21 September 2011

Story Outlining in Photoshop?

In the latest Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast, the director of the movie Reckless, Gus Van Sant, mentioned that he sometimes outlines his stories in Photoshop. He'll change colors, fonts, moved things around, even incorporate graphics, like balloons. Jeff, the moderator, suggested that it would take a long time to complete an outline in this manner.

As I've only used Photoshop Elements, and am still learning the ins and outs of the program, I'd agree that it would be a long exercise, but I can imagine how stylized and eye-catching it could be. Rather than outline with Photoshop, I could certainly see myself utilizing my Bamboo tablet to brainstorm, create mind maps, and compile story collages.

Photoshop is a pricey tool to have laying around. Just looking thru our own computers, I found other alternatives that could be used to outline, mind map, brainstorm, or just be creative, that are much less than Photoshop.
  • Corel Painter Essentials - bundles with the Wacom Bamboo tablet, free trial download
  • Google SketchUp - Free from Google
  • http://www.apple.com/iwork/iWork with Keynote, Numbers, and Pages- an Apple product equivalent to Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Office: Word & PowerPoint - who doesn't know these?
  • Mind Node - free mind mapping software
  • Notebook - Mac only, digital notebook that performs handwriting recognition and sketching
  • Photoshop Elements - a photo editing too with drawing capabilities
  • Scrivener - a writer's dream program for managing any sort of writing project, with digital notecards and synopsis creation
  • Shape Collage - photo collage creator - just import the pics you want to use, pick a shape and viola. The pro version removes the watermark.
  • SketchBook Copic Edition - a drawing program that was free on the Apple Mac App Store
  • SketchBook Express - a drawing program that was free on the Apple Mac App Store, an iPad version also available
  • Skitch - a document capture program, free on the Apple Mac App Store & Adroid Market
  • Xmind - free mind mapping tool
  • TuxPaint - a free kids drawing tool, with some cool stamps
Oh, and don't forget the age old reliables ... pen, pencil, markers, crayons and paper.

What do you use to generate your story ideas? Share in the comments.

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