Archive for the ‘storyboard’ Category

Graph Editor – yEd

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

I wanted a graph editor where I could define the connectivity on-the-fly, including inserting new nodes partway along existing connections.  Something “fluid” to use.

I found it: yEd, available at  Superbly slick, functional, multi-platform and free (gratuit), even for commercial use.

Main reason for wanting such a thing was to be able to document the media depenencies in a multimedia (e.g. video) project.  For example I might begin with an Adobe Premiere project based on raw footage.  I would document that in a connectivity-graph having a RawFootage node (object) with an arrowed line coming out of it and going into a Project node.  Later on, I might decide to enhance (e.g. CPU-intensively de-noise) the footage and then use that enhanced footage in the project instead (media-replace).  Such an intervention would not have been planned, it would have been an after-thought.  To bring my documentation up-to-date,  in my connectivity-graph, I would want to interpose an Enhance node in the existing footage-to-project connection.  Being able to do that in one single step would be great (no need for individual steps such as delete connection, add node, connect source to node, connect node to project).  Having made many such changes and additions over time, the diagram might become untidy and in need of rearrangement.  So ideally the application should offer Auto-Arrangement, to produce or at least provide a starting-point towards a tidier arrangement.

The same approach could apply to many things, including general brainstorming/mind-mapping, drama/story-design (prior to screenplays/scripts) and plain down-to-earth production of explanatory graphic diagrams as media themselves for incorporation in multimedia projects.

All this is way beyond the diagramming tool I have most used in the past few years, namely Visio – at least the (old) versions I have encountered.  I have dabbled with GraphViz, which auto-generates/arranges diagrams from formal connectivity (etc.) definitions in geeky formal notation.  GraphViz gets the job done but from my personal experience it is somewhat clunky and slow to use (involving frequent re-experiments and reading of lookup-notes).  I want something slicker, more “GUI”, more intuitive…

Haha!  Such a thing does exist!  I found it!  Not only does it allow the kind of graph-editing flexibility I am looking for, it can also import data from Excel etc. and auto-generate graphs from that.  So if I want I can document my connectivity/dependency information first in Excel or Notepad (say) with a view to generating a diagram from it at a subsequent stage.  And it is multi-platform (based on Java) and it is free (gratuit).

It is called yEd and is available at


3D Worlds in After Effects

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I want to put someone inside a virtual world (based on their own paintings), ultimately to be rendered out as a Stereographic 3D movie, but with development in progressive stages/generations, initially based on readily available standard tools and techniques, later proceeding to specialist 3D modelling apps etc.  How to proceed?  Some possibilities that come to mind are:

  • Initial development using only “Planar 3D” as in After Effects
    • I believe this is possible to some extent, using native features of AE.
    • In my earlier post on Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation, I noted the existence of Mocha LE, a tracker, included inMocha 2.6, the awesome roto program with a tightly integrated planar tracker.
      • {The planar tracker is (primarily?) ..used as a “roto assist” to speed up the roto process…
        ..and also the tracking data can be exported to a wide variety of programs such as Nuke, After Effects, Combustion and many more for corner pinning, stabilizing, and match move that suite.
  • Subsequent development using “Full 3D” as in Blender etc.  Some relevant previous entries in this blog are:

So I did a web-search: Google: [after effects 3d]

World / Object Creation:

    •  Real (green screened) rap artist and audients, where the rap artist appears on a virtual a giant stage surrounded by replicated audients.
    • Explains the conceptualization, storyboarding, and high-level aspects (no screenshots) of designing a world capable of representation in After Effects, along with building and testing experiences.
    • How to make a truck out of a single flat surface with cut-out sections and folds.  Like you would make one out of a single sheet of cardboard (like a cornflake packet).
    • Links to tutorial and support-files.
    • Similar to the truck, flat sheet (“texture”, obtained from an actual photo, realigned and stretched to remove perspective effect in photo) folded into a 3D building object.
    • Video tutorial and project files are provided.
    • { has both free stuff (tutorials etc.) and pay-stuff.  Well-worth a check-out.}


  • DaVinci Resolve Lite – free
    • Re: After Effects Tracking (by Todd Kopriva, Adobe Tech. Support, on Jul 10, 2011)
      • If you have After Effect CS5, you have mocha—and it’s often the easiest and best way to do tracking for the purpose of compositing.
    • Q: “Mocha, or Camera Tracker?” (by andrew donaldson on Sep 8, 2011)
      • {Mocha (LE) comes with CS5.5, Camera Tracker is a third-party add-on}
      • I need to create something similar to this:
      • …. would liked to use similar techniques, especially with the web pages tracking the buildings in city shots.
      • I have tried to use mocha to track the side of a building, but its not proving ideal. Obviously the motion tracker inside AE won’t give me the depth/perspective.
      • So what’s the best way to do this?  … Is Syntheyes/Camera tracker the way forward?
    • A1: (by ben g unguren on Sep 8, 2011 )
      • The general rule of thumb is that Mocha works great if your graphics are ATTACHED to an EXISTING surface (like a logo on the side of a building, or changing the words on a sign). If you’re trying to add something in 3D space (like graphics that “hover” around the building, and seem to actually be there), then you need a 3D solution.
      • Mocha and AE’s internal trackers give you 2D solutions. Mocha’s solutions are a bit more sophisticated, producing corner-point information that mimics 3D, but [this is key] it doesn’t produce a 3D camera.
      • Syntheyes and similar apps will give you an animated 3D camera as well as target points that simulate the world you’re tracking (target points for the ground, buildings, etc — whatever you’ve managed to track and can get a 3D “solution” for). This is A LOT more information than what Mocha or AE’s internal tracking can get you.
      • One other point: when the camera is only panning and tilting (not actually changing it’s own position) then a 2D solution can (sort of) mimick a 3D camera solution. So if all you’re doing is panning and tilting, then you could track that in Mocha, then use that data to animate objects (that are given perspective, for instance). You would be able to achieve a lot of the graphics in the video you linked to using that technique, as they’re using a lot of static cameras.
    • A2: (by Tudor “Ted” Jelescu on Sep 8, 2011):
      • I agree with Ben.
      • In most of the shots from your example Mocha can be used. I suspect that some of those shots where not really video files, but still images cleverly transformed in a 2.5d comp where camera moves can be animated in AE – so no tracker there.
      • Here’s a good tutorial for what Mocha can do:


Training: Den Lennie’s “Music Video” Experience

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I attended, working on one of the camera units.  Had a great time, learnt lots, at all sorts of levels.  Even how to make good use of the Movie Slate application on my iPhone!  Link:

Pre-Visualization Apps (for Storyboard / Animatrix / Virtual Studio)

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

General & Surveys:

Specific Applications:

Storyboard Advice

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Storyboard Advice Links:


Monday, December 27th, 2010