08 August, 2009

The Importance of Storyboarding

In my animation classes, before undertaking an involved project, students are required to create a storyboard. I have students draw these out, and or design them in Photoshop, include a short description, panel/sequence number, and lastly, I have them submit the storyboard as a jpg or pdf. This is so that a client such as an art director or animation supervisor, can approve the work easily on the computer. It is crucial that the concept being displayed in these storyboards are clear, because the approving individuals are business minded and it is not unusual to review these storyboards within a large board room meeting with lots of people...it happens all the time. The storyboard, and the concept presented in it, becomes the center of the discussion.

Its an essential planning tool, not only in animation, but also in visual effects in order to plan out a shot, and to see how much work is actually involved in a particular scene. The storyboard you see above was created for Harrah's Entertainment when I was hired to create a series of Flash presentations for each of their properties, at the time, they totaled twenty (lots of work). As you'll see, each panel is clear and labeled with descriptions so that anyone involved in the approval process can understand it and make suggestions.

The project was fun and because of the storyboard examples, it was easy to manage the expectations and suggestions of over twenty approving parties.

Make your storyboards clear and present them well, it will pay off in dividends, not only will things smoothly, but they will trust you, and you will also make a good impression on them by appearing sharp and well prepared. The next step in the storyboarding process is to create a working animatic to help you adjust for timing, sound, dialogue, scene duration and planning.

Check out the the storyboards used for TV and film from Storyboards and Animatics.

Make those storyboards great! Fire it up!
- Randolf

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