A frequent gripe from first-wave vr animation artists is that there aren’t enough tools available to assist in the development and creation of projects.

Even a basic task like storyboarding can be challenging when planning for an immersive 360-degree environment. “The biggest struggles you have are in the planning phases,” Pearl director Patrick Osborne told Cartoon Brew last year. “There’s really no tools built for it.”

Design firm Artefact is making an effort to remedy that situation with the release of Storyboard VR, a free prototyping and visualization tool specifically designed for vr creators.

The previs software was developed as an internal tool by Artefact after the company couldn’t find suitable off-the-shelf software that allowed them to iterate quickly during the production of vr projects. They say:

Storyboard VR works in a similar way to traditional storyboard techniques by creating static frames that roughly block in a scene. Designers and developers can easily import assets from existing drawing tools and position them while inside vr to quickly test and iterate. And, just like traditional storyboarding, users can create multiple scenes to test the flow of the experience. An incredibly lightweight app, Storyboard VR takes only a few minutes to get acquainted with.

Significant interest from the vr community has led them to release the software for free publicly, in the hope that it will “promote experimentation across industries and organizations” and “inspire and accelerate the development of new experiences in this emerging medium.”

While the software is available at no cost, Artefact warns it is an unsupported alpha application, so bugs and other issues may exist. “Although we use Storyboard VR in our daily work at Artefact,” the company further says, “we have no immediate plans to continue to update and develop the software.” The software is only supported on HTC Vive and requires Windows to run.

A demo of how to build a scene can be seen in the video below:

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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