screenplay to VSE

here is a quick demo of a custom plugin that creates Scene objects in Blender VSE (Video Sequence Editor) using our structured screenplay JSON.

in the screen recording i’m selecting the screenplay.json and the media directory where i have generated images and audio clips based on the same screenplay data.

how we got here?

The journey here didn’t start with Blender as target for building prototype, but after i’d had enough fiddling with Xcode to FCPX (Final Cut Pro X) via a macOS extension that never worked, nor did the SDK provide any useful feedback. after digging into the Console logs, i encountered a dreaded old friend Mobile Gestalt..

That was enough for me to really consider abandoning my effort to force our prototype into the FCP workflow. i would have used Motion to build my plugin or generator, but i need to call APIs from the timeline and i couldn’t find an option other than what seems like a janky for Apple option that requires side loading an SDK from Jan 2022 just to enable the macOS extension in Xcode. then once all setup it still failed. i tried. i really did and i even started to reach out to my network for support. i really wanted it to work because of my own history with FCP, but i was forcing it and without proper support it was a blocker.

I really can’t believe they’re still charging people for FCP, especially given obvious lack of support, which is no more apparent than the chunky User Guide(s) that used to ship with the installer disks.

The world has come a long way since this was a luxury, but it seems like FCP has zero plans to invest in innovations and building an ecosystem. they seem to be stuck in harvest mode. forget about feeding these monster PDFs into a GPT, u can’t get it to complete a single response without throwing an error.

Once i accepted the shortcomings of FCPX and it wasn’t my FCP, i came to my senses and looked to Blender and was able to make significant progress as demonstrated in video above. Blender has a library called bpy which is core to the application as it provides programatic access to everything possible in Blender.

What next?

This is just the beginning of our journey as a studio as build and develop tools that address our needs to support content creation. Now that we’re essentially unblocked on building GUI that can interact with the Video Editor timeline, we’re cooking with gas and can proceed as planned.

As we proceed, we’ll continue to post updates.