The Latest in Helix DAM: What Is Digital Asset Management?
The most recent release of Helix Digital Asset Management (Helix DAM) unveiled much-anticipated integrations and new features, taking the creative and collaborative power of this tool to the next level. Built with complex industries like game development and virtual production in mind, Helix DAM supports many types of files and ambitious projects of any scale.
This digital asset management tool is a secure and interactive repository for all your art assets – including 2D, audio, video, and 3D files (such as .FBX and .Uasset files). Your vision can come to life in one place, with the help of everyone on your team. In this blog, we will walk you through what digital asset management is, why digital asset management is essential for creators, and how Helix DAM’s unique capabilities can both speed up and enhance your creative workflow.
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What Is Helix DAM (Digital Asset Management)?
Digital asset management (DAM) is software that lets teams store, track, find, and share their art assets all in one central repository.
We built Helix Digital Asset Management to fulfill and expand upon this purpose. Think of Helix DAM as a limitless and integrated visual library, housing not only all the files within one project, but instead the complete asset history of a studio or organization. Users grant access to these digital files to specific team members to review, comment on, and download, meaning teams control permissions and ensure that only trusted collaborators can see a project.
There are three key functions in Helix Digital Asset Management:
- Uploading and cataloguing assets. Most artists, designers, and creators are used to storing their assets in many different places. Helix DAM offers an organized and trusted alternative. The scalable repository holds all your files across all your teams. Organize assets using projects, collections, and folders. Built-in auto-tagging features make it easier to find your assets later — or determine your own filters, tags, and naming conventions with a wide range of customizable options. You can also add your own custom metadata fields.
- Finding and versioning assets. Pull up the assets you are looking for instantly with our digital asset management software’s intuitive search and AI art tags. When you find an asset, you can also quickly view its version history to make sure you are accessing the latest version and see previous iterations. This helps to ensure consistency and avoid confusion or time-consuming rework.
- Collaborating, sharing, and tracking asset progress. You control what team members you invite to your projects in Helix DAM, meaning files are not visible to anyone, aside from the collaborators you specify. You can also invite team members to view specific folders or files within projects, without giving them access to the entire project. Helix Digital Asset Management also incorporates file locking visibility, so users can see when files are locked and who locked them. Once you enable access for another user, they can see what you are working on, provide feedback, and conduct reviews. You can track where an asset is within the approval process and determine when the final version is ready to download and export.
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Watch an Expert Demo of Helix Digital Asset Management Software
Our Version Control for Creators webinar will walk you through Helix DAM setup and each step in the project journey. See digital asset management in action — including new features like custom pathing and AI art tags — and learn why it is a must-have for creative teams.
Why Do Teams Need Digital Asset Management Software?
We created Helix DAM to respond to a rapidly evolving and multifaceted landscape. Outlets like App Developer Magazine are calling it the 10x environment, where teams are managing 10x the assets and creating 10x the projects, as well as using new technology like AI art tags. There is also a growing emphasis on visuals and imagery, due to developments like virtual reality gaming and virtual reality retail, leading customers to expect and demand detailed, high-quality art.
Understand Game Dev Challenges + How Helix DAM Can Help
Our 2023 State of Game Dev Report surveyed video game professionals from across the globe to give insights into key trends, including how they are approaching digital asset management and version control. According to 19% of those surveyed, effective collaboration stands out as their biggest development challenge and key priority going forward.
As industries from gaming to VFX become increasingly fast-paced, competitive, and globally distributed, it is more important than ever to protect and centralize assets, to collaborate seamlessly, and to free up time in your creative workflow. Here are some of the most vital ways Helix DAM supports your team.
Benefits of Helix Digital Asset Management
- Providing a single source of truth. More than half of gaming teams have assets stored in multiple locations, according to our recent game developer survey. This problem is also common across other creative industries – and results in wasted time spent tracking down assets, plus confusion over which asset is the most current version. Helix DAM makes it possible to store all your art in one place.
- Enhancing IP security and privacy. You and specified team members are the only ones with access to your files. When it is time for review, you can ensure that you only share them with specified members of your team. This prevents IP leakage, as well as keeps teams agile by involving only necessary collaborators.
- Uniting your team’s creative force. With roles like designers, animators, art directors, and other creators constantly intersecting, it can be difficult to bring all perspectives together and to remember who is working on what. This can be particularly challenging within the deadline-driven industries of VFX and gaming. Combine efforts more effectively in Helix DAM to meet your deliverables.
- Tracking the review process. Comments and revisions often get lost when teams are emailing file versions back and forth. Helix DAM streamlines reviews and makes it possible to linearly trace file progress. Who was the last person who commented on your assets? Who should review them next? Helix DAM notes these key details and keeps your project moving along. You can visualize progress in real-time with our Kanban board, which also gives you the ability to filter assets and drag assets to change their status. This functionality is ideal for team stand-up meetings, providing a single view to reference and to guide workflow prioritization.
- Working with your existing project pipeline. You can extend Helix DAM to further automate tasks with our Helix DAM REST API and custom webhooks options. Helix DAM also integrates with the most popular digital content creation tools, including Photoshop, Blender, and Maya.
- Maximizing IP reuse and driving cost savings. Having all your assets in one place helps you visualize which ones could be used in a future project. Helix DAM minimizes the intimidation that arises when starting from scratch. Your team will also find that promoting IP reuse saves both money and time.
How Helix Digital Asset Management Works: Terminology and Getting Started
Within Helix DAM, we have built a taxonomy to organize and protect your assets. There are three levels of categorizations – projects, collections, and folders.
- Projects are the highest level of categorization. They contain collections, folders, and assets. We recommend giving your projects a global and recognizable name across your teams (such as the name of the game or film you are creating).
- Collections are categorized under projects. They can represent different departments or stages within a project (like previsualization, final editing, and everything in between).
- Folders can be created within a collection. They further classify assets, grouping them by their type or purpose (like materials and textures, videos, and audio files).
Understanding these key terms will help studios begin to organize their assets by thinking about what teams need to interface regularly. To get started, an admin team member can begin uploading assets by clicking “Create a collection.”
When it is time to add other users to a project as team members, open the “Team” tab under a project and click on the blue plus sign in the upper right corner. Search for a user and click “Invite.”Back to top
Our Latest Digital Asset Management Software Updates: Integrating Helix DAM + Helix Core
Our latest Helix DAM release, Helix DAM 2023.3, introduces the ability to connect Helix DAM projects to existing streams in Helix Core. With this integration, you can combine digital asset management with version control to fully sync your tool suite and track asset progress at an unparalleled level. You can also use Helix DAM with existing assets in Helix Core, pulling in assets that are already stored in the Helix Core’s Streams feature.
Learn how it works:
- First, when creating a new project, use the toggle button to disable the “Automatically create Helix Core depot” setting.
- Then, set up your Helix Core pathing by selecting the depot and mainline that contains the Helix Core streams you would like to view and manage in Helix DAM. Note: You can also import the same streams for multiple projects to enhance asset reuse and collaboration.
- Lastly, set up your Helix DAM view settings and provide a Helix DAM repository display name.
By viewing Helix Core streams in Helix DAM, you can work directly in digital asset management software while versioning in the background.Back to top
Explore Our Free Sandbox Experience
Get free access to our Helix DAM sandbox for 14 days. You can start saving and sorting assets, comparing every version of your art in one place, and collaborating on projects with your team. See firsthand how digital asset management software can improve your creative processes and workflow.
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