Project: ES Video

The ES-Video project will research and develop a metadata driven, web-based workflow management system that can control the efficient production and distribution of moving media. This will be addressed by the development of an open system (supported by published APIs and a draft industry standard) that can transfer data and metadata seamlessly along the workflow, across media types and processes, consistently and persistently._x000D__x000D_Digital media technologies ought to improve the speed and efficiency of creating and distributing audiovisual content for the movies, television, advertising, on-line and mobile applications. However, media production and distribution reCOs a labour-intensive, high-cost and high-risk business: as technology has developed, the process has become more complex. Traditional ways of editing and distributing a movie, TV programme, advert or video clip are inappropriate for the digital workflow. Movies and video are no longer edited from a series of clips, but assembled from a proliferating mass of clips, CGI, visual effects, with multiple versions, colour grades, manipulations and edits. The assembled video has to be matched with separately-created and processed speech, music and audio effects. Each of the CO postproduction processes uses a different application and possibly a different file format. With so many interdependent operations, it is almost impossible to COtain a coherent overview of a production as it develops: creative opportunities are missed and expensive mistakes are made. When it comes to displaying the result, the many different output media require different scenes and edits, colour grades and colour spaces, audio tracks and formats, languages, and sub-titles, as well as different file formats and settings. The same scene may be needed as a Quicktime video for computer preview, an AVI file for showing to programme sponsors, an MPEG-2 file for a DVD, a high-resolution Digital Cinema Distribution Master, and in different formats for television or streaming. A large facility house producing TV advertising for broadcast around the world has to be able to deliver content in the right form for every one of 7,000 playout installations. Each of these has specific, and often different, settings for about forty different parameters such as pixel resolutions, video and audio levels, saturation levels, bandwidth and compression levels in both audio and video, metadata usage and embedding. Facility houses rely on operators to format the output, and then to check the characteristics of the digital media. Unfortunately, as well as being time consuming, this process does not catch mistakes made in specifying one or more of the parameters._x000D_ _x000D_The broadcast industry has tried to simplify the transfer of media, with little success. MXF is a standardised container format for digital video and audio, which supports various streams of audio and video ‘essence’ along with a metadata wrapper that describes the essence. It was adopted as a standard, to ensure interoperability, but major manufacturers Avid, Sony and Panasonic have implemented different parts of the standard, in non-compatible ways. Furthermore, while MXF metadata describe the material contained within the file, they do not state the purpose of the media, or how it may be used._x000D_ _x000D_ES-Video proposes a user-centric solution based on the very successful experience of the printing industry, which uses persistent metadata to create a digital ‘job ticket’ that controls the ‘total production workflow’ as work is passed along the chain from client to design, press, finishing, and distribution. The job ticket is an xml file in the industry-standard Job Description Format (JDF), which is device independent and vendor neutral. ES-Video will apply the principle of the JDF format and job ticket to audiovisual production and distribution. The project’s Objectives are to: _x000D_- Analyse the tasks, processes and metadata types in audiovisual media postproduction and distribution_x000D_- Model the workflow interactions between tasks and participants and write an interoperability specification, with communication protocols and exchange format definitions_x000D_- Analyse existing media specifications and compare them with JDF, defining the necessary modifications and extensions. _x000D_- Implement functioning workflow management and media formatting applications, to demonstrate and evaluate the interoperability and efficiency gains in real-world audiovisual tasks, showing how a number of commonly used tools can be made compliant._x000D_- Propose an industry specification and promote the results. _x000D__x000D_The Consortium comprises three research-performing SMEs (Dalim in Germany, Root 6 in the UK, Akamedia, France). Dalim has 25 years experience of creating workflow software for the print industry, and is a pioneer of JDF. Root6 is a specialist in video management and format conversion. Akamedia’s business is built on video distribution and trading.

Acronym ES Video (Reference Number: 5524)
Duration 01/09/2010 - 30/11/2012
Project Topic The ES-Video project will research and develop a metadata driven workflow management system that can control the efficient production and distribution of moving media. It will develop an open system, supported by published APIs, and a draft industry standard based on the principle of JDF.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 4

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Akamedia Partner France
3 Root6 Ltd. Partner United Kingdom
3 Dalim Software GmbH Coordinator Germany