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Storyboard: Make video files into PDF books
January 31, 2013 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Storyboard was born of my insane desire to consume videos without actually having to watch them. Normally that would involve putting the TV on in the background and ignoring the video while listening to the audio, but what about the reverse? All visual without the audio. On my kindle. via waxy

There is nothing about this (except how early it is in its development and so how kinda messy it is to set up) that I do not love as much or more than I love all the other things I love.
posted by cgc373 (29 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like innovative solutions to problems that don't really exist.
posted by Segundus at 4:30 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


This. Is. Genius.

What I really want, though, is a smart solution that fills in the panels between the panels of comic strips which appear in movies, title reels, music videos and so on, to create complete works. I have a feeling that the graphic novel of A-Ha's "Take on Me" could be Eisner material.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:46 AM on January 31, 2013


Author here: It really is something of a mess to setup right now! A lot of that comes from the fact that Storyboard is just a wrapper around other programs that do the real hard work, but making it easier to install and use is really important to me. I'll get there someday.

Anywho, right when it started spitting out readable PDFs, I used it on a few movies that my brother liked so he could read them while at his night job at the front desk of a hotel. Last evening I got a call from my grandparents asking if I could put "a book of The West Wing" on their iPad. I still don't know what problem it's solving, but that makes having worked on it a bit more worthwhile.
posted by markolson at 4:47 AM on January 31, 2013 [17 favorites]


Just saw that it's MetaFilter's Own™ Mark Olson.
posted by cgc373 at 4:48 AM on January 31, 2013


I like innovative solutions to problems that don't really exist.

Oh I don't know, you could then use the story board generated from the finished video to show the producers a much more accurate story board.
posted by the noob at 4:48 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoops. Hi, Mark!
posted by cgc373 at 4:48 AM on January 31, 2013


Is this the kind of tool people use to make those images I see on MLKSHK and tumblr blogs of TV shows saying something funny in the closed captioning?
posted by mathowie at 5:13 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


One-offs like that are probably just screengrabs in VNC.

Although many of them seem to be screengrabs that somebody made up their own captions for.
posted by ardgedee at 5:33 AM on January 31, 2013


My uncle had books like this when I was little -- large format books with Al Hirschfeld caricatures on the cover, mostly of old black and white wacky comedies (Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, etc.). Maybe two or three film stills per page, showing vignettes from different films. Those seemed like such an absurd, magical indulgence when I was little -- interesting to see its modern incarnation.
posted by HeroZero at 5:36 AM on January 31, 2013


Last evening I got a call from my grandparents asking if I could put "a book of The West Wing" on their iPad.

That's awesome.

Also, I totally learned new things I needed (ssh auth with chef has been a recent irritant) just by looking at your blog, so thanks for that too.
posted by ndfine at 5:43 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love this.
posted by odinsdream at 5:48 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


mathowie: Yes and no. It does make each of those images, but then stitches them all together into the PDF immediately, without giving you a chance to pull out just the one you want.

Over the weekend I'm hoping to get enough work on this done that you'll be able to run a slightly different program that searches the subtitles for a line of text you want, and makes a single frame or animated GIF out of just when that line is being spoken.
posted by markolson at 6:14 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Any sample PDFs we could see?
posted by cacofonie at 6:24 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is amazing. Wish this had been around awhile back so we'd have a library by now
posted by MangyCarface at 6:28 AM on January 31, 2013


There's been a lot of fumetti/photonovel adaptations of Hollywood films and TV shows; El Santo, the Mexican wrestling hero, had his own visual comic (MNSFW; scroll down) for a number of years.

Even before this clever twist on the Kindle came out, a number of software programs for different platforms were developed, but hardly any of them were used to truly mimic closed-captioning. It'll be interesting to see if this may be the step to a gradual service, either through fan/torrent channels, or by through media gatekeepers themselves.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:56 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great and people will want it. If you build it, they will come?
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:58 AM on January 31, 2013


We're through the looking glass here people! I want an email subscription to pdfs of my favorite shows!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:02 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someone run Scott Pilgrim through it!!
posted by odinsdream at 7:04 AM on January 31, 2013


Smart Dalek: I had no idea photonovels were a thing! I might have to track down a copy of Wrath of Khan...

cacofonie: This is something I struggle with, because there isn't much out there in public domain I could really use to demo this well. Just for you though, I wrote up some (potentially misheard) subtitles for the Iron Man 3 teaser trailer and ran it through. It didn't turn out half bad.
posted by markolson at 7:48 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Ladies .... children .... sheep"

Awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 7:59 AM on January 31, 2013


"Sheep?" I think I gotta go check the source material...
posted by wenestvedt at 9:15 AM on January 31, 2013


Sample PDF's of public domain films?
posted by stbalbach at 9:15 AM on January 31, 2013


My first thought on how to use this would be to make storyboards of "lost" Doctor Who episodes. But then I realized I would make them using the reconstructions that others have made using tele-snaps, which means I'd be using Storyboard to create PDFs of pictures that were put into a video made by pictures that were taken of the original when it aired on TV.

You'd think that would stop me from considering it, but you'd be wrong.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:04 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still don't know what problem it's solving

The problem it's solving is obvious. I want to watch a movie but don't have a device or software for playing videos.

The other use case is screenshot extraction and/or film criticism "see this shot here; now compare to this shot here"). I can think of plenty of uses.

I love it. Nice work, but ...

It really is something of a mess to setup right now!

yeah.

Any sample PDFs we could see?

Ditto. I'll take Django if you got it. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:14 AM on January 31, 2013


I think it would be better if it didn't repeat subtitles across multiple pages - I found it very off-putting when trying to read.
posted by alby at 10:14 AM on January 31, 2013


MCMikeNamara: That is horrible and amazing and do it.

mrgrimm: I'm hoping to get an actual, single, application to do this working by summerish. Maybe Django will be out on DVD by then and you can make your own copy :-P In the meantime, I think Night of the Living Dead is public domain, so I'll try and wrangle up a copy of that.

alby: That's something I'm going to make an option in the next release. I like having the subtitles over all the frames they apply to, but I suspect I'm in the minority on this.
posted by markolson at 10:22 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is nifty. It's the kind of solution I'll go way out of my way to find a problem for.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:39 AM on January 31, 2013


I think it would be better if it didn't repeat subtitles across multiple pages - I found it very off-putting when trying to read.

I thought it was very "voice of god" ---

"sheep"

"sheeeep"

"sheeeeeeeeeep"
posted by odinsdream at 10:41 AM on January 31, 2013


I first thought of "Doctor Who" as well. It would be interesting to marry this with draft copies of TV and movie scripts, or some kind of MST3K-style snarkery.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2013


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