Companion and Cover images

I have now just about finished of the work with companion image support. My latest update has now been send to testing. Most likely there will be bugs but I am pretty satisfied with the basic functionality.
So to summarize what you will be able to see in the upcoming Fast Video Cataloger 2 from my last couple of weeks work on companion images. When a video is indexed the program will automatically search for images associated with the video. Images named cover, font cover, etc will be set as cover art for the video. There is a new companion images window that you can arrange as you want in your layout. Companion images can be played as a slideshow or you can just click on the companion image you want to see.

Companion images is a new feature that kind of takes fast video cataloger closer to a general media manager but focus will also be in the future on video. The video is that start and from there you can set keywords, descriptions, actors and now also cover and companion images. So, what would you use companion images for except the obvious DVD/Bluray covers? I have a lot of ideas but would love to hear yours?

Fast video cataloger development

My name is Fredrik Lönn and I am the developer of Fast Video Cataloger. This is the first post in a series of post about the development of Fast Video Cataloger. You will be able to follow how the next version of Fast video cataloger is taking form.

If you are reading this I assume you have tested the program ( if you don’t know what I am talking about you head over to the web page and download the free trial version to test the program ( or you are probably on the wrong web page entirely).

So, assuming you know what Fast video cataloger is about…

One of the improvement in the next version of FVC will be support for adding companion images like covers to your videos. I have added a new companion image window that you can arrange (or turn off if you don’t care….) as you like. Whenever you select a video the companion image window will show a slideshow all companion images.


companion image window

Companion image window in fast video cataloger

I expect that one of the most common use of the companion images will be for setting cover images. So today I kind of changed the companion window to make it dual purpose. In the middle of the window there is a splitter so the top part of the window now shows the cover images and the bottom holds companion images. You can arrange the splitter as you like to either show both cover and companion images.

I could have made two different window for this. The advantage would obviously be that you can arrange them as you would. The disadvantage is that window borders take space, I think this will be a good tradeoff between functionality and screen space.


5 challenges that Film makers and IT project managers share

When I read the post by Jake Oelman at BarCode Films my mind went directly to Agile development within IT projects. All 5 challenges are a direct match. I apologize if some visitors see this mapping as “fuzzy” but I found it very interesting that film making projects face the identical challenges to IT projects. Most interestingly, they are also promoting similar solutions.

A directors view on filmmaking projects

  • 1. Every Take Is An Option

This is one of those things that most filmmakers take for granted.

  • 2. Double Your Prep Time

For a lot of filmmakers, not just first timers, doubling your prep time is essential.

  • 3. Edit While You Shoot

There’s a reason all the big movies do this.

  • 4. Stay in the NOW

There’s nothing a scene or your actors need more than a director who is present.

  • 5. Communication is King

Other than over-analyzing a scene or a shot, good communication is an enormous benefit.

IT projects and Agile development

  • 1. Appreciate the options as they appear

Even if a design and plan seems solid, there are always options that pop up during down the road that will add quality to the final result. Do it at the right cost. From the Agile Manifesto “Responding to change over following a plan”.

  • 2. Double Your Prep Time

Know what you are programming before you start, design it well, review the design, write test-cases before you start and make sure everybody knows and understands the whole picture..

  • 3. Test and verify While You program

This applies to the trend of taking small steps at the time, and always being able to test what you have built and see it is working AND if it is what your stakeholders and managers want.

  • 4. Stay in the NOW

It is here and now that a project becomes successful. Not in the excel sheet counting hours. IT might sound boring but with passion and the right attitude, the results can be exciting!

  • 5. Communication is King

There is a saying in Agile IT development that states “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”.

I am not a director so I can’t comment with own experience on the world of filmmaking but I have vast experience of IT projects and products and the challenges seem to be the same in my world as well.

I would happily discuss this topic further if someone is interested. Just tweet me.