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Storyboarding is fun? What??

I've never been a storyboard guy. Probably because I consider myself a mediocre artist and even then I'm likely being too generous. Plus my hand cramps up after writing about a sentence-and-a-half with a pen or pencil. Yeah...not a storyboard guy. Not until now at least.

You see...I've discovered a new app call Previs Pro. I'm not associated with them or selling anything on their behalf, I just really like their product.

Previs Pro is an app for the iPhone or iPad (Mac coming soon) that allows you to stage scenes with 3D models and position lights and camera to create storyboard panels. It's like making storyboards with the Sims. In fact, when my wife saw me using the app, she said "Are you playing Sims?" I wasn't. I was making some badass storyboards.

If you have any experience with the 3D modeling, you'll pick this up with ease but even novices should be able to get things working without too much frustration as the app uses all of the normal smartphone gestures and movements effectively.

There's a library of standard characters male and female, and kid-sized characters as well. You can adjust body type and skin/hair/eye color. Clothing customization is limited to the color of shirt, pants and shoes. Over time, I'm sure they'll add more flexibility but this seems to be the biggest limitation right now. I have a sheriff character and he always wears a hat, but that type of customization isn't available at this point. There are however some ways to solve that challenge.

One way is to import 3d models. Want your sheriff to wear a hat? Import a 3d model of a cowboy hat and you're good to go. It will be a bit tedious, but it's a way to achieve that look.

Previs Pro offers a set of props and set building items that are probably enough for 75% of what you'll need to build, but the added flexibility of being able to bring in 3d models from sites like SketchFab is a game-changer. Have a monster in your script? *cough* *cough* Maybe. Import a 3d model from a site like SketchFab and you have a monster for your storyboards that you didn't ever need to draw.

You can also import 2d images to use as backgrounds. You can see this in the example image above. Got a few characters running through the Texas Hill Country? Grab a photograph and import it into the scene. So simple.

If you've avoided storyboarding because you're not an artist and find it too tedious with results that don't ever really capture the cinematic look you are seeking, Previs Pro might be the answer to your storyboarding dreams. I can honestly say for the first time, storyboarding is fun.

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