LookAt is a new solution to one of the most frustrating pains of creating video and animation- collaborative teamwork on the video file, attaching comments and instructions, reviewing and receiving feedback on the images on the video’s timeline, and online storage of the video files in a convenient manner according to the project’s iterations.
Adios Text Heavy Email, Hello Sanity.
It is a simple solution to the current chaos review processes usually entail. Instead of a never ending ping-pong of links combined with numerous complex documents, LookAt presents an Invision-like web-based platform, that elegantly consolidates everything in one place.
It’s a breezy process: create a new project, upload the video (from your desktop, mobile or cloud service), invite the team and client to log on and comment, deliberate and reflect on the project, in an interface that is simple and self explanatory. Your team can discuss the video, pin comments and insights to specific elements within it, and upload new versions without derailing both productivity and creativity.
Easy Commenting + Swift Correcting.
The emphasis LookAt’s product team placed on the ease of commenting clearly shows. We can choose where the comment is placed on the video, write textual feedback, as well draw on the screen with a simple brush tool in order to mark problem areas, give simple motion directions etc.
Another nice feature is the groups, where we can divide the participants using roles or permissions. We can create a group for scriptwriters, photographers, post-production and sound people. Every group can discuss and deliberate internally, without burdening the other groups.
Groups – a small touch to avoid burdening every project participant with inner debates
Organize your versions.
When working on a motion design, a huge challenges is keeping track of the various versions and iterations, and making sure all changes and revisions have been implemented properly. LookAt enables us to upload different versions of the same video and switch between them by using a simple drop-down menu, so that we can examine the same segment across the versions. In addition, LookAt offers a split-screen option which plays two versions of the same video side-by-side, allowing us to test the changes while the video is in motion. For instance, this way we can examine color differences between the “red” our designer used, and the “red” the client asked for in the following iteration. We could also check for differences in between different versions of the victory-animation we produced in the UI work for a new game we’re designing.
Version comparison – allows a wide angle view of the project’s evolution
Comfort Level: Google Docs, Meet Slack.
Having used LookAt in several projects, we can definitely say that the improvement in review, sharing and feedback processes has reduced work-hours by a considerable margin. Everything streamlined nicely when we could dispense of the complex comment documents and simply pin a comment onto the actual video, and the specific element in it that required work.
What makes LookAt truly worthy of the hype is the combination between the advanced capabilities for commenting and deliberation, and the version comparison feature which makes the visual revision much, much easier.
Easily viewing LookAt in mobile was a feature we underestimated, only to find it incredibly important. In our case, we were extremely (and positively) surprised when we reviewed UI animation work for a game we designed, and could easily examine how the game would appear on a smartphone screen with no added fuss. Right after we uploaded a new version, all the project’s participants received an email notification and were one click away from viewing it on their mobile screen. Simple, and simply wonderful.
Another comfort enhancer, which shows that a new service can sometimes school its veterans, is the file organization level allowed by LookAt. Unlike Invision, they present an excellent filing interface – which allows users to set up project folders, and subfolders within them. Invision, take note – no more jumbled main screens.
Finally, LookAt have come up with a brilliant feature in their “Request File” option. Like Dropbox, they offer an option of sending a client a link for them to upload files, directly onto your account. What is the use of a collaborative, email-bypassing service if a client is still required to send the files through email or Dropbox? 10 points to LookAt for streamlining.
Pricing and Conditions? We Need No Omissions.
Pricing is a hurdle not many products manage to jump over. With LookAt, we found that their pricing is pretty attractive considering what they offer. A “Free” account will allow you to upload one video (with its many iterations and versions).
A “Pro” account offers a very attractive deal with endless video files for a monthly $25, which in our opinion is a real game changer. This is a very conservative price point, especially for those who will work with LookAt on a daily/weekly basis.
Price point – bang on.
Almost Next Level: Improvement Potential.
Mobile Interface – Not Quite There.
It’s a bit of a let down to log in to LookAt from your smartphone and be greeted with a broken interface. We know that LookAt is still young and hope they will grow out of this particular fault soon.
How Do I Share?
In the current interface, the option to share a file with other people isn’t intuitive at all. Why? Because LookAt, like Invision, uses the “Add Friend” button to add a collaborator (a project participant with the ability to remove and reorganize files). This unfortunate button choice costs us additional time in locating how to add project participants. Just like Banner Blindness, we ignore this button.
Locate the share button (hint: it’s not the arrow in the square on the top right)
One Frame At A Time, Please?
Reviewing video is an excruciating, meticulous work. It’s currently a bit too hard to “catch” a moment in order to examine or comment on it. LookAt unfortunately doesn’t allow to work through single frames back and forth as is the industry standard. Guys, we’re waiting for an update to fix this one!
Max File Size At Only 2GB?!
Ah well, this one is pretty reasonable. We’re done complaining.
LookAt: Sometimes Simple Does It Well.
LookAt presents an efficient, simple product which actually works excellently. Sometimes, you don’t need much more. We believe this application would benefit the work of all who deal with motion-related work: from video editors, sound techs, through to interactive designers that work and design a large number of screens and complex interaction scenarios.
Bottom line: LookAt exceeds the buildup – take it for a spin.