Filmmaking is a visual & spatial art form. To bring your story to life and to help plan your set, Celtx offers two simple yet powerful tools: Storyboard and Shot Blocker.
The Storyboard is like a comic strip for your movie, laying out rough sketches and inspiring shots sequentially to start telling your story.
The Shot Blocker helps you plan your set before your cast and crew arrive. Position actors & props, cameras & lights – even where to reposition your trucks & tents when it's time to "turn it around" for that reverse shot.
Opening Storyboard & Shot Blocker
Storyboard and Shot Blocker each have their own document card within a Project. Clicking either of these will open the main Storyboard and Shot Blocker of that Project.
Additional Storyboard & Shot Blocker Files
You can create additional Storyboards and Shot Blockers by clicking +Add File on the Additional File Menu. Note that these are standalone documents, and the content – or the file itself – cannot be 'swapped out' for you main Storyboard or Shot Blocker.
Using the Storyboard
The Storyboard allows you up to upload images that represent key shots of a given scene. This can be used in a variety of creative ways. You can use it to spell out the main 'cuts', essential to the story, or to establish the 'visual language' of the scene or film itself.
Storyboards are organized into Sequences, which are ordered vertically in your Storyboard. Shots are the building blocks of sequences and are ordered horizontally from left-to-right within a sequence.
Sequence & Shot Numbering is not tied to the Scene Numbering of a Project's Script or the project's Shot list – so you can be flexible with what sequences come to represent to your Project.
Adding, Changing, Reordering, Duplicating, and removing a Shot
To add a Shot to the Storyboard, click "Add new shot". A new shot will be added to the sequence.
You can reorder a Shot by 'grabbing' the circle and dragging the shot – inside or outside of the original sequence.
To duplicate a Shot, click the "settings" icon (ICON), and click "duplicate".
To remove a shot, click the "settings" icon, and click "remove". Note this will permanently delete the shot. If you wanted to 'save it', it's a good idea to keep one sequence as a place for "unused" Shots.
Editing a Shot
There are several settings available to customize each shot:
The Shot Selection dropdown menu allows you to stipulate what sort of you want for this shot you'd like to see for this panel.
Click "Add an Image" to select an image from your Project's library, from your own device, or from a web search. To change the image of an existing shot, hover your mouse over the upper-right hand corner of the image and click the folder icon.
The Description field allows you to briefly summarize the panel. This can be a narrative or cinematographic note.
Each sequence can be edited, and moved around on the storyboard, taking it's shots with it. To rename a sequence, click on it's name in the title. Also, much like with the script navigation in the editor, you can drag & drop sequences to a new location, to reorder the storyboard itself. Do this via the sequence listing on the left.
Using the Shot Blocker
The Shot Blocker allows you to create a floor plan for how a given shot will be blocked. There are several ways to block a shot, but the "bird's eye view" is an effective way to map your set and account for all the assets – cast, crew, and equipment – that are required.
To access your Shot Blocker, click the Shot Blocker View button (shown below) or the "Combined View" button on the Top Menu.
Below, the Director of Photography has mapped out a simple sketch of what they have planned. This can be shared with unit heads and crew to act as a starting point to plan elaborate shots.
Creating a new Shot Blocker Canvas
To make your own sketches, click "Edit Shot Blocker". The images you make here will be available for other shots, regardless of which Shot panel you originally created them within.
Creating and Layering Stand-ins
To start, select a stand-in from the bottom menu. Once a stand-in is selected, you can decide which "layer" they occupy (in the above example, you'll want the camera on top of the dolly, and the dolly on top of the tracks); this is done using the Layer Order dropdown menu.
To select a single stand-in one the stand-ins are layered, use the Selected dropdown menu to choose a specific stand-in.
Note that many stand-ins have multiple perspectives, which can be selected from the orientation selector:
Editing the Dimensions & Placement of Stand-ins
You can change their size, rotation, and placement from the selector circle around the stand-in. You can also drag on the canvas to select multiple stand-ins and move them together.