FW Editor: Hello, please tell us some things about yourself so our readers may get to meet the developer of this amazing program.
Timothy Weber: I'm a 41-year-old career software developer, writing programs since age 9 and selling them since age 15. I've always been interested in making all forms of art - music, theatre, film, writing, and other arts like computer games. I live in New York, USA.
FW Editor: How did you come up with the idea for this program? It is pretty a pretty original idea and not many programs of this kind are on the market.
Timothy Weber: I've always loved computer graphics, and about ten years ago I got heavily into making computer animated films, as well as live-action shorts. I needed to draw storyboards to plan some of my small productions, and doing them on paper became tedious. So, I wrote Springboard 0.1, which was basically a multi-image version of Windows Paint. Later, I pitched the idea of a comprehensive dynamic media planning tool internally at Adobe, where I was a Senior Computer Scientist, and I got some interest, but it was decided that the product was too small for the company (under $4M revenue per year). So, I quit and began working on it full time to see what I could make it into.
FW Editor: What is the main purpose for the Springboard development? Who should use this program?
Timothy Weber: Filmmakers, certainly, have used Springboard to plan productions, both large and small (some feature films, many commercials and experimental shorts). I've also found that it appeals to a wide range of other creative types: architects (for planning virtual walkthroughs of their designs), teachers (to plan lessons and demonstrations, and to get students presenting what they've learned in a multi-dimensional way), and even comic artists, web site designers, and theatre set designers. If you need to quickly sketch a sequence of images that progress in time, Springboard is for you.
FW Editor: Can you please tell us more about how can a user play back his story as an animatic in real time?
Timothy Weber: Traditional storyboarding draws a distinction between the 'storyboard' (a sequence of still panels or frames) and an 'animatic' (a rough film showing timing). In Springboard, you can play your storyboard as a movie at any time. You can set the length of each frame either numerically, or by pressing a key in time with the frame transitions in the Movie View. And you can animate objects in the Frame Animation view, either through traditional animation techniques - creating key frames showing a layer's position and letting the computer create the "in betweens" - or by simply dragging a layer on the screen and recording its movements, which Springboard will play back. A special Zoom Frame tool is provided for indicating camera motion in your still frames - and when you play the movie, Springboard automatically animates the camera accordingly.
So, you can smoothly progress from storyboard to animatic, adding visual and motion detail when it will help your planning and skipping it when it won't.
FW Editor: How often do you make updates on this program? If one buys this program, how can he get the updates?
Timothy Weber: I typically release a new version every 3 months. Purchased licenses cover all releases until the next major version, which will be version 2.0. That will be at least a year from now, so a purchase will cover several additional releases. New releases are always available on our web site, http://6sys.com.
FW Editor: Is this the first software you have developed? Please tell us something more about your work.
Timothy Weber: I've been developing and selling software since freely-available trial versions were considered experimental! I've worked on hundreds of programs large and small; Adobe Acrobat is the best-known. My focus has always been on producing clean, efficient user interfaces that focus on getting the job done, and allow users to stay in "creative flow" as long as possible.
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