A shot is the basic entity manipulated by the StoryLiner user interface. As for a live footage it is made of a point of view, thanks to a camera, and a “record duration”, defined by a start time and an end time.
A shot has one and one only camera. When it is not associated to a camera, or if this camera is missing, the shot is considered as invalid and cannot be used in the [Edit].
When you add several shots in the Shots panel these shots define you movie. It is an Edit, as in an editing application, although a simple one with only one track and no holes between clips.
An edit is then an ordered list of shots.
Shots are played one after the other, in the order set in the edit and independently from the time at which they start in the time of the 3D scene. Indeed, and here lies the power of StoryLiner, a shot don’t need to begin when the previous one ends. It is possible to have time ellipses between 2 shots or shots that are overlaping (in other words that are “recording at the same time”, they are shooting the same part of the action). It is even possible to have shots in the edit that are refering to earlier parts of the action.
So basically shots can be manipulated in the edit exacly as video clips can be in editing software. This is called non linear editing. The great advantage to do this in StoryLiner is that no video rendering is involved, everything is played real-time, in the viewport.
The Handles are the amount of spare images let at the start and end of the shot when the shot is rendered. They are quite helpful for the artist doing the movie edit since she can get more time before or after each shot to polish the cuts and transitions.
Handles are not played in the viewport playback since they are not really part of the edit.
Unless you are in a production context the duration of the handles is usualy left to 0.
In StoryLiner the term Project refers to the production you are working on as a whole.
In practice a project is usually a root folder, on your computer or a server, containing a file structure where sequences, shots, materials, references are stored and organized. The story is most of the time spread out in several Blender files.
A project has a set of settings defining the configuration of your production, such as the project name, image output resolution, aspect ratio, framerate, sequences naming convention, shot [Handles]…
The settings of a [Project] can be gathered at the same place and used by all your Blender scenes to ensure the output media are generated in respect to the technical configuration.
They can be entered manually in the “Project Settings” dialog box of the StoryLiner panel, in which case they are set only for the current scene. In production these settings would be set by a custom script, written specifically for your own pipeline and automatically run when the Blender file is opened.
For a local use of StoryLiner it is not necessary to define a project. The settings of the scene will then be used.
We call a storyboard shot a shot of type Storyboard. Its camera has a storyboard grease pencil parented to it. It is identified by a small icon with a character in a frame and is referred to as a “Storyboard Shot”.
Tools and User Interface
A Layout, in the terminology of StoryLiner, is a configuration of a specific display of the main panel, of the tools it provides and of some interactions behaviors that may be more appropriate for the indended tasks. Basically it is at the same time a user interface and a workflow.