FrameForge 3D Studio

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FrameForge Previz Studio
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FrameForge 3D Studio on Mac OS X
Developer(s) Innoventive Software
Stable release
Version 3.6 / March, 2016
Operating system Mac OS X, Windows
Type 3D computer graphics
License Proprietary

The Emmy Award Winning[1] FrameForge Previz Studio (formerly FrameForge 3D Studio) is previsualization storyboard software for directors/Videographer/VFX supervisor[2] and other creatives in the fields of Filmmaking, Television Studio, filmed Advertising, Industrial Videos and other filmed or video content.

The software creates virtual sets and locations using simulated cameras, actors and objects in photo-accurate 3D scaled sets for previsualization. FrameForge creates data rich animations and exports these sequences for use at all stages of production for both traditional 2D shoots and, with the introduction of version 3, stereographic 3D shoots too.


The program was designed by filmmaker Ken Schafer and his San Diego-based software company Innoventive Software, LLC. A graduate of New York University's film program, Schafer started software programming in the 1980s by creating an extensive system of macros for WordPerfect that automatically formatted his text into screenplay format. He packaged these macros and sold them under the name Script Perfection. The macros evolved into the stand-alone program called ScriptThing and was eventually exclusively licensed for sale by Screenplay Systems under the name of Movie Magic Screenwriter.[3] Schafer followed up with other software designs including the program FrameForge 3D Studio.

The Software[edit]

FrameForge supports both Mac OS X and Windows Operating Systems. The software comes with resources that allow the construction of dimensionally precise 3D spaces (sets) that can be seen in an optically-correct manner from any POV. The data of this technical idiom is calculated by the software and recorded automatically when any frame is stored. The user however, controls the composition of the image with more familiar terms which cinematographers and directors use such as pan, tilt, crane, dolly, zoom, depth of field and f/Stop. This makes for unrestricted exploration of the created 3D space in a non-technical way.

User Interface design simulates a ‘Multi-Camera Control Room’, a virtual studio allowing users to build and amend rooms and spaces, place cameras, props and actors in a desktop computer using familiar “drag’drop'n'move” commands. FrameForge comes pre-set for standard and custom film sizes plus popular prime lens collections which obtain accurate setup data while the user explores multiple camera angles, shots, lenses and choreography.

The software comes with over 800 unique objects and actors that relate to each other like real world counterparts. Drag an actor to a chair and he sits, drag a gun or cigarette to a hand and it will be held, dresser drawers pull open and trees can lose their leaves. Further, actor features like ‘reach-for’ and ‘look-at’ simplify posing that can be modified down to a single finger's joint.

Other Features[edit]

  • Instant rendering of multiple camera POVs with OpenGL Hardware Acceleration, Texture Sharing and other optimizations
  • Room Builder Drag’n’draw generation of your set with sizable walls, windows, doors and overall dimensions
  • TrueOptix optically-correct Depth of Field depiction with user controllable f/stop and point of focus settings
  • KeyFrame ‘Tweening:’ The automatic creation of averaged in-between frames creating camera and actor movement animations
  • Export to QuickTime, PDF and Flash Animation formats
  • Actor Pose Control
    • Partial Pose selection to select ‘in between poses’
    • Full Facial expressions plus facial modifiers and phonemes
    • Body and Facial Morphs (Fat, thin, gaunt face, Roman nose, etc.)
    • Can be aged from 20-60 yrs
    • Numerous Hair and Clothing options
    • "Reach For...", "Look at..." and "Match Eyelines…" functions
  • Exact on-set distance reporting and measuring of set objects
  • USB Game Pad Interface allows control of the program from a standard joystick USB Game Pad or a proprietary Director's Pad* (sold separately)
  • Native VRML Object Creation support with options to create ‘hinged’ part objects
  • Importation and association of script documents from script formatting and popular word processing software


Technical Achievement Emmy® from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Pre-production Previsualization System Category. One of the key criteria for this Emmy was that the pre-visualization capability of this software allows the user to test and solve real-world production issues during pre-production, with a proven track record of saving productions time and money by eliminating the requirement to perform physical tests on-set until convinced of the final design.[4]

Lumiere Technology Award from the International 3D Society, presented to FrameForge Previz Studio 3, Stereo Edition at the I3DS's 4th Annual Creative Arts Awards. The International 3D Society's Technology Awards honor technological achievement in the stereoscopic medium and are given to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on the advancement of stereoscopic arts and technologies.

"The 3D Technology Awards Show celebrates the impact and innovation of the organizations and individuals whose advancements are leading this industry," said Jim Chabin, President of the International 3D Society.

Innoventive Software, manufacturer of FrameForge was also recognized for outstanding technological achievement in supporting stereo 3D filmmaking for the RealD Professional Stereo 3D Calculator for iPhone & iPad.

Case Studies[edit]

Mike van Diem, Academy Award® winning director talks about his usage of the program on the feature film The Surprise

Mark Kolpack, Emmy® Nominated VFX Supervisor talks about how FrameForge Previz Studio helps Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Steeven Petitteville, Cinematographer, talks about how the program helps him behind the camera on commercials and other projects.

Read these Case Studies and more


Indie Source Magazine Gregory Parker Posted Aug, 2012

"White Paper" on the Production of the Short Film "Wallenda" by Director VW Scheich Posted Feb 28, 2012

Post Magazine Igor Ridanovic Posted Jan 1, 2011

Film Riot Video Review by Staff Posted Sept 20, 2010

HD Magazine By Staff Posted April 22, 2010 By Clyde de Souza Posted Feb 10, 2010

Microfilmmaker Magazine By Mark Bremmer Posted Dec 1, 2009

American Cinematographer Magazine By Jay Holben, ASC Tech Editor Posted July 2006

FrameForge 3D Studio 2: 3D World Magazine By Christopher Kenworthy Posted March, 2006

FrameForge 3D Studio 2: Giving Users What They Want By Rick DeMott, managing editor of Animation World Network Posted May 4, 2006 in an Animation World Network publication FrameForge 3D Studio 2: From StoryBoards to Pre-Viz By Keith Kolbo, Digital Media Net Moderator Posted May 23, 2006

System requirements[edit]

• Intel Dual-Core CPU or Equivalent
• OpenGL Hardware Accelerated Graphics Card
• 500 MB Free Disk Space
• 1 GB RAM (Minimum)

Recommended: Dedicated Graphics Card with VRAM

Windows System Requirements Verification Tool from Manufacturer
Macintosh System Requirements Verification Tool from Manufacturer


Windows XP through Windows 8


• OS X 10.6 or later


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mark Kolpak, VFX Supervisor Marvel's Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.
  3. ^ Holben, Jay. "FrameForge 3D Studio Simplifies Storyboard Process" American Cinematographer Magazine October 2003. pp 101–106
  4. ^

External links[edit]