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The first book comprehensively covering Celtx, the Celtx Script mobile app, Celtx Studios and Celtx Cloud Services. This blog will further explore the book, the companion website, additional resources, and the continuing evolution of Celtx across devices.

Global Celtx

One of the pluses of Celtx, of course, is the localization of the desktop client: the downloadable executable is available in several dozen languages.

I teach at a university that actively recruits students from outside the U.S. We have Mexican, Costa Rican, Spanish, Brazilian and Turkish students, to name just a sampling of nationalities. Many are already familiar with Celtx, and the rest adapt to Celtx quickly because they can be interacting with it in their native language.

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Celtx and Paper Edits

“Paper edits” are scripts created from transcriptions of captured footage (interview footage, archival material, etc.), capturing time code and content while structuring narrative. Celtx is a terrific tool for creating paper edits.

As a professional screenwriter who currently teaches undergraduate screenwriting, it’s not unusual for me to be asked to conceptualize and script a quick promotional or informational video. I use a number of Celtx tools for creating my paper edits.

  • Desktop Celtx gives me the most robust editing features, as I begin a “raw” paper edit in an A/V format while watching compiled video clips. The Celtx project file allows me to build a library of project items — from the “raw” capture to a 1st draft script to a polished script, along with other notes if necessary.
  • As I begin shifting around and editing the video segments to construct narrative, while adding B-roll shots to enhance the visuals, Celtx Script allows me to work anywhere using an iPad or iPhone.
  • Celtx cloud services allows me to store the project file and access it from any device, any time. I’m never chained to a particular computer or mobile device.

Mastering Celtx covers all things desktop Celtx and mobile Celtx — and discusses using the A/V format and maximizing the features of the project library. If you need to put together a quick (and coherent!) video using iPhone or DSLR (or any other) footage, Celtx is worth checking out.

MASTERING CELTX Tutorial and Reference Files

Delmar Cengage Learning has done some minor re-organizing of its online Downloads section. Fear not, the files haven’t disappeared, but you’ll need to search for ‘Borst’ or the ISBN once you get to the http://courseptr.com/downloads landing page.

The direct link for Mastering Celtx files is here. They’re organized by book section and type of file, and you’ll usually be downloading a zipped (i.e., compressed) file — which you may need to unarchive manually once on your local drive.

Celtx Script for OS X (i.e., Mac desktops and laptops)

Celtx has just released Celtx Script for OS X, downloadable at the Mac App Store (for $9.99 or £6.99 in the UK). This has created some confusion about whether this is now replacing the free desktop Celtx client that has been around for years (and is thoroughly explored in Mastering Celtx).

Celtx Script for OS X is essentially identical to the Celtx Script app that’s been available for iOS and Android for awhile.

Why in the world pay 10 bucks (or 7 quid), when you can get an alternative for free? I think the primary reasons are if:

  1. Your prior experience with Celtx has solely been mobile, via Celtx Free and Celtx Script apps — you’ve never used desktop Celtx; and
  2. You have no interest in many of desktop Celtx’s features: you don’t want to storyboard, breakdown a script, add reference media (whether graphical or textual), or put together a production schedule.

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Videogame Voice Actor Scripts and Celtx

Sometimes it takes awhile to catch up on one’s reading, but Jesse Harlin’s Aural Fixation column in the November 2011 edition of Game Developer succinctly summarizes some of the issues involved with scripting, producing and integrating voice actor content in videogames.

This is a rarely discussed topic, but one covered in Story and Simulations in Serious Games and End to End Game Development, two books on independent and serious game development previously co-authored by the writer of Mastering Celtx.

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New Celtx Edge Features

Since our July 4 review, Celtx Edge has added several new features:

  • Direct Final Draft to Celtx file conversion (this is big)
  • Drag-and-drop uploading (nice, for those of us used to this in Google Docs)
  • Modest improvements to the script editor interface

The first new feature makes it easy for a Final Draft user to dip his/her toes into Celtx waters, and if you’re inheriting a script from someone using Final Draft (or reviving a script you previously composed in Final Draft), this makes it easy to start working in Celtx right away.

(As Mastering Celtx describes in Chapter 2, you could move from Final Draft to desktop Celtx, but it meant you had to first convert the Final Draft file into a text-with-layout file, then import the text file into Celtx.)

Note that this is only for Final Draft version 8 files (the .FDX file format); I would doubt that Celtx Edge will reach back to older versions of the Final Draft file format (so if you’ve got a version 6 or 7 file, you’ll still need to use the methodology described in Chapter 2 of Mastering Celtx).

Here’s the full announcement of the latest new features.

Celtx Edge – Review

In my last post, I reviewed Celtx Free, the fully in-the-cloud script composition and editing tool (usable for novels and comic books as well).

In summarizing the post, I suggested that Celtx Free worked very well for casual scriptwriters and novice novelists, in addition to users prevented from doing any kind of software installs (which is fairly typical in governmental, educational, institutional and corporate environments).

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Celtx in the Cloud (Celtx Free) – Review

Long overdue, I know.

Late in February, Celtx rolled out version 2.9.5 of desktop Celtx, and as I reported at the time, this incrementalized update had very little effect on authoring scripts and building projects in pre-production using the downloadable desktop Celtx tool (version 2.9.7 is now available). Owners of Mastering Celtx could breathe easy, as Celtx still looked like Celtx.

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Celtx Scout Reviewed

Celtx Scout is a new $1.99 mobile app — available on both iOS and Android platforms. If you’re already using Celtx for short or long-form media preproduction, Celtx Scout is a handy little addition to the workflow. Using your mobile phone or tablet, you can quickly take snapshots on location, as well as pull previous shots or images from your device’s photo library, and then file them in your Celtx “cloud” account, where you can (and should) be stashing all of your Celtx scripts, projects and related videos.

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New Celtx Tools

Celtx has released a couple of brand new tools:

  • Celtx Edge, which enhances sharing and project management pre-production features
  • Celtx Scout, a $1.99 mobile app (available on either Android or iOS) that turns anyone into a location scout, snapping pictures and easily sharing them with a production team using Celtx.

We’ll review these tools later in June, and would love to hear any feedback Mastering Celtx readers have about these tools!

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