The Foundry ships Flix 5.1
The Foundry has released Flix 5.1, the latest update to its next-generation ‘visual story development tool’, originally developed in-house at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
A hybrid of storyboarding tool, layout, asset management and shot review
Combining the functionality of conventional storyboarding tools with asset management and 3D layout, Flix enables directors, producers and editors to work collaboratively with artists during story development.
The platform provides a central repository for storyboard images scanned in by artists or created in other software, complete with version management and shot review capabilities.
Uploaded images are converted to the size and aspect ratio required for the production, and may be exported as playlists or automatically generated storyboards in PDF format.
For animatics, Flix provides two-way links to Media Composer, Final Cut Pro 7, Nuke Studio and Premiere Pro.
It can also be linked up to Shotgun to integrate it with a studio’s existing asset-management systems; and can be customised to fit a pipeline via Python scripting.
New in Flix 5.1: improved links to Photoshop, TVPaint and Storyboard Pro
The 5.1 update primarily improves Flix’s import and export capabilities – including the option to import MOV files and export CSVs – and streamlines integration with other standard storyboarding software.
The accompanying Photoshop scripts enable artists to create multiple storyboard panels within a single PSD file in a variety of ways, including by creating layer comps and by using the animation timeline.
Animated shots can now be exported from Photoshop to Flix, opening up workflows like drawing directly over 3D animatics. The update also adds links to other standard 2D storyboarding tools like TVPaint and Storyboard Pro.
Create 3D animatics semi-automatically in Maya
In addition, Flix 5.1’s new Staging functionality provides a link to Maya during early previz and layout work.
Once a 3D artist has posed a character, they can send a ‘snapshot’ of each key pose to Flix, where they can be published to editorial to adjust timings.
On publishing the resulting animatic back to Maya, Flix automatically animates the shot in 3D, using the poses and camera data captured automatically in the original snapshots.
Pricing and availability
Flix is currently very much a big-studio tool, so it’s currently available “for custom installation only”. Studios or productions interested in using Flix can fill out an enquiry form on The Foundry’s website.