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Celtx - Pre-production Software

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CeltxBlender is an amazing tool for 3D production and post-production but what about animation pre-production? Alot of projects begin by creating a website, installing a forum, a blog, a project management system such as DotProject and then kind of slap it all together. Although doable, I was gladly surprised that there is an open source creative commons licensed software that combines all of the features for pre-production into one software.

The cool thing is that with a little bit of creativity you can actually use this software as your project management throughout the entire production from pre-production through production to post-production with it's ability to store files in an organized system. Complete with forms for everything from characters to scenes and sets it has the ability to store the storyline, storyboard, text, pictures and play them back in a logic way. This creative software is even capable of printing your storyboard in standard storyboard formats for sketch tweaking and presentation.

storyboard640.pngMy over all review of the software is that it is truly a brilliant piece. Although some of the navigation and over all software presentation seem to be borrowed from other applications and there is a little incoherency among window types I do like the tab browsing and the easy project hierarchy. With the ability to logically store files in a project directory it makes it the ideal choice for any project. The fact that it's free and commercial licensed makes it even better!

Be sure to check out Celtx and download a copy of it for your own projects!

Celtx is a project collaboration tool for people who work in film, TV, theater and New Media. Celtx is being developed using the Mozilla application framework and is released under the Mozilla Public License (MPL).

Key Features:
Collaboration - enables project publishing and sharing.
Import, write and edit scripts using industry conventions.
Perform production breakdowns by adding images and notes.
Create a searchable database of Project information.

About Author

Daniel LaBarge

Blender Artist & Contributor at ID Studios [www.idstudios.org] Web Designer & Programmer at MonsterWeb [www.monsterweb.net]

36 Comments

  1. Found that soft a while ago. I think its an "must have" for any project and not difficult to handle!
    ......just great - an other open source software!

  2. I've been using Celtx for quite a while now. It's an amazing program. It has a lot of potential for collaboration too, but at the moment it doesn't quite work (it's a 'last write wins' system). However, I heard that the 1.0 release will include some kind of CVS style system which will make it a very serious competitor against the large commercial offerings (such as Final Draft).

    Apart from that, I'd say it already does most of the stuff that Final Draft and other commercial packages do. Sort of a Blender for the production side of movies. :)

  3. Good work writing this up. CeltX is a really nice program and it's great to see it get some attention. Aspiring indie filmmakers take note.

  4. I couldn't find the link to download the source code of this open-source project. Can anyone post here the sources link, please?
    Thanks!

  5. IMHO, the software it's very very useful for scripting e and pre-production, but...

    ...I don't understand why i have to register myself with the web services (that i argue in the future will be a commercial services) also for simply export my scripts in PDF format.

    I think it's cool to have a remote backup and all the collaborative features on the web (and also the future commercial services linked) , but it's not so cool to force a registration for the webservice also for a simple printing/exportin in PDF. It sounds me like a forced lock-in, not so open, and i can't find any technical motivation for such limitation.

    IMHO it's a lot incoherent for an opensource (and interesting and full of potential) project like this one.

    Apart that, i like the program; the best plus IMHO, it's that you can work with a really crossplatform and multilanguage environment (i've found the italian too:-))

    Thanks for sharing! :-D

  6. I've been using Celtx for years: great software and I'm very happy to recommend it to anyone who's got a need to do collaborative scriptwriting of any kind. Plus, the pre-production planning aspects of the program are always growing and suit a pretty broad range of needs!

    -Doug

  7. CubOfJudahsLion on

    I'm with mrmunkily. To my chagrin, I had developed seven pages of a personal project only to discover that many important publish and export features depend on the server, e.g., you can't save a PDF without an account and a connection to the server.

    There are alternatives, fortunately. If you'd rather have the privacy and/or don't to depend on a persistent connection, you can try OpenOffice screenplay templates, for instance.

  8. I already use the OO Template, very useful (and i can export in PDF from the program, without *any* registration).

    That said, the Celtx Tools are more powerful for all the production phases. It's really a pity for the lack in local Pdf support, but IMHO it's a cool program.

  9. This looks like an excellent tool that covers a concept that I've always had trouble managing. I'm definitely going to use it if the file isn't too much of a strain on my connection.

  10. I seem to recall that the definitive pre-production software of choice for Blenderheads up until this point was MoviePlanner. I very much like the layout of MoviePlanner (which can now only be found mirrored by the Blender Battles site), but I wasn't a fan of its buggy nature, and that no one was supporting it anymore... This app looks very nice. I would like to see less default GUI behavior though to save me from making accidental mistakes -- for example the delete X that shows up on any image in the storyboard could prove disastrous.

    Thanks for the find! Here's hoping that my next film (my current one is coming to a close after two years) is much more organized. :)

  11. CubOfJudahsLion on

    Barryz-- arguably, OO+templates or Cinergy's script editor + StoryBoard Pro (these are all free downloads) offer more solid tools for their problem domains, but that's a matter of opinion I guess. More than that, though, I'm not comfortable with their making my script travel through the net more times than it should have to.

  12. Looking good.
    I was trying to start something like this in an online version. Online storyboard.
    version 0.0.0.0.1 here: http://www.nonakassenaar.nl/sb/view.html
    But seems I can move on to an other project.

    It could use some more storyboard features and maybe be more assets driven for computer animation, but I think it's far better then trying to organize your online collab in a forum.

  13. I have been using celtx for a few years. Nice to see it on blender nation... I wonder if similar functionality could be implemented in blender's future...

  14. @sumomofan: to have this integrated with the other software from my pipeline (most of it open-source/cross platform) would be awsome, especially with blender and verse.

  15. Great program. Use it all the time for writing screenplays for films. You can do storyboarding, screenwriting, organizing, and other awesome features in it.

    Definitely get Celtx!! It's Awesome!!

  16. Celtx may be great...i really hope so..because some of my project totally missing and I can't find any backup data...which I try to re-open it but can't. I truly hope someone can help me this. I'm totally devastated.

    I also hope Blender can comes out a open source software for pre-production. I'm sure with your experience you can do matter.

    I'm almost given up on Celtx, but I still hold on to it. I love this software but the frequent missing data really upset me.

    Cheers

    MHS

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