that you can use to share media with your co-workers and clients in a secure manner. The application runs with any modern internet browser and does not require you to install any software. As such, it can also be used by non-SCRATCH users. Furthermore - SCRATCH Web can also be opened from any mobile device and will soon also be available as app on various devices. To get media into the on-line application you need to use the publish function of SCRATCH or (free) SCRATCH Play.

This chapter briefly goes over the functionality in SCRATCH Web and the publish function in SCRATCH.

SCRATCH WEB

MAIN CONCEPTS

Account

First thing to know about SCRATCH Web is that to be able to upload and share your media with others through SCRATCH Web, you need your own SCRATCH Web Account. As an account owner or administrator you can customize your own version of SCRATCH Web and invite other to review or allow others to publish into your account. You can get a SCRATCH Web Account either by buying a SCRATCH Web subscription or applying for a free trial account through the main assimilate website www.assimilateinc.com.

Channel

An account can contain one or more so called channels. A channel provides a logical grouping of publications: e.g. you can create a channel per project or per client. Furthermore, a channel also represents the physical storage container and as such you can decide where this is geographically located. This way you can optimize both upload and review performance. Note that the number of Channels that you can create depends on the type of Account you have.

Publication

A publication can be a single shot or a complete timeline of clips (including versions) that you make available in a Channel in SCRATCH Web for a specific group. You use either SCRATCH or (free) SCRATCH Play to create a new publication and upload the media.

Public vs Private

A publication can either be public - and as such available for anyone who visits your account in SCRATCH Web - or private, which means that you set who has access.

Users

There are different kinds of users of SCRATCH Web. In the Admin part of SCRATCH Web you can create various users and assign roles and grant access.

  • Account owner: the person who created the SCRATCH Web account.
  • Administrators: manage the account, create / manage channels and publications, manage users and assign access.
  • Publishers can create new publications in their assigned channels.
  • Subscribers - the end users. You can grant subscribers access to a specific publication or to a complete channel.  Note that subscribers do not need their own account. Granting someone access to your publication is as easy as entering their email address.

APPLICATION

To open SCRATCH Web use this URL http://scratchweb.assimilateinc.com or this shorter version http://scratchweb.media. Note that this will take you to the general entry. Subscribers will in most cases enter SCRATCH Web through a link provided in an invitation email that will take them to your account within SCRATCH Web. In the admin section of SCRATCH Web the account-specific URL is given.

LOG-IN

When first opening SCRATCH Web you are presented with the log-in dialog asking you to enter your credentials or to enter SCRATCH Web as a guest - opening the public section. The public section does not require login credentials. If however the account does not contain any public publications, entering as guest will take you to an empty Construct.

CONSTRUCT

After log-in you are presented with the Construct - similar in appearance as the Construct in SCRATCH.

Channel List

Swiping to the right or clicking the folder icon at the top left shows / hides the Channel List with all for you accessible channels.

Slots, Clips, Versions

The Construct is divided into slots. Each slot can contain a clip and multiple versions stacked on top of it. You can scroll the Construct horizontal by dragging it left or right. If a slot contains more versions then fit on the screen, you can drag a slot vertical by dragging the slot up / down.

When you select a clip a play icon will appear on it. Clicking it again will take you to the Player. Alternatively you can use the Play icon on the main toolbar. The difference is that the later will enter the player with all clips on the selected layer as a timeline rather than playing just the single selected clip.

Clicking the top right corner of a clip or alternatively using Quick key: N while hovering over the clip will pop up the note editor. Here you can read or enter annotations with the individual clip. Note that when you are in the public section of SCRATCH Web - notes are not available or read-only.

Meta data

Selecting the Information icon at the top right corner will show/hide the meta data panel This panel shows all available meta with the selected clip.

Toolbar

On the toolbar at the bottom of the Construct you will find various functions such as: Refresh the current Construct, Play and Sign out of SCRATCH Web. At the far right there is the More option, which will open up a panel at the bottom with additional (administrative) options.

ADMIN

If your are a Channel Owner, Administrator or Publisher the Admin button will be available in the extended toolbar section to enter the admin module. Depending on your role this module allows you to manage access and status of your publications, manage your channels and manage your account.

Admin Publications

after selecting a specific publication from the list, you can adjust the tile, description, status of the publication as well as grant / revoke access to the publication. To grant access to a publication you only need to enter the email address of the person you want to give access. An notification email is send to that person. I this is the first time you grant him access to content in SCRATCH Web, a password is automatically created and included in the email.

From here you can also remove a publication. This is a two step process. First select the Delete option. Next select the Confirm Delete. Note that the publication and all underlying media is removed permanently and can not be recovered after the confirmation.

Admin Channels

If you are a Account owner or Administrator you also have access to the Channel management tab. From here you can also grant access to Subscribers to view any content published in this channel. Alternatively you can also grant access to Publishers to allow them to create new publications in the selected channel.

Note that if you grant access to a Subscriber at the Channel level, he will show up in the access list with any publication market with (H). this means that access rights were inherited from a higher level.

Also note that only when creating a Channel that you can set the geographic location of the storage. You can not switch or move this afterwards. The only option to get content into a different location is  to create a new channel and publish the content again to that channel.

Manage Account

In the Account tab you can set access permissions for administrators, publishers and subscribers at the account level - which means access to any publication in any of the channels within the account. In the Account tab you also find information and settings to customize your SCRATCH Web account: upload logo and background image for the login page and URL to your account within SCRATCH Web. You can use this URL e.g. in your own website to create a direct link.

PLAYER

You enter the Player from the Construct module with either a single clip or with the full timeline. In the Player the various play options are available on the toolbar and the timeline bar shows the current play position as well as the location of any notes associated with the shots.  You can move the play position by dragging the position marker across the timeline bar.

At the top of the player, information about the current shot is displayed. Bot the top section and bottom toolbar will auto-hide when you switch the Player into full screen mode.

REPORT

The report option has 3 standard report formats: basic, extended and list. The reports contain all the shots in the current selected publication and the associated meta data. A potential use for this is to send the report to a pdf printer to create a local copy of the report which you then can distribute per email.

PUBLISH

To get content into SCRATCH Web you use the Publish function in SCRATCH (or free SCRATCH Play). This paragraph discusses the Publish function.

The Publish function actually allows you to generate media and post it to one of three targets directly: YouTube, Vimeo or a SCRATCH Web channel. Posts to Vimeo or YouTube are limited to single shot media. SCRATCH Web also allows you to publish a full timeline - including versions - and all meta data. Furthermore you can load any review feedback provided in SCRATCH Web, back into the source project. 

The publish function is available either from the Tools menu in the Construct module, from the Collaborate pull-down panel in the top control bar in the Player or in SCRATCH Play from the main Player menu.

EXPORT TO

Select one of the available targets: SCRATCH Web, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or Offline. The available publish options will depend on the selected target. The Offline option is explained in more detail at the end of this chapter.

POSTER FRAME

Set the Poster frame for the publication. Use the arrow buttons below the image to scrub through all shots on the timeline to select the shot to take the poster from. To scroll to the correct frame, drag the scroll option in the top side of the proxy image.

TITLE AND DESCRIPTION

Below the Poster frame you enter the title and a short synopsis for the publication. How this is used and displayed, depends on the targeted platform. Note that all single shot publications into SCRATCH Web that have the same title will be shown as s single Construct in SCRATCH Web.

PUBLISH OPTIONS

Action (SCRATCH Web only)
  • Create new publication: Creates a new publication in SCRATCH Web.
  • Load publication meta data: Download any notes / comments entered in SCRATCH Web back into the original source Construct in SCRATCH.
  • Update existing publication: Synchronize an existing publication with the current version of the Construct, adding any new shots and meta data or removing deleted shots from the online publication. Note that this function will 
  • Upload Offline: Upload a previously created offline publication to SCRATCH Web (see for more detail about offline publications at the end of this chapter).
Export (SCRATCH Web only)

Sets what you want to publish from the current Construct:

  • Timeline only as separate shots,
  • Timeline including versions
  • Timeline as a single shot (Output node).
  • Current Shot
  • Current Range (only available when you started the Publish function from within the Player / Matrix and when you currently have a Player Range selection).

Note that for Vimeo or YouTube you can only publish the Timeline as a single shot.

Content (SCRATCH Web only)
  • Movies - render and upload movie files per shot.
  • Stills - render one or more full resolution still images for each published shot. If 1 is chosen the middle frame is rendered. If 2 is chosen the frame at 1/3 from the in-point and 2/3 from the in-point is chosen. etc.
  • Audio - include any audio with the movies if available.

By default SCRATCH will render a proxy image per shot. You can publish a Construct with only proxy images. This will render and publish relatively fast and all meta data of the shots is available in that render. Afterwards you can always update a publication with stills and movies.

Format

There are a series of predefined formats, suitable for the web. Starting with SCRATCH 8.2, both Windows and OSX SCRATCH versions use the Vanguard H264 encoder. Stills and proxies are rendered as jpg files.

Video Quality

Sets the bit rate for the H264 renders. Higher bitrates warrant higher quality but also take more time to up- and download.

Category (YouTube only)

After the first publish / login with your publish account a list of predefined categories will be available.

Privacy (YouTube only)

Status to set the availability on YouTube.

Tags (YouTube and Vimeo)

Add tags to your publications to make them searchable.

BURN-IN TEMPLATE 

You can include a burn-in template to include meta data in the rendered movies. You can create a plug-in preset template by using any particular shot, add a burn-in plug-in, create the layout you want and save this as pls file. The format of the original burn-in setup does not necessarily be the same s your publication. The template will adjust to the resolution you choose. This way you can reuse the template with any publication.

GRADING LUT

Add a reference to a LUT that is applied on the H264 render. Alternatively, select to use the current Display LUT that is in use and has been set in the Player-Settings-Monitor menu. If both a display LUT for the primary and reference/second output are set, SCRATCH will take the reference/second output LUT.

ACCESS (SCRATCH Web only)

Set whether this publication is accessible for anyone visiting your account in SCRATCH Web (Public) or whether you will grant access to on an individual basis (Private).

CHANNEL SELECTION (SCRATCH Web only)

Select into which SCRATCH Web Channel you want to publish into. If the Channel is not yet listed then press the recycle button to refresh the list. You must have your credentials entered to be able to refresh the channel list. 

ACCOUNT INFO

When publishing to SCRATCH Web you enter you Assimilate account credentials here. Your account requires publish privileges before you can publish. Contact Assimilate Support about acquiring Publish Administration Privileges.

When Publishing to Vimeo or YouTube you will be asked to enter authorization in a later stage of the publish process.

SUBSCRIBERS

When Publishing to SCRATCH Web you can already enter one or more email addresses in the Subscriber tab of those that you want to grant access to the publications. Note that you can always adjust access to the publication through the SCRATCH Web admin module as discussed earlier in the paragraph.

PROCESS

When clicking the Start button in the Publish dialog, SCRATCH will begin with rendering out the proxy images and still images. After that it will create a new entry in the Process Queue that will start rendering out the movies. When that has finished - another process queue item is created for uploading the media.

In case you are updating an existing publication to SCRATCH Web, SCRATCH will automatically download any feedback that was entered in the form of notes and add them to the shots in the Construct.

OFFLINE PUBLISH

When you select Offline as target - set the various properties and hit Process, SCRATCH will:

  • Render out all media – proxy files, H264 movie files and stills.
  • Create an xml file with all metadata.
  • Create an html file to review the publication.

All the files of the publications are contained in a single folder which by default is inside the project cache folder (though you can select any folder for that). You can navigate to this folder and open the index.html file to view the rendered media. Since all the files needed are in the folder you can move that folder to any other system for review it or for uploading it and making it online available in SCRATCH Web at a later moment.

Please note that the index.html that is created with an offline publication is generated using the publish.xslt format file, which in turn is located in the settings folder with the SCRATCH installation. You can customize this xslt file to customize the generated index.html. To customize this file copy the publish.xslt file to the c:\programDATA\assimilator\settings folder (or OSX equivalent) and edit the copy. This way you can create your own customized offline review tool.

Finally, to make an offline publication online you open the Publish dialog, select SCRATCH Web as target and set the Publish option to Upload Offline. You can then select the folder with the Offline publication and fill in your SCRATCH Web account and channel details. After hitting the Process button SCRATCH will immediately begin with the upload of the media.

VR 360 MEDIA

When you publish 360 media to SCRATCH Web that is flagged as Equirectangular or Cubic, SCRATCH Web will automatically recognize the metadata and mark the media as 360 as well. In SCRATCH Web you can view the media in 360 mode where you can pan around the scene or even enter into headset mode where you can view the media with your smartphone and headset like Samsung's Gear VR or Google Cardboard..



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Last Modified:Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Type: HOWTO
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