How to Import a Final Draft Script into Storyboard Pro

Mark PhilippAll Topics, Animation and Storyboarding, Tutorial

How to Import a Final Draft Script into Storyboard Pro Tutorial Video Instructions

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Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is an industry standard storyboarding software that provides numerous tools for creating detailed and complex storyboards quickly. One of the more powerful features of Storyboard Pro is the ability to import a script from Final Draft screenwriting software and create a project based on what is in your script.

This is a powerful feature for your pre-production process because it allows you to quickly create a project that adheres to all the action sequences, character dialogue, scene headings, and scene transitions of the script. It removes much of the busy work involved in setting up your project. Additionally, this feature allows you to see the script within Storyboard Pro the whole time. You can reference the script within the same program and see everything the screenwriter has written down. This feature allows Storyboard Pro to become a one-stop-shop for all your storyboarding needs.

In this post, we’ll look at how to import a screenplay from Final Draft into Storyboard Pro.

Importing Final Draft Script Video Tutorial

Follow along with this helpful tutorial video.

 

Instructions for Importing Final Draft Script

  • To get started, open Final Draft and create a new screenplay. Fill it up with whatever you want. Preferably, put some scene headings, character names, action sequences, and dialogue.

Final Draft Screenplay

  • Once you’ve finished, go to File → Save As…

SaveAs

  • Make sure the type of the file is set to “Final Draft Document (*.fdx)”, give it a name, and save it.

fdx

FINAL DRAFT 7 USERS: You must save the file as an xml type. To do this, go to File → Export and choose “Avid XML Export” or “ScriptNote Export”.

  • Now that the file is saved, open Storyboard Pro and create a new, empty project.
  • Once the project is open, go to File → New from Final Draft Script

NewFromFinalDraft

  • On the window that comes up, click the Folder icon to choose a script to open

ImportFromFinalDraftWindow

  • In the file explorer window that opens, navigate to your script you saved and choose it.
  • Once you select your script, some new information will show up on the import window. First, let’s look at the tags section.

SelectTag

This section shows a list of the different tags in your Final Draft document. These tags can be viewed in your Final Draft program.

FinalDraftTagLegend

  • When you click on a tag in the list on the left side of the import window, you are given specific options that allow you to choose what Storyboard will do when it encounters one of these tags in your script.
  • The “Action” option will tell Storyboard what it should do when it reads the tag you currently have highlighted. In this screenshot, we are choosing to have Storyboard Pro create a new panel when it reads an “Action” tag in the script.

ImportAction

There are several other actions you can take. Which one you choose depends on your specific needs for your project.

  • The “Combine Successive Elements” option will put successive items of the type you have selected into the same panel until they are interrupted by a different tag. For instance, I can tell character and dialogue tags to combine successive elements and that will put all my characters and dialogue into one panel until an action, scene heading, or transition is read in the script.
  • Include Element Number When Available” will add the scene number from your script into your project. Whenever you create a new scene heading in Final Draft, a number is created for the scene. This is the number that will be brought into your project.
  • Destination Caption Field” specifies which caption you want to put this tag’s data into. Captions show up on the right side of Storyboard Pro, under the “Panel” tab. They provide a quick and easy way for you to see information from the script. Whatever field is selected in the Destination Caption Field will be where the data for the selected tag goes into, as seen in the below screenshot.

Captions

In this example, Character and Dialogue tags were specified to go into the “Dialog” caption. Scene Headings and Action tags were set to go into “Action Notes”.

  • Lastly, Save Default Rules will save the settings for your script import so you can easily use them the next time you wish to import a script.
  • Once you have the settings you want, you can click “Import” and you will be asked for information about the new project. Fill out the information and choose “Create”.

At this point, the project has been created. You’ll see new panels, scenes, transitions and any other elements you told the script importer to create. If you move your timeline through your frames, you’ll notice your captions on the right-side of your screen changes based on the settings you chose on the importer. At this point, you should be ready to start creating!

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can see how this feature can both speed up your pre-production process and make it more precise. This feature helps facilitate effective collaboration between writers and artists to help make a cohesive creative vision come to life. Most importantly, it saves the storyboard artist a lot of busy work in setting up the Storyboard Pro project. Good luck!

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