This release is focused on maximizing the real workflows of today’s busy, forward-thinking creative professionals. Updates and enhancements include expanded support for video files with online playback, image watermarking capabilities across all sent communications, and redesigned outgoing email communications for clear, well-organized messaging to recipients. We’ve also added a new feature called Share Links to complement our Bookmarking tool and facilitate better user-to-user collaboration within the app. All together, these enhancements bring a much wider range of assets into the DF Studio environment and make for a noticeably more intuitive, versatile, and collaborative DF Studio experience.
2. Enhanced Video File Support and Playback
We’re excited to introduce an integrated video player as part of this latest update. Uploaded video files are now transcoded to provide an optimal viewing experience across all browsers. Video files can be played in Quick Look mode, Messengers, and the 1-Up view. During playback, the viewer will be presented video controls such as pause/play/rewind, timeline, volume adjustment and full screen mode.
Video metadata is also available in DF Studio. For easy reference, the duration, encoding, frame rate, and size of the selected video file can be seen in the Asset Inspector. More detailed video metadata can be found in the “full metadata” section of the metadata panel.
Video files can be included in any Project and integrate seamlessly across all of DF Studio. This means that you can send videos as part of any Messenger or Portfolio, use them in Collections, and edit their custom metadata fields. There are no extra steps or actions required to send videos; simply select all assets you wish to include and launch the Messenger Wizard as usual.
In most creative production businesses, the importance of safeguarding content cannot be overstated; DF Studio strives to provide effective security without inhibiting the viewing, collaboration or communication processes. Our new additions to watermarking tools provide flexible and convenient options to help prevent the unauthorized use of images.
Watermarking can now be used whenever you send files from DF Studio, through any type of Messenger or Portfolio, without the painful and time consuming effort of manually watermarking images on your desktop. Our customizable watermarking tool set allows for a precise level of control over the mark’s appearance, size, placement, and opacity — all conveniently built into DF Studio’s Messenger Wizard interface. For added security, Messenger senders can choose to use each recipient’s email address as the image watermark: this prevents and tracks any unauthorized forwarding or sharing of assets in a very personalized way. Alternatively, the standard account logo can also be used as a watermark for easy visual identification.
A new “Watermark” box in the settings panel will be available to check. Senders can use the new “Configure” settings to set and preview the watermark for this Messenger. Users can select which type of watermark to use, set its position using the placement grid, and select the opacity and scale using sliders. Account administrators can control the master account watermark image via the settings panel. Using the recipient’s email address as a watermark does not require uploading an image.
The Messenger Wizard remembers settings of the last sent watermark for each individual User, so the feature is ready for easy use in large volume workflows that require sending multiple Messengers.
4. Outgoing Communications E-mail Redesign
DF Studio generates and sends emails containing important updates and account information, such as browser verification codes, Messenger notifications, and new Assignments. In this release, we’ve made significant improvements to both the functionality and aesthetics of these emails. The emails have been redesigned to present crucial information in a more readable, clear, and easily identifiable way. They’re also optimized for search within email clients, so you can quickly find the precise email message you need.
For easy reference, messages with a blue border and button contain invitations for the recipient to collaborate with the sender, either through a Messenger, Portfolio, or Assignment. Messages with green borders and buttons help with account access; while emails with red borders and buttons are time-sensitive and require prompt attention.
5. Share Links
Share Links are copyable references to Projects, Collections, Folders, and Assets. Available wherever bookmarks are in DF Studio, Share Links can be invoked from the right-hand Inspector panel: simply click the “Share Link” button to view and then copy your location share link to your clipboard, which you can then send to other Users in your DF Studio account via email or text message; or by posting the link into a project management application. At the right side of the “Share Link” button is a clipboard copy icon, which allows you to directly copy the Share Link to your clipboard in a single click.
Share Links can be accessed by other Users in your account and adhere to DF Studio’s permissions models. They do not grant access to the shared item: only Users with viewing permissions enabled for an item may view it using a Share Link.
6. Messenger Enhancements
All Messengers have been updated with improved navigation and easier access to key asset information. As part of these improvements, all assets in a Messenger have been streamlined to appear as cards in both the Thumb Grid and Single views. Select buttons, navigation, and the filmstrip in the Single view have each been updated to improve the Messenger experience.
Comments and Captions, whenever they are available, are now accessible from the Thumb Grid as well as the Single view. This allows for faster and more streamlined access to captions and comments; when browsing in the Thumb Grid, recipients may view this information and provide feedback without switching their viewing mode.
Delivering original file downloads has also been improved in Messengers. Whenever downloading “Originals” is enabled in the Custom or Download Messenger templates, a checklist containing the various file types available is displayed. Senders may choose which file types will be available for download by the Messenger recipient.
7. UI Improvements
In keeping with the design of the Metadata Messenger, there are major enhancements to the look and feel of the main interface. Throughout DF Studio, thumbnails have been streamlined to appear as cards with the following features:
- Asset Markers:
For easy reference, in Thumb Grid view, non-image files may now display an asset marker in the lower right-hand corner of the thumbnail. These asset markers are meant to help quickly identify the category of asset in the system.
- Quick Look:
Hovering over the lower right corner exposes a context appropriate Quick Look icon (a magnifying glass for images or play button for videos) that can be clicked to trigger the Quick Look for that asset. Images will be given a larger view and videos will be auto-played.
- Messengers: Hovering over the lower right corner exposes a context appropriate Single view access icon that can be clicked to trigger the Single View and to auto-play videos.
- Filmstrip: Asset icons are meant just for visual reference; there is no hover action.
We’ve added support to be able to bookmark assets directly on the asset card as well as through the “Project” and “Asset” Inspector tabs.
- Improved PSD Support:
As developers of software for top creative professionals, we understand the necessity of supporting PSD files and generating superlative previews. We have made improvements in this release so that Users working with PSD files can better utilize all the features DF Studio has to offer.
- Expanded RAW File Support:
We’ve added better support for processing more types of RAW files from some of the most in-demand camera makers.
- New Contacts functionality:
Removing a contact from a contact group is now easier and can be done directly in the contacts group interface.
8. Other New Developments
- Project Upload keys now feature an easy “Copy to Clipboard” option.
When using keyboard shortcuts to edit assets in a Messenger, the asset selected for editing now automatically advances.
- Improved the process of adding logos to the Branding and Watermarks Account Settings by implementing drag-and-drop uploading. The “Sample Watermark Options” preview tool is also accessible from this settings menu.
- Video transcoding activity and a progress bar for each task are now visible in the Activity page.
- In certain Inspector views, changed the tab to read “Asset” instead of “Image” or “File” for a better representation of the underlying type.
- Password reset requests now expire after 3 hours.
- Improved password hashing for heightened password protection.
- Added a breakdown of Active Storage for each sub-account for Enterprise clients with multiple sub-branded accounts.
9. Bug Fixes
- Searching Messengers by recipient now properly generates search results.
- Searching Messengers by sender now generates the correct results.
- Removed the .ICS calendar attachment from the New Assignment email notification, which caused Outlook Users not to receive Assignment related emails.
- Fixed a UI issue in Messengers that caused rows of thumbnail previews to align improperly.
- Resolved an issue that occurred when the last item in a row was selected, and caused displacement of the following row.
- In Files view, clicking on a file name now starts a single file download.
- Fixed the message that appears after clicking the “Delete” link to remove a contact from the Contacts page.
- Messenger previews can now be viewed in a new tab in addition to a new window.
- Fixed an issue that caused metadata in the badged field to display incorrectly.
- Fixed a bug in the Messenger preview feature that displayed all assets in the source Project or Collection instead of only those included in the Messenger.
- Fixed a bug that would not allow creating a new Collection from assets in a Project if there were no other Collections in the User’s Library.
- Fixed a bug that produced unwanted visual effects when hovering over assets in Download Messengers.
- Fixed an issue where, in some cases, a Messenger preview would begin on the third page.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the down arrow key from scrolling down the page in the thumb grid perspective.
- Fixed a bug that triggered an error when clicking an item in the Recent items panel immediately after logging in.
For more information on features in this update, please contact a DF Studio support team member. As always, DF Studio will be happy to provide your organization with further recommendations, support, or training for this release.