I went to art school at the time skills-based fine art education was being wound down in favor of an ideologically-driven emphasis on the philosophical musings of certain dead or soon-to-be Frenchmen (and one Frenchwoman).
Post-modernist theory and academic careerism were replacing teaching by actual practicing artists in essential art production skills like drawing, 2D and 3D fabrication, photography, moviemaking, and deep knowledge of color and form, and of the materials of art themselves.
Balance between theory and practice were thrown out the window. The traditional training in drawing I had begun under the tutelage of one of the best draftswomen in the country abruptly ceased with the demand that all tutors and lecturers must have post-graduate degrees in whatever they could enrol into, art-related or not.
Not, more often, as honors years and post-graduate degrees had yet to become the norm. Now everyone wanting to teach needs a PhD and everyone with the cash to spare or willingness to hang decades of debt around their necks can find PhDs somewhere in photography, moviemaking and almost anything else.
Art became academiacized but without the skills-based academicism of the Academy. I have regretted that ever since, especially when trying to express movie ideas via stylus on art tablet or pencil on paper. An ability to draw would really come in handy for creating my own storyboards.
But there is a solution. Standalone pre-visualization software has been around for a while, but the full-featured applications I have come across so far have been pricey and limited to one task, visualizing well before the process of shooting and editing.
PowerProduction Software has come up with a double-edged software solution, one for use in pre-production and post-production, for pre-visualization (aka “previz” or “previs”) and for post-visualization during editing.
Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has had its storyboard function for ages and third party storyboard plug-ins like FCPEffects Action Storyboard plug-in and Pixel Film Studios’ FCPX Storyboard: Corporate fill in some of the gaps.
ShotPro for iPads, iPhones and Mac OS X looks like a terrific pre-shoot pre-visualization tool. I really must arrange to come into some money and get myself an iPad Pro for all these great new production-quality apps from Adobe and other vendors.
I am told that once you start creating on an A4-sized tablet with a stylus like the Apple Pencil, you can’t go back to anything else. Perhaps I will finally become the draftswoman I should have been had my training not been truncated.
Visualize Unshot Sequences with Martini QuickShot Creator
If your budget is tight though, like most independent moviemakers, a two-in-one plug-in like Martini QuickShot Creator may be the way to go. According to Josh Mellicker, timeline storyboarding was a core function he requested from Randy Ubillos, the new retired “creator of Premiere, KeyGrip (later renamed Final Cut Pro), Aperture and several other amazing programs”.
I like the idea of what an FCPX plug-in like Martini QuickShot Creator can do. Pre-visualize within an existing, feature-rich movie production software environment. Post-visualize those shots yet to be produced, within their final context.
I have yet to try Martini QuickShot Creator out, but I wanted to bring it to your attention just as it was brought by the inspirational photographer-cum-moviemaker-cum-teacher, Eduardo Angel in his recent article Film Anatomy. Location Scouting Apps.
One more thing. To avoid any possible impression Martini QuickShot Creator may only be for use in FCPX, here is its list of supported host applications, Mac and Windows:
- Avid Media Composer v8.x, v7.x, or v6.x for Mac or Win.
- Apple Final Cut Pro X, v7, or v6.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, or CS4 for Mac OS X or Windows.
- Sony Vegas Pro v13 or v12.
- Sony Movie Studio Suite.
Impressive!Pre & Post-Visualize Your Movies in Your Favorite NLE with Martini QuickShot Creator Plug-In. Click To Tweet
Martini: Storyboard inside your video editor
See into the future and visualize your upcoming shots with Martini! Bridging the gap between your un-shot scenes and your final edit is faster and easier than ever. No more black slugs with text explaining what “shot goes here”: show that shot with the dynamic power of Martini and create a better final film.
Hundreds of Unique Shots
Choose from hundreds of pre-designed, pre-laid out shots. Use the shots as-is or edit them in the Composite Frame so you can get just the right look for your scene. Characters come Standing, Walking, Running, Sitting, Jumping, and Prone plus Phoning, Point-Shoot, Punching, Driving, Typing, and Lounging.
Great Looking Actors
Martini's great-looking, pre-drawn actors populate each shot style. Add multiple actors to your scene, change their poses, and zoom them in and out on their own unlimited layers. Easily create shots with a wide variety of looks.
Never Leave Your Editor
Arrange frame objects, crop out what you don't need, and zoom in and out of everything you want in your scene. Then, save your visual ideas right into your Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, or Vegas Pro timeline. Whether it's a shot, a sequence or even a pre-composed multi-shot, you can quickly and easily bring those shots right into your project.
Learn more and download Martini for Mac or Win.
(cover photo credit: snap from source in post)