3 Ways to Increase Your Productivity for Creating Dailies in Silverstack Lab 6 min read

When you are assigned to run the complete process of secure media backups and creation of proxy clips (dailies) for a movie shoot on set, it can be very well possible that you face a pretty heavy workload. To stay on top of the game it is important that you can rely on a tool set that gives you the possibility to execute your work in time.

One important component to achieve this, is maximizing your productivity by getting to know your tools in detail, so you can execute the necessary manual processes with high accuracy and perfect flow.

This article wants to shed some light on 3 ways to improve your productivity when you work with Silverstack Lab to run backups and create dailies:

  • Way 1: Quick Clip Access and Easy Navigation in the Library and Player
  • Way 2: Work on the Look With References and Speed up Grading with Interaction Helpers
  • Way 3: Create the Correct Deliverable Timely and With Ease

Let’s take a look at the details that can be illuminated taking a look at these three ways above.

Quick Clip Access and Easy Navigation in the Library and Player

Filter and Search for Clips

To find necessary clips in the library fast, you can use the library search. The search/filter allows to find strings in specific fields like Scene/Shot/Take, for the search to be better targeted. You can also build filter expressions for more complex searches to even closer filter the clips list to the intended set of clips.

Keyboard Shortcuts

When you are in the player you can navigate the clips timeline with shortcuts to perform a mouse-free quality check. Quick entry panels for entering slate information, comments and more can also be accessed via shortcuts.

The available UI Layouts (Files, Manage, QC, Color, Transcoding Presets) are a great example to use shortcuts to quickly configure the UI in a way you need it for the targeted task.

Additionally, all keyboard shortcuts can be customized in the application menu so you can tailor the access to your needs and practice.

Work on the Look With References and Speed up Grading with Interaction Helpers

Working on the look for the dailies often includes working on its consistency. There are two specific features that can help you simplify that work:

Grid View and Wipe View

The grid and wipe view can help you either view multiple clips side-by-side (grid view) or select two clips to compare them and wipe a split position in horizontal or vertical manner (wipe view). Both features simplify the visual comparison of looks throughout scenes and offer you the tools to get a consistent look done faster.

Working With Video Scopes

Video scopes are directly integrated in Silverstack Lab and help with metrics to match the appearance of certain shots. The video scopes include waveform, vector scopes with many settings options.

Additionally, there are multiple options that can make working with looks easier:

Copy Looks on the Fly and Work With the Look Library

You can easily copy and paste looks from one clip to (an)other clip(s) with predefined shortcuts, which you can also adapt to your needs (take a look at the “Look” menu). Extending on that, the look library in the right bar, enables you to store and manage looks with comprehensive metadata and work with them in more detail.

Work with Livegrade Pro During Shoot and Use Look Matching

When you work with Livegrade Pro or Studio while a scene is shot, this can save much time down the road. Looks from Livegrade Pro can be seamlessly matched to the clips in Silverstack by timecode. Like this you can effectively use the time while the clips on the camera card are not yet available to already work on the look and like this create a much more advanced starting point in Silverstack Lab.

Use a Hardware Grading Panel

For a general productivity increase we can recommend to use a hardware grading panel (such as for example a Tangent Element or Ripple) to control the colors. This will make the control easier, more precise and the whole working on looks more seamless.

Other helpers include the Mini Player which can be used in conjunction with the clips list view and also the second display option that enables you to use Silverstack Lab in a two screen environment (see “Playback” and “Window” menues).

For easier manipulation of the look let’s also mention the ASC-CDL compatible interaction type “Simplified Grade Controls” that for example includes a “contrast slider” for simple contrast changes without fiddling with color balls and wheels.

Create the Correct Deliverable Timely and With Ease

As the last step, it is important to create the correct deliverable that lives up to the specifications based on the requirements of the production. Some features in Silverstack Lab can help you to simplify this process and therefore increase your productivity:

Custom Crop

The custom crop option in the General Info of the right bar allows you to tailor the clip size to a custom resolution. It enables you to quickly adjust to the needs of the format and also to apply the neccessary crop to other clips in the library seamlessly. Like this you can quickly solve pretty much all requirements concerning the required cropping of the camera original, and simplify the creation of the right deliverable.

Preview the Dailies

The transcoding preview that opens when you access the transcoding presets tab, gives you a comprehensive preview of the result of the transcoding. This includes metadata burn ins as well as frame lines and overlays, and also the relative resolutions that the selected settings in the transcoding preset will transform the source clip to. This saves valuable time by avoiding test rendering and more of a “trial & error” approach to create the correct proxy clips.

Transcode to Multiple Formats at a Time

Silverstack Lab allows to transcode to multiple formats in one transcoding pass. Like this you can save time and increase productivity by simultaneously creating, for example H.264s as viewing dailies and DNxHD editing proxy clips for Avid Media Composer.

Association of Source and Transcoded Clip

As soon as transcoded clips exist in the library after the transcoding job finishes, the association is readily available in the “Files” tab of the right bar. Like this you can always jump from the source clip to its transcoded clip and vice versa with ease.

I hope that this article can point you into some directions how to use Silverstack Lab to its full potential. If you haven’t done so yet, please feel free to download the application and take a look yourself. If you want to dig deeper we can recommend taking a look at our Silverstack KnowledgeBase for more detailed references.

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About the Author
Samuel is a product manager for Pomfort's on-set applications. Usually you can catch him working on new specs for the software products, writing documentation and shooting videos for our products – and sometimes writing blog posts about workflows and equipment.