FrameTrail is an open source software that let's you experience, manage and edit interactive video directly in your web browser.
It enables you to hyperlink filmic contents, include additional multimedia documents (e.g. text overlays, images or interactive maps) and to add supplementing materials (annotations) at specific points.
In the last 6 months, FrameTrail received public funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) via the Prototype Fund to develop new video annotation technology and interfaces.
Since then many things have changed, including the data format and even some of the core concepts. The documentation, demo page and "master" branch have not yet been updated, so please wait a few more days until you start working with the new version (bis dahin wird endlich auch die Website auf Deutsch übersetzt sein).
If you want to try out FrameTrail right away, please download the DEVELOPMENT version from GitHub.
One thing hasn't changed: extract the zip file, upload it to your server and you are ready to go.
Use any video file or even an empty video with a defined length as a basis for synchronization.
Linked Video Fragments
Create non-linear networks of video fragments (Hypervideos) which can be freely navigated by the user.
Place documents on top of the video (e.g. text, images, web pages or interactive maps) and decide how and when they should be displayed.
Add supplementing materials at certain points of time and compare those with the annotation timelines of other users.
All data is kept in files using a structured JSON format, there is no database. Yes, that means you can just copy and paste your entire FrameTrail instance (including all user data etc.) to another server and it will instantly work.
Latest Versions of Chrome and Firefox
Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge if you're lucky (not tested)
Internet Explorer is not and won't be supported
Editing Features are disabled on mobile platforms, touch support is yet to be integrated.
Film shall be "programmed" with Open Web Technologies, rather than rendered out of an editing interface
Openness & Fragmentation
By "rendering" a film, we permanently seal it and "burn" all its fragments into it. Open Hypervideo is about preserving the openness of film that it has in production environments, so raw videos, cuts, text overlays, effects and included documents can be explicitly referenced, changed and remixed forever (and live!) beyond the frontiers of proprietary editing software and platforms.
Film as Architecture
We want to re-imagine the organizational concept of hypertext for a film environment. Think of a World-Wide-Web, where all the interconnected text fragments are replaced by film. Instead of a scrollbar, a timeline becomes the controlling instance and spatio-temporal links the basis for document access. In other words: we want to include the web into hyperlinked film and not vice versa.
In order to allow everyone to freely install, adjust and extend FrameTrail, we decided to use intentionally simple technology and self-contained formats. Everything is filebased (no database) and there are no complex build environments or media transcoding frameworks included. The drawback of this approach is that some things might not always work as easy as on a fully-fledged media platform.
The way you use, arrange and display the different components of FrameTrail is up to you and the affordances of your project. From just using FrameTrail as a full-site video player up to using it as a highly interactive hypervideo solution, everything is dynamically configurable (see also: Getting Started > Layout configurations).
To help you get started we've put together several step-by-step tutorials on all aspects of FrameTrail. Just choose one of the links: