Software developers at MoovIT have developed HelmutFX, a tool that simplifies production management and streamlines working processes.
One of HelmutFX's key features is to integrate everything into your existing workflow, not vice versa.
HelmutFX is a standard, off-the-shelf product with a modular design. As a result, it is capable of handling administrative and organisational tasks in every production environment. In post-production, the tool works in a similar way to an enterprise service bus. It is able to communicate with all connected systems (ingest, archive, backup, MAM, PAM, etc.). The tool supports workflows that already function well, and helps eliminate issues. Consequently, editors can focus fully on creative tasks and processes.
Broadcasting organisations and production houses have recognised that this easy-to-install, user-friendly tool can help them to significantly streamline and optimise complex processes.
HelmutFX works in the background and manages search and administrative processes for Premiere project files. The tool supports cutters and editors as they work, thanks to a customisable program interface and personalised settings in the editing panel of their editing software.
HelmutFX sorts, distributes and backs up edited files automatically. Users can focus on their core tasks – whether they are part of a small production environment or a large-scale project with multiple participants across networks.
In contrast to the typical approach, where workflows are adapted to the software, the HelmutFX tool actually adapts to the workflow. The core of the software has been deliberately designed with a small number of functions that are used in every production environment. Expansion modules are available that allow the software to be adapted to customer-specific requirements. This approach creates maximum flexibility and secures the value of the original investment, as it is easy to incorporate changes to the workflow.
HelmutFX is modular by design. It provides a one-program software solution for the management of all post-production processes, in a similar way to an ESB (enterprise service bus).
The basic installation manages Premiere projects, user profiles and preferences. The system was developed for Premiere users, but can be adapted to any other post-production infrastructure. Although its design is inherently simple, the tool is capable of supporting highly complex processes.
Suitable expansions and adaptations are available to fit specific customer requirements and infrastructures (e.g. integration into a MAM system such as VPMS, EditShare Flow or Canto). Access privileges can be assigned using an administration interface.
The HelmutFX tool can be used to manage workflows, as it is able to create projects based on pre-defined templates for specific users or departments. If the user is a cutter, for example, the functions and layouts they see will differ from those available to an editor.
Using the APIs of Premiere, After Effects or other products, it is possible to consolidate and centrally manage all integrated production processes with a single tool.
HelmutFX manages a wide range of tasks in the background – including project assignment, settings, codecs, folder structures and track labelling. It also assigns formats for the sound and graphics departments. For example, if a cutter exports files to Pro Tools, the tool will translate commands accordingly to enable immediate further processing.
As a result, HelmutFX simplifies and accelerates search and administrative processes when editing project files. Program interfaces and settings are adapted to the specific needs of users and their workflows.
The program has a simple design and is easy to pick up and use, with no need for intensive training.
With this tool, the operator/user no longer needs to think about where projects should be located, where settings are saved, which codec they should use or where they should save files. By the same token, they no longer have to consider how projects should be structured, how tracks should be labelled, or which format the sound or graphics departments will receive.
Users benefit from automated file coordination and organisation. And thanks to a user-friendly interface tailored specifically to their requirements, users are free to concentrate on their core tasks.
Automated workflow – with high reliability
The HelmutFX tool was implemented as part of a project to modernise the technology workflows at WestCom. At WestCom, editors also fulfil the role of VJs, managing and editing reports from ingest through to play-out. HelmutFX allows all users to work seamlessly using Adobe Premiere editing software – from media import to the finished article. The technically complex automated workflow incorporates easy-to-use elements that have cut the number of errors by 50 per cent. This is particularly important for just-in-time broadcast production.
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