How do I use Prolost Boardo with my own storyboard templates?

Prolost Boardo is designed to work with any kind of storyboard images. There are some presets and templates for iPad drawing apps I like, but you can easily use it with any storyboard images from any source.

When drawing storyboards, it's useful to have some extra room around the frame guide, so that you can draw a little more of the scene than is strictly covered by the camera. This gives you a little extra room to draw your shot, and the extra drawing comes in handy when creating camera moves with Boardo.

Since any storyboard template could have a different amount of extra room around the frame guide, Boardo allows you to set up scale and position offsets, so that at the default settings, your shots will be properly framed.

Configuring Boardo to work with a storyboard template is as simple as adjusting these offsets so that the image within the frame guide is properly framed in the After Effects comp. The following are step-by-step instructions for customizing Boardo to work with your own storyboard template.

Draw With a Template

Let's say you want to draw your storyboards in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq. You create a template that is, say, 2,000 pixels wide, and 1,500 pixels tall. Centered within that, you draw your frame guide — a 16:9 (or whichever aspect ratio is appropriate for your project) rectangle on its own layer, slightly smaller than the 2,000-pixel width of the document. You'll draw your storyboards underneath that layer, and export them without the guide.

Tip: It doesn't matter where you draw your storyboards, but central to the design of Boardo is that you draw them using a framing guide that doesn't export with the drawings. So either choose a layered drawing app like Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro, or an app with a built-in template/custom paper feature, such as Noteshelf.

Export Your Template for Reference

You'll export your storyboard frames without the framing guide, but for setting up Boardo, you should export one image, at the same size as your storyboard frames, that includes the frame guide.

Import the Template Into After Effects

Import your template frame into After Effects and add it to a comp of the resolution you plan on using for your storyboards. See the User's Guide for a detailed list of recommended resolutions.

Apply Prolost Boardo to the Template Layer

The layer will change position and scale, but probably won't line up correctly yet.

Do not touch any of the Start or End Pan, Tilt, or Zoom controls. Leave them at their defaults.

Adjust the Setup Values to Fit the Template to the Comp

At the bottom of the Boardo controls, twirl open the Setup group. Here you'll find three controls: Scale Offset, Horizontal Offset, and Vertical Offset.

Use these to adjust the size and position of the layer, until the frame guide in your template lines up with the edges of the comp.

Tip: If your frame guide is centered, you can leave Horizontal Offset and Vertical Offset at zero. Scale Offset should be all you'll have to adjust.

Copy and Paste

Apply Boardo to all your shots. Copy the settings from the one you calibrated, and paste into the other shots.

That's it! Now all your shots are framed correctly, and you can start animating your board-o-matic.