William Bares at CofC

Story Blocker

Story Blocker is a Web-based virtual 3-D movie making application that can be used to practice cinematography skills of script writing, blocking, composition, and editing.  Create and share short virtual 3-D movies so that others can view and offer constructive critiques.  This project (the re-naming of its predecessor, Film Ties) resulted in user-friendly graphical tools to create cinematic narratives in 3-D.  I welcome collaborations with teachers of film production who wish to experiment with this tool as an active-learning aid.  I also welcome collaborations with researchers who wish to use the tool as a way to crowd-source knowledge of cinematic narrative.


Film Ties: A Web-based virtual 3D lab for teaching the film art from script to blocking (in WICED 2017) [Click for PDF download]

Tutorials Document [Click for PDF download]

Tutorial Videos

Getting Started (login, cloning a movie, camera tools, and animation – 10 minutes)

Creating characters and scripts (1 minute)


Animating with beats and motion path curves (2 minutes)


Camera shot editing (2 minutes)


Overhead blocking diagram display options (1 minute)


Future Work

We are in process of adding motion capture input so that performers and camera operators can simply walk about to create animated movie scenes.  Other additions in-progress including particle and flocking effects and a customizable character rigging facility.

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