Frame.io Releases Version 4

Today, Adobe’s Frame.io team released a major upgrade to their entire platform, we sat down with co-founder Emery Wells to explore the new functionality.

Frame.io is a cloud-based collaboration platform designed for video production teams, enabling them to seamlessly upload, review, and share video content. Launched in 2015, Frame.io sought to streamline the workflow of video editing and post-production by providing a central hub where team members and stakeholders could easily collaborate regardless of their location. The platform sold to Adobe in 2021 and today has 4 million users.  With version 4 the team seeks to move from primarily supporting their traditional post-production base into a much broader “creative operating system that supports every stage from production,” according to Wells.

This new approach to production collaboration aims to make Frame.io a valuable tool for filmmakers, editors, content creators, and a wide range of decision-makers. Over the years, Frame.io has gained significant recognition and adoption within the industry, becoming a standard for professionals and being used by 80% of Fortune 500 companies.

The next generation of Frame.io Version 4 was announced just ahead of NAB 2024 and will begin to roll out today in beta for Frame.io customers. It is planned to launch later this year for Team and Enterprise customers. Frame.io supports high-resolution footage and integrates with popular video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and will be available in Adobe Photoshop for Creative Cloud Enterprise customers beginning in May, with support for more Creative Cloud tools such as Illustrator and other customer segments coming later this year. Version 4 will eventually support a wide range of Media types including PDF documents, Word Documents, etc. This is significant as it allows you to move adjacent metadata and projection information into your one project location. “There is not one pixel of Version 4 from Version 3,” Emery Wells joked. “We looked at everything, and redesigned it for today – as if we were starting from scratch.”

There is a new panel system that allows users to orient their view and see much more of Frame.io’s capabilities on one screen. You can expand all panels for the experienced multitasking experience or collapse them for distraction-free focus for newer users. This is a major plus in the redesign. There is now a much-needed global upload sheet for larger facilities with multiple projects. There is also an easier system for clients to add comments with Comment Pins. This reflects the re-design team’s efforts to add features for both the high-end power users and also simplifying interactions for casual, less technical users.

The new version 4 has an extremely powerful and robust database, with great metadata and media capabilities, which is reflected in the new V4 Metadata Framework (see video below):

We spoke with Emery Wells yesterday about the new version and the plans for the product’s future. He confirmed that there is still no synchronised review capabilities that would allow clients and you to play the same material simultaneously for review purposes. Frame.io remains very much an asynchronous review tool. This is one of the only criticisms we have of the new version. One of the other issues that is interesting to contemplate is the boundary conditions for Frame.io. As Adobe and the team at Frame.io are moving further into production, they somewhat overlap with production management tools, which link content with, for example Nuke scripts. Frame.io does not provide scheduling capabilities, nor does it claim to, but production assets are now so interconnected with a workflow that it’ll be interesting to see how the dividing line of software applications develops over time between the more advanced production management tools and Frame.io’s extremely advanced content review and sharing tools.

One of the features that Emery showed us that caught our eye was the new Share Builder, which lets you fine-tune every element of your media presentation to reflect the image or story you want to tell. Sharing work-in-progress, final cuts, collections, and assets—can be formatted as reels or in grid views, sorted and then branded to your facility’s own look with a WYSIWYG editing panel that lets you choose a theme or create a custom display. The whole Frame.io presentation to your client looks professional and completely proprietary to your company.

It’s almost unusual these days to see total major redesign software releases, such as this, with the trend to much more progressive constant rollouts of innovations rather than a huge full redesign. Emery was at pains to point out that moving forward, Frame.io would be releasing much smaller constant iterations, improvements and variations – and that users wouldn’t need to wait again for such a major full overhaul and redesign but could rather expect many more smaller iterations and improvements.

Overall, the new version 4 is much more powerful and a welcome improvement to Adobe’s Frame.io platform.