Filmmaker's Tools


A short preface to my project: I am Director of Photography with some knowledge of Blender. I sometimes use it to model the location/studio set were shooting at in order to test out some lighting schemes, blocking and - sometimes - to build a rough storyboard.

I’ve noticed this has become harder and harder for me to start doing due to time constraints so I’ve come up with the idea to make a piece of software to make this easier, faster and with proper output options.

Since I have next to no experience in python or other coding languages I wanted to present this idea here to catch someone who might be interested in developing this software with me. I’d be doing the modeling while someone else does the coding-part of it.

The software should offer a sandbox-like environment where the user can lay down walls, floors, ceilings, doors (etc.) to quickly construct the set and then lay down filmmaking equipment (cameras, lamps, cranes, etc). The resulting schematic could then be exported - say - in PDF or something.

If this happens to spur any interest, I’d be really grateful.

Thanks in advance,
[email protected]

Why not just append a bunch of pre-built models to your scene?

coding it yourself even with zero experience is alway preferable. Dont depend on someone else because if that person attempts to abandon the project you will have to find someone else that both accepts to code for you and read someone else code. Coding in python is extremely easy as it was made to be used by none coders and you can always come here for any of your questions.

I have started my own script having limited experience with python and zero experience with blender python api , and I am still learning as i code. Its alot easier than i expected. It takes time , but its way faster than searching for someone to really take my project seriously.

I worked on a similar idea that I implemented for 2.49 but it was more focused on camera placement and blocking actors than set design. I did set design in Google Sketchup.

Blender Storyboard Toolkit

I never updated it to 2.5 and I’ve really found that with a combination of
Blender, MakeHuman, and Google Sketchup (w/ 3D warehouse)
can facilitate most storyboarding needs.

There still might be some use for a script to help automate output.
I could help with some coding on this part of it. What options should the output have?

well a simple update wont do, it will require a whole rewrite as scripting in blender 2.5 has changed fundementally in many ways .

But at least there is a script to provide some source to the project which is good news. Interesting script by the way, well done.

developments in 2.5 made a lot of the functions I made for this unnecessary.
poselib basically replaces the entire ‘talent posing’ system and would allow it to be much cleaner.
the spacehandler code is unnecessary now too.
also the ‘QuickDOF’ code isn’t needed - could be node based or use cycles.

I’m interested to hear the OP’s response to 3pointEdit’s question. And, in fact, to save the trip to the file browser, why not build up a single .blend using one or more “back 40” layers to store objects (camera and room set-ups, actors, props)?