Try as we might, there's no avoiding Coronavirus even if you haven't been affected physically. The repercussions are rippling across the industry with all the subtley of a nuclear explosion. But there are some shining lights, so here's a rundown of what some prominant companies are doing to help content creators in this most testing of times.
We are all seeing media reports of acts of kindness from individuals to those at greatest need and risk in this global health catastrophe. I write now from a community which is the New Jersey epicenter of COVID-19 cases. Our neighbor is symptomatic and has been tested. We are allowed to make quick trips to the grocery and pharmacy, with occupancy restricted to 25 or 50 people at a time depending upon size of store. And people are shopping for the most vulnerable.
And indeed companies that serve our production community have been stepping up to provide guidance and technology to those who need to work remotely.
Below is a sampling of companies and their responses. We will be updating this information periodically and encourage our readers in your comments to add any resources of which you may become aware.
Adobe has just published a guide to working remotely highlighting Adobe’s products and services.
While highlighting Adobe’s collaborative features in Creative Cloud, particularly Shared Projects and Team Projects in PremierePro, do note toward the Connecting With Partners section of the blog page. There you will note companies that are hybrid/cloud storage and collaborative workflows, some of which are offering limited free or enhanced access to customers.
Between now and the end of March, Frame.io is offering its subscribers and extra 2TB of extra storage. In addition, they are offering free Frame.io Enterprise plans for 90 days for non-profits, educational institions and healthcare organizations. Beginning Monday, March 23, Michael Cioni will be hosting a YouTube series on Workflow From Home. Check out Frame.io’s YouTube channel to subscribe.
The Boris FX product family of Boris Continuum, Sapphire, Silhouette and Mocha Pro are the backbone of a significant portion of VFX post production workflows. Boris is free 60-day at home licenses for qualifying customers as a replacement for typical Boris floating licenses, which of course would now be locked on on-site facility computers. Use the Boris FX Application manager to deactivate and reactivate licenses on the new temporary remote workstation. This FAQ from Boris goes through the details.
Color accuracy of our displays remains crucial. Larger organizations affected by COVID-19 closures that deploy multiple licenses of X-Rite software products will be provided temporary licenses for desktop applications. These customers are directed to contact their X-Rite account managers.
Developer ftrack, creator of Review, Studio and cineSync is making its remote review and approval platform fTrack Review free until May 31. This includes free 250gb of storage. The ftrack Review platform allows team collaboration, review, approval and comments on either desktop or mobile devices. While ftrack would of course wish to convert free users to subscribers, CEO Frederik Limsater (note—needs an umlaut over the a and I don’t know the key combination) stresses that there is no obligation to purchase after the free period. Check it out here.
Another CG company is stepping up – Ziva Dynamics is now offering remote licenses for their Ziva VFX character creation tool at no added cost. Which means any team can complete their studio work from the safety of their homes, with no limitations.
A note from Editshare
"In a time like this, it's imperative that we band together and do our best to help each other. I wanted to flag that our friends at EditShare are making their web-based, remote production and collaboration tool Flow Media Management free through July 1st. Flow enables individuals as well as large creative workgroups to collaborate on story development with capabilities to perform extensive review approval from anywhere in the world. Those interested can complete this form and one of EditShare’s Flow experts will follow up. You can learn more about Flow here."
If you know of other corporate acts of support to our craft, please note them in your comments.