Everything In Its Right Place

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Spash
Anders Stjerne Nielsen

By Anders Stjerne Nielsen

Content Manager at Craft

Personal story

The start of it all

It was little over a year ago now that I first sat foot in the Craft office. A humble, but stylish room located on the top floor of an old building in the heart of Copenhagen. Built in 1854, it had previously served as nothing less than both the Danish Navy’s Recruit Facility and later a girls school. Now though, the building houses many different firms, among these the newly started Craft. As I entered the office, there stood my two new colleagues, Emil and Frederik, the founders of Craft. I knew them both well though, as they had been friends of mine for close to ten years (not going to lie, there was probably a little bit of nepotism involved in my hiring), but hey – they needed someone who could work for close to no pay and I was that guy.

I was given a brief run-down about Craft and what they had build of the site at that time and then was given free reins to start sorting the material we already had. It was a bit daunting at first, because it turns out creating an animated film, like ‘Song of the Sea’ for example, creates tons of files and it was now my job to get an overview of everything, get it sorted, renamed, resized, uploaded and put into pages on the site.

Folder structures and content managing screenshots

Song Of The Sea
Old Fangs
Song Of The Sea
Song Of The Sea

The rundown

Today, a year later, I have it down to a science – almost. There are still challenges of course as each project is different and both what we receive and how we receive material from the creators vary a lot. Most of the time it’s transferred digitally via Google Drive or other similar methods, but in a few cases we get a physical drive sent to us. The quantity we receive also varies depending on the project. A feature film like Song of the Sea consisted of close to 100.000 files, whilst other projects that are still in development, like Ernest and Célestine, The Collection came in small batches of 150-200 files. The type of files I receive depends on the content. Concepts, designs and backgrounds are mostly images as JPEGS or PSDs, animation come as rendered videos or as Flash or TVPaint files and scripts are of course documents.

The way I then sort all of this material is as follows:

  • The first thing I do is look everything over, get an overview of how much we’ve gotten, not just in terms of bytes but also how much there is for each craft.
  • Then I start roughly sorting everything into crafts, concept art, backgrounds, animation and so forth. Depending on how well the project is sorted beforehand this step can take an hour or a day.
  • When all the material has been sorted by craft I start going through them one by one, cleaning up. This entails deleting duplicates, dividing material into categories such as sequence or stage.
  • As our gallery on the site isn’t too fond of PSDs, especially high resolution ones, I also convert all of these into JPEGS and resize them if necessary. We always save the originals of course as these can get put in our shop for sale.

When I’ve done this with all the material from the project, it is in essence ready to be put on the site. Images get put into galleries which can be embedded in the page code and videos get uploaded on vimeo so they are ready to be embedded as well. I generally wait with uploading the content until I need it so I don’t have to search through everything to find it.

From here it’s just creating pages and setting up the content so it’s easy and enjoyable to view for our users. The time it takes from start to finish is hard to bog down to a single number, but generally a feature film takes a few days and a short film takes a day or so. Though this is time consuming and hard work, it makes it all worth it when you see great feedback from users who are enjoying the site and I consider it a huge bonus that I get to see all of this amazing stuff up close. I also enjoy seeing Craft grow with each update and project that goes live, and only hope to be able to bring lots of great material to Craft in the future.

Moving on up

Lately, my role in the company has grown a bit, as I’m beginning to handle more and more of the contact between us and the content creators, finding new projects for the site and, as evident, writing blog posts. Though I like the challenge of curating the content, it was good to increase the areas of my responsibilities a bit. It’s never a bad thing to have a plethora of tasks you can switch between to make sure you don’t get bogged down in the same old routine.