Storyboard panel

The storyboard specifies the overall structure of your drone show. It consists of entries, where each entry contains a reference to a formation as well as a start frame and a duration. The location constraints added by Blender will ensure that each drone reaches one of the markers in the formation by the time the show reaches the start frame, and that the drone keeps on following its marker for the entire duration of the formation.

Storyboard

Creating a new storyboard entry

Press the + button next to the formation list in the Storyboard panel to add a new entry to the end of the storyboard. The new entry will not refer to any particular formation so make sure you also pick the formation in the editor below the storyboard entry list after adding the entry.

Editing a storyboard entry

Each storyboard entry has a label and an associated set of properties that define the timing and the transition corresponding to the storyboard entry. The label of the formation can be edited by double-clicking on the storyboard entry in the entry list. The widgets below the storyboard entry list allow you to edit the properties of the currently selected storyboard entry.

Formation

Shows or sets the formation corresponding to the selected storyboard entry.

Start Frame

Shows or sets the frame when the formation of the selected storyboard entry should appear on the sky in the drone show.

Duration

Sets the duration of the selected storyboard entry in the drone show. The end frame of the formation will be the sum of the start frame and the duration, exclusive (i.e. the end frame is not part of the formation).

Custom Name

Ticking this check box allows you to keep the label of the storyboard entry even if you change the associated formation. Unticking this will change the label of the storyboard entry to the name of the formation when you change the formation.

Transition from previous

Shows or sets the type of transition between the previous formation and this one. The default is Auto, which enables Skybrush Studio to find an optimal mapping between the markers of the initial and the target formation. If you want to maintain the mapping yourself, set it to Manual instead and then sort the markers of the formation in the Outliner such that they are in the desired order (note that you need to turn off alphabetic ordering in the Outliner first). Blender will then map the nth marker in the initial formation to the nth marker in the target formation. You can also select between two fundamental temporal schedules for the transition: Synchronized and Staggered. In Synchronized mode all drones depart from and arrive to the formations at the same time. In Staggered mode drones depart and arrive at different times, with a specific delay value between each of them set by the Departure delay and Arrival delay variables (see image below). Once you are satisfied with all the parameters of the transition, press the Recalculate button on the popup window to update your show with the current transition.

Staggered transition
Transition to next

Shows or sets the type of transition between this formation and the next one. Parameters are identical to those of the Transition from previous option, see more details there.

if your takeoff place is too small and you need to place your drones closer to each other than their minimum distance between each other in the air, select Staggered takeoff to create the proper temporal distance between them during takeoff and land. Use the Ensure safety distance reordering operator for the relevant formations.

Removing a storyboard entry

Press the - button next to the formation list in the Storyboard panel to remove the selected storyboard entry from the list.

Finding the storyboard entry for the current frame

Press the upward pointing thin arrow button next to the formation list in the Storyboard panel to select the storyboard entry that contains the current frame. If the current frame falls between storyboard entries, the next entry will be selected. Pressing this button clears the selection if the current frame is after the end of the storyboard.

Changing the order of formations

Press the button next to the formation list in the Storyboard to move the selected entry up by one slot in the storyboard. Similarly, the button next to the formation list moves the selected entry down by one slot in the storyboard. Skybrush Studio will automatically adjust the start times of the entries to ensure that they are in ascending order.

It is possible to mess up the order of entries in the storyboard by changing the start times explicitly in a way that they are not in ascending order any more. Skybrush Studio will fix the ordering of the entries the next time the transitions are recalculated, or before any operation for which the add-on needs the exact ordering of entries.

Recalculating transitions

Once you are satisfied with your storyboard, you can press the Recalculate Transitions button to create automatic and optimal transitions between your formations without collisions.

Recalculate Transitions

The popup menu that appears when clicking on the button offers various options to recalculate all transitions or only a subset of them. The recalculation process also creates or updates the constraints on your drones in your Drones collection to follow the given formations during their associated time interval.

Updating Time Markers from the Storyboard

The main cues of the Storyboard can be rendered as time markers that appear in the Timeline Editor. To reset all time markers related to Skybrush Studio and update them based on the actual storyboard entries, press the Update Time Markers button at the bottom of the Storyboard panel (markers added manually will remain untouched).