Story update released today, Feb 13, 2013

Today, we released another update to Adobe Story. It’s been a little more than 2 months since we last updated, and we’ve been extremely busy!

The big news in this release is a completely revamped approach to tagging that offers a vastly more flexible approach to breaking down a script.

scene level tagsNow, you can tag anything you like in a scene—and your tags flow through to your schedule as well as many of our production reports. This is a huge improvement, as our previous implementation of tagging required the actual words you tagged to be explicitly present in the script. This worked fine for anything that was explicitly mentioned—for example, “SUE DROVE UP IN HER BRAND NEW MINI COOPER”—but didn’t help at all if the items you wanted to tag weren’t mentioned. For example, you could tag “mess” in “CHRIS’ APARTMENT WAS A MESS, BUT JO FOUND A SPOT TO PERCH” but what if you wanted the props department to have stacks of sloppily stacked notebooks and papers, a sinkful of dirty dishes, and a heap of dirty laundry? Well, as of today, you can enter whatever props you want to be associated with a scene. We’ll be posting another blog entry that goes into more detail, but the bottom line is that this is a big leap forward in making Adobe Story a fantastic tool for creating breakdown reports. You can get a sense of how it works in the screenshot to right.

There are loads of other new features too. We’ve added a new Writer role that Story Plus users can assign in shared projects. What? Isn’t Story all about writing? Well, yes and no. Story offers BOTH writing and production scheduling/management tools. In working with some of our large broadcast customers, who use both parts of Story, they’ve asked for a way to keep writers focused on the key task of writing great stories, without having to delve into (or even see) schedules, reports, and the scripts written by other writers working on the project. If you’re a writer working on your own project, you’ll be the project’s owner. If you invite a collaborator to work on the writing with you, assign them the Co-Author role. And if you’re working as a freelance writer on a large production that has built a structure workflow around Adobe Story, don’t be surprised if you’re set up as a Writer.

We’ve also made loads of small improvements across Story, many of which are only relevant if you’re using Story Plus (which as you know is included in a full Creative Cloud membership). Here’s a partial list:

  • Clicking on the blue cross to add a character or set to the Character or Set lists associated with a project now opens the relevant list instead of just adding the item; if you’re adding a new set, you’re required to specify whether it’s in a studio or on location.
  • You can now manage shot numbers (wait—you didn’t know you could add camera shots to quickly create a shooting script? It’s super cool! Learn more here) with the same flexibility you have for dialogue and scene numbers.
  • Speaking of camera shots—you can now create camera cards for just a particular day, as well as for just a particular camera or just studio or location scenes. Or mix and match!
  • Thanks to our collaboration with Ireland’s RTÉ, we now have a TV template designed specifically for their productions (called Irish TV Screenplay). This new template format has a number of cool features, and one of the most useful can be turned on for any template: you can choose to have the first Action element of each scene be treated as the scene’s synopsis. If you choose this option, that element automatically populates the Synopsis field in the Scene Properties panel. Why is this handy? Well, then you have a synopsis include in your schedule as well as any reports that support the field—and you don’t have to do a thing.
  • We’ve added a whole bunch of new reports as well. My favorite is the Bible, which is a scene by scene summary of a script, including any scene level tags you’ve added. <<screenshot>>
  • You can now specify template defaults for whether the From and To boxes at the start and end of each scene now include info about previous and upcoming camera shots. Use the Edit > Template command and choose the option on the General tab.
  • When you enter time info for a scene, you can now have that info used for all subsequent scenes in a script.
  • We’ve added new options for sorting schedules. You can use the View > Story Order option to temporarily resort a schedule into Story order; when you use this view, options like breaks aren’t available—to use them, just switch back to the Shooting Order view.

We’ve also redesigned the landing age at story.adobe.com to make it more clear that Adobe Story is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, and we’ve added an in-app news feed so we can make sure you get the latest info about Story.

I’m sure I’ve left a few things out—but we sure hope you enjoy this new release. Let us know what you think by adding a comment below.

 

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