When Adobe acquired Frame.io, it was chalked up as just another Creative Cloud solution that was so niche and specialized only people with expensive cameras and the agencies that hire them would reap the rewards. But in the wake of the announcement in 2021, I blogged a hot take:

“Imagine what happens when Adobe pulls the best of the best from BOTH Workfront AND Frame.io to reimagine what collaboration for creativity and experience really works like. Only time will tell how far collaboration will connect the two sides of the Adobe coin…If anything can bridge that gap in a meaningful way, it just might be collaboration and workflows.”


That gloat felt good. Now back to the news at hand.

Adobe’s Frame.io V4 takes collaboration to the next level, focused on the work creative professionals must synch, share, comment on and coordinate to create new experiences. From will.i.am creating a new music video to a brand marketer creating a new story driven transmedia campaign, V4 has both the asset and the process covered. Much like the other updates and modernizations across Creative Cloud, the reimagination of Frame.io has me feeling the rage only true jealousy can bring on.

Let me explain: Many moons ago, I worked on a rebrand for a cosmetic product that required an extensive shoot involving multiple models with unique-yet-natural looks to satisfy a year-long campaign involving photo and video assets. The shoot was booked with an agency, a videographer, a casting agent and a photographer in Cape Town, South Africa…I was in Campbell, California. Let the creative chaos games begin. Briefs were shared, mood boards, story boards and concept briefs passed around for what felt like lifetimes.

As these types of creative jobs go…the shoot happened when I was sound asleep thanks to time zones so when I got the test shots 48 HOURS later, I had to send that “delicate” email of “The brief clearly outlined casting and I approved the first round of models. All the test shots you sent back are of totally different models in completely different scenes and nowhere near what was outlined on the boards?”

Days would be lost in the name of collaboration. Chaos was the norm in the name of asset and file sharing. Budget was lost to misinterpretation.

This new version of Frame.io enables that entire chaotic scenario to become a streamlined workflow centered around an easy to view and review interface, common centralized asset storage and intentionally uncomplicated processes to consolidate the work of creation. I’m secure enough to admit that how elegantly Frame.io reframes the chaos makes me more than a little jealous. It takes hold of the process from casting through to file transfer and sharing, delivers a single pane for commenting and collaborating and intentionally works to accelerate the process with alerts and aggregated comment drawers for smooth signoffs and approvals.

Version 4 also comes with a new single metadata framework that underpins everything allowing all assets, data and collaborators come together in a single, unified platform. Now every piece of the process can exist as metadata on an asset or file. Loved working with an actor you met in casting…that lives on that video. Want to only view dailies by scene or actor…yup…that’s metadata that can live with an asset and be easily searched. Frame.io extends the power of a metadata framework with Collections that aggregates and segments by that metadata.

Let’s follow the bouncing ball of my gloating once more and close your eyes to imagine just how powerful search becomes as this metadata framework extends beyond Frame.io into, for argument’s sake, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution like Adobe Assets or a workflow and work management solution like Workfront?

Don’t worry…you won’t have to worry all too long as Frame.io’s integration with Workfront is expected to be released later this year, enabling a new unified review and approval workflow between cross-functional teams. For marketers, agencies and brand leaders, we are talking about visibility and work that connects CAMERA to CAMPAIGN! That’s where this is heading!

Frame.io V4 beta is rolling out in stages for Free and Pro customers across web, iPhone and iPad across 2024 with Team and Enterprise customers expected to get the V4 update later in the year. In a video blog announcing V4, Frame.io’s Founder, Emery Wells, also shared a simplification of the pricing model for the new version.

This is the fourth iteration of Frame.io since the product launched in 2015 and the biggest update the company has ever introduced, reimagining the platform from the ground up but remaining grounded in their customers asks and innovations. Clearly, this whole “expand workflows so the processes of casting, scouting, and dailies review” makes me mutter like an old lady under my breath with that “BACK IN MY DAY” lament. But it really can’t be overstated just how much this work needs this overhaul. We need to reimagine the work and workflows of creatives and creators with tools that don’t just start and stop with outputs and assets but truly connects the totality of this work we call creation.


Image generated by Adobe Firefly (and my sick prompt skillz)