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Learn how to create a new project from a Final Draft script and how to use script headings within Storyboard Pro.
Creating a New Project from a Final Draft Script.
In order to create a new project from a Final Draft Script, you have to launch the software and already be inside. Once inside, you have to go to File > New from Final Draft Script. The Import from Final Draft Script dialog box opens. And in order to find a Final Draft Script somewhere on your computer, you need to click the Browse button, which is this little folder icon right here.
A browser window opens which allows you to navigate to the place on your computer where your Final Draft Script is saved. So I'm going to click on this .fdx file and then click Open. So if you've never seen a Final Draft Script before, there are tags that you can apply to the text in order to format the text. So for example, if you tag some of your text "Scene Heading", it'll automatically put that text in all caps and left-justify it. So an example of a scene heading is Exterior Daytime, Miller's Backyard. So what Storyboard Pro does is it takes these tags that are in Final Draft and uses them to separate the various lines of dialog and action into different captions within the panel view of Storyboard Pro as well as to create actions which leads to the creation of panels and scenes within the software.
So let's use scene heading as an example. So I can give it the action of creating a new scene every time it's encountered in Final Draft. And although Storyboard Pro gives you the option to use live action or animation naming conventions in the software, we're using animation. So don't get confused with the terminology between a scene in a film and a scene in an animation. A scene in a film might occur in, let's say, the Millers Living Room, so in an interior house living room. That would be the entire scene if it's shot in the living room in a film. However, in animation, if the Millers, let's say Mr. and Mrs. Miller, are having a conversation in the living room and the camera cuts between their faces, every time the camera cuts, that's a new scene in animation.
So then for the Action tag, what I'm going to do is I'm going to assign it to create a New Panel, because if you remember, a New Panel indicates a New Action every time. And just for example's sake, I'm going to leave out the character and the dialog as "None" for the Action. So in addition to that, you can combine successive elements. And what this means is that if you want to have all the Dialog between Headings, between Scene Headings and Actions combined together, then you can click this checkbox. So I'm going to do that for both the Dialog and the Character. I'm gonna combine successive elements, but I'm going to leave it unchecked for Action and Scene Heading.
The next thing you can do is Include Element Numbers when Available. So once again, if you've never seen a Final Draft Script in both the right and the left margin where there's a new Scene Heading, there's also a number indicated, so Scene 1, 2, 3, etc. So I'm going to include these Element Numbers for the Scene Heading specifically. The next thing you can select for these four tags is the Destination caption field. So this is exporting the text from the script whether it's a line of action text or a dialog into the various caption fields of the panel view.
So let's start with Action at the top. So I'd like the Action text to go into the Action Note section, which is right here. I'd like the Character tag text to go to the Dialog section along with the Dialog. And I'd like the Scene Headings to go into the Action Notes as well. And if for some reason, there's a Caption field missing from the panel view that you would like to add, what you can do is click on the Add Caption Field button and enter that in here and click OK. And then from the dropdown menu, you would have an extra destination caption field.
And lastly, you have the Save as default rules option. So if you know you're going to be importing many Final Draft scripts as a structure for Storyboard, it might be good to check this off so you don't have to repeat everything that I just did. And then what I'm going to do is click Import. And now I'm going to give my new project a name. So let's call it "FinalDraftTest". And I'm going to keep all the other default settings selected and then click Create.
And as you can see here right away, different panels have been grouped into different scenes. On top of that, if you click on specific panels, you can see the Action Notes changed. So the Action text and Scene Headings have been imported properly into the right section. And then if we continue going, we can see that this panel actually has Dialog, and we can see the name of the Character as well as their line of dialog underneath. And once again, I could've also decided to create new panels based on dialog, which I didn't, but you can do that so there's only one line of dialog per panel.
And of course, this is an extremely efficient way to have a Storyboard project set up so that the Storyboard artist can start creating with a basic structure already set in place. And if you're using a version of Final Draft that's lower than Final Draft 8, please refer to the online help in order to see how to create a new project based on a Final Draft Script.