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The new Lightbox player is an enhanced version of the current Overlay / Web player, allowing it to perform faster and more efficiently. It enables quick playback of versions directly from the ftrack Studio UI without launching a review session.

In addition to the previous version, it comes with added features. For example, in the Lightbox player, you can pause and annotate or add new notes directly from the player, and this will also be saved in ftrack.

See the Lightbox player in action.

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Current limitations

Although the new Lightbox player is already a fully functional tool, and we encourage you to use it for your daily production, it still comes with a few limitations that we would like you to be aware of.

  • The new Lightbox player takes a few more seconds to load, making it slightly less instant than our previous player.

  • The playback of videos is not instant, and you need to also click the Play button.

  • The annotations made without adding a note are not transferred (but they will get saved).

  • Playlist management features are unavailable. To use more profound review functionalities, you must create a Client review session.

  • It doesn't have the Ghosting feature.


How to use the Lightbox player

The beta Lightbox player (New web player) feature can be activated now for all ftrack Studio sites by an Admin, or user role with Global permissions access to Manage settings.

While in the testing phase, the beta Lightbox player, like all the other experimental features, can be found and enabled from the System Settings > Advanced > Experimental menu by ensuring that the New web player checkbox is toggled on.

Enabling the New web player from the Experimental settings does unlock the feature, but before you can fully use it, you must also set it as the Preferred player of the site and your personal ftrack account.


Setting the Preferred media player for the entire site

The Preferred player under the System settings is a global setting that affects the whole workspace, determining which media player is activated.

1. Go to the System Settings > Review & player > Settings

2. Open the Preferred player menu, and choose New web player (beta).

When enabled, it should appear as an additional option in the interface together with the existing web Player.

3. Click Save.


Setting the Preferred media player for an individual account

The global Preferred player can be overwritten by individual users under My account settings. To ensure that your default media player is the one you want to use, make sure to also enable it for your personal account.

1. Go to your Account settings > Player.

2. Open the Preferred player menu, and choose New web player (beta).

3. Click Save.

Please note: After enabling the New web player (beta) feature from the System settings, the feature is not automatically activated, and to be able to fully use it, make sure that all the above-mentioned settings are enabled.


Opening the Preferred player

There are three different ways to open the Preferred player:

1. From the version thumbnail.

Hover over the version thumbnail and click the play icon.

2. From the right-click menu of the version.

Right-click on the version(s), opening a new drop-down menu, and select Play.

3. From the sidebar.

Navigate to the Components menu of the sidebar of the version and click the Play button.

Tip: For the playback, you can also select multiple versions, enabling you to move between them, compare with another, etc.

Opening the new Lightbox player, you will still remain on your ftrack site, and you are not navigating away or starting a separate tab, but it opens for you a new and improved interface with many new features that it did not have before.

Please note: The design, UX, and features for the Lightbox player / New web player are very similar to the ones recently introduced to ftrack Review and for the New client review player (beta).

Image: Example of a Lightbox player interface.

Tip: To close the Lightbox player, simply click the cross icon in the upper-right corner of the players’ interface.


The new Lightbox player interface

The updated web player interface has three main sections:

A - The player - Is located in the center and takes up most of the interface.

B - The toolbar section (and the horizontal Playlist) - Is located below the player.

C - The vertical sidebar - in the right-hand of the interface and has three sections:

  • Feedback bar

  • Asset information menu

There you can find the basic information about the version you are currently on

  • The vertical Playlist.


Media playback

To Play or Pause your media you can use the on-screen control button that is located in the upper-left corner of the toolbar.

At the toolbar, there is also the timeline, which enables you to jump directly to the part of the version you want to play with a single click.

Tip: To control if the video clip is played once or if it loops, you can enable or disable the Loop button. You can also focus on specific sections of your media using in-and-out loop points. Press I and O to set your loop points quickly, and your video will cycle through those timecode locations. Press C to clear the selection


Media Playback options

By Toggling the media Playback options button, you can choose how you want your versions to be played.

A - The playback Speed dropdown menu allows you to set the rate and choose the speed of your media, including while it’s playing. It’s a valuable function for auditioning speed changes, especially in animation.

B - By changing the sequence Playback, you can change how videos are played. Rather than playing each file in your playlist individually, you can also choose to play some - or all of them - in the same timeline.

  • Play one - Only one video clip will be played.

  • Play All - will assemble all the clips in playlist order (you can adjust the playlist order using the vertical playlist).

  • Play selection - will allow you to choose which clips you want in the sequence.

C - Uploading files to ftrack generates multiple proxies so that you can review your media in as high a resolution as possible. Under the Resolution menu, you can choose between different media resolutions.


Full-width screen

If you want a full-width screen experience, you can use the Full-screen button on the right of the toolbar that enables the Full-screen mode. (to exit, press Esc)

Tip: We also added a new Hide sidebar button to the toolbar that allows the sidebar to be collapsible and increases the available player area and the media window.


Volume control

To control the volume of the media, you can use the volume control option in the lower-right corner of the toolbar menu. You can increase / decrease the sound or mute to volume.


Playlist

In the Lightbox player, there are two places where you can find and access the Playlist:

1. The horizontal Playlist is located below the toolbar, at the bottom of the Lightbox player interface.

To access the chosen version (video, image, or PDF), click on the selected thumbnail from the list.

2. The vertical Playlist is the third section of the vertical sidebar.

This playlist is more complex than the horizontal one (though they both carry the same assets). It enables you to re-order the versions (by simply dragging and dropping the clips), set your preferred grouping, and add new versions.

To access the chosen version (video, image, or PDF), click on the selected thumbnail from the list.

Tip: Any change or update in one of these playlists will also automatically reflect in the other one.


Grouping Versions

From the vertical playlist, you can group the versions. You can choose between no grouping, displaying all assets as a flat list, or to group-related versions.

To group, open the drop-down menu above the version list and click the option you prefer.


Adding Versions

By clicking the +ADD VERSIONS button at the bottom of the vertical playlist menu, you can add a new version to the player.

Select the version, click SAVE CHANGES, and the chosen asset will appear in the playlist.


3dot menu

Every version in the vertical Playlist has a 3dot menu that enables you to view the version in ftrack Studio, remove the version from the playlist, or add to it a related version to compare.

You can find the menu in the right-hand of each version, and open it with a single click.

Once the menu is open, hover over the action you want to take, and click.


Annotations

In the Lightbox, the annotations are not saved automatically, and to record them, you need to post them as part of a note. The drawing tools are enabled by default and displayed in the toolbar area in the lower center of the player interface, from where you can access all the Annotation tools, change your Drawing color or Brush size and Clear the annotations.


Annotation tools

To access the Annotation tools, click the purple annotation icon, opening a drop-down menu. By default, the Annotation tool is set to Brush, but you have a list of other tools to choose from.

List of the Annotation tools:

  • Brush - Enables free-hand drawing / annotations.

  • Arrow - Typically used to indicate the direction or highlight elements.

  • Circle - Enables drawing circles of various sizes.

  • Square - Enables drawing rectangular or square shapes.

  • Eraser - Enables removing parts of the active layer or selection of annotations.

  • Laser - Enables highlighting parts of the image without saving the annotation.

  • Zoom - Enables magnifying a selected part of the image.

  • Pan - Enables moving the view of images that are zoomed in.

To change the Annotation tool, click the preferred option.


Zoom controls

When using the zoom tool, it will be displayed among other Annotation tools in the lower center of the player interface.

You can use the + / - buttons to zoom in or out and the reset button to return to 100%. Holding down the shift key, you can move around the version and specify the area you would like to zoom in.

The zoom tool is available at all times, regardless of what drawing tool you have selected - you can still zoom using your mouse wheel or by using the zoom gesture on your trackpad. The same zoom controls will appear and remain while zoomed in but will disappear once the zoom is reset back to 100%.


Drawing color and Brush size

With the Drawing color and Brush size tools, you can customize your annotations.

To access it, click one of the icons that enables you to set your preferences.

The Drawing color enables you to choose the color of your annotation tools (Including the laser tool)

The Brush size enables you to choose the line size of the tool you are using. You can select between seven different line sizes. (The size of the laser tool cannot be changed)


Clearing annotations

You can remove annotations at any time using the Clear annotations button.

Clearing annotations will not remove any previously attached annotations on existing notes, and they will remain captured with the feedback.

If you post an annotation with a note, the note will be created along with an attached frame showing the drawing. If you then use the Clear annotations button to clear that frame, the drawing will disappear, but the frame will remain with the note, and the attached frame will still show the drawing. So all notes will always capture the state of the frame at the point of posting, regardless of what happens afterward.


Flip and Flop

The Flip and Flop features allow you to Flip and Flop media, invert mirror images or videos and compare them in Compare mode. You can activate them from the toolbar buttons that you can find in the lower center of the player interface.

With the button on the left, you can flip the media vertically, while using the button on the right, you can flop the media horizontally. Once the tool is activated - the indicator icons will remain lit and purple till the tool is deactivated. (In the picture below, both of the tools are activated.)


Compare mode

In the Lightbox player, any asset that has more than one version can be opened in the Compare mode. It enables a quick side-by-side comparison of two different versions of media. You can compare any versions within a group.

To do so, go to the vertical Playlist tab, choose the Group by asset, and select the asset you would like to compare.

Once this is done, click the Compare button on the toolbar.

The Compare mode interface opens in the horizontal playlist area - letting you choose between Overlay or Side by Side compare modes:

  • In Side by Side mode, the two files are tiled next to each other and can be played together. If in Sync with other participants, they will also see the same two files in Side by Side mode.

  • In Overlay mode, the two files are laid on top of each other, with an opacity slider that allows you to toggle between the two files. The overlay mode is excellent for seeing minor differences, especially during playback.

You can dismiss Compare Mode by clicking the X to the right of the compare mode controls or choosing another clip in the playlist.


Feedback section

The feedback section has now been moved into the redesigned Feedback tab in the sidebar, which aligns all the feedback elements into one section. You will find all of your annotated frames with each note, and any attachments - simply expand the note to see all of your associated images.

To submit new feedback, you can click the Post button in the lower-right of the note section or click enter on the keyboard, allowing you much faster notes entry.

From the Feedback section, you can now also choose how to see the notes. You can view them per frame or by Date. In the Frame mode, it’s easy to see which frames have notes and which don’t, while in the Date mode, you’ll see the latest feedback first.

We’ve also added a little indicator to show every time your notes are saved, so everyone can be confident that the session is saving regularly. Every time you post a note, we are now capturing the media window and attaching it to the note, so you’ll see an exact record of any drawings made at the time of the note.

Tip: We’ve added new colored timeline pips to let you see the most recent feedback at a glance. For comments under 3 hours old, the markers are red, orange for those under 24 hours, and yellow for older ones.

  • In the Lightbox player, these pips currently only show draft notes, not posted ones.


Keyboard shortcuts

The Lightbox player comes with several series of one or several keys to quickly perform a preprogrammed action.

To see the different keyboard shortcut options, click the keyboard shortcut button in the lower-right corner of the toolbar.

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