Get started with PocketStudio

Make your first project

This step-by-step introduction guides you through the process of creating your first project in PocketStudio; from building scenes to rendering out a movie.

For an introduction to some of the other unique and powerful features see:

ps docs pipeline intro

To create your first project:

  1. Sign in: launch PocketStudio for desktop and sign in with your PocketStudio account. If your credentials are valid, you will be taken to the project screen.
  2. Create a new project: click on the icon. A new project card will be added to the project list.
  3. Rename the project: click once on the project’s default name to edit the project title.
  4. Add an image to the project’s card: drag and drop an image (jpg or png) on the card to customize its appearance.
  5. Open the project: double click on the project’s card. The project view will transition into the scene and sequence view.
Learn more abut how PocketStudio works

ps docs ui projectsview

To add a new 3D scene to the project:

  1. Create a 3D scene: click on the icon next to the Scenes label. A new scene card will be added to the list of scenes.
  2. Rename the 3D scene: click once on the card label to edit the scene’s name.
  3. Open the scene: double click on the card.

ps docs ui scenes sequences view

We can now edit the content of this new 3D scene.

  1. Create a ground plane: click on the plane icon on the Toolbar (to the right of the Viewport). A pre-defined plane primitive will be added to the center of the scene.
  2. Navigate in the viewport: PocketStudio uses by default Maya-like navigation controls. Use alt+ (left mouse button) to tumble (move around the object the camera is looking at), alt+ (middle mouse button) to track the camera and the mouse wheel to dolly the camera in and out. Tracking moves the camera left, right, up, or down in the camera plane (in two dimensions).

ps docs ui scene editor

  1. Select and transform objects: select the plane by clicking on it in the viewport. It should now be highlighted with its properties visible in the Property Editor panel to the right. The move, scale and translate tools can be displayed by pressing the w, e or r keys respectively.

Press the w key to display the move tool in the Viewport. Click and hold on any of the move tool axe and drag the mouse to move the plane along that axis. With the plane still selected, press the f key to frame the plane in the Viewport.

Translate tool
Scale tool
Rotate tool
Frame tool
  1. Import an animated character:

    1. First download the gangnam.fbx file to your computer. Then drag and drop the file into the Viewport.
    2. The Import panel will open as soon as you drop the file and a pulsing ball will appear at the center of the scene, indicating that the file is loading. Once loaded in memory, the geometry will first show up with a blue color in the viewport. To complete the import process, select the file in the Import panel and click on the ‘OK’ button. The animated geometry is now available to use in your project.
    3. Click on the icon to play the animation.
  2. Create cameras:

    1. Choose a viewpoint: navigate in the Viewport to choose a point of view from which you would like to “record” the scene.
    2. Create the camera: click on the icon on the Toolbar. This will display the camera popover containing a “New” button. Click on this button to create a new camera from the current view.
    3. Look through the camera: from the camera popover, double click on the thumbnail of the camera you want to look through. Note that the camera properties are now visible in the Property Editor panel located to the right of the Toolbar. The camera viewpoint by default is locked but can be unlocked by clicking on the icon located in the top left corner of the Viewport. Click on to play the animation through this camera.
    4. Exit the camera view: click on the icon located in the top left corner of the viewport to exit the camera view and get back to the perspective camera view. Repeat the last 4 steps to create more cameras.

ps docs ui scene editor2

  1. Exit the scene editor: use the breadcrumbs at the top of the window to head back a level; click on your project name to get back to the Scene and Sequence view.

The process of creating a sequence is very similar to that of creating a 3D scene.

  1. Create a sequence: from the scenes and sequences screen, click on the icon next to the sequence label.
  2. Rename the sequence: click once on the sequence card’s label to edit the sequence’s name.
  3. Open the sequence: double click on the sequence’s card.

The sequence editor works like most non-linear video editor such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Rush or iMovie. However keep in mind that you won’t be editing videos but 3D scenes instead. The sequence editor’s workspace contains three main panels:

  • Media Library: a list of all the 3D scenes contained in your project.
  • Timeline: where 3D scenes are arranged into a series/sequence of shots.
  • Viewport or Preview Monitor: to let you view the result of the current sequence.

ps docs ui sequence editor

  1. Make your first shot: drag and drop the 3D scene you created from the Media Library onto the Timeline. A shot will be inserted at the start of the sequence.

  2. Select the camera the scene is rendered from: when a 3D scene is dropped on the Timeline the first camera from the dropped scene is used by default. If you have multiple cameras and want to change it do as follows:

    1. Click on the shot for which you wish to change the camera, a popover with a list of all the cameras contained in that scene, will be displayed just above the shot.
    2. Select the camera you want from that list. This will become the camera from which the scene will be rendered from for this particular shot.

ps docs ui sequence editor2

  1. Watch the sequence and scroll through it: click on the icon located below the Viewport / Preview Monitor (or press the space bar) to play the cut. You can also quickly scroll through the sequence by moving the playhead across the Timeline. The playhead is the vertical bar from the Timeline that indicates where you are in the sequence. To quickly move the playhead you can either move the mouse in the Timeline horizontally. You can also click anywhere on the Timeline to reposition the playhead.

  2. Create more shots: repeat the steps 4 to 6 to create more shots.

  3. Cut the shots to work out continuity of action:

    1. Select the shot you wish to change the start / end frames by clicking on it; selected shots are highlighted.
    2. Position you mouse at the head or tail of the shot (start or end point), and while maintaining the left mouse button down (click-hold), drag the cursor either to the left or to the right. As you drag the side of a shot along, the number corresponding to the corner of the shot you are editing, is updated at the same time as well. If you edit two consecutive shots so that the number to the right of the first shot is exactly one frame less than the number to the left of the second shot, then you will have continuity of action.

  1. Exit the sequence editor: click on the project’s name on the breadcrumb trail to leave the sequence editor and get back to the scenes and sequences view.
  1. Open the Preview view: get to the Scene and Sequence view and click on icon located in the top right corner of the Sequence panel. This will open the Preview view.
  2. Play the movie: the Preview view looks like a video player with controls at the bottom of the view. Click on the icon to watch your sequence.
  3. Render the movie to a video file: click on the  icon (to the left of the viewport) to open the Render panel. Select video as the export type, set the name and path of the file the movie will be saved to, then click on the Render button. Wait for the render to complete. Watch the file in your favorite video player.

Add more scenes and sequences to your project. Once comfortable with PocketStudio’s native workflow, learn about advanced features such as material editing, lighting and rendering or collaborative editing.