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Old February 17th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #1
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Story Boards.

Since no one in my office, including me, can draw a straight line with a ruler we are looking at buying storyboarding software.

Has anyone used any type of this software and if so, any reccomendations?

Thanks, RB.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #2
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There's one which is simply the best. It's called "Frameforge 3d studio", which impliments every thing you can possibly imagine. Room size, color, camera positions persons, animals dolly POV. Crane POV, you name it, it's got it all. You can even place a human subject in a position of your choice.
It cost though. Try 320 dollars, last time I heard. You can even make a clip and play it back to see how it will look.
Here's the link:

http://www.write-brain.com/frameforge3d_main.htm
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Old February 17th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #3
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Thanks Charles, I'm downloading the demo as we speak.

RB
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Old February 17th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #4
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No problem. Hope you like it. If fact, I know you will ::)
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Old February 17th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #5
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nice program. I just installed the demo. reminds me of a dumbed-down 3d studio max. if you have that you could do every thing this does, better. if your good you could make your own 'animatic' like on dvds... alittle un-needed, but so is frame forge when you can hand draw stick figures faster. doesnt mean the program isnt fun.

Rick, is there a support group for those of us who cant draw a straight line w/ a ruler?
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Old February 17th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #6
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Rick,

Are you set in your methodology for creating story boards?

If not, I'd like to throw out there using digital photographs taken during rehearsals or in a simulation of your scene. You can also record audio from your rehearsal, then edit your audio and stills into an animatic in your NLE of choice.

Benefits I see to this approach are:

1) It's fast. You're doing it while rehearsing. No extra steps to recreate your scene.
2) If you're on set, you can photograph exactly what everyting is going to look like in its environment. You can make changes to your scenic and lighting direction based on these stills.
3) You're actors look different from maquettes, and, as good as a storyboard drawing looks, there's something to be said for seeing your actor in your set under your lighting and knowing exactly how you want it to look.
4) You can use Photoshop to add special effects where they are appropriate. Another good previs tool.
5) If you are looking at getting some form of financing, this may add value to your pitch.
6) If you already have the digital camera and NLE

Any other bootstrap ideas?
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Old February 17th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #7
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You could always just have a very detailed shot list of what you need for each scene. I read in an American Cinematographer issue that Quentin Tarantino never storyboards actually, and simply goes on the strength of his writing and shot lists. I'll see which issue that was for you and report back, but just to let you know that not everyone storyboards.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #8
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There are a couple of reasons for storyboarding. It's true not everyone storyboards. Some directors can visualize in their head what they want. The disadvantage is that it's in their head and hard to convey what they want to the rest of the crew, particularly their dp, lighting person, camera operator, etc.

Storyboarding also helps the director to visualize scenes to be sure it will look like he wants. Sometimes you get on a set and things don't look like you thought. Then things have to be re-lit, repositioned, etc.

Storyboarding can save time and money (one and the same). You don't have to think as hard about what you want on the set. You already did that thinking and, if necessary, pick up anything interesting you saw on set.

You can think of storyboarding as a comic book or graphic novel of your story. It can help you find holes in your story. It can also help in pitching to potential investors.

Not everyone storyboards the whole thing. Some only storyboard "difficult" scenes. Some storyboard cause their not sure.

Some even storyboard using stick figures, lines and/or sketchings. Something you can learn with practice if you wish. I know some DPs that can draw when they're not sure what the director is trying to do.

I highly recommend storyboarding. I just don't know that this software is worth it. It definitely will not speed things up until you get used to it and you can't use it while riding on a bus unless you have a notebook.

I do like the ability to adjust focal length on the camera and see how it affects the scene.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:58 PM   #9
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I agree with Rob. When I read that about Tarantino I was astonished, and thought that at some point they had to employ some kind of storyboard. But I'm not sure. Just simply letting you know that it can be done without one.

Personally, I like to storyboard, and used to draw frequently when I was younger. Initially I wanted to be a comic book artist.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 10:15 PM   #10
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Thanks guys,

Brandt,

I have never storybarded before while working for the PD. This is just an experiment to see if it will make certain aspects of some of our shoots a little easier.

Unfortunatley, the reenactments that I would be storyboarding will be shot utilizing real police officers as the talent. Many of these folks have never been in front of the camera and it is difficult to convey what I need of them as they have no camera savvy and cannot readily envision a detailed description of a shot.

The events that we recreate are usually done paying a great deal of attention to the details of the actual event, using the actual people, (the good guys, of course), that were involved.

Our rehearsals happen on the day of the shoot as everyone's time is tight and locations have to be secured as we usually shoot in the same place as the actual incidents occured. More than likely it is not a very nice or safe area. This entails securing the locations as well as streets for reenacting chases, shoot-outs, etc., so it would not be practical for me to use the "Rodriguez" method of using a small video camera for prior blocking. We block, rehearse and shoot, all in the same day.

Christopher,

That has always been my preferred method. I have very detailed shot lists that convey what my vision of the final product should look like, allthough once on location, many aspects change, mostly for the better, based on existing conditions that are encountered at the time.

Rob,

I'm afraid that you are right as far as the time and learning curve of the program. I am not much of a graphics person so I approach this whole thing with a little trepidation. The program does look pretty cool, so I will be playing with it to see how much of it I can really use effectively.

Patrick,

As far as I know, there is no support group, but if you want to start one, I can be your vice president in charge of erasers!

Thanks to all for the input.

RB
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Old February 18th, 2004, 11:55 AM   #11
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I took a look at the Frameforge demo. Does the full version allow you to do anything with lighting? The demo only seems to allow adjusting the overall level. I'm wondering about setting individual lights.
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