Friday, December 9, 2016

Boardfish

I've teamed up with some old friends to make a new Mac application, Boardfish, a tool for creating storyboards. Make panels in the graphics app of your choosing and drag them in. Boardfish will let you arrange them, add captions, and export to a PDF.
Boardfish is the brainchild of Matt Silverman, who runs the production studio Swordfish. (I've known Matt since forever, starting with ElectricImage user groups at the turn of the century.) At Swordfish, Matt & co. have often made storyboards using general purpose tools like InDesign, but making changes to the layouts was a pain. Matt thought it would be worth it to make an app dedicated to storyboards, so he brought me in to do the programming, Mauchi Baiocchi for creative input, and Brandon Smith for everything else (including the docs and website). Together, we are Mekajiki Inc.

When it comes down to it, Boardfish is basically a page layout app—a procedural one. Virtually everything about the layout of the boards is exposed: the number of panels on a page, the typeface and font size of each text element, the width and color of every line. Boardfish lets you make global changes instantly.

There's a free trial. Give it a whirl!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ProEXR AE update

Several years ago ProEXR added the ability to render the layers of an After Effects comp into an EXR sequence, each layer given its own set of RGBA channels that could be pulled out independently in AE, Nuke or another savvy program. This feature was accessed through the standard After Effects render interface, made possible by various loopholes in the After Effects API.

Well all good things must come to an end and those loopholes were closed in After Effects CC 2015 as part of the program's re-architecture-ing. As a result this feature is now found where you might have expected it from the beginning, under Composition ➤ Save Frame As ➤ ProEXR. Unlike its neighboring Photoshop Layers feature, the ProEXR layer export will let you render out a sequence.

Users of previous AE versions can still use the render queue as they always have, and that's the only way to render on a farm. Or since AE CC 2014 can read CC 2015's project files, you could always open your project in the older version and regain the render queue functionality.