Using Dailies Creator

This article assumes that you have admin access to a Dailies Server. If you don't, please ask for assistance from an existing admin, or if you're starting from scratch, register for a freelance Dailies Server account first.

Installing Dailies Creator

Dailies Creator runs on any Mac with OS X 10.10 or later. Download Creator from Dailies Server by logging in as an admin, click the top-right menu button, and then the Get Dailies Creator item.

Install Creator by unzipping the downloaded file, and dragging and dropping the Dailies Creator application to your Applications folder.

Opening a production

Start Dailies Creator. You will be presented with the following:

Dailies Creator needs to pair with an organization on Dailies Server to open productions. Initiate pairing in Dailies Server, enter the pairing code and server name that it provides in Creator's pairing dialog, and click Pair.

The left-hand side of the open dialog contains the organizations to which you have access. You can pair with additional organizations later by clicking the + button below the list.

Select an organization to see the available productions. If you connected successfully but can't see any productions, you should double check that your Mac has been added to the production itself.

Select a production and click Open to open it.

The main window

You'll see something like this:

At the top of the screen is the Status Bar. The Status Bar has one indicator for each stage of the workflow: Import, Transcoding and Distribution. Clicking on the Import button will import clips. Clicking the Transcoding or Distribution buttons will pause and un-pause the corresponding operation.

Below the Status Bar are four columns:

The left-most column is the Organizer. Selecting an item in the organizer narrows down the Shot list and Clip list correspondingly, except for All clips, which clears all filters. Dragging items into the Organizer adds them to the appropriate set (except All clips).

Column two is the Shot list. It shows all shots by default, or a filtered list if something is selected in the Organizer. By default, the list is sorted by shot number, but you can choose a different sorting in the drop-down list below. The plus and minus buttons below the shot list allow you to add and remove shots.

You can change a shot's date by using the date selector on the right, and the scene list can be edited directly by clicking and typing. No other fields are editable directly from this list.

Column three is the Clip list, which like the Shot list shows all clips/takes, or a subset thereof, based on what you've selected in the Organizer. Most fields are self-explanatory. Along with the take number, a thumbnail of the first frame of the clip is shown (if available). The Tags field lets you enter or change tags directly. Note, however, that editing an existing tag will leave the old tag unchanged and instead tag this clip with a new one. Edits that apply to a tag globally should therefore be made to the tag list in the Organizer. As the system allows free-form tags, it won't attempt to warn you if a tag entered here is doesn't match an existing one (for instance if it is misspelled).

The status indicator on the right is yellow in this screenshot, indicating that the clip is waiting for transcoding. The Status item in the Organizer contains a list of possible status codes:

Connected and Unconnected indicate whether the clip has been associated with a file. Transcoding means that you have started an import (see below) and the clip is in the process of being transcoded. Finished means that the clip has been transcoded. The Error status might occur if something goes wrong during transcoding. Drylab Dailies has no problem working with unconnected clips while you're waiting for files to show up.

At the extreme right are the clip preview window (top) and the clip information view (bottom). The preview is fairly self-explanatory and will only show up when a take is selected and the associated clip is available. You can play, pause, forward and rewind directly from the main window.

The clip information view will display all the information that has been associated with this clip by Set Report. These fields are non-editable and for reference only.

Importing clips

To import clips, click the Import button (or choose Import... from the file menu). You'll see a dialog like this:

If you don't want to re-transcode clips that are already in an iPad-compatible format, go to the Settings window (click the gear button on the top right of Creator's main window) and check the Don't transcode iPad-compatible files option. Dailies Creator will by default transcode all files. By checking this box, Dailies Creator will perform a simple check and exclude files that are already in a compatible format. Don't check the box if you're unsure, since the files you receive may be too large, or contain subtle incompatibilities which Dailies Creator is unable to check for. To be iPad compatible, files must:

  • have the M4V or MP4 file extension
  • use AAC audio
  • use H.264 video
  • have a resolution of 1920×1080 or lower
  • have a bitrate lower than 4 Mbit/s

Once you have selected the items and clicked Import clips, Creator will start importing. A progress bar will be displayed while it inspects the files:

If any files need transcoding, Dailies Creator will start doing this in the background. You are free to tag and edit data while transcoding is in progress, and you can keep an eye on the progress via the Status Bar.

Organizing clips

Once you have imported your clips, they are available for tagging and organizing. The first thing you should do after import is check the Orphan clips category. Any clips that were found but could not be matched to a take are displayed here. You can fix almost anything in Dailies Creator, but the only way to get consistently good data is to make sure the data is correct in the first place. Creator matches files with metadata based on filenames, so it's essential to keep an eye on them, especially in Set Report, if you use it.

As mentioned, clips can be organized by editing fields directly, or by dragging and dropping shots (onto e.g. scenes or days) and clips (onto e.g. shots, tags or rolls). Dragging and dropping is often faster, since it allows you to select multiple items at a time.

Distributing clips

Dailies Creator will distribute clips, thumbnails and metadata to authorized Viewers, either locally if they're on the same Wi-Fi network, or encrypted via Dailies Server if they're somewhere else. Dailies Creator will automatically start uploading the clips as soon as transcoding is done. Pausing distribution applies both to local transfers and uploading to Dailies Server.

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