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-   -   Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/537015-frameforge-worth-buying-storyboarding.html)

Ryan Elder September 14th, 2019 06:48 PM

Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I was thinking maybe it would be useful to use a program where you can actually see the storyboards play out, to the cast and crew, would be useful, but maybe it's not worth learning a new program and pencil and paper is still just as good? Or is FrameForge worth putting the time into learning, and you can do more on there, than pencil drawings can?

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 01:31 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I wouldn't play it out to the cast and crew, The actors aren't puppets and they are more interested their own character's motivation, so they may feel locked in by your computer drawings and feel unable to make suggestions on the day. The walk thoughs and rehearsals are more important, if it's an effect heavy scene, it may be worth showing them a storyboard drawing, so they get a sense of what's in the green screen

I've seen storyboards that bear no relationship to how a scene was shot, so unless I sense they've been drawn by a really good storyboard artist, I just regard them as a starting point and subject to change.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 01:52 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, it's just I find that when things change later, it doesn't turn out as well, where as the storyboards I stuck to the plan on turn out better in my experience. So I thought it was best to come up with a plan early on and rehears it, even the blocking, rather than deciding on it that day.

Plus the blocking and characters' movement helps determine how many shots are needed as well. I don't like adding more shots on the shoot day, than what is planned cause then you risk running over time, don't you? But if I should wait till shooting before blocking is even discussed, then what's the point of other filmmakers even using programs like frameforge?

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 02:25 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Rarely do you add shots, you're more likely to drop them because you're running out of time.

"filmmakers even using programs like frameforge?" They can't draw.

Paul R Johnson September 15th, 2019 03:37 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Many people cannot draw. Many can not read plans, or understand drawings. In all my career, the only time I have produced a story board was when I was teaching in college, and the syllabus said I had to make students familiar with story boarding. I think it's become a technique that somehow has had far too much emphasis put on it.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 11:19 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, well for my first short film, I tried not drawing and just had a shot list only, but I wasn't really satisfied cause I felt maybe drawings would have explained things more clearly.

The degree of the angles was off by a bit than what I wanted so I thought that drawings would have shown the degree of the angle. Unless I can describe the degree without a drawing, and describe the blocking without one?

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 11:54 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You can't tell the final degree of the angle from the storyboard, what's down the camera viewfinder/director's monitor is the final arbitrator. As the director, you can ask for adjustments to the framing, even with top storyboard artists, there will still be adjustments on the set.

Some directors physically frame the shot with the camera.

You need to communicate with the DP or camera operator if you want changes, the storyboard just gets the camera into a rough position, not its final framing.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 11:57 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
True, it's just that before, I kept trying to explain how the angle was wrong and the DP was not adjusting it the way I want so I thought going over drawings, in advance, to the shoot date, would help a lot.

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 12:45 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
That's probably a verbal communication problem between you two on set and not a storyboard issue. On set you would see something you don't like and say thing like "camera height is too high/low", pan left, pan right, tilt up/down, more headroom, tighten up, widen out, I want more of a wide angle feel, that isn't the right lens, etc. etc. Even if these "DPs" don't know the proper terminology, find a layman's/dumbed down way to explain the same thing.

Like they're saying the boards are a rough idea. What if moving the cam because that lamp or that window looks better half a foot to the right in frame? You're gonna ignore that 'cause of storyboards? Come on now.

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 01:04 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1953324)
True, it's just that before, I kept trying to explain how the angle was wrong and the DP was not adjusting it the way I want so I thought going over drawings, in advance, to the shoot date, would help a lot.

Do you think that would make any difference? You and the DP can work out a shot standing side by side, the storyboard won't change a thing.

Did the DP discuss why he was re-framing the shot?

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 01:23 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Well in that particular example, I wanted an actor to look like he was punching another actor. I was the person pretending to be punched. But the DP didn't frame any of the takes that way, and you could see that the punch wasn't actually hitting in any of them, the way she framed it.

One of the takes, I got punched accidentally for real, so we just ended up using that one in the edit.

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 01:46 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Yes but did you tell her “I want it to look like Im really being punched” or did you say “the camera needs to go over here because from this angle you cant see the punch isnt really landing”? One of those is way more helpful than the other. One of those would probably make more sense to a DP.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 01:53 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I said the second one but maybe she wasn't understanding the concept. Later on when she saw the footage, of how it looks like I wasn't being punched, in the editing, she said she then understood what I was going for.

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 01:58 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
She sounds highly inexperienced. I also don't understand why, if you were over her/she was working for YOU, she wouldn't simply just do what you said regardless of whether she quite understood or not. Director is OVER DP, you are her boss. Even if it's unpaid. If it wasn't unpaid that's even worse.

It would be like if I was gripping for someone (which I do) and simply refused to move a light where I was asked because it didn't make sense to me. You might question, but ultimately you shrug and say "ok, if that's what you want."

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 02:09 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
True. I just thought storyboards would show the exact degree of angle and blocking and would be less confusing. I was going to buy some storyboarding books for the storyboards, but should I not bother then and just do a shotlist in written words only?

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 02:12 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You really need to change DP, because if that's the reason for the problem, the one you're discussing is out of their depth,

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 02:43 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Out of depth how?

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 02:48 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You literally explained what you were trying to do and why the camera placement/angle would accomplish that, and she failed to understand. That is the very meaning of "out of one's depth."

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 02:52 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh I see, yes. Well I definitely want to get someone more experienced for future projects for sure. I think I have a tendency to go for whoever applies to my adds, where as I need to find a way to attract a lot more people to apply, so I have more to choose from.

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 02:54 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
BETTER people to apply, not more. A larger pile of dookie doesn't magically become gold, it's just more dookie to clean up.

Better people usually = paying them a decent rate.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 02:57 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
And that's another thing, is budget, cause I was planning on spending quite a bit of my money on it, but some filmmakers told me no and I should just get people willing to work for very low pay, if not volunteering, but get people who actually want to do it real bad, so I can save a lot of money.

However, volunteer work in the past, did not have the best results I don't think, plus if you do that, you are forced to work around everyones' schedules which can be a problem.

Paul R Johnson September 15th, 2019 03:01 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
An artist can convey amazing things in pictures, but far more people have no artistic ability at all. Others like me understand perspective and technical drawing and can produce fairly decent and nderstandable sketches of sets, buildings and things but. Can't draw people or animals. Drawing on computers I can do especially if I use apps I'm familiar with, but I can scribble a sketch much, much more quickly. How are you on this Ryan?

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 03:30 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
I am not sure, really. I did it for my last two projects.

If I were describe the shot in words instead of a story board, how would I describe the exact degree of the angle? For example if it was a master shot, should I write that the master shot is on a 40 degree diagonal, or something like that?

Josh Bass September 15th, 2019 04:17 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You would not. Again, you would simply say "we want to see this". And then when they set up and go "like that?", and it's wrong, you would say "no, lower, higher, more of an angle to the wall, I want to see more ceiling, or less floor, or whatever.

No is one is going to know what you mean by 40 degree angle etc. For instance, I'm sure I could set up exactly the shot you wanted, on set, but not with scientific or mathematical terms the way you want to do. That's just not how folks talk to each other on real sets. They do what I said in the paragraph above. The boards, again, are for the people who need them to get roughly on the same page to know what you're after, but then when you are actually set up, things start moving around a little bit. That's just how it is. Only in a theoretical, nonexistent universe could storyboards be so perfect that cameras and actors would plop down on their blueprinted spots and it would be exactly right.

Whatever you're about to say you thought, or ask, the answer is no, see above.

Brian Drysdale September 15th, 2019 04:42 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Use the soccer referee method of pointing where a free kick is to be taken to position the camera i.e point at the grounds and instruct "master shot camera position here".

Getting people who don't know what they're doing is a waste of money, even if they're free, because it costs money to feed the crew and other expenses.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 05:10 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Okay thanks. So i should still do a book of storyboards then just as a rough outline of shots?

Jan Klier September 15th, 2019 07:13 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
FrameForge is a very technical program with a pretty decent learning curve. I don't think it's the best solution for just storyboarding and blocking on a smaller film. It's accurate to scale and camera geometry, so it's great if you have a very specific set and need to work out camera movement, focal length, light position, etc.

Ryan Elder September 15th, 2019 09:27 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh well I thought I would use it to just storyboard shots in general, so for example instead of verbally explaining the blocking and camera movement, everyone can just see it. But if the program is too overqualified than maybe I could just stick with pencil and paper, if that's better.

Paul R Johnson September 15th, 2019 11:43 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
People really have problems with pictorial representations of the real world unless their brain is wired that way. To you, storyboard frames make perfect sense - but you keep forgetting ordinary people vary.
I am having some building work at home. I drew some sketches. My wife had no idea. I drew some plans, same thing. I then generated some 3D projections and still it didn't click. Then I did one of those walk through videos from the plans, and it worked. Then she asked a silly question. I realised that despite seeing OUR existing house every day, the video of walking from old to new extension had not clicked in her head as being OUR house - just A house.

This is the problem with storyboards. some people find them a very slow way of explaining - but a workable alternative to speech - however, as we've said above, you get to the location or onto the set, and somebody says here!

I've lost count of how many times in the studio I offer the director a shot, only to have the director say in the cans, "3, go right a bit ....... stop. Great - we'll use that again, can you mark it". In the viewfinder I sort of think it's OK, but my first position was better - however I'm not seeing what the others are offering so you go with the director.

Brian Drysdale September 16th, 2019 01:34 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
As Paul says the storyboard is just a starting point, it's open to interpretation. They are starting points to which the DP and actors will add something extra which makes them better. Don't get fixated by the storyboard, you always need to verbally communicate with the cast and crew, especially the less experienced ones you're using. Actors aren't that interested in the storyboard, they are into their characters and what they're doing within a scene.

Even engineering drawings may require changes when they meed the real world because you can't get something to fit because another item is in the way.

Ryan Elder September 16th, 2019 06:33 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay thanks, I can just use them as a starting point only then. So is FrameForge not worth using then, if it's just a starting point, or would it still help?

Brian Drysdale September 16th, 2019 07:28 AM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Using software depends on whatever works for you. If it feels natural using a pencil and paper use that or you could a Wacom tablet/pen with any software that allows you to draw on your computer, eg Photoshop, if you've got that in your bundle with Premiere.

Look at Ridley Scott's storyboards here playing with the actual scene in the film. You can see they're not precisely the same. many have several differences compared to the final shot..


Ryan Elder September 16th, 2019 12:17 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh ok. Yeah I've had several shots change later. I can just stick with pencil and paper, i just thought frame forge would make the blocking and camera work more clearly, if you can see it in motion, and just get a more clear idea. I can use photoshop, but you have no movement then.

Paul R Johnson September 16th, 2019 12:30 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
But then you'd spend all your shooting time trying to replicate the simulation, when the reality of the shot might dictate changes. Those storyboards in the clip are exactly what they need to be.

If you spend your time creating a pseudo-movie with a posh storyboard animated mini-feature, why make the movie?

At your state of development, it's a futile process. One thing I have learned is that if you duplicate scripts and shot lists, and other production documents, at the end of the rehearsal day, you will find loads just left laying around, and few show any sign of being read! Some people want them - indeed some people MUST have them, but others don't. Actors get paid to learn scripts. Your crew might be on their last job the day before, so when exactly, and how much will you pay them to learn script? If a director wanted me to do pre-planning work, I expect to get paid for it.

For what it's worth, in the rehearsal, most people used to booming will detect the other person about to speak quite easily, and it's only the occasional talk overs, or interrupts that need to be remembered, along with moves when the director does the blocking. On boom duty, you rarely have a hand free to make notes.

Brian Drysdale September 16th, 2019 01:14 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Animatic storyboards are useful for selling an advertisement to clients. But it's not worth all the work on the type of films you're making because you don't have the level of control nor the time to spend three or four days shooting each minute of screen time,

You can see the blocking with a few circles with points for noses (standing in for the actors) and camera symbol (where the camera is located) drawn on a plan of the set.

Ryan Elder September 16th, 2019 02:43 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay but i was advised before that i need to plan my shots better and more detailed so chances are they will be better if more planned out. So i thought this might help. Ryan Connolly on film riot says he uses it so i thought it must help him and his crews then. Unless it's just overkill then.

Josh Bass September 16th, 2019 03:07 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
If it helps YOU organize everything in your mind, then sure. What we're saying is it doesn't really mean jack squat on shoot day and may not help your crew. You'll need to be able to tell them what you want with your words, not drawings or computer generated images.

Paul R Johnson September 16th, 2019 03:21 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Never having heard of Ryan Connolly, I googled him and found lots of copied and pasted identical copy on all sorts of sites, but he simply said he used it, and didn't expand at all on why? Maybe he's rubbish at drawing> Maybe he's a computer savvy expert who finds it quicker? Maybe he uses it in depth, maybe he uses it to produce just a few pictures - we don't know. I certainly would not consider using something like this.

I have just spent a while watching some tutorials and it's so similar to the the 3D drawing software I have - but it has the same problems. Grab the park, and populate with people and objects - ONCE you have collected the thousands of objects you need. If you don't want the stock park, but one with some clearly identifiable features - then there isn't one available. It's simplistic and to be honest, I fear it's worse than the pictures we have worked from before. To mock up something with critical detail from stock components needs serious editing to get it to look right, and if it looks wrong, then it hinders, not helps.

I cannot imagine spending hours producing some renders in this way - it's just crazy. Sure - you can enter a field of view from your lens collection and work out how far away the camera has to be, but any competent cameraman can do this on site much, much quicker.

It's a wonderful product, but you couldn't seriously use this if time was costed in. It seems to manage textures in a very simplistic way, the whole thing looks like a computer game and it's just over the top for something that should be simple.

Brian Drysdale September 16th, 2019 04:39 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
You can plan a film in numerous ways, it doesn't have to be storyboarded within a inch of it's life, but you can still have spent a lot of time planning it. To be honest, if you can draw, I would use that method, rather than use FrameForge, it forces you to think more about the shot.

You need detailed plans of the sets to make full use of FrameForge and the only time I've had those is when the film has built sets in a studio.

Even the most detailed shot lists and storyboards are subject to change because something better comes up on the day or you haven't enough time, so you need to simplify everything.

Ryan Elder September 16th, 2019 06:54 PM

Re: Is FrameForge worth buying for storyboarding?
 
Oh okay, well I can draw then, if that's better. I was thinking of using these storyboarding books since they have 1.85:1 panels.


However, would it be better just to download a panel and print them off, and scan the good drawings back in, so all I have are the good ones? Or does having such books look more professional?


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