FrameForge 3D Studio

FrameForge 3D Studio

Infobox Software
name = FrameForge 3D Studio

caption = FrameForge 3D Studio on Mac OS X
developer = Innoventive Software
latest_release_version = V.2.5
latest_release_date = Autumn 2006
operating_system = Mac OS X, Windows
genre = 3D computer graphics
license = Proprietary
website =

FrameForge 3D studio is previsualization storyboard software for writer/directors of film, video and advertising content.

The software creates virtual cameras, actors and objects in photo-accurate 3D scaled sets for previsualization. FrameForge creates data rich animations and exports these sequences for use at all stages of production.


The program was designed by filmmaker Ken Schafer and his San Diego based software company Innoventive Software, LLC. A graduate of New York University's film program, Schafer started software programming in the 1980s by creating an extensive system of macros for WordPerfect that automatically formatted his text into screenplay format. He packaged these macros and sold them under the name Script Perfection. The macros evolved into the stand-alone program called ScriptThing and was eventually exclusively licensed for sale by Screenplay Systems under the name of Movie Magic Screenwriter. [Holben, Jay. "FrameForge 3D Studio Simplifies Storyboard Process" "American Cinematographer Magazine" October 2003. pp 101–106] Schafer followed up with other software designs including the program FrameForge 3D Studio.

The Software

FrameForge supports both Mac OS X and Windows Operating Systems. The software comes with resources that allow the construction of dimensionally precise 3D spaces (sets) that can be seen in an optically-correct manner from any POV. The data of this technical idiom is calculated by the software and recorded automatically when any frame is stored. The user however, controls the composition of the image with more familiar terms which cinematographers and directors use such as pan, tilt, crane, dolly, zoom, depth of field and f/Stop. This makes for unrestricted exploration of the created 3D space in a non-technical way.

User Interface design simulates a ‘Multi-Camera Control Room’, a virtual studio allowing users to build and amend rooms and spaces, place cameras, props and actors in a desktop computer using familiar “drag’drop'n'move” commands. FrameForge comes pre-set for standard and custom film sizes plus popular prime lens collections which obtain accurate setup data while the user explores multiple camera angles, shots, lenses and choreography.

The software comes with over 800 unique objects and actors that relate to each other like real world counterparts. Drag an actor to a chair and he sits, drag a gun or cigarette to a hand and it will be held, dresser drawers pull open and trees can lose their leaves. Further, actor features like ‘reach-for’ and ‘look-at’ simplify posing that can be modified down to a single finger's joint.

Other Features

* Instant rendering of multiple camera POVs with OpenGL Hardware Acceleration, Texture Sharing and other optimizations
* Room Builder Drag’n’draw generation of your set with sizable walls, windows, doors and overall dimensions
* TrueOptix optically-correct Depth of Field depiction with user controllable f/stop and point of focus settings
* KeyFrame ‘Tweening:’ The automatic creation of averaged in-between frames creating camera and actor movement animations
* Export to QuickTime, PDF and Flash Animation formats
* Actor Pose Control
** Partial Pose selection to select ‘in between poses’
** Full Facial expressions plus facial modifiers and phonemes
** Body and Facial Morphs (Fat, thin, gaunt face, roman nose, etc.)
** Can be aged from 20-60 yrs
** Numerous Hair and Clothing options
** "Reach For...", "Look at..." and "Match Eyelines…" functions
* Exact on-set distance reporting and measuring of set objects
* USB Game Pad Interface allows control of the program from a standard joystick USB Game Pad or our proprietary Director's Pad* (sold separately)
* Native VRML Object Creation support with options to create ‘hinged’ part objects
* Importation and association of script documents from script formatting and popular word processing software


FrameForge 3D Studio 2: From StoryBoards to Pre-Viz By Keith Kolbo, Digital Media Net Moderator Posted May 23, 2006

FrameForge 3D Studio 2: Giving Users What They Want By Rick DeMott, managing editor of Animation World Network Posted May 04, 2006 in an Animation World Network publication

FrameForge 3D Studio 2: 3D World Magazine By Christopher KenworthyPosted March, 2006

American Cinematographer Magazine By Jay Holben, ASC Tech Editor Posted July 2006

ystem Requirements

300MB Free Disk Space256MB RAM (minimum)


Pentium III 500 MHzWindows XP/NT/2000 95 or better


G3 processor 500 MHz or higherSystem 10.3 (to run Version 2)System 9.1 (to run Version 1*)
*Included on CD
* [ FrameForge User Comments:]


External links

* [ Innoventive Software website]
* [ Ten Minute Walkthrough of FrameForge 3D Studio 2]
* [ Mediabook International]

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