Storyboarding with your script
Updated: May 25
The Origin of Storyboard
According to Christopher Finch, The Art of Walt Disney was credited by animator and Disney artist Webb Smith who created the ideas of drawing the scenes individually on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board which is called as term “storyboard” to tell a story of their first storyboard.
It was created and developed by Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes have been used at Walt Disney and other animation studios. Within a few years, the idea had been adopted by some other studios and by 1938 in which storyboard came into practice.
The First storyboard was created by animator and Disney artist Webb Smith
A storyboard is a graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. It's made up of a number of squares with illustrations or pictures representing each shot, with a note about what's going on in the scene and what's being said in the script during that shot.
There are several types of storyboards to choose from, and that each one is tuned for handling a specific set, or type of information. These types include:
Visual Interaction Storyboards,
How storyboard looks like:
It is a visual outline for your video which is made up of a series of thumbnail images that can convey what happens in your video, from beginning to end. It also includes notes about what's happening in each frame which looks like a comic strip.
How are Storyboards Used
A film storyboard is essentially a large comic of the film or some section of the film produced beforehand to help film directors, cinematographers, and television commercial advertising clients to visualize the scenes and find the potential problems before they occur. It also includes arrows or instructions to indicate movement.
It provides the visual layout of the events as they are to be seen in camera lens in the case of interactive media which is a layout of sequences in which the user or viewer sees the content or information which process the most technical details involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in a picture or in additionally text.
It is also used in Film making industries in their planning and production processes. They would employ skilled storyboard artists who interpret the screenplay from a script, which is a good way to illustrate the document and visual technical requirements of a production.
It is a frequently especially tools that directors and play writers used to understand and layout of the scene. The Great Russian Theater practitioner Constantan Stanislavski developed storyboards in detailed production plans for his Moscow Art Theater performances. The German director and dramatist Bertolt Brecht developed detailed storyboards as part of his dramaturgical methods of fables.
Some writers have used storyboard type drawings for the scripting of comic books often indicating the staging of figure bounds with balloon placement with instructions to the artists needed often scribbled in the margins and the captions indicated.
Storyboards are adapted in the film industry which is used for planning ad campaigns, commercials to other projects intended to cover or convince or compel to action. It is a tool to facilitate the introduction of a quality improvement process into an organization.
Why storyboard is important:
The storyboard is very important as a part of the pre-production process because it clearly conveys how the story will flow, as you can see how your shots work together. It also allows you to see potential problems that would not go unnoticed, ultimately saving you time and money.
It holds a special place in the theater setting which is frequently used in pre-production as tools for directors and playwrights to better understand a layout of the scene.
Storyboard works in animation:
Storyboarding is a creative, exciting, and fulfilling career. In addition to knowing how to draw to a high standard, a storyboard artist needs an understanding of storytelling, as well as knowledge of animation layout mechanics.
Storyboard artist creates the visual blueprint for the animated production. Put simply, if it isn't in the storyboard, it won't be on the screen. It's not unusual for the character poses from the storyboard to be traced and used as extreme poses by the animation artists.
In addition, to know how to draw the characters acting out the performance, a production board artist must also have a firm grasp of filmmaking principles and how to translate those principles when designing the layout for animation camera moves.
01. It’s all about telling the story
Boiled down to its essence, my job is to tell the story. I begin by reading the provided script or outline for the show. It's important to remember that the story is about the characters, so I always ask myself these questions:
What is happening in the story right now?
How does it affect the character?
What is their state of mind?
How do they feel?
How should the audience feel?
What is the emotional moment that I'm trying to communicate?
These are the key points that, as a whole, tell the story. Every decision should be driven by the story!
02. Build on the line of action
The line of action is a design decision related to the energy/force the character exudes and is the first line I draw. A character who has the weight of the world on their shoulders will slouch, with his/her head pulled to the ground. One exuberant with success will arc in the opposite direction, throwing his/her weight into the air and away from the pull of Earth's gravity. This line is the design foundation upon which the drawing of the character is built; communicating the direction of movement, emotion, energy, and so on.
03. One drawing equals one idea
Each frame should represent a single step in the story
The film moves quickly. The audience can only look at one thing at a time, so including multiple ideas in a drawing will just result in the audience missing some of those ideas. The storyboard artist must commit to creating a new drawing for each new idea. If an event takes more than one step to be described, then you're going to have to draw each step. For example, if a character sees something and reacts, draw the character looking, draw what they see, and then draw their reaction.
O4.Draw cleanly for animation
When tying down the final drawings, keep the energy from those early sketches. Construct your drawings with simple shapes and volumes. Use guidelines and 'draw through' to ensure your drawings have a sculptural dimension. Turn your character in space, tilt and twist the shoulders, hips, and the head.
05. Find clarity in silhouettes
The audience has a very short time to absorb information before the next idea appears. There should never be any doubt as to the action described, nor to the intent and state of mind of the character. Test the clarity of your pose by filling the drawing with a solid color.
06. Communicate the story through character poses
The poses I draw need to be clear and simple, but also unique to the character. Too many poses and the character won't stop moving, thereby losing emphasis on what matters. Too few poses and the character will be lost on the screen. Working with the dialogue track, I listen for the subtext or the feeling beneath the words. The poses I draw capture this emotional subtext, so I change poses when the attitude changes.
07. Think like an actor
Storyboards plan the performance of the characters. For television productions, this character layout is detailed and very specific. Voice actors are vital in defining the character. Listen to the dialogue and then listen to it again! Don't be afraid to try acting out the words yourself – I have a mirror at my desk to help me draw convincing expressions and movements.
Subtle expressions are the most challenging. Each character is unique and the performance must reflect this individuality. Character design model sheets are a handy resource story artists use to maintain a consistent character performance.
08. Use the frame as the 'eye'
Tied with the concept of point of view (see tip 10), the frame is the lens or window we use to tell the story. The frame can move and elements can move into and out of the frame. In the example here, the frame is defined by a 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning the width of the frame is about 1.78 times that of the height of the frame. This 1,080p aspect ratio is the standard for American television. Be aware that theatrical distribution uses different standards, as do broadcasters in other countries.
09. Sketch thumbnails for a simple panel
10. Establish the point of view with the horizon line/eye line
I draw a grid to show the ground, sky plane, or even a wall. This helps me draw the scene in a solid, convincing way. When an element within the scene bisects the horizon line, everything in the scene will bisect the horizon line at the same relative height. Knowing this makes the placement of elements within the scene easy. Be certain that your characters all fit within the world you've created. Too often, characters in the foreground would have to dig a hole to fit in the scene! Use overlap and line weight variation to communicate objects are further away.
12. Create rough storyboard panel
Once you've thought about all these elements, next comes the rough panel – I blow the selected thumbnail up to the size of the finished panel. At this stage, I resolve the perspective, structure, and refine the posing of the character. The rough panel is reviewed by the director, storyboard supervisor, or executive producer.
13. Clean up the storyboard
Any change requests from the review are sorted in the cleanup. The final line should delineate forms and ideas, but also maintain the life of the character tone may be added. Some productions require tight 'on model' drawings; others like looser, more energetic drawings.
14. Ensure continuity
Continuity is a word used often to refer to screen direction, although its meaning extends beyond that. Maintaining continuity is ensuring the geography of the space and characters is kept clear from shot to shot. Screen direction, or the 180 Degree Rule, is an important filmmaking principle and a fundamental aspect of continuity. We're translating a 3D world into a 2D experience on the screen. Once a character is established as moving left to right or right to left, keep that direction of movement while the character is onscreen.
15. Consider film time and editing
Scenes/shots are designed to work in sequence. We extend, compress, and reorder time to best suit our story. Shot size and design should be varied as we transition from one shot to another. The film has a language. We learn to 'hear' this language, but often don't know how to use it to tell a story. Study great films. Thumbnail out the scene cuts and then assess what the filmmaker was doing when making choices, such as camera placement, character movement within the scene, sequencing of shots, time allocated to scenes, and so on.
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