Storyboard Pro 20 Release Notes

Here is the list of changes in Storyboard Pro 20, build 20.10.0. 16510 (2020-11-22):

New Features

Drawing Tools

Feature Description
Stencil Brush Tool

A new Stencil Brush tool is now available in Storyboard Pro. This tool is located in a drop-down menu under the Brush tool in the Tools toolbar.

This tool has two modes, Overlay Brush Mode and Repaint Brush Mode . The two modes are available in the Stencil Brush Tool Properties, under the brush presets.

  • Repaint Brush Mode: In this mode, the existing artwork is replaced and repainted, ignoring empty zones. The Stencil Brush always behaves as a Repaint Brush on bitmap layers.
  • Overlay Brush Mode: In this mode, the existing artwork is not modified. Instead, the existing artwork is used as a mask to clip new brush strokes on top of the existing artwork. You can perform a multi-layer selection and use the union of the artwork in all of the selected layers as the mask. Although all the selected layers participate in generating the mask, only the current active layer is modified with the new brush strokes. The Overlay Brush mode is available for vector layers only.

For more information, see Painting with the Stencil Brush tool.

Pencil Textures

Pencil lines can now be drawn with textures. A pencil line texture is applied with regard to the width and direction of the pencil lines. For example, if you draw a spiral with a dash texture, the dashes will follow the curves of the spiral, and if you draw a thicker line with the same texture, the dashes will be both longer and thicker.

Pencil textures can also be applied to the Line , Rectangle , Ellipse and Polyline tools. Default textures are found under the Texture tab in the Pencil tool extended properties.

You can also import your own textures. Select the pencil line and in the Tool Properties assign a new texture.

For more information, see About Pencil Line Textures.

Single Line and Multiple Lines Cutting Modes

The Cutter tool now has two gesture cutting modes available in the Tool Properties view:

  • Single Line Cutting Gesture : This mode trims the first line segment cut by a single straight gesture.
  • Multiple Lines Cutting Gesture : This new mode trims multiple line segments cut by the same gesture.

For more information, see Cutting Artwork.

Options for drawing curves with the Line Tool

New options in the Line tool properties to curve the line on mouse up:

  • Curve Line Mode : Allows for the drawing of a curved line by moving the mouse after drawing a straight line. Click or press Enter to commit the curved line.
  • S-Curve Line Mode : Allows for the drawing of an S-shaped curved line. Moving the mouse after creating a straight line will curve the line from both ends until the mouse is clicked. The tail end of the line will then curve until the mouse is clicked again or Enter is pressed.

For more information, see Drawing Curved Lines with the Line Tool.

Auto Fill with Brush New Auto Fill option in the Brush tool properties. When active, drawing a closed shape with the Brush tool will automatically fill the closed shape with the currently assigned paint colour—see About the Brush Tool.
Select tool improvements
  • The Select tool pivot now preserves its position when using the Undo and Redo commands.
  • The Select tool pivot now follows the selection when scaling, rotating and skewing.
Centerline Editor tool improvements

Improvements have been added for editing brush strokes with the Centerline Editor tool:

  • Points can now be deleted from the centerline curve on brush strokes by selecting them and pressing the Delete key.
  • New Centerline Smoothness option to control the fitting of the center line is now available in the Tool Properties.
  • The centerline selection is now maintained when using the Undo and Redo commands.

For more information, see Reshaping Brush Strokes Using the Centerline Editor and Centerline Editor Tool Modes.

Preserve selection when undoing or redoing The Contour Editor , Perspective and Envelop tools now preserve the selection when using the Undo and Redo commands.
Adjusting eraser size It’s now possible to adjust the eraser size holding o, or by using the [ and ] shortcuts when using the eraser end of the Wacom pen—see Erasing.

Drawing Layers

Feature Description
Scroll bar in the layer list The layer list that appears in the Stage view, Camera view and in the panels in the Thumbnail view, now has a scrollbar to quickly move and scroll down the list of layers.
Toggling layer states

You can now toggle the different states (visibility, lock, Background Mode) of multiple layers by holding the Alt key when clicking on the Show/Hide , Lock/Unlock or Background Mode icons.

Alt-clicking the Show/Hide icon on a layer will hide all other layers in the panel and only show the layer on which you clicked.

If the layer that is being clicked is the only layer that is visible, Alt-clicking will enable all the layers in the panel.

For more information, see Showing and Hiding Layers, Locking and Unlocking Layers and Excluding Layers from the Onion Skin.

Dropping layers in groups Layers can now be dropped into collapsed groups. Once dropped, the layer will be placed at the top of the group.
Animated Layer Opacity The opacity value of layers can now be animated over time. To animate the opacity of a layer, in the Stage or Camera view, select the layer in the layer panel and click the button next to the Opacity value at the top of the layer list. This will create an opacity keyframe at the current frame. In the Timeline view, move the red playhead to select another frame and repeat these steps to have the opacity change over time.
Blurring Layers

It is now possible to preview Blur effects before applying them by using the new Preview button in the Blur dialogs.

All the Blur effects (Blur, Radial Zoom Blur and Directional Blur) can now be applied to vector layers without having to convert them beforehand. Vector layers will be converted automatically when the effect is applied.

A visual cue is now displayed in the Stage and Camera views to show the position of the focus point used for the Radial Zoom Blur.

For more information, see Drawing Curved Lines with the Line Tool.

Model View

Feature Description
Model View The Model view is now available in Storyboard Pro to display reference drawings. Drawings can be displayed in this view by dragging and dropping drawing layers into the Model view’s window.

Stage and Camera Views

Feature Description
Onion Skin Options

The following options are now available for better Onion Skin display in the Camera tab of the Preferences:

  • Lightness as Alpha: In this mode, when displaying drawings before and after the current frame, dark areas remain opaque while light areas become transparent.
  • Onion Skin Render Style has replaced the Enable Shade option and has the following options:
    • Original Colours: Gradually fades the colours in the drawings.
    • Coloured: Uses the colours set in the Preferences > Colours tab.
    • Coloured Outline: Displays the drawings as outline using the colours set in Preferences > Colours tab.
  • Onion Skin Position: Allows you to select whether the onion skins are displayed under or over the current panel.

For more information, see Camera Preferences.

Proportion Grid A new Proportion Grid can now be displayed in the Stage and the Camera views. This grid follows the camera and can be used to help compose your drawings or your camera shots. The number of horizontal and vertical divisions for this grid can be customized from the Camera tab of the Preferences. By default, the grid is divided into 3 vertical and 3 horizontal sections to create the classic rule of thirds composition grid. A new button in the status bar of the Stage and Camera views is available to turn the grid on or off—see Positioning the Camera.
Show Drawing Grid Button The Show/Hide Grid button in the Stage and Camera view’s status bars has now been replaced by the 12 Field Grid button and can be used to select which grid is displayed. Quickly clicking the 12 Field Grid button shows and hides the grid. Clicking and holding the 12 Field Grid button opens a small menu where all the grid sizes are displayed for selection—see Displaying the Grid.
16x12 Field Grid A new 16x12 Field Grid has been added to the list of available drawing grids—see Displaying the Grid.


Feature Description
Cached Playback

Storyboard Pro can now pre-render frames using OpenGL and save them in a cache. This cached playback can be used to reliably playback at the project’s frame rate, without pausing or skipping.

A cached playback can be viewed from the Playback view in Storyboard Pro or on a reference monitor through a Blackmagic Design playback device. The cached playback can be enabled in the Preferences > Playback tab, under the Playback Mode options:

  • Disabled: When this option is selected, cached playback is disabled. This is the default state.
  • Playback View: When this option is selected, the Playback view becomes available to add to the Storyboard Pro workspace. Relaunch is required.
  • [Blackmagic Design playback device]: If a Blackmagic Design playback device is installed or connected to your computer, the device will be appear and be available for selection in the Playback Mode options drop-down.

For more information, see High Quality Playback and Playback Preferences.

Support for Blackmagic Design playback devices Storyboard Pro now supports the use of Blackmagic Design playback devices when using cached playback. If a Blackmagic Design playback device is connected to your computer, it will be available in the Preferences > Playback tab > Playback Mode options drop-down—see Playback Preferences.
Audio Output Device

Storyboard Pro now supports the use of Blackmagic Design devices for audio output. If a Blackmagic Design device is connected to your computer, it will be available in the Preferences > Playback tab > Audio Output Device options drop-down—see Playback Preferences.

Playback Range

You can now define the playback range from the top menu, by selecting Play > Playback Range and one of the following:

  • Storyboard Track
  • Track Storyboard and Audio Tracks
  • Working Range

When the Working Range option is selected, the Start and Stop Frames of the working range are displayed as adjustable black triangles in the Timeline view's ruler and the range selection is indicated in dark grey.

A way to quickly redefine the range is to move the red playhead in the Timeline view and set the Start and Stop Frames, or to select a range of panels and set them as the range. This can be done from the top menu, by selecting Play > Playback Range and one of the following:

  • Set Start Frame
  • Set Stop Frame
  • Set Range from Selection

All of the Playback Range options are also available by right-clicking on the Timeline view's ruler.

Audio Effects

Feature Description
Effects Stack View

It is now possible to add audio effects to audio clips using the new Effect Stack view (Windows > Effect Stack). The following effects can be added and managed in this view:

  • Balance
  • Delay
  • High Pass Filter
  • Low Pass Filter
  • Pitch Shifter
  • Reverb
  • Volume

To add an effect to an audio clip, select the clip in the Timeline view, then at the bottom right of the Effect Stack view, click on the Add Effect button.

For more information, see Effect Stack View.

Audio Speed/Duration

You can now change the speed and duration of audio clips using the new Speed/Duration dialog (accessed by right-clicking on an audio clip). The following options are available:

  • Speed: Sets the speed of the audio clip using a percentage. This automatically changes the duration.
  • Duration: Sets the duration of the audio clip. This automatically changes the speed.
  • Original Duration: Displays the duration of the clip at 100% speed.
  • Ripple-Edit: Shifts all the audio clips that come after the selected audio clip.
  • Preserve Audio Pitch: Use this option to preserve the current audio pitch when changing the speed or duration.


Feature Description
Creating empty clips on video tracks

It is now possible to create clips on video tracks that contain multiple drawing layers. To do this, position the red playhead to the desired location in the Timeline view, then right-click on the desired video track and from the menu select New Empty Clip.

Select the newly created clip to display its layers in the Stage or Camera view. You can add more layers to the clip's layer stack or draw and create artwork on these layers.

Creating a clip from a drawing panel

A clip can now be created by dragging a panel from the Storyboard track to a video track. This creates an independent copy of all the layers in that panel, now housed in a clip.

The reverse is also possible, a clip can be dragged from a video track to the Storyboard track to create a panel. This works as long as the clip does not contain a movie file.

Image and Movie clip colours Image clips and Movie clips on video tracks now have their own distinctive colours in the Timeline view. The default colours can be changed in the Preferences > Colours tab.
Ripple Markers

There is a new option to Ripple Markers in the Timeline view when editing panels. This option can be turned on or off from the Storyboard > Markers menu and in the contextual menu that appears when right-clicking on the Timeline view's ruler.

When enabled, operations that cause the overall project duration to change will shift and ripple the markers to follow the panels.

Deleting a panel ripples markers up the Timeline from the point of the deleted panel. Markers placed before or in the timecode range of the deleted panel will stay at their current timecode.

Timeline Marker Enhancements

To help keep the colour of markers consistent, a list of predefined colours is now available when editing the properties of a timeline marker. It is still possible to assign a custom colour using the Custom option at the bottom of the colour list.

Additionally, markers now have a Name field in addition to the Note field.

Link Clips to Panel A new command in the Timeline view now allows you to link audio and video clips to a specific panel. When linked to a panel, a clip will follow its linked panel instead of following the panel that is located at the clip's first frame, allowing to sync audio with any panel.


Feature Description
Conformation of Video Tracks

Video track information can now be exported in an XML or AAF file when exporting via the File > Conformation > Export Project command, by checking the new Export video tracks option in the Options tab of the Export Project dialog box.

When enabled, content of video tracks will be included in the generated XML or AAF file and the first frame of each clip on these tracks will be rendered as a flat image.

Exporting panels as movie files

Panels can now be exported in an XML or AAF file when exporting via the File > Conformation > Export Project command, by checking the new Export panels as movies on additional track option in the Options tab of the Export Project dialog box.

All the panels in a project can be rendered as movies or only panels that have camera or layer motion by additionally selecting the Only panels with motion option.

Exporting and Pipeline Integration

Feature Description
Support for additional QuickTime codecs on macOS

On macOS additional codecs are now available when exporting QuickTime movies. The list of codecs available depends on the version of macOS being used. The following are now available on Catalina:

  • Apple ProRes 422 HQ
  • Apple ProRes 422 LT
  • Apple ProRes 422 Proxy
  • H.265 (Alpha channel support is available with Catalina)

For more information, see Configuring Movie Settings for QuickTime Movies on macOS.

QuickTime movies in full colour depth Rendering to QuickTime on macOS now supports the codecs’ full bit depth. ProRes 4444 supports up to 12-bit for the RGB channels and ProRes 422 supports 10-bit per channel.
Export Bitmaps with Custom Resolution New options have been added to the resolution list in the Export to Bitmap dialog that allows exporting at twice the project resolution or using a custom resolution, without having to change the project resolution—see Playback Preferences.
Movies with Transparent Background

A Transparent Background option is now available when exporting movies using a codec which supports alpha channel. On macOS, this option is greyed out if the selected QuickTime codec does not support an alpha channel. On Windows, the options cannot be greyed out automatically. A codec supporting an alpha channel with the depth set to Millions of Colors+ must be selected.

This option is available in both Movie and EDL/AAF/XML exports—see Exporting Bitmap Images.

Bitmap Export with Transparent Background The Transparent Background option now works for TGA and PNG image formats when using the Export > Bitmap command. In previous versions, this option was only available when exporting to PSD files—see Exporting Bitmap Images.
Colour Space Management

Storyboard Pro now includes the OpenColorIO library for managing and converting colours to ensure consistent colours throughout your pipeline.

  • The working colour space for a project can be set when creating a project or from the project properties. This colour space is used for internal processing when rendering. All images imported into a project should use the same colour space as images are not converted on import.
  • The colour space used when exporting images and movies can be set from their respective export dialogs. If the colour space selected at export differs from the working colour space, the colours will be converted during the export process.
  • Exported images and videos in the following formats will be tagged with the colour space information. Other formats will only have the colour values converted and will not be tagged:
  • PSD and PNG images
  • QuickTime Movie export on macOS

For more information, see New Project Dialog Box and Exporting Bitmap Images.

Importing Audio Tracks from an AAF or FCP XML

A new dialog to import audio tracks from an XML or AAF file is now available in Storyboard Pro. The dialog can be opened using File > Import > Audio Tracks command and has the following options:

  • Import to New Audio Tracks: This option will create new audio tracks and import the audio to these tracks.
  • Replace all Audio Tracks: This option will remove all audio tracks from the project and replace them with new audio tracks on which the linked audio clips will be imported.
Importing media through Media Foundation Importing audio and movie files on Windows is now done through Microsoft Media Foundation. Only audio and video files that are in a format supported by Microsoft Media Foundation can be imported in Storyboard Pro. See the list of supported formats here:
Harmony Export Content of video tracks can now be exported as layers in Harmony when exporting to Harmony using the Original Scene export type—see Exporting Harmony Scenes.

PDF Export

Feature Description
Align Left Most Camera Frame

The Align Left Most Camera Frame option is now available on the Panels tab of the PDF Profile dialog.

When a storyboard panel contains a camera motion, selecting this option will align the left most camera keyframe with the panel frames in the exported PDF. The artwork and camera movement will spread over the caption columns and to the other rows depending on the range of camera movement.

This new alignment option works best when using the options in one of the three Japanese PDF profiles.

Unicode font support

PDF Export now uses Qt to better support languages with special characters. All fonts installed on the system can now be used to export captions.

Note that password protection is not available with the Qt library. An external tool will need to be used if the PDF needs to be password protected.

For more information, see Formatting Text.

Function Editor

Feature Description
Editing Bezier Curves The velocity functions for the camera and layer motion are now Bezier curves. These provide better editability in the Function Editor than the previous Ease curves—see About Animation Functions and Tweaking an Animation Path.
Independent ease adjustment The camera Rotation and Focal Length function curves are no longer velobased. These now use Bezier curves that can be edited independently from the velocity function to fine tune ease in and out.


Feature Description
Method to list the name of views

Added the new view.viewList() function which returns all of the current views in Storyboard. It can alternatively be called with a parameter, a type of view, to only return the views of that type.

Sample scripts:

var list = view.viewList();
for (var i in list)
{ MessageLog.trace(view.type(list[i])); }


var list = view.viewList("Camera View");
for (var i in list)
{ MessageLog.trace(list[i]); }

Other Enhancements

  • The Easy Drag option is now available in the Transform Tool properties. When enabled, you can move the selection by clicking anywhere inside its bounding box. When Easy Drag is disabled you must click directly on the selected artwork to be able to move it.

  • The Snap and Align and Snap to Alignment Guides options can now be used with Bitmap layers and the drawing tools.

  • The font list that appears in the Text tool's Tool Properties view will now filter as you type the name of the font you’re looking for.

  • Shortcuts assigned to commands and tools are now displayed in the tooltips that appear when the mouse hovers over a button.

Fixed Issues

The following issues have been fixed in this release of Storyboard Pro:

  • The Movie Format always resets to the top option in the drop-down list after reopening the Export to EDL/AAF/XML dialog. SB-3301

  • Layer transparency does not render properly in the Stage and Camera views. SB-3224

  • When exporting a project for Conformation, if the Always nest layers option is unchecked, the exported images are blank. SB-3082

  • Audio clips disappear from the Timeline view after splitting, prior to a Copy and Paste command followed by an Undo command. SB-2583

  • Scripting: SelectionManager::setLayerSelection is not updated when changing panels. SB-2094

  • Soundtrack name is different each time a project is exported to Toon Boom. SB-1537

  • Captions > Format Captions > Clear Formatting does not clear all text formatting. SB-3234

  • The codec previously selected in the Movie Options is not persisted after choosing another Movie Format for export. SB-3300

  • Audio clips disappear from synched audio tracks when using the Split Panel at Current Frame command before a gap. SB-3349

  • Rendering a 3D model to 2D does not give the same result as displaying the model in a 3D scene using the same focal length. SB-3558

  • Changing the codec in QuickTime Video Config for Export > EDL AAF XML doesn't create a movie in the selected codec on Windows. SB-3542

  • ExportManager.setSplitTimeCountMode and setSplitTimeCountSplit have their parameters inverted. SB-3592

  • The mouse cursor sticks to the marquee selection and fills it with black after a right-clicking on the contextual video or audio track menu. SB-3360

  • Typing is slow in the caption fields of the Storyboard view when there is large text. SB-3780

  • New project from Final Draft freezes when including transitions if the Preserve project length when adding transition option is not enabled. SB-3352

  • Suggested name when using the Save As command when working on a project in SBPZ format is the internal folder name instead of the name of the SBP file. SB-3556

  • Overlapping vertical strokes are not displayed properly when lowering the opacity of a layer. SB-3224

  • Snapshots created on the last frame of panels can't be edited, deleted and moved. SB-3537