Digital Juice Libraries
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 4 (April 2004)

Digital Juice Libraries

Stock film and video footage provides access to resources that often are rare, unique, and difficult to produce internally, but finding them can be a source of frustration. Searching for the necessary footage can be time-consuming, requiring you to navigate through clip after clip of footage as well as pricing and licensing agreements until you find the content you require, at the quality you need, and at a price that fits your budget. All the time spent on researching can have a negative impact on a studio's bottom line. If only every studio could have its own comprehensive, high-quality, indexed, royalty-free stock library on site. Helping to make that dream a reality, Digital Juice produces high-quality, royalty-free libraries of film and video clips, overlays, lower thirds, motion design elements, and more.
Juicer 2, the libraries' content management software, enables users to export images in various formats.

As I was producing a training video on diamonds, the client asked for clips of flowing lava during a segment on the creation of diamonds and methods of discovery. Those I could find were either of very poor quality or beyond the client's budget. But then the Digital Juice libraries arrived.

Each of the libraries includes a copy of Juicer 2, Digital Juice's content management software. Installation was a breeze. When it was finished, I inserted the first DVD of each library, which contains the indexes, and clicked Install Catalog. I was presented with the option of installing still or movie thumbnail previews for each catalog. For the VideoTraxx library, the still preview required approximately 200mb, whereas the movie preview option requires nearly 2gb.

The Juicer has a clean, intuitive interface with four floating windows—Product Browser, Keyword List, Preview, and Batch—which you can arrange at will. In the Product Browser, you can select a catalog and volume to browse or enter a search query. Alternatively, by selecting a catalog and keyword in the Keyword List window, it automatically is entered into the Product Browser's search field. Once you've found what you're looking for, highlight it in the Product Browser, and it will appear in the larger Preview Window, where you can zoom in or out and, if you installed movie previews, play them. After identifying a file for use, you can either drag it to the Batch window or click Add to Batch. Here, you prepare files for output, setting the length, upper or lower field first, resolution, opacity, and more. When you're ready, select Render, and you're done.

With Juicer 2 and the catalogs installed, I typed "lava" into Juicer 2's search query, and was presented with a selection of clips of flowing lava from the VideoTraxx library. I was impressed not only with the quantity and quality of the clips, but also with the variety of subjects covered. The VideoTraxx library contains a full 220gb of stock footage spanning 34 DVDs, equating to more than 3200 clips in 35 categories. Once you've found the clips you need, you can add effects, such as colorize and cross dissolve, and output them as AVI, QuickTime, RTV, and Image Sequence files. I output to AVI and moved to Editor's Toolkit 1 and 2 for matching graphic elements.

Editor's Toolkit 1 and 2 provide a wealth of broadcast-quality graphics and animation components ready to import into your nonlinear editor of choice. Volumes 1 and 2 offer a large selection of animation overlays, still and animated lower thirds, stills, wipes and transitions, motion design elements, and Jump Sets (matched sets of animation elements). Each Toolkit adds more than 55gb of content to an in-house stock library.

You can tweak FPS (frames per second) and Speed, and control rotation, flip, frame blend, and more. Still images can be saved in 10 different formats or sent directly to Microsoft PowerPoint as a background or image to the master slide, a current slide, or a specific slide number. After browsing the options, I chose a static lower third that matched the colors in the lava clip nicely and saved it as a PNG file. In doing so, I had control over the resolution (from 72 to 300 dpi), locking the aspect ratio, and adding a drop shadow or glow under the effects tab.

As I browsed the content, I found clips and design elements suitable for projects on various topics. Having a wealth of professional, broadcast-quality design elements accessible and in-house makes the Digital Juice libraries well worth the price.

David Singer (singercreativeservices@ is a founding partner of Singer Creative Services in New England.

Digital Juice
Price: $699 for each collection
Minimum System Requirements: CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives, a nonlinear editing system, and processing power and RAM sufficient for nonlinear editing tasks