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Screenlight - Prerelease Feedback for Your Animations and Videos Before Public Release

Screenlight. An app for collecting feedback on video projects.

One way to give your animated productions the best chance of success is to prescreen them with a test audience before you release them publicly online or send them off to a festival etc. Big, Hollywood studios do this all the time so they can make changes that will hopefully give their movies a better chance for success, so why shouldn't you?

While it may not be practical to gather an audience together, and have them sign a bunch of non disclosure agreements, for your 2-3 minute animated production, Screenlight is a free (with paid options for additional features), convenient, online app, that's a great alternative.

Screenlight is actually intended to be a group productivity tool for gaining client feedback on every step of a video production but the 'free forever,'  single user, one project,basic account, is an ideal feedback tool for small, independent productions and hobby animators.

Simply upload your video(s) (up to 1 Gigabyte) to your Screenlight Project, share the link with anyone you choose, and they will not only be able to view your production but will also be able to leave time coded comments and draw annotations right onto the video itself.

Screenlight Interface. Comments are timecoded and annotations can be drawn right on the video.
Screenlight Interface. Comments are timecoded
and annotations can be drawn right on the video.

Shared links can be password protected, limited to commenting only, viewing others comments, and downloading files. You can also add an expiry date to a link's functionality. Free accounts have an unlimited number of reviewers (who do not need an account themselves to give you feedback).

Feedback is stored with the video so you can see exactly what each comment refers to. You also get email notifications of when comments have been received.

The service is not limited to video. You can also upload audio and image files for feedback. I tried uploading a PDF file and, while I got a message saying they weren't supported at this time, you could still download the file with reviewers having the ability to leave comments on the download page. I'd definitely love to see support for PDF files (perhaps convert each page to an image file or video slideshow?) as it's a common format for support documentation.

Screenlight is device independent, meaning your reviewers can view your content on any device from a desktop computer to mobile phone. The review page is simple, clean, and responsive.

If you do have a larger team (of up to 25), or just want the additional features of a professional account with unlimited projects, prices start from just USD$9.00 per month per user.

Personally I think the free account has more than enough to be extremely useful to a one person team. It's easy to quickly post a video online and get conveniently organized feedback without the concern of accidently making your production public. Definitely a much better option than uploading to Youtube and keeping your video private, or using a file sharing option like Google Drive or Dropbox.

I actually wish I'd discovered Screenlight much sooner. It definitely would've come in handy for my animated video explainer service, and is a tool I will be using more often from now on.

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