[Lumiera] meaning of the term "Asset"

Ichthyostega prg at ichthyostega.de
Mon Oct 11 02:25:40 CEST 2010

> Le 10/10/2010 00:49, Ichthyostega a écrit :
>> the assets are sort-of "the bookkeeping view" at the things contained in a
>>  session (=project). The most prominent example is the media loaded into
>> the session. When it comes to effects, the effect asset is rather like the
>>  effect processor, (...) There are further kinds of assets which are mostly
>>  of internal interest only (Sequences, busses, processing patterns, tracks)
Roland schrieb:
> I see the asset as the project file. If it is a project file, the asset is a
> text file (xml?). Thus the asset can be showed to the user into three ways:
> - as it is (a text file). Not user friendly but useful.
> - as a timeline.
> - as the folder-bin asset view. (still needed to be defined)

Hi Roland,

first of all, let me clarify the terminology a bit. Well... I'm not a native
speaker, so let's quote from a dictionary (Webster)


> (1) [usually plural] something such as money or property that a person or
> company owns The business has assets totalling £5.1 million.

> (2) a major benefit Youth is a tremendous asset in this job. "asset to": He 
> is a definite asset to the team.

> *Synonyms or related words* General words for possessions: appurtenance, 
> property, stuff, things, goods, possession, asset, belongings, valuables,
> fixed asset...

Roland, you're certainly right that, according to this definition, a session
of a video editing application is a valuable asset. Usually, building up such
a session is the result of months of work...

But that's not the meaning of the term "asset" we use here. For Lumiera, we
stick to a common habit in media production, and esp. video editing when it
comes to the use of the term "asset". Actually, we just borrowed this usage
from Cinelerra, which uses this term (at least in the source code) in the
same way.

For background information, you might want to look into the Wikipedia

This brings me to an interesting observation. Actually, the term "asset"
and especially "digital asset" seems to bear a tight link to business,
and *commercial value*.

My understanding is, that this is due to the fact, that "business" and
"commercial" became some sort of a replacement-religion for many people,
up to the degree that it's inconceivable that there might be anything
*of significance* beyond marketing and commercial organisation.
Of course, everyone concedes that there are "other areas" -- but bottom
line, effectively anything non-commercial would equate to "hobbyist" or
"not really serious". Doing things seriously became almost synonymous
for doing things for sale.

As a special twist, the population which seems to have "bought into"
that ideology most strongly are the artists. Now "becoming an artist
seriously" seems to equate to renting an atelier somewhere and trying
to sell your pictures or sculptures or designs to make a living from it.
And when the sales don't work out as expected and don't produce enough
income for a living, this might cause an endless treadmill of
self-reflections, doubts and bad conscience, which can be both
heart-wrenching and detestable when you're witnessing that with
friends or other people you care about.

Anyway (lets rather hope this is just a specially coloured snapshot
I got from my personal experience here in that over-organised, saturated
and self-ignorant part of the world I'm living in) -- maybe the open source,
open media movement can help to get things into balance again, by reducing
commercialism again to being one enterprise among many, not good and not
bad per se.

In this sense, for Lumiera we denote with "asset" all the relevant and
valuable elements you collect and import in order to build up your editing
session. That is
- your footage
- other media you'll intend to use
- plug-ins and effects you might rely on
- plus a lot of further data, meta data and definitions
  you use or build up in the course of the work (labels, automation data,
  edited sequences, busses with configuration, processing patterns...)

Thus we subsume all these individual elements with the term (or concept)
of an "asset". All these together are part of the "session" (or project),
which is stored as a text file (or binary file). To be more precise,
within the session all the objects are organised into a so called
"data model", which is a tree-like structure. The assets are thus
certainly an important part of this session data model.

Roland, don't get me wrong; my intention was just to clarify the terms
a bit. Besides that, you wrote the basic idea down quite clear (and

> If I'm right, switching from the timeline to the folder-bin representation 
> and from the folder-bin to the timeline view should be done quite easily by 
> the software (and transparently to the user) because the text file is the 
> basis. Thus the GUI could give the ability to switch from one to the other 
> style on a simple click ... unless you want Lumiera to be exclusively a 
> folder-bin asset view editor.

Exactly. The data model contained in the session is the basis. It can be
stored persistently on disk and re-loaded again, thus recreating the previous
state. Part of this model can then be presented in the GUI in a folder-like
view, with the individual elements in those folders being the assets. At the
same time, the same and other parts of the session data model can be presented
as a timeline with playback and the usual edit operations.

Hermann V.

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