How to Work in the 3D Space
Storyboard Pro brings your animation into the third dimension by letting you import 3D objects into your project. You can place, manipulate, and modify 3D objects and add new depth to your storytelling.
Viewing Objects from the Top and Side
The Top and Side views are representations of your scene’s space viewed from the top and side. The views also display the viewing area that the camera can see.
When you move an element along the Z-axis, notice that it seems the object becomes smaller or larger. This is because of the perspective effect. That is, the elements closer to the camera appear larger and elements that are farther away, appear smaller. Because of this, you may need to resize elements once they are positioned.
The Stage view displays the north/south (NS), east/west (EW) and front/back (FB) offset positions, but you can use the Side and Top views to reposition elements:
- Top View: Displays the EW and FB positions.
- Side View: Displays the NS and FB positions.
Changing an element’s position affects all of its contents.
Because these are 2D layers in your scene, they appear as lines in the Top and Side views (since you are viewing them from their sides). When you import 3D objects, you will see the full 3D object in the Top and Side views.
|‣||In the Panel view, click the Add View button and select Side View or Top View.|
Converting a Scene to 3D
By default, newly created scenes are set to the 2D mode, so your project is not encumbered with unnecessary features if you plan to work in 2D for more than a few scenes. You can convert a scene to 3D, so you can move and rotate 2D and 3D layers in 3D space. This means that even if you do not have any 3D objects in your scene, you can still move 2D objects along the Z-axis to create a multiplane effect. A 3D scene will also allow a camera to be moved in 3D space using the Camera tool.
- In the Thumbnails view, select the scene you want to convert to 3D.
- Do one of the following:
|‣||In the Storyboard toolbar, click the Enable 3D button.|
|‣||Select Storyboard > Enable 3D for Current Scene.|
Resetting a Scene to 2D
Storyboard Pro lets you reset your scene to 2D. When you do so, the following happens:
|•||Imported 3D models are removed.|
|•||3D camera moves are removed.|
|•||2D layers that have been moved and rotated in 3D are be set back to 2D, removing those transformations.|
- Do one of the following:
|‣||In the Storyboard toolbar, click the Reset Scene to 2D button.|
|‣||Select Storyboard > Reset Scene to 2D.|
Importing 3D Objects to the Library
You can integrate 3D models to your project by importing them to your library, then dragging and dropping them into your panels where needed. Each Storyboard Pro project has its own 3D models library. Since each instance of the model is sourced from your project's library, Storyboard Pro does not have to store a copy of your model for each panel that uses it.
Storyboard Pro supports the following types of 3D models:
- Filmbox (.fbx)
- 3DS Max (.3ds)
- Wavefront OBJ (.obj)
- Allembic (.abc)
- Collada (.dae)
It is recommended to use the Filmbox (.fbx) format, as it can be packaged with textures embedded in the model.
- In the Library view, right-click on the 3D Models library folder, then select Import Files.
- In the file browser, locate and select your 3D model, then click on Open.
The following prompt appears.
If you want, you can choose to import your model in its original format. Converting it to FBX will however make sure its textures are consolidated with the model in your project.
- Click on OK.
The selected model appears in the 3D Models folder of the Library view.
- Drag and drop the 3D model from the Library view to the Stage or Camera view:
- To insert it between two specific layers, drop it between those layers in the Layer panel of the Stage or Camera view.
- If you want to insert it over all the other layers, you can drop it directly in the Stage or Camera view.
The 3D model is inserted into your panel, in its original size, in the centre of the stage. A layer for the 3D model is added to the layer list.
Positioning 2D Elements in 3D Space
You can manipulate a single 2D object in 3D space. You can also stagger multiple 2D objects along the Z-axis to make a multiplane or rotate planes to build open-faced rooms
- From the Library view, drag one or more elements into your scene. By default, the elements appear in the NS/EW/FB offset position of zero in the 3D space.
- From the Tools toolbar, click the Layer Transform button.
- From the Stage view, select an element in your scene.
A bounding box appears around the element and the layer appears highlighted in purple in the Top and Side views.
- Move the object and place it in the desired place in the 3D space. Use the view that will allow you to move the element to the right position:
|‣||Stage View: Changes the EW and NS positions.|
|‣||Top View: Changes the EW and FB positions.|
|‣||Side View: Changes the NS and FB positions.|
As you drag the element around in 3D space, the position of the element automatically changes in the other views.
Previewing the Panel with the Camera View
In the Stage view, the perspective is from a fixed point in space, as if were standing on the stage looking at the various elements.
If you switch to the Camera view to preview the scene, the perspective is from the camera lens, so you can see exactly what the camera captures as it moves from one keyframe to another.
Therefore, if you make changes to the camera position, especially if you change the camera’s focus, use the Camera view to preview the camera move accurately.