Build a Better Embedded UI. Introducing Storyboard Suite 5.0

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Today we announced the release of Storyboard Suite 5.0. We are pretty excited about it, and if you are a current Storyboard customer or are part of a team that is building embedded application UIs, we think that you will be excited too.

Storyboard Suite 5.0: Enhancements for the Entire UI Development Team

With Storyboard 5.0 we’ve continued to deliver functionality that we feel is most important to UI designers, software developers, and their stakeholders. Storyboard provides the entire team with the tools and workflow they need to work efficiently and confidently to create better user experiences, on time and within budget.

Check out Fancy Dan’s video to learn more about some of the new functionality in Storyboard 5.0.

Created for designers and developers

Nobody sweats the small design details and subtleties like designers, so we strive to keep them fully in control of the look and feel of the application throughout the development lifecycle to ensure the visual appeal and usability of the UI is second-to-none. With tools that make it easy to import artwork, add interaction and movement, update artwork on demand, and refine and tweak until perfect, Storyboard gives designers full ownership over the UI, without impacting code. This frees the software developers to focus on writing beautiful code and connecting the UI the underlying system to deliver high-performance embedded products. Storyboard 5.0 adds the following enhancements for designers and developers:

  • Finer animation execution control and custom easing rates allow designers to easily refine animations and movement
  • New design canvas render extension to programmatically facilitate drawing and graphing
  • Easier event injection
  • A streamlined navigation and workflow increases productivity
  • New project samples and improved documentation reduces ramp-up time

Built to support design change

Throughout the development cycle, the UI design will change. Stakeholder feedback (The Boss hates it), platform changes, conflicting management opinions, customer beta testing – all of these contribute to design churn and should be addressed in a timely manner. Storyboard embraces and supports change as a key part of UI development by making iteration and team collaboration part of the development workflow. Storyboard 5.0 functionality that eases the pain of design change includes:

  • New application executable options, such as direct-to-target (SCP) and standalone executable (EXE) for Windows make it easier to share Storyboard applications for quick testing to improve the feedback loop for design iteration
  • Reusable components speed UI design for quick interaction prototyping
  • Search/refactoring improvements ease design change
  • Photoshop Import and Reimport refinements streamline importing and updating Photoshop artwork
  • Team collaboration workflow improvements make it easier for designers and developments to work in parallel

Optimized for the embedded market

The prevalence of mobile devices has increased consumer expectations for embedded applications. But embedded isn’t mobile. Developing UIs for embedded systems means paying attention to system resources and technical specifications while trying to satisfy the design requirements. Storyboard is built exclusively for embedded and optimized for a range of platforms. To further our commitment to performance and scalability, Storyboard 5.0 enhancements include:

  • New operating system and hardware platform support brings Storyboard to more targets
  • Pre-compiled Lua scripts improves performance
  • Video playback using ffmpeg software decoder or gstreamer
  • Fill refactoring for improved runtime performance
  • Expanded design report for resource usage and visibility

To test drive Storyboard Suite 5.0, download the 30-day full-featured evaluation version today.

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GUI Design and Development with Storyboard Suite: Now Free for Students

Free Storyboard Suite Licenses for StudentsHere at Crank, we dream of a universe full of awesome application GUIs. Where students – brimming with innovative ideas and bursting with creativity – aren’t limited by lacklustre software tools. We want all designers, regardless of where they are in their careers, to have the best tools possible to help them bring their ideas to life.

Students are often limited by software tools that are free or cheap.
Tuition, rent, tech gear, books, pizza, parties*…
We’ve been there. It wasn’t THAT long ago that we were students. We know that at the end of the day there isn’t much left in the budget to buy great GUI design software.

Crank Software Academic Program – Supporting Innovation in Creative GUI Design

That’s why we are launching the Crank Software Academic Program and offering FREE Storyboard Suite licenses to students and teachers. We are committed to supporting students and their schools, to help build a future workforce of skilled embedded application designers. This means better career opportunities for students when they graduate, and a strong future for the embedded market.

Building Multi-market Applications with Storyboard Suite

From automotive, to washing machines, mighty industrial machines, and more; Storyboard Suite makes embedded design and development faster and easier.

Working on a really cool GUI for an automotive infotainment system? Other students have used Storyboard Suite to create an award-winning infotainment system. Check out the EcoCar2 from Mississippi State University.

Build awesome things and tell us about it. We love seeing HMI designs that change how we interact with our world.

Participating in the program is pretty simple.
Check out the Academic Program webpage for more information.

*Crank Software does not endorse “parties”, but we definitely support your quest for good pizza.

Jade IdeaBoxx featuring Crank Software: Fast-tracking GUI design

SONY DSCImagine you’re a designer of graphical interfaces (GUIs) for embedded devices. If you are reading this blog, you likely resemble this. Now, picture receiving a box that contains everything you need to realize the dream of getting a functioning prototype of your designs up and running in minutes–on a real device, not your desktop. Pretty awesome picture, right?

This week Fujitsu Semiconductor announced IdeaBoxx, a complete graphics development environment aimed at designers of embedded applications. That’s you! IdeaBoxx contains all of the hardware and software goodness you need to build UI prototypes quickly and deploy optimized graphics to the hardware within minutes.

Diving into the experience for Graphic Designers and the benefits to customers, this video from Fujitsu showcases how quickly users can take industry-standard design files, like Photoshop PSD files, import them into Storyboard Suite, create animations, and then see their GUIs on hardware.

 

Crank Software and Renesas Electronics collaborate to accelerate HMI application development

Crank Software and Renesas Electronics America announced today a collaboration to deliver an enhanced experience for HMI application development on Linux. Crank Storyboard Suite provides developers of user interfaces for embedded devices the tools to design, develop, and deploy applications with speed and ease, and Renesas provides the high-speed, high-performance RZ/A microprocessor for the target hardware. Together, Crank and Renesas deliver an impressive solution for efficiently developing fast, beautiful HMI-based applications for Linux systems. Check out the demo to see multiple applications built with Storyboard and deployed to the Renesas RZ/A. If you happen to find yourself at ARM TechCon 2014 from October 1-3, visit the Renesas booth (1114) to learn more about Crank Storyboard™ Suite technology running on the Renesas RZ/A. 

Start your (embedded) Engines! Storyboard Suite 3.2.1…GO!

Our Storyboard Suite 3.2 release last year was packed full of new features for the design, embedded engine and browser. Now that it has been “in the wild” for 6 months and customers have been using it to create user interfaces (UI) for their embedded applications, we’ve been getting great feedback about which features users love, which ones could benefit from a little refinement, and which new features would be helpful to respond to embedded UI design pain points. We value the comments and questions we get from our customers, because it provides us an opportunity to make Storyboard better and to constantly fine tune the experience of building UIs for embedded applications.

SB_3.2.1We are excited to announce the release of Storyboard Suite 3.2.1, available now

While Storyboard Suite 3.2.1 won’t make coffee for you (although you could use it to build a wicked UI for a coffee machine), we have added the following support and enhancements:

  • Storyboard QNX 6.5 runtime has been validated against the most recent QNX 6.6 release
  • Keycode support for non-visible keyboard keys such as function and arrow keys
  • Improved Polygon rendering
  • Added termination events for built-in table scrolling
  • Improved animation scaling
  • To facilitate working with multiple PSD files for different elements of an application design, we’ve added the option for users to add a namespace prefix during the Photoshop PSD File import
  • Embedded C Header Export supports all project resources, such as fonts, images, and scripts
  • Refined model comparison algorithm significantly improves the merge experience

If you are a current Storyboard Suite customer, you can update to 3.2.1 directly from Storyboard Designer.

If you aren’t a current customer, sign up for a free 30-day evaluation of Storyboard Suite. This isn’t a watered-down version of Storyboard. It’s a fully-functioning version to provide you the opportunity to use the breadth of Storyboard’s features to build UIs for your embedded projects.

Storyboard Suite 3.2.1 by CrankDownload a free 30 day evaluation of a fully functional version of Storyboard Suite 3.2.1 now.