Storyboard Artwork Project/Scenery and props

These lessons are ready for a test drive.


How to create props and scenery for Tux Paint for the Storyboard Artwork Project

Two ways to create scenery

There are two ways to create scenery which can be used by kids to make storyboards.
  • You can create scenery by creating stamps. This is like have a collection of props. This requires a piece of art (from a 2D or 3D program) which is masked.
  • You can create a starters page with the entire scene on a single page. This is a bit more complicated since starter pages do not have backgrounds on them normally. Instead, you need to create a second page which has the background and give it a special name which tells Tux Paint that it is a background which can be painted over.

In this example, the stamp is the movie poster (show right) and this stamp is scaled in Tux Paint to be used as background scenery for the storyboard. The two human figures (old person and young person) are the same stamp only mirror imaged and scaled differently. Every simple, very easy. This is what makes Tux Paint so much fun. Also, this is what makes Tux Paint more powerful than most other paint programs.

To use this stamp
To use the poster in Tux Paint, click on the picture of the poster to see the original (full-sized) version of the poster. Copy this file to your hard drive and put this file into the stamp folder for Tux Paint.
Then next time, you use Tux Paint, this stamp will automatically appear in the list of stamps. Because this artwork is a perfect retangle (rather than an odd shape), you do not need to add a mask to it. The only requirement of Tux Paint is the artwork must be in the PNG format.
Example of an irregular-shaped prop

PNG pictures with alpha channels

You need to create a PNG picture has four channels:

  • A red image
  • A green image
  • A blue image
  • A mask image

The mask
The mask

Props can be any size. If the prop is not rectangular, the shape of the prop is created with a mask.

The RGB Image
The image

See the ugly white area around the picture. Without a mask, the image does not look good. (Look very carefully at the left and right edge and you will see an ugly white edge. The mask gets rid of this edge.)


Here is a storyboard created with two stamps to create scenery.

Creating the blank starter page

The blank frame for the storyboard

A blank storyboard frame can be created as a starter page (which goes into the starters folder in the Tux Paint application. You need to create one PNG picture has a picture and a mask which protects it. In this case, the frame has a 16 by 9 aspect ration which is the same as for DV video. Click on this frame to see the original at full size that you can download to your hard drive for use in Tux Paint:

You can also add a background scene (without an alpha channel) to the black storyboard frame. This is a second picture which has the name "-back" added to the file name of the blank storyboard frame. (Yes, this is a bit complicated for a multipage storyboard since you need all the blank frames to have unique file names and all the bankgrounds to have the same nemes with "-back" added to the name.)

The mask for the starter page

White is protected

White in the mask is the area which will be protected. When the kids draw their storyboards, the lines protected by the white mask are not erased or covered up.

Background scenery for the storyboard frame
No mask necessary

For this project, we are designing for a scene size of 800 by 600. That means an actual picture size of 608 by 472 pixels.

Here is what the final storyboard looks like.
In this picture, the scenery is on the starters pages except for the "Star Wars" movie poster which is a stamp.