User Guide > Layers > Importing Images as Layers

Importing Images as Layers

As you build your scene, you may want to use bitmap images for backgrounds and overlays. You may also want to import an image as a reference for a vector drawing you want to create. With Storyboard Pro, you can import a variety of bitmap formats (TVG, OPT, PAL, SCAN, SGI, TGA, YUV, OMF, PSD, PNG, JPG, JPE or JPEG) which you can combine with your vector-animated content to create rich and unique graphic styles. You can import a single image (or multiple images located in the same folder) into a new layer.

IMPORTANT: Storyboard Pro does not support import of 8-bit CMYK or 16-bit RGB or CMYK format PSD files. You can currently import only 8-bit RGBA format PSD files.

To import images into the current panel:

  1. Select the panel to which you want to import the image(s).
  1. Select File > Import > Images as Layers.

The Choose Image Files dialog box opens.

  1. Select the image to import and click Open.
NOTE: To select multiple images, hold down [Ctrl] (Windows) or [⌘] (Mac OS X) as you click.

A layer is created in your panel, containing the imported image. If you selected more than one image, each image will be imported in alphanumerical order on its own layer.

If you selected a *.psd image with multiple layers, a message will appear giving you the option to import each layer separately.

Click Yes to import each layer on its own layer in the panel.
Click No to create a layer behind the existing layers, containing the selected *.psd image.

Vectorization Options

By default, when you import an image into your project using either the Import Image as Layers or Import Images as Scenes commands, the imported images will be vectorized in colour and fit the camera frame. The image resulting from a colour vectorization will appear exactly as the original picture.

With the Storyboard Pro, more options are available which give you better control over the vectorization of imported images. To access these options, you must first select the Display Vectorize Options Dialog option in the Preferences dialog box.

  1. Do one of the following:
Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Storyboard Pro > Preferences (Mac OS X).
Press [Ctrl] + [U] (Windows) or [⌘] + [,] (Mac OS X).

  1. In the browser that opens, select the image to import.

The Import Images dialog box opens.

  1. The preview area displays the original image on the left and the resulting image on the right. The preview of the resulting image automatically updates each time you modify a parameter.

To set the Vectorization preferences:

  1. In the Import Options section, set the following parameters:

As Bitmap Layer: Preserves the exact look of the imported images and imports it in a bitmap layer.
Colour to Vector Layer: Preserves the exact look of the imported images and imports it in a vector layer.
Gray Scale to Vector Layer: Imports the selected images as a gray scale in a vector layer.
Black and White to Vector Layer: Imports the images as black line art. When you enable this option, more options become available:
Threshold (%): Filters out noise in your images. Noise can be dirt or faint smudges on your scanned images. For example, if your value is set to 70%, all colour values below 70% are converted to white and ignored in the final image. If your value is set to 100%, only completely black lines will be kept.
Expand: Enter a value between 1 and 100 to thicken lines or the outer edges of the bitmap. Use this option if your line art is too fine or pale so that their visibility is increased in the software.
Smooth: Enter a value between 1 and 5 to set the smoothness level. Greater smoothness equals less jaggedness and imperfections, but at a greater loss to detail.
  1. In the Resampling Options section, set the following parameters:

Maximum Size: Enter a specific maximum size for your imported image to be scaled down to. The original ratio of the image will be preserved during the operation. You can see the final values resulting from the scaling process in the Scale Size fields. Note that you can not use these fields to scale up an image.
Scaled Size: Displays the final size the image will be scaled after it is imported in your project.
  1. Once you have set the vectorization options:
Saves as default: Saves the current settings. Every time you open this dialog box, the new default parameters will automatically be set. The import images commands will still use this new default even if you deselect the Display Vectorize Options Dialog preferences.
Do not show this dialog again: Deselect the Display Vectorize Options dialog option in the Preferences dialog box directly from here.