New Client Review Player

The new New client review player is a substantial enhancement over the previous client review experience in ftrack Studio. It comes with improved design, better UX, and easier annotations management, supporting several toolbar features that previously were accessible only to our standalone Review users.

  • Enhanced review experience - more responsive notes and faster loading time.

  • Presentation mode [available only for the Review Pro add-on clients].

  • A new interface - a larger media window, redesigned feedback bar, full-width review sessions, expandable notes, ability to view feedback per frame, colored timeline markers to reveal the recentness of feedback, etc.

  • New toolbar features - Ghosting tool, Compare Mode, Flip and Flop tool, Media resolution selection.

Current limitations

The New client review player is a fully functional feature without significant limitations. But it is not exactly identical to our standalone Review player, which would be good to be aware of before implementing it into your workflow.

  • For example, in the New client review player, the annotations you make during the review session without adding notes will get saved and can even be downloaded as a PDF file after the review using the Generate report button, but cannot be transferred to the feedback as written notes.
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Activating the New Client Review Player

The beta New client review player feature can now be activated for all ftrack Studio sites by an Admin, or user role with Global permissions access to Manage settings.

While in the testing phase, this tool, like all the other experimental features, can be found and enabled from the System settings > Advanced > Experimental menu by ensuring that the New client review player checkbox is toggled on.

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Creating a New client review

You can create a new client review from any collection of versions:

1. Navigate to the Versions page.

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2. Select the version(s) you want to add to the review and right-click on the selection.

3. Open the Add to client review menu.

4. Click Create new.

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Opening a client review

Once created, client reviews can be accessed via the list of Client reviews in the left sidebar of the project.

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There are two ways to open the client review:
  • From the Client review drop-down menu:

1. Click the arrow icon on the left of the Client reviews, opening a drop-down client reviews list.

2. Hover over the selected review and click the arrow icon on the right side, opening a drop-down menu.

3. Click Open.

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  • From the Client review side menu:

1. Click the arrow icon on the left of the Client reviews, opening a drop-down client reviews list.

2. Single-click on the selected review, opening a preview of the review that will show the review content and all the review settings.

3. Go to the right-hand side menu and click Open session.

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Tip: From the same menu, you can also change the review settings and edit its content.

 

The New client review interface

Opening a review session will take you to the new and updated Client review interface, which now has a bigger media window, redesigned feedback bar, full-width review sessions, expandable notes, the ability to view feedback per frame, colored timeline markers, and several new features.

  • The updated Client review interface has four main sections:

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A. The top bar - The top horizontal part of the interface. From there, you can find the Review name, the logged-in user(s), Start Sync to sync and share with external collaborators, and the exit button to Leave Review.

B. The player - Is located in the center and takes up most of the interface.

C. The toolbar section (together with the horizontal Playlist) - Is located below the player.

D. The vertical sidebar - Is in the right-hand of the interface and has six different sections:

  • Feedback bar

  • Approvals & interactions

  • Asset information

  • vertical Playlist

  • Share this review

  • Settings

 

Media playback

To Play or Pause your media, you can use the on-screen control button that is located in the upper-left corner of the toolbar.

Tip: At the toolbar, there is also the horizontal timeline bar, that enables you to jump directly to the part of the version you want to play with a single click.

To control if the video clip is played once or if it loops, you can enable or disable the Loop button. You can also focus on specific sections of your media using in-and-out loop points. Press I and O to set your loop points quickly, and your video will cycle through those timecode locations. Press C to clear the selection.

 

Media Playback options

By toggling the media Playback options button, you can choose how you want your versions to be played.

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A. The playback Speed dropdown menu allows you to set the rate and choose the speed of your media, including while it’s playing. It’s a valuable function for auditioning speed changes, especially in animation.

B. By changing the sequence Playback, you can change how videos are played. Rather than playing each file in your playlist individually, you can also choose to play some - or all of them - in the same timeline.

  • Play one - Only one video clip will be played.
  • Play all - will assemble all the clips in playlist order (you can adjust the playlist order using the vertical playlist).
  • Play selection - will allow you to choose which clips you want in the sequence.

While in ‘Play all’ and ‘Play selection’ modes, you can easily re-order the clips by dragging and dropping the versions within the playlist (either vertical or horizontal).

Any live updates made to the sequence will automatically reflect on the timeline and clips, eliminating the need for manual reloading.

C. Uploading files to ftrack generates multiple proxies so that you can review your media in as high a resolution as possible. Under the Resolution menu, you can choose between different media resolutions.

 

Full-width screen

To enable the full-width screen experience, you can use the Full-screen button in the right of the toolbar that enables the Full-screen mode. (To exit, press Esc)
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Tip: We also added a new Hide sidebar button to the toolbar that allows the sidebar to be collapsible and increases the available player area and the media window.

 

Volume control

To control the volume of the media, you can use the volume control option in the lower-right corner of the toolbar. From there, you can increase/decrease the sound or mute to volume.
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Media Playlist

In the New Client review player, there are two places where you can find and access the Playlist.

1. The horizontal Playlist, is located below the toolbar, at the bottom of the Client review player interface.

  • To access a version(video, image, or PDF), click on the selected thumbnail from the list.

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2. The vertical Playlist, is the fourth section of the vertical sidebar.

This playlist is more complex than the horizontal one (though they both carry the same assets). It enables you to re-order the versions (by simply dragging and dropping the clips), set your preferred grouping, and add new versions.

Tip: To find a specific version from the playlist, you can use the magnifying glass icon located in the upper-right corner of the playlist interface.

 

To access a version(video, image, or PDF), click on the selected thumbnail from the list.

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Tip: Any change or update in one of these playlists will also automatically reflect in the other one.

 

Grouping Versions

You can group the versions from the vertical playlist. You can choose between no grouping, displaying all assets as a flat list, or group-related versions.
  • To group, open the drop-down menu above the version list and choose the option you prefer.
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Adding Versions and Uploading files

By clicking the +ADD VERSIONS button at the bottom of the vertical playlist menu, you can add a new version(s) to the review.

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Select the version, click DONE, and the chosen asset will appear in the playlist.

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By clicking the UPLOAD FILES button at the bottom of the vertical playlist menu, you can upload a new version(s) to the review.

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This will open your file browser, allowing you to choose the files you wish to upload.

Once the file(s) start uploading, you will see a progress tab enabling you to follow the upload progress. You can disable and enable it by clicking on the upload icon next to the Upload Files button.

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Once the files have finished uploading and transcoding, they will automatically be added to the Playlist and the session.

3dot menu

Every version in the vertical playlist has a 3dot menu that enables you to view the version in ftrack Studio, remove the version from the playlist, or add to it a related version to compare.

You can find the menu in the right of each version and open it with a single click.

Once the menu is open, hover over the action you want to take and click.

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Annotations

In the Client review, all annotations are saved automatically, and there is no need to post them as part of a note. The drawing tools are enabled by default and displayed in the toolbar area in the lower center of the player interface, from where you can access all the Annotation tools, change your Drawing color or Brush size and Clear the annotations.

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Annotation tools

To access the Annotation tools, click the purple annotation icon, opening a drop-down menu.

By default, the Annotation tool is set to Brush, but you have a list of other tools to choose from.

List of the available Annotation tools:

  • Brush - Enables free-hand drawing/annotations.

  • Arrow - Typically used to indicate the direction or highlight elements.

  • Circle - Enables drawing circles of various sizes.

  • Square - Enables drawing rectangular or square shapes.

  • Eraser - Enables removing parts of the active layer or selection of annotations.

  • Laser - Enables highlighting parts of the image without saving the annotation.

  • Zoom - Enables magnifying a selected part of the image.

  • Pan - Enables moving the view of images that are zoomed in.

 
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To change the Annotation tool, simply click on the preferred option.

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Zoom controls

When using the zoom tool, it will be displayed among other Annotation tools in the lower center of the player interface.

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You can use the + / - buttons to zoom in or out and the reset button to return to 100%. Holding down the shift key, you can move around the version and specify the area you would like to zoom in.

The zoom tool is available at all times, regardless of what drawing tool you have selected - you can still zoom using your mouse wheel or by using the zoom gesture on your trackpad. The same zoom controls will appear and remain while zoomed in but will disappear once the zoom is reset back to 100%.

Drawing color and Brush size

With the Drawing color and Brush size tools, you can customize your annotations.

To access, click one of the icons, that enables you to set your preferences.

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The Drawing color enables you to choose the color of your annotation tools (Including the laser tool)

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The Brush size, enables you to choose the line size of the tool you are using.

You can select between seven different line sizes. (The size of the laser tool cannot be changed)

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Clearing annotations

You can remove annotation at any time using the Clear annotations button.

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Clearing annotations will not remove any previously attached annotations on existing notes and they will remain captured with the feedback.

If you Post an annotation with a note, the note will be created along with an attached frame showing the drawing. If you then use the Clear annotations button to clear that frame, the drawing will disappear, but the frame will remain with the note, and the attached frame will still show the drawing. So all notes will always capture the state of the frame at the point of posting, regardless of what happens afterward.

Flip and Flop

The Flip and Flop features allow you to Flip and Flop media, invert mirror images or videos and compare them in Compare mode. You can activate them from the toolbar buttons that you can find in the lower center of the player interface.

With the button on the left, you can flip the media vertically, while using the button on the right, you can flop the media horizontally. Once the tool is activated, the indicator icons will remain lit and purple till the tool is deactivated. (In the picture below, both of the tools are activated.)

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Compare mode

In the Client review, any asset that has more than one version can be opened in the Compare mode.

It enables a quick side-by-side comparison of two different versions of media. You can compare any versions within a group.

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To do so, go to the vertical Playlist tab, choose the Group by asset, and select the asset you would like to compare.

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Once this is done, click the Compare button on the toolbar.

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The Compare mode interface opens in the horizontal playlist area - letting you choose between Overlay or Side by Side compare modes:

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  • In Side by Side mode, the two files are tiled next to each other and can be played together. If in Sync with other participants, they will also see the same two files in Side by Side mode.

  • In Overlay mode, the two files are laid on top of each other, with an opacity slider that allows you to toggle between the two files. The overlay mode is excellent for seeing minor differences, especially during playback.

You can dismiss Compare Mode by clicking the X to the right of the compare mode controls or choosing another clip in the playlist.

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Ghosting feature

Ghosting allows drawings to be seen over multiple frames, both before and after the frame on which the annotation is made, authorizing the user to sketch the path of an object or to indicate movement over time.

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To activate, click on the Ghosting button on the toolbar. You can find it in the lower center of the player interface among the other annotation tools.

While enabling, you can also define how many frames you wish to view the annotations behind or ahead of the current frame.

Feedback section

The feedback section is located in the re-designed vertical sidebar, which aligns all the feedback elements into one section. You will find there all of your annotated frames with each note, labels, and any attachments. (To see all of your associated images, simply expand the note.)

To submit new feedback, use the feedback window text field ‘Write a note…’

A simple note can be added by typing it within the text field and clicking POST

If you want a more detailed note (with or without annotations), follow the steps below:

    1. Find the frame you want to add feedback to and pause the playback.
    2. Type the note where it says "Write a note...". Use the _-icon.jpg mention icon to select a user if you want them to be notified when the note is posted. (The user that created the version is automatically included as a recipient.)
    3. Add a label to the note to categorize it by clicking the label icon and selecting from the dropdown menu.

Please note: You can remove the label(s) while creating the note, but once the note is posted, you can only edit the label(s) using the ‘Transfer feedback’ menu on the ftrack site.

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    1. Add an attachment by clicking the attach.jpg if you have any files you'd like to upload to support the note.
    2. For a text-only note, you can now click POST to create the note. If you want to add an annotation to clarify the text note, carry on with the next steps.
    3. Display the annotation tools in the drawing option.
    4. Select the drawing tool you wish to use.
    5. Draw the markup on the frame as desired.
    6. Click POST to create the note with annotation, adding it to the Feedback tab.

 

From the Feedback section, you can choose how you want to see the notes.

You can view them per frame or by Item. In the Frame mode, it’s easy to see which frames have notes and which don’t, while in the Item mode, you’ll see the latest feedback first.

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For jumping to the next/previous note or annotation, you can use the two buttons from the upper-right corner of the feedback interface. Using these buttons, you can jump through every frame that has feedback or drawings and skip only to frames with activity.

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To track an exact record of any drawings made at the time of the note. Every time you post a note, we are capturing the media window and attach it to the note, indicating the time when the note was saved.

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Tip: We’ve added new colored timeline pips to let you see the most recent feedback at a glance. For comments under 3 hours old, the markers are red, orange for those under 24 hours, and yellow for older ones.

 

Audio-only file support

ftrack Studio now offers support for loading and playing separate audio-only files [mp3 or wav]. 

Adding an audio file functions similarly to any other version in your review, but instead of a thumbnail or image, you will see the visual representation of sound waves for the track. The waveform is loaded into the viewer, allowing you to easily track your progress, and the waveform is saved as a thumbnail attached to notes and PDF outputs.

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Please note: As a limitation, you cannot annotate the audio-only files, but you can provide feedback by adding notes.

 

Approvals & interactions

The Approve (green check)or Require changes (red cross) buttons can be found at the lower center of the player toolbar, next to the Annotation tools, and are available for all participants in the session.

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Tip: When you approve or disapprove a shot, you will also see a green or red approval/disapproval sign on the thumbnail of the shot, and the Approval/Require changes icon will remain activated and lit throughout that section.

 

The Approval summaries are located in the Approvals & interactions tab in the vertical sidebar, and you can check each of the assets separately.

You can monitor four different parameters of the approval flow: Approved, Required changes, Seen, or Not seen, and all that data is presented in percentages.

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Asset Information tab

The Asset information tab provides you with all the basic information about the version you are currently on, and it is located in the vertical sidebar.

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Sharing the client review

To invite others to join your Review session:

1. Go to the Share this review tab in the vertical sidebar and click the 'Invite via email button.

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This will launch a dialogue where you can search the users by name or email [A.]

For filtering participants, you can use the drop-down menu [B.]

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Tip: If your search is not matching with any previously added participant/team member, a new window will open, enabling you to 'Add External Guest'.

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  • You can also access this dialog if you scroll to the end of the participant's list and click the 'Add Another External Guest' button.

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2. Go to the Share this review tab in the vertical sidebar, make sure that the 'Share with a link' button is enabled, and copy/share the link. To copy the session link, click the copy button.

This URL will allow anyone to access your review if given the link, regardless of whether they are an invited collaborator or logged-in user.

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Tip: To remove a collaborator from your review, open the 3dots menu next to the participant's name and choose 'Remove.

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This will open a new window where you need to confirm the action by clicking the Delete button.

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Synced reviews

Synced review session enables different participants to join frame-accurate synchronized review sessions. When reviewing in Sync, everyone sees the same frame of the same media at the same time, ensuring all feedback is crystal clear (playback, notes, drawings, media changes, etc).

It displays all the actions (skipping forwards, jumping to a frame, or making an annotation) taken on all participants' screens to all the collaborators, enabling them to see the same changes on their screens in real time.

To Start the synchronized session, click the Start Sync button in the right side of the top bar.

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All the attendees will see an invitation prompt to join, and they can jump into the session directly from that message by clicking the Join button.

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They can also use the Join Sync button in the top bar.

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Anyone who has successfully joined Sync will have a flashing green indicator on their icon.

To drop out of the sync session and work independently, click the Leave Sync button.

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Please note: When someone starts to type in a comment, the sync session will temporarily pause for that collaborator. Once they post the note, the collaborator will return to sync.

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Current limitation: Sync functionality is currently unavailable on mobile devices.

 

Mute All

The Mute All function in the client review sync area allows the logged-in users to quickly mute any playing audio if reviewing with a large group.

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Tip: The Mute All button will appear only in the synced sessions - and you won't see it if you're not in Sync.

Please note: The individual participants can still control their own volume if required, using the updated volume control option in the low-right corner of the tools menu.

 

Presentation Mode [Review Pro feature]

Presentation mode is a feature available on accounts with a Review Pro add-on.

Presentation mode allows logged-in Users to take complete control of a Review.

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When Presentation mode is enabled by a User, it automatically brings all participants in the review into sync and locks all other participants' transport and drawing tools, so the presenter can run the sync review session without any chance of interruption.

To enable Presentation mode, a logged-in User simply needs to click the blue Presentation Mode button at the top of the interface.

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The display will then switch to show that you are now Presenting.

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Presentation mode can be turned off at any time by clicking the same button.

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Please note: While in Presentation Mode, all participants are always in sync with the Presenter.

 

For any participants in Presentation Mode, they will clearly see it in the interface, so there is no confusion. All the regular transport and drawing tools are hidden, replaced with a message that a User is presenting.

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When the Presentation mode is turned off, all participants will immediately have access to all normal controls, so they can again interact with other participants in the session.

Tip: Upgrade with a Review-Pro add-on to use the Presentation mode.

 

Settings

The client review Settings tab is the last section of the vertical sidebar.

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There are seven different settings you can adjust:

A. Name - This setting enables you to name, or rename the review.

Click on the setting and type in the name.

  • You can also rename the review from the left corner of the top bar.

Click on the title, opening the Edit name option, and type in the new name.

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B. Description - This setting enables you to fill/update the description of the review

Click on the setting and type in the description.

C. Expiration - This setting enables you to set or update the expiration of the review. You can choose between Always open or Closed.

D. End date - This setting enables you to set the end date of the review

Click on the setting, opening a calendar, and choose the date.

E. Allow download of original media - This setting allows you to enable / disable collaborators to download the original media file, together with the compressed version. Click the button to enable /disable.

  • The download button appears in the right side of the toolbar.

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F. Collaborator notifications - This setting allows you to enable / disable collaborators to receive email notifications when there is new feedback. Click the button to enable /disable.

G. Passphrase protection. - This setting enforces collaborators to enter the passphrase to access the review.

Click the button to enable / disable. Once enabled, the passphrase appears under the setting, and you can share it with your collaborators.

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Watermarking [Review Pro feature]

Please note: Watermarking is a Review Pro feature that is currently available only for the New client review player (Beta).

Watermarking is a security feature that overlays a visual monochromatic and transparent text on your digital assets. Enabling you to protect the copyright of your media content and claim its ownership, ensuring that your clients or colleagues cannot reuse it without your consent.

To enforce live Watermarking to all your Review content, go to System Settings > Review & player > Settings and enable the ‘Enable Watermarking in Review player’ checkbox.

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Once enabled, the visual watermark will be displayed during your Client Review sessions in the corners of the image.

It visually identifies [A.] the Username, [B.] date/time, [C.] Review name, and [D.] Review ID for each participant.

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In addition to enforced corner texts, you can also add a customizable watermark text [E.] that will appear in the center of the image.

To add your own text, go to System Settings > Review & player > Settings and type in your ‘Watermark text.’

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Tip: By enabling the ‘Require passphrase for reviews’ checkbox, you can force the collaborators to always enter a passphrase to be able to join the reviews.

  • For individual Client Reviews, you can require it from the vertical Sidebar >‘Settings’ menu.

 

Keyboard shortcuts

The Client review player comes with several series of one or several keys to quickly perform a preprogrammed action.

To see the different keyboard shortcut options, click the keyboard shortcut button in the lower-right corner of the toolbar.

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Exiting client review

To close or leave the Client review, click the LEAVE REVIEW button in the right corner of the top bar.

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Tip: When you leave the review, all the notes and annotations will be saved.
 
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