View Full Version : Can Lightwave be used for storyboarding?

07-31-2008, 10:14 AM
Can Lightwave be used for storyboarding? I have a client that is needing a 2D storyboard but I'm not sure if LW is capable of doing that.

07-31-2008, 10:20 AM
I'm still learning LW and never used it that way, but discovered a free program (Celtx) the other day that might help.


I haven't had a chance to install and check it out yet. Hope this helps...MG

07-31-2008, 10:28 AM
Hey Thanks goodrichm. Is this program specifically a story board program?

07-31-2008, 10:40 AM
Reading thru the "Features" page it looks like it does Storyboarding and the whole enchilada! Here's a small quote from the page:

Take your media project to the next level by adding a storyboard based on your script and adding individual or batch images in to the storyboard. Each storyboard image is accompanied with a shot description to help you communicate your creative vision. Rearrange images and sequences within the project to construct your visual narrative. Then when you're ready, use the slideshow feature to play the images to help pre-visualize your media project.

Media Rich Breakdowns
You can add sound files, video clips, digital photos and scanned documents to your project to create a media intensive breakdown. You can then associate the media with any one of the 36 production categories, including wardrobe, props, and locations."

07-31-2008, 10:43 AM
and it's free?

07-31-2008, 10:54 AM
Yep, according to its FAQ page it's distributed under the Open Source CePL License (Netscape's Mozilla Public License):


07-31-2008, 03:13 PM
I've used Celtx and I love it but Celtx is a screenwriting program with the ability to attatch a storyboard to your script...you can upload images such as drawings or photographs to create your storyboard thumbnails or your can even play them slide show style...It's free because it's open source...but as far as screenwriting programs go it beats Final Draft, the Industry standard

07-31-2008, 04:13 PM
I do quite a lot of storyboarding but I find Lightwave is a bit unwieldy for that purpose. Then again I am storyboarding with the writer in the room while he is making story revisions. So I just do 2D sketches using a Wacom graphics tablet in Photoshop. It isn't pretty but it is fast and every one can can get a copy of the storyboard at the end of the day.

I do feel that LightWave can be a great tool in preproduction though. If have a complex scene and you want to know if the staging works with the camera moves, you can test that with LightWave.

07-31-2008, 04:39 PM
Hmmm, I'll have to check this program out tonight. My client wants storyboards by tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I can learn the program fast enough to get it done. LOL

Marvin Miller
07-31-2008, 04:42 PM
It depends on what you are trying to do.

If you are wanthing to sketch the storyboards, then LightWave is probably not what you want to use.

If you already have them sketched out and want to make an animatic, SpeedEDIT can take the scanned images and you can adjust timing and such there.

If you are doing a basic layout and want to test different camera angles, then LightWave is great for this type of thing. Although, I suppose if you already have the models you could do stills of the major story points and render them out using Sketch or a cel-shader for that 2D look. Just a thought I had.

08-01-2008, 10:03 PM
Nice idea Marvin.

BTW, I have used LW to at least render out the basic items I needed for storyboards, then used Photoshop to do the remaining work on the storyboard images. Put them together in a DTP program and then saved it out as PDF's.

CelTX might be nice though.

08-01-2008, 10:22 PM
Hmmm, I'll have to check this program out tonight. My client wants storyboards by tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I can learn the program fast enough to get it done. LOL

Been using celtx for a while. Cool program. But the storyboard function needs content. You can create that with the tips here using LightWave. Great way to do it if you plan on creating the assets for the project anyway. Also depending on your needs, time and skill you can make low poly versions of what you intend to do in modeler then render those out.

08-02-2008, 02:38 AM
if you want to be able to sketch and place your script text and also have notes arrows etc ALL in 1 app that can output to pdf then take a look at toonboom storyboard, it's $199




as you can see it lays out in industry standard storyboard formats for you:thumbsup:



i surpose it all depends on what you need...if you need an app that you can draw/sketch in plus import your script and add direction notes then this looks pretty good...there's also a pro version as well...which can add the audio track and also output to video for a animatic of the storyboard.

you also have to make sure your looking for a storyboard app and not a script app or an animatic app...they do totally different things, i think being able to draw in a storyboard app is the key most of the time...

for rough 2d animatics i'd use either toonboom studio or tv paint...as i can draw and time out...then move onto a 3d animatic in lw or another 3d app.

hope that helps abit

08-02-2008, 04:14 AM
It usually works just fine with pen and paper. It's also cheap and easy to use. :)

08-02-2008, 08:34 AM
Another option is Poser. You can set up the scene pretty quickly and even do sketch renders that kind of fake the pro storyboard look. See quick example below.

08-02-2008, 09:22 AM
well yeah the idea of creating a storyboard is speed speed speeeeeeed!
ie you don;t; take long to 'draw a frame'

poser woudl be good for those who have trouble drawing...good itdea.

also you need script notes somewhere, camera direction and the dialogue.

another way woudl be to use corel draw or xara xtreme to create a template of a typical layout like that of toomboom story board, then sketch in the panels with a wacom and add the text with copy/paste to then save out as a pdf or seq of images to be printed out or throw into speed edit/video editor.

lots of ways really...from a pencil and pad for nr free upto ...storyboard pro at $799

08-02-2008, 12:22 PM
Can Lightwave be used for storyboarding? I have a client that is needing a 2D storyboard but I'm not sure if LW is capable of doing that.

What's wrong with paper and pencil?

08-02-2008, 01:51 PM
all depends on what the client is expecting..pencil and paper is fine if that's what he/she wants but maybe they want the script lines, direction and camera move + notes...maybe a animatic based on the storyboard too...you could still use pencil/paper and scan in the sheets then clean up the scans and drop them into an video editor along with the dialogue track and music.

same goes for using photoshop or painter.

08-02-2008, 03:38 PM
What's wrong with paper and pencil?

The person holding the pencil. :) I made a few short films and have tried to storyboard by drawing (even bought a how-to book), but didn't go far.

I ended up buying FrameForge 3D. It was OK, but the figures looked a bit weird. As someone with a little experience making movies, I can say that storyboards should communicate the basic action, but should NOT have detail/realism because that tends to cement the visual in your mind (after all, the final shot is going to look very different). A B/W sketch is going to let your imagination go wild while keeping in the confines of the basic action.

Dedicated stuff (like FrameForge 3D) is useful in the sense it lets you easily create scenes with figures/props and incorporate them with your script (accepts Final Draft) to play SWF animations, etc. But like I said, ending up with a B/W sketch not only helps the creative process, but also looks professional - should you want to impress the artists/crew without hiring a pro storyboard artist. :) Poser can help for that.

Another thing is that, as most of you know, the script/storyboard is very often subject to a lot of changes, and it is so much easier to change a digital version.

08-02-2008, 07:49 PM
all depends on what the client is expecting..

My clients don't have any problems with this primitive technique. You can try any digital medium to create a storyboard but why complicate things?

you could still use pencil/paper and scan in the sheets then clean up the scans and drop them into an video editor along with the dialogue track and music.

Then you are doing an animatic, not a storyboard.

08-02-2008, 09:31 PM
I agree with Titus,

Pencil paper, maybe even some marker pens. I only use the Wacom tablet so I don't have to scan things at the end of the day. Otherwise I would just use pencil and paper, and probably pretty cheap paper, because very few people will ever see it.

I think even Poser would take too long unless you are just working on your own. If I start to take a little extra time and do some shading to make it look nice, I usually get a comment like "I guess it's a shading day"

FrameForge does look interesting and I have been wanting to check it out for a while. The thing I like about it is the interface is intuitive to filmmakers. With Pan, Tilt, dolly, instead of heading, pitch bank, translate. That may be helpful when you are working with other people who can't draw or have no experience with 3d. All good things but I'll be it is still slower than a pencil.

08-03-2008, 12:37 PM
also for animatics and pre viz you could hook up antics


there's the free home version as well as a pro version