Ask the Board – July 1, 2019 | BEN KALUSKI

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“What tools/programs are you currently using for content development?”


Freshwater Digital is a full turnkey digital signage provider. We provide everything from initial consultation to hardware and installation. We focus our digital signage strategies around high quality content, which ranges in ways that we create and manage. Having said that, we have a few categories of content that all get developed and managed in their own way. The categories include: video production, motion graphics, and development.

Video Production

Coming from the world of video production, content creation comes in stages: Pre-production, production, and post-production.

Production

For production, we use a variety of cameras, lights, microphones, audio recorders, and other support tools. Lighting is arguable the most important element of custom film production. Not all light is created equal in terms of quality. We love diffused light that has consistent output and color. The best tool for that is the sun. When that’s not an option, production lighting and light modifiers help us blanket our surroundings with controlled lighting that we then capture with cameras. From full frame DSLRs to tricked- out RED brand equipment, or even super high-speed Phantom cameras, we record our world to view in retrospect again and again.

Tools

  • Natural light – Sun
  • Camera – Ranging from DSLRs to 4K Phantom slow-motion cameras.
  • Production Lights – Versatile high-quality, high-output, LED production lighting
  • Microphone – Unidirectional microphone that reduces background noise for multiple applications
  • Studio – We have an in-house, custom-designed studio

Editing & Motion Graphics

Like most of the professional creative industry, our team relies on Adobe Creative Suite for editing our captured content and graphic design. Our firm does a ton of 2D motion graphics work, so the most heavily utilized program is After Effects. Certain designers prefer certain Adobe programs, but that is more on a per person, per project basis depending on the content needs. For video editing, we use Premiere and Audition for sound design. Finally, our 3D motion graphics designer uses various programs such as Blender for both photorealistic and 3D applications.

Custom Development / Dynamic Content

Freshwater builds dynamic digital signage content. Often, that is in the form of HTML templates that pull in data from various APIs using JavaScript, and are styled with CSS along with motion graphics embedded from our creative team. We use a variety of development environments, including Sublime Text and Visual Studio code, to build our content. Freshwater has built a proprietary build process that packages up templates for various content management systems automatically, which allows us to be agnostic as to where our content plays.

CMS Content Creators

Some CMSs have robust content development options, including HTML5 integrations. These are also valuable tools in content development/management. Software is improving where even certain interfaces appear similar to Adobe and are created with UI/UX design in mind.

Overall, Freshwater is hardware and software agnostic. This not only allows us to be flexible but naturally progresses into using a wide variety of software to produce, develop, and integrate high-quality content for digital signage.

About Author

Account Manager
Freshwater Digital

FORMER MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
Content Council

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