Defining a timeline
Defining your timeline is an important step to tell the Storyteq Extension what scenes you want to use, in what order, and what scenes can be interchangeable. The Storyteq timeline will only accept compositions as content, so no separate layers, nulls, or any forms of animation should be present in the Storyteq Timeline. All those aspects need to be done inside the actual scene composition, and that composition needs to be stand-alone, so when it would be rendered individually, the output would be considered final. Please also make sure the work area and the composition duration are the same.
If your video consists of only one scene or part creating your timeline is simple. You can either drag that composition from your project assets panel to the “new composition” button and add your newly created composition as your timeline or select your composition and click the “select master” button in the Storyteq Extension. This will make a copy for you, but since layers are kept intact you may need to pre-comp your scene into a pre-composition to ensure that only compositions are present in the Storyteq Timeline.
If your video is a bit more complicated, with different scenes or possibly modules/interchangeable scenes, this process becomes a little different. You still have two options: You can either create a new composition and drag all of your scene compositions in there, rearranging them to match their chronological order, and put modules/interchangeable scenes above each other in the timeline with the same starting point. We recommend using this method. Or, you could select a scene as a master composition, the extension will create a duplicate, pre-comp layers where needed and add any missing scene compositions, restructure to reflect the chronological order and put modules/interchangeable scenes above each other in the timeline with the same starting point. If your video has multiple aspect ratios, you can consider those variations of a scene, and thus modules. You can place the different aspect ratios of a scene above each other in your timeline with the same in-point. The aspect ratio of your timeline composition does not matter in this and is only used to structure your project - not for actual rendering.
Note: Non-dynamic scenes are not allowed to overlap. Either way, you should end up with something that looks like this:
This example is structured like this:
Scene 1 is always the same and is the first in the timeline so it will play first.
Scene 2 has 3 variations, male, female and non-binary and will follow after scene 1 as it is second in the timeline.
The in-points of the various options for scene 2 are all the same and they are positioned above each other, indicating that this scene is modular and those separate scenes are variations of scene 2.
Not all variations are the same length. This is fine. Continue with the next scene after the longest option.
Scene 3 only has one option and always comes last, as it is positioned last in the timeline. It is positioned after the longest variation of scene 2.
You will also notice that all of these layers are actually compositions, and there are no direct relations between these compositions like layers parented to each other, no nulls/cameras to make transitions happen etc. All of those elements are inside these compositions, and when a scene composition is rendered - it represents the final output without requiring any input from other layers/compositions. Please also ensure your work area inside these comps is the same as your composition duration. Use the trim comp to work area command to fix any issues with this.
When structured this way, the Storyteq Extension will reflect this data in the following way:
It recognizes that the scene-2-variations belong together and will ask you to tell it when it is supposed to show which variation in this overview. It is important to check if all scenes are interpreted correctly, and this can be easily done by looking at the overview of scenes in the Storyteq Extension.
You are now also able to set up the logic for when you’d like to show a part and when you’d like to skip it if you want. You can always come back to this screen to set this up later, as long as you set it correctly before finalizing the project.
To set up the modular part of your project, click any modular part. A new tab will open up where you set up any dynamic rules for this set of modules. You can select the main parameter it should listen to, which value it should have to trigger, and what behaviour of functionality it should then display.
In this example, we should set scene 2 - male to the following:
If “Gender” has the value “male” then “show”.
Female would replace “male” with “female”.
Non-binary would replace “male” with “non-binary”.
You can add multiple dependencies on a single module by clicking the “+” button next to the last par.
This can be used when you have multiple conditions for a certain scene, like “Gender” needs to be “male” AND “aspect_ratio” needs to be “9x16”.
You have now set up the main logic of your video template.