Boardfish 1.0 Documentation


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Introduction

Boardfish is an application for efficiently assembling storyboards, moodboards, user experience (UX) flows, and any other similar grid layouts. It’s the equivalent to a page layout or slideshow tool but specifically fine-tuned for the purpose of laying out boards.

The artwork found in storyboards is created in a wide number of ways. Some prefer to create panels traditionally by sketching on paper then digitizing through a scanner (or even a phone camera). Others prefer to work digitally and sketch with a Wacom. Some use CG renderings, while others shoot photographs. Moodboards may be pulled from web searches, while UX flows may be wireframes created in Photoshop or Sketch. Whatever the way you prefer to create the panels for your boards, Boardfish is here to help you quickly assemble them into final flexible page layout ready for print or digital delivery.

Registration

Launching the application for the first time presents you with a registration dialog.

Enter your license and select Activate to start making your boards.

Hit Cancel to run the application in demo mode. Demo Mode is fully functional but prevents you from saving, printing, and exporting PDFs.

Click Purchase to buy a license from our online store.

Click Retrieve if you are a registered owner who needs to retrieve their license number.

Import

Upon launching the application, the first thing you need to do is add images for your storyboard’s panels. This can be done two ways, Drag and Drop & File Menu-Import

Drag & Drop

Navigate to a folder of images. Shift-Click or Command-Click on a range of images. It’s advisable to numerically name your panels to automate this process (i.e. filename_001.png).

Drag and Drop images onto the Boardfish UI. Images are arranged into the default 3x2 layout. Order of images is based on the order selection in the Finder.

Once imported, Images can easily be re-ordered by dragging and dropping. Images can also be deleted with the Delete key and Hidden through the Context Menu or Edit Menu.

You can also Drag and Drop a folder of images onto the Boardfish UI. Same as selecting multiple images in alphabetical order.

May not work correctly over non-AFP network protocols (i.e. NFS).

Import Panel

Navigate in the Import dialog to a folder of images. Shift-Click or Command-Click on a range of images and select Open. It’s advisable to numerically name your panels to automate this process May not work correctly over non-AFP network protocols (i.e. NFS).(i.e. filename_001.png).

Once images are imported a 6-Up landscape layout is automatically created ready to print on Letter sized paper or exported to a PDF. All you need to do is write captions to describe the panels and a few other modifications to personalize your layout.

Supported Formats

Boardfish supports all standard MacOS still image formats:

GIF
ICNS
JPEG
JPEG-2000
Microsoft BMP
Microsoft Icon
Open EXR
PDF/AI
Photoshop
PNG
TGA
TIFF

To keep final exported file sizes down, PNG or JPEG are recommended.

Interface

The Boardfish UI is broken up into three main sections: Grid View, Outline View, Inspector.

Grid View

The grid view is the center of the UI. Panels are laid out into a grid on a page. Panels contain Thumbnail Images and Captions linked together.

Change the panel order by dragging panel(s) to a new location and the panel(s) will animate into new positions.

Contextual Menu

Select Panels and Right-Click/Control-Click to access Contextual Menu.

Delete
Deletes selected panel. You can also select a Panel and use the Delete key on your keyboard.

Hide
Hides a panel but does not delete it from the project. Hidden panels can be seen with a Red X in the Outline View. Unhide panels with the Contextual Menu in the Outline View.

Duplicate Selection
Duplicates a selected panel. The new duplicated panel is added after the selected panel.

Cut Selection
Cuts selected panels to the clipboard.

Copy Selection
Copies selected panels to the clipboard.

Paste
Pastes panels from the clipboard after the currently selected panel.

Replace Image
Brings up a Finder import dialog. Find a new image and the selected Thumbnail will be replaced.

Show in Finder
Reveals the original source image in the Finder.

Fit for Image
This is already set as the default for all new imports, therefore it is disabled. If you would like to adjust the size of the image, you can do so by enabling the Override Caption Size option in Inspector-Panel.
Used to set the Caption Size based on a selected Thumbnail.

Footer

Footer is displayed by default at the bottom of every page.

Footer contains a project name, page number, and an optional imported image for logo.

The project name can be typed directly in the Grid View’s Footer or it can use the document name. The page number and logo image can be disabled/enabled.

You can specify these settings and import logo image in Inspector-Footer.

Outline View

The Outline View is the located on the left side of the interface next to Grid View. This contains a vertical list view of every panel shown linearly. Very useful for rearranging panels from one page to another and concentrating on a linear flow of our board.

You can adjust the size of the Outline View by click-dragging the divider located between Outline View and Grid View. Also, all Hidden panels are visible in the Outline View (indicated by a Red X) when not visible in the Grid View.

Contextual Menu

Select Thumbnails and Right-Click/Control-Click to access Contextual Menu.

Delete
Deletes selected panel. Can also select a thumbnail and use the Delete key on your keyboard.

Hide
Hides a panel but does not delete it from the project. Hidden panels can be seen with a Red X in the Outline View.

Unhide
If a Panel is hidden with a Red X, this option will unhide the panel.

Duplicate Selection
Duplicates a selected panel. A new duplicated panel is added after the selected panel.

Cut Selection
Cuts selected panels to the clipboard.

Copy Selection
Copies selected panels to the clipboard.

Paste
Pastes panels from the clipboard after the currently selected panel.

Replace Image
Brings up a Finder import dialog. Find a new image and the selected Thumbnail will be replaced.

Show in Finder
Reveals the original source image in the Finder.

Landscape/Portrait
Thumbnails can be displayed in landscape or portrait aspect ratios. Landscape is suitable for widescreen video projects. Portrait is suitable for UX flows.

Inspector

Inspector is located on the right side of the interface next to Grid View and consists of menus and settings to control the layout and style of your board. Inspector is broken up into three sections: Page, Panel, & Titles.

Page Tab

Contains settings related to the overall document’s page layout.

Page Setup

Custom Popup
Preset layouts can be quickly chosen. Save your own custom layouts.

Page Size
Choose a standard paper page size or make a custom digital resolution. In order to make a standard film size, use 19.20” x 10.80” for 16x9.

Panel Layout

Horizontal Panels
Number of panels running horizontally.

Vertical Panels
Number of panels running vertically.

Margins & Gutters

Page Margin
The size of the margin running along the top/bottom/left/right borders of the page.

Horizontal Gutter
The size of the gaps between panel columns.

Vertical Gutter
The size of the gaps between panel rows.

Frames

Frames are the stroked keylines around a panel.

Stroke Captions
When checked on the caption boxes are stroked.

Stroke Thumbnail
When checked on the thumbnail image is stroked along the border.

Stroke Color
Sets the color of the Frame.

Stroke Width
Sets the thickness of the stroke.

Frame BG Color
Sets the background fill color of the Frame behind the Caption and Thumbnail.

Thumbnail Gutter
Increasing this value adds a gap between the thumbnail and the thumbnail stroke.

Global Color Scheme

Instead of changing discreet color swatches for each element in your boards, Global Color Scheme allows you to quickly change set a baseline look. Discreet color swatches can then be modified for customization.

Themes
This popup changes the global color scheme to dark (black BG w/white type) or light (white BG w/black type). If you were to change the BG only to black from the default, you would not see your black type or black frames. Using Themes allows you to quickly invert these adjustments.

Page Color
Sets the color of the page background.

All Text
Sets the color of all text in the document.

Panel Tab

Contains settings related to all of the panels in the board.

Captions

Captions are the text boxes associated with a thumbnail.

Placement
This popup specifies the caption placement relative to the thumbnail. Options include Bottom, Right, Top and Left.

Caption Layers
You can have up to four caption text boxes, each with a Caption Title. Checkboxes turn on or off caption text boxes. Text fields next to checkboxes can be changed to custom caption titles (i.e. Desc, VO, SFX, VFX, VisD, IxD). Text fields can be left blank if you want a caption without a title.

Caption Font
Change the font used in all captions. Set Font button brings up the OSX Font menu to choose a font, style and size. Color Swatch is used to change Font color.

Caption Title Font
Change the font used in all caption titles. Set Font button brings up the OSX Font menu to choose a font, style and size. Color Swatch is used to change Font color.

Justify Captions
Use the Justify Captions checkbox to justify the Caption Titles to the right. By default the Caption Titles justify left. If you have a long title in the first caption box (i.e. “Description”) and a short title in the second caption box (i.e. “VO”) it could look odd. With this checkbox on, it can clean up the layout, but may sacrifice space in the text box to write your descriptions.

It is recommended to keep your Caption Titles as short as possible (i.e. abbreviating a word like “Description” to “Desc”).

Override Caption Size
By default Boardfish will always adjust the caption size to best fit with the panel Layout. In some layouts your captions may be too small vertically, so this checkbox will allow you to override their height by pulling on the slider below. Use the Thumbnail Fit popup to choose how the thumbnails behave as you adjust the caption height.

Thumbnail Fit
In most scenarios all of your thumbnails are the same aspect ratio. If you have varying aspect ratios the Thumbnail fit popup is used to adjust the panels with differing sizes. Thumbnails will always fit to the panel frame based on the first image imported.

Scale: Scales the image proportionately to fit in the frame.

Crop: Crops the thumbnail to fit in the frame.

Force: Scales the image non-proportionately to fit in the frame.

Caption Gutter
This value will add a gap between the Captions and the Panel’s Frame.

Baseline Offset
This value will shift the Caption Title type and and Caption type up or down. Every font has a different baseline value. If you use different fonts for the Caption and the Caption Title they may not line up well. Baseline Offset allows you to fix mis-alignments of different fonts.

Panel Labels

By default above every panel there is a label specifying the unique panel number. This is very useful to communicate with others about a specific panel.

Panel numbers are inherently sequential so every panel will have a sequential number on the suffix.

Panel Number
By default this is checked on to display the Panel Number on the top left of the panel. Unchecking this box will remove the Panel Numbers.

Prefix
This text field is used for the prefix name of the Panel Number. By Default it uses “Panel”. Can be changed to anything, like “Frame”.

Panel Number Font
Sets font and color for Panel Number.

Panel Number
Checking this on adds a second Panel Label on the top right of the panel.

Prefix
This text field is used for the prefix name of the Scene Number. By default it uses “Scene”. Can be changed to anything, like “Shot”.

Scene Number Font
Sets font and color for Scene Number.

Scene Numbers are not inherently sequential so when they are turned on they will all have the number 1 in the suffix. To change this manually change the numbers in the Grid View.

Swap Position
This checkbox swaps the position of the Panel Number and Scene Numbers from the top right to the top left.

Baseline Offset
This value bumps the Panel Labels up or down so they are closer or further away from the Panel Frame.

Titles Tab - Banners

The Banners sub-tab allows you to enable and control the information found at the top or bottom of every page.

Enable Banner
Turn on or off the Header/Footer to your board.

Header/Footer Dropdown
The first popup gives you the option of placing the information on the bottom of the page, known as a Footer, or at the top of the page, known as a Header.

Banner Height
Controls the vertical size of the area used for the Header or Footer.

Banner Gutter
Used to add more or less vertical spacing between the Banner and the closest panels.

Banner Logo

The Banner Logo section is used to add an image such as a corporate logo to the Banner.

Set Image
Simply drag and drop an image into the drop zone to import a standard bitmap or vector image. Additionally you can Control-Click on the drop zone to import or remove a logo.

Image Scale
Scale your logo up or down to customize the size within the Banner.

Position
Specify the justification of the Logo on the right or left side of the page.

Banner Style

Allows you to section off the Banner from the panels by using a Stroked Line or a Box.

The Line’s Stroke Color and Size and be customized, as well as the Box’s fill color.

Banner Text

Gives you control over the typography found in the Banner.

Show Page Number
By default, the checkbox to Show the document’s page number is set to on, producing sequential numbering for each page. Unchecking this box removes the Page Number.

Page# Prefix
Gives you the ability to change the nomenclature used for the page number. For example, you may want to abbreviate the word Page to PG, or use the word PAGE with all caps.

Margin
Move the logo and type toward the center of the page which is useful for adding padding when using the Box Style.

Use Filename
When enabled, the Use Filename Checkbox will override the Project Name with the name of the file. This is a great way to make sure that your storyboard’s versioning matches the project file’s versioning.

Set Font
Set the fonts found in the Banner, and the Color Swatch allows you to customize the color.

Baseline Offset
Move the typography up or down in the Banner to center up your type.

Titles Tab - Title Page

Title Page sub-tab is used to add a cover page to your document. This allows you to brand your boards with text and an image.

Enable Title Page
Activates the Title Page and places it at the beginning of the Boardfish document.

Title Page Margin
Allows you to add a separte margin size from the rest of your pages. If you plan to print it’s a good idea to use the default margin size, but if you are destined for digital delivery you may want the imagery full bleed to cover the entire page.

Show banners
Allows you to include or exclude the Header or Footer on the Title Page.

Title Page Text Checkbox
Enables a text box on the Title Page.

Align
Position text to the left, right, or center of page.

Horizontal Offset
Moves the text left or right.

Vertical Offset
Moves the text up or down.

Set Font...
Control the Title text font style, size, and color.

Title Page Image Checkbox
Allows you to add an image on the Title Page.

Set Image
Simply drag and drop an image onto the Drop Zone to import it, or control click to import or remove the image.

Image Scale
Allows you to scale the image up or down

Position
Justifies the image on the right, left, top or bottom of the page

Horizontal Offset
Moves the image left or right.

Vertical Offset
Moves the image up or down.

Boardfish Menu


About Boardfish
Boardfish's splash screen containing links to the Boardfish website and version info. Also contains your license code.

Preferences
The Boardfish Preferences menu gives you the ability to modify the Boardfish User Interface’s color scheme and attribute sizing. For the most part these values never need to be changed, but we give you the ability to customize the look of the app just in case. If you decide to change these you can always return to the defaults by clicking on the “Factory Defaults” button at the bottom.

File Menu


The File Menu contains standard File Menu options such as creating, opening, saving, and reverting documents.

Export to PDF
Used to save your boards into a cross platform PDF file for digital delivery or additional editing in a PDF application such as Preview or Adobe Acrobat.

Import Panel
The Import Panel item brings up the standard Finder open dialog and can be used instead of dragging and dropping your files into the Grid View.

Replace Panel
When a panel is selected in the Grid View, the Replace Panel item can be used to navigate to another image in the finder which will replace the selected Panel.

Insert Empty Panel
Insert a blank panel after the currently selected panel. This is a great way to push panels down the document into a new page, or it can be used as a placeholder for a panel coming at a later time.

Show in Finder
Allows you to reveal the location of the source image in the Finder.

Set Banner Logo & Remove Banner Logo
An alternate way to set your logo instead of using the Drop Zone.

Page Setup
Configure your document size and layout.

Print
Pulls up the Print Dialog to directly print from Boardfish.

Edit Menu


The Edit Menu contains standard Edit Menu options such as Undo, Redo, as well as the ability to Hide and Unhide Panels. In addition, the Spelling and Grammar section can be used to Spell Check the text in your captions.

View Menu


The View Menu contains options to customize the UI’s view. By default, Boardfish is set to Animated Previews. This makes the UI responsive with animated re-flowing of panels, but we sacrifice preview quality in exchange for this performance. For example, the banner logo will appear low-resolution, and your text may not be perfectly aligned on a sub-pixel level. This Animated Preview mode is only affecting the preview and does not affect the final exported PDF or print which will always output at full quality. If you would like to see the full quality version in the UI without animated panels, you can switch to “Accurate Previews” in the View Menu. Additionally, the View Menu provides options to automatically resize your grid view based on the UI resizing, as well as zoom in, zoom out, and enter Full Screen mode.

Help Menu


The Help Menu brings up the Boardfish Documentation (this page) in case you ever need help with specific questions.