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A Year in Review: Looking at Our Top 10 Product Highlights of 2021

From all of us here at Creative Force to all of you talented people out there, we wish you a happy new year.

It's easy to forget where we were 12 months ago-a lot has happened. I can't think of a more joyful way to spend my time than reading through our release notes for the year.

So here it is, the top 10 feature releases of 2021!

For even more from Tejs on his 2021 highlights as well as a conversation about the growth of the platform last year and what 2022 may hold for the product and the Creative Force team, listen to his just-released conversation with Daniel Jester on the Creative Operations Podcast.

10. SSO

Adding support for Single Sign-On has been on the wishlist for a long time. It makes the lives of IT pros easier as they can create and remove Creative Force users from one centralized system. Significant enough to make the 10th place on this year's list (with some help from the snazzy animation 😎 ). SSO launched in Sprint 92.

sprint-92-1

9. New Property Types: Date / Date Time

A good place to start, when you want to ensure accurate data, is to make sure you work with correct data types - you know, numbers, text, dates, and so on. Creative Force was initially built with text properties as the only type and while it's easy enough for humans to read and compare a date in text, a computer program will most likely mess it up when converting between complicated stuff like time zones and locales. I'm probably getting too much into the weeds there, so let me wrap this up. In sprint 88 we added the functionality to create custom properties of the date and date/time type. Enabling accurate data and date-based conditions. 🤓

sprint-88-1@2x

8. Conditional Production Types

Finally, we're getting to some of the juicy stuff! Conditional Production types is a powerful function that can help you handle complexity like:

“.. Hey! Don't forget that when we shoot bags for Pronto, we have to do a top shot!
Ehh.. sure thing, boss. I'll remember that ..”

In Creative Force, just add a production type to your workflow for the top shot and make it conditional based on category and brand. The feature was launched as part of sprint 81.

sprint-81-5

 

7 . Bulk QC

Let's just talk about batching for a moment, so that we can understand where it differs from bulk (operations). Batching is traditionally something done in productions, to make complex tasks more doable. The complexity comes in many shapes and sizes; moving smaller sets of files is inefficient, tracking progress is hard at the product level, shoot requirements differ, post requirements differ, and the list goes on. The normal reaction to these challenges is to accept them but make each task easier by batching up. The downside is that your production no longer flows freely and you have built in so many constraints that you lose flexibility and productivity goes down (A LOT!). You could call Creative Force an anti-complexity tool. As it handles all these tasks without the need for batching (Yes, computers love to do the same task 2000 times a day). With all these external factors out of the way, you can work with your production the right way - in a continuous flow.

So where do bulk operations come in? Bulk just means that you can execute multiple tasks in one operation. With the launch of Bulk QC in sprint 89, we made it possible to QC a high number of individual tasks in a single view and very few clicks. Without batching anything or compromising on the flow in production.

sprint-89-2@2x

6. Custom Production Types

We don't always get it right. People have been tweaking our production types since day one and it has been a long-standing wish to make something more flexible. In sprint 91 we launched the ability to create additional custom production types.

sprint-91-1
 

5. Cropping & Rotation

Cropping & Rotation was released in sprint 68 and was immediately a massive timesaver with the ability to crop and rotate in the web interface without a need to download the files. Furthermore, we made something called Reversible Crop, where crops made in Capture 1 could be fully adjusted later in the process - no lost pixels! 🪄

sprint-68-1

 

4. Academy

Not really a product feature, but still strong enough to place number 4 on this year's list!

With Academy, we were able to train and award certificates to nearly 300 users in 2021. We now have more than 400 users taking advantage of the content we offer across 16 different courses for various user roles. Not only that, more than 96% of Academy users say they'd recommend the courses they've completed. Stay tuned for a lot more Academy content to come in 2022!

 

3. Conditional Metadata

I feel a bit ambivalent about metadata and the way it's sometimes (over)used; It's not a good database, has no security, and has rather limited functionality and support. That being said, there are some original intentions with EXIF and XMP that make a lot of sense and many downstream systems (DAM) use metadata for tagging, usage rights, capture date, etc.

In Creative Force we enrich throughout the process to help post-production vendors and then again right before asset delivery to ensure 100% accurate data in the files we deliver. With the conditional metadata concept launched in sprint 78, you get additional control of asset metadata by leveraging a logic engine that works with ingested product data, captured team and talent information, and general production data - it's oh-so powerful. This is without a doubt, the best metadata engine you can get.

sprint-78-1@2x

2. Capture ONE Integration

I love this one. Our runner-up for 2021 is the Capture ONE Integration, which was launched in sprint 72. We really connected the capture process with this upgrade. Next capture naming, reversible crop, and Back-up Assistant. Check out Daniel's video below for highlights!

 

1. Editorial Projects

Maybe not a surprise to anyone, but this year's top release is our Editorial Projects Module.

Launching Editorial in sprint 85, marked the beginning of what we believe will become the best tool in the business for marketing-driven content production. These production projects are often much more chaotic and require more freedom and flexibility in the software. There are already a ton of feature requests for additions but rest assured, we're just getting started!

What is 2022 going to be like?

Well, we will be doubling our development team in 2022 (we should hit 80 full-time devs before 2023). This will enable us to improve our existing feature set and really get to the bottom of some of the great ideas we have received from our users. We will also be launching video support, copywriting, and planning amongst a lot of other things! We are truly just getting started!

Have a great 2022!

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