Pixel Film Studios Boosts Storyboarding in Final Cut Pro X with a Great New Corporate Storyboard Plug-in

by Karin Gottschalk1 Comment

FCPX plug-ins maker Pixel Film Studios recently released FCPX Storyboard: Corporate, adding to FCPX’s native storyboarding feature. The plug-in adds storyboarding characters suitable for corporate assignments, more appropriate shot types such as over-the-shoulder as well as indoor and outdoor scene elements.

Storyboards created by storyboard artists have been used by advertising agencies for decades to sell sometimes reluctant, often non-visually-oriented clients on brilliant ideas. Previsualization aka “pre-viz” software became essential to the Hollywood production process when computers began populating production company desks from the mid-1990s.

And, as I discovered with one documentary feature project a while back, creating a short preview movie from whatever footage one has on hand can sell a funding organization on committing their cash after years of written documents failed to convince them that the project was worthwhile.

The problem of persuading a funder or a subject that your movie is a good proposition is even more acute when they are not from the movie business and don’t have the ability to visualize a scene while reading a script. I have been coming across that quite a bit lately. Little wonder that preview movie was so successful – if a single picture is worth a thousand words then a bunch of them strung together as a movie, animatic or animated storyboard is worth millions of them.

The Placeholder Generator is, in effect, a cut-down Storyboard function. It can be accessed via the Edit menu in Final Cut Pro X as a Generator.

The Placeholder Generator is, in effect, a cut-down Storyboard function. It can be accessed via the Edit menu in Final Cut Pro X as a Generator.

So when I acquired a copy of Final Cut Pro X and gave its Placeholder feature a tryout, I had high hopes and some disappointments. FCPX’s native storyboard generator needs some serious updating to make it really suitable for my needs as a low budget or no-budget short documentary moviemaker.

The recent release of FCPX Storyboard: Corporate by Pixel Film Studios reminded me of the time I spent pushing Placeholder as far as I could and far as my knowledge then allowed.

I wish I had a copy back when I was working for a telco. I spent ages trying to sell their marketing staff on the benefits of producing short movies about how a new product range could help out corporate clients frustrated by inadequate mobile phone infrastructure in the city.

There was a domestic version of the product too, and short documentaries showing real people using it to solve real communications problems would have done a fantastic job. The telco got their in-house video team to shoot a standard bloke-in-grey-suit talking-at-the-camera thing instead. Last time I looked, the product range still hadn’t taken off despite persistent clear and obvious need.

If I was still working in the corporate sector I would have picked up a copy of FCPX Storyboard: Corporate immediately. I still might, just to have it on hand for when I have a corporate story subject. But what I really want and need right now is a documentary version of the same type of plug-in.

Even better would be if Apple adds all this extra functionality to Final Cut Pro X’s Placeholder feature, expanding it into a complete storyboarding solution.

According to accounts by users of Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier versions, the storyboard tools they contained were well beyond those in FCPX. I wouldn’t know as I was relying on others to edit back then. Now I need to do it all and the more I can do in FCPX the better. [bctt tweet=”Pixel Film Studios adds to Final Cut Pro X’s storyboarding with FCPX Storyboard: Corporate”]

I understand that there are some excellent storyboard programs out there – ToonBoom Storyboard and StoryBoard Quick come to mind – but I’d like to avoid buying and maintaining too many different major software products on my production computers.

In the meantime I note that there are other possibilities. FCPeffects released its Action Storyboard Plug-in several years ago and Ripple Training showed us how to use FCPX’s Placeholder generator and hack it in Motion 5:

MacBreak Studio: Ep. 293 – Storyboarding in Final Cut Pro X Part 1

MacBreak Studio: Ep. 294 – Storyboarding in Final Cut Pro X Part 2

Al this amply demonstrates that more sophisticated storyboarding can and should become available within Final Cut Pro X. Apple, please take note! In the meantime, I am keeping a close eye on Pixel Film Studios’ emails in the hopes that there may be more to come in a possible FCPX Storyboard collection of which FCPX Storyboard: Corporate may be just the first.

FCPX Storyboard: Corporate – Storyboarding Tool for Final Cut Pro X – Pixel Film Studios

Via Pixel Film Studios:

FCPX Storyboard: Corporate is a storyboarding tool created for Final Cut Pro X. This amazing plugin allows film makers to easily articulate their creative vision to clientele and crew members prior to filming. Insert up to 5 characters and create a multitude of indoor and outdoor scenes by mixing and matching setting options. Simply set the start and end position of the camera, FCPX Storyboard: Corporate will do the rest.

Easy to Use

FCPX Storyboard is extremely easy to use. Drag and drop a FCPX Storyboard generator into the Final Cut Pro X timeline. Move the playhead to the first frame of the generator and set the starting position using controls found in the inspector window. Next, move to the playhead to the last frame and set the end position. FCPX Storyboard will do the rest.

Articulate your Vision

Demonstrate the movement of the camera, position of characters, and provide a general setting for scenes using Pixel Film Studios storyboarding tool for Final Cut Pro X. With FCPX Storyboard: Corporate, editors can professionally articulate their directive vision for clientele or personal projects prior to filming.

Interchangeable Settings

FCPX Storyboard allows users to bring the scene indoors or outdoors with controls found in the FCPX inspector window. Select the time of day, background setting, interior setting, and even add walls to the room using intuitive drop-down menus in Final Cut Pro X. Mix and match to create a multitude of different scenes.

Up to 5 Characters

Insert up to 5 men or women within each scene using drop-down menus found in the FCPX inspector window. Orient character silhouettes at any position or depth within the scene to create a greater parallaxing effect. Additionally, utilize the camera controls to add depth of field and focus on individual characters.

Read more about FCPX Storyboard: Corporate

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. The real deal in storyboarding is a $30 App for tablets and smart phones called ShotPro. Google it. It’s freaking amazing.

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