Video content knowledge base

Welcome to our Video Content Knowledge Base. Here you will find guidelines, tips and tricks for creating amazing content for personalisation with minimal hassle. If you miss anything, or just want to chat about possibilities or possible problems, don’t hesitate to call or mail!

Below you will find an AE-Demo file which will guide you through the basics, as well as a written documentation file which will go in-depth about what we would like to receive. We suggest starting with the AE file, or checking out all the video's on this page.

The delivery requirements pdf file below will provide a good summary to the various technical requirements.

At the bottom of this page you will find our most frequently asked questions, to solve common issues.

Technical documentation AE Demo project
Recap:

Want to recap information quickly, or looking for a specific part of the guide?

Click one of the chapters below to see the most important information in both text and video.


Chapter 1:

What is video personalisation?


In order to create the best possible personal video, it is first a good idea to get a basic understanding of what personal video actually is, and how we can create personal video. Have a look at the video to the right, to get a basic understanding of personal video and personalisation.





Chapter 2:

The basics


As a final delivery file, we will require an After Effects file with all the used assets and fonts, including a separate composition for the still or gif. This file must be compatible with our render farm, which is currently running AE CC12. This can mean that you will have to replace some modern effects and expressions. (See the FAQ on the bottom of this page for more info.)

Our systems are not compatible with plugins.

Keep compositions in the same size as the deliverable. This also goes for inserted compositions in tracking data, for example.

Use placeholders for personalised elements, like text or images. 

Keep your project organised.

See the video to the right for some extra information.





Chapter 3:

Keeping it light (for rendering)


With personal video, we may end up with thousands or hundreds of thousands individual video's for individual viewers. This means that we will have to render your project pretty much as many times as that. Even a slight increase in renderspeed can go a long way in the total rendering time when taking this into consideration.

This means that we will have to find a middle way in between providing the highest quality and the fastest render, and possibly adjust your workflow slightly.
(This only applies to the personalised parts)

For example, avoid using camera's and lights in your personalised AE scenes, as they have a massive impact on renderspeed, and can often be avoided.

Try to avoid using alpha footage if it is not absolutely required. Using alpha footage as a matte/mask for example, can easily be avoided, either by using an actual mask.

Always consider if the effect you are applying can be achieved with a lighter effect - like using a simple brightness adjustment instead of lumetri color.

Use common sense. Don't put the same effect on the same subject multiple times. If you are applying a blur or any other effect, don't add the same effect to a pre-comp of the already blurred object. Just increase the blur on one of the layers instead of making AE calculate blurs twice.





Chapter 4:

Tracking


Tracking can be achieved in many different ways, but keep in mind several things before you start tracking.

Your method must my compatible with the version of AE our renderfarm is currently running.

Our renderfarm does not support the use of 3rd party plugins, so please refrain from using them.

We prefer using Mocha and it's exported corner pin data. This method also enabled you to easily extract shape data for masks, and apply feathers on those masks. This is the lightest method of tracking and masking, and is relatively easy to achieve. Please consider using this method.





Chapter 5:

Modular scenes


Modular scenes are different variants of the same scene, which can be either shown or hidden based on parameters. For example, if we know someone's hobby is fishing, we can show him a scene about fishing instead of monster trucks.

We achieve this simply by creating a pre-composition for each alternative scene. Make sure the pre-comp is exactly as long as the final desired length.

Place the interchangeable pre-comps above each other in the AE master timeline, so we can easilly enable or disable one of the layers while the video still appears somewhat normal.

Continue with the next scene after the longest modular scene.





Chapter 6:

Summary


  1. Visualise your project
    Which parts are personalised, modular or static?
  2. Check compatibility
    Check out whether your workflow is compatible with the version of AE our renderfarm is running.
  3. Make sure all comps are in the same size/framerate - even the ones in tracking.
  4. Create your chronological master comp where all scenes are shown chronologically.
  5. Keep things organised. Use bins and a logical composition structure so that we can see what's going on.
  6. Use placeholders for personalised texts and images. Style them exactly the way you want the final product to look, but in the case of images apply all effects and animations on a pre-comp of the image in the resolution the inserted material will be.
  7. Keep effects light. Make sure rendering times are optimised by using the lightest possible effects for the goal you are trying to achieve.
  8. Track using compatible methods, preferably Mocha.
  9. Keep masking simple. Try to avoid using alpha footage to serve as a matte when a simple mask could be applied.
  10. Stack modular scenes in the master timeline at the desired place in time and with their final length.
  11. Reduce and collect your project.
  12. Bundle your project with its assets and fonts and send it to us.
  13. Did you create a GIF or a still? If not, have a look at the FAQ below.
  14. You are done!

FAQ