As we all get better with online remote workflows, there are a plethora of tools that make communication with teams easier. However, most are built around asynchronous feedback. Create an edit or an effect, send it off, and get notes later. This works incredibly well for some things but is very frustrating for other workflows.
If you are looking for detailed, constructive feedback on an effect or animation, for instance, it could be beneficial to get on the phone (or Zoom) with your supervisor, teacher, or mentor and look in detail at the same time at a piece of footage to identify areas to improve. That's the need the product SyncSketch is designed to address.
The key with SyncSketch is simultaneous, realtime, frame-accurate playback. This means that 2 people can be sitting at workstations far apart from each other, and both can control the play functions of the same video clip, with either playing, pausing, or scrubbing confident that the other is seeing precisely the same thing on their screen.
This is different from other work-in-progress review tools that are less focused on simultaneity and assume that folks don't want to be watching at the same time. SyncSketch allows that both "artist" and "client" or "animator" and "supervisor" want to look at the work in detail together without being in the same room.
It makes sense that this toolset was built from animators since the kind of frame-by-frame review that is enabled in SyncSketch has its most natural fit in the worlds of animation and VFX. While there are certainly uses for realtime feedback in traditional picture editorial, it doesn't always require frame by frame scrub accuracy.
Many editorial conversations are broad, like, "What if we cut out that opening sequence and started on scene 3 instead," as opposed to, "I don't like the way that foot is landing on the floor in frame 43."
Animation and VFX are all about that level of detail and need that kind of specific toolset for really fine-grained feedback. The focus on the animation toolset also shows up in a greater variety of options for drawing directly on the image, with more brush and style options than you see in other apps.
Of course, SyncSketch isn't exclusively tailored for animators and has tools many will be familiar with, such as timecoded comments. With timecoded comments, you can also use SyncSketch for the broad-based conversations about structure and rhythm that other platforms encourage, but know that that toolset will be less robust than some competitors since the focus of SyncSketch is really shot review, not edit review.
For instance, you can go through and add timecode-based notes the same as other apps like Vimeo, that can be seen by your collaborators, but those notes can't flow through to your editing app as markers the way a tool like Frame.io allows.
One of the real powers of all these new toolsets is integrations with our day-to-day software. SyncSketch focused their integrations on Shotgun, the popular production management app, Maya, the 3D Compositor, and game engine Unity. As a tool aiming at high-end workflows, security is obviously key, and considering the major clients already integrating SyncSketch into their workflow, they appear ready to meet the rigorous security demands of major productions.
In comparison to other platforms, SyncSketch does offer a free tier with limited functionality to at least get you used to the platform. The Pro tier will run you $8/mo per team member, and the Enterprise tier requires a quote from a representative.
If you are focused primarily on animation and VFX, you should absolutely investigate SyncSketch. For those working in traditional picture editorial, it's still worth an overview to see if the tool can work for you.