Thursday, May 15, 2014

Production Overview: Part 2 - Storyboard

Hey everybody!

How was your week? we had a very busy week continuing work on the project. making steady steps towards completion.

Today we want to talk in detail about the process of creating our animation’s storyboard. it’s separated from the last entry about story, but in truth, there came a point when the two began to develop side-by-side.

What is a Storyboard?

To those who don’t know, a storyboard is a visual representation of the story or script. a little bit like a comic. It shows information about frame compositions, camera placement and movement, sound indications and sometimes even lighting (not in our case though).

While trying to join the pieces of the puzzle, we came across many problems with the story, many questions were raised that we didn’t know how to answer, like what is Ben's special trait? how should we end the movie? what happens in the climax, how do we introduce the characters and more. At one point, one of our instructors suggested that we try and draw the story instead of trying to write it. we’re both illustrators and not screenwriters, so this came about much more naturally.

The process

The first draft was drawn in Photoshop and consisted of horrible thumbnails, but at least it gave us a solid base to build upon.
When hit with a task you don’t know how to chew, the best approach is to start and just get the ‘worse’ out, to make room for the ‘better’. It is SO much better than staring at a clean slate.
This may also be the time to thank Guy Barely for introducing us to Layer Comps in photoshop. this makes storyboarding much, much easier.

The storyboard kept changing and being revised until at one point we decided it’s time to place it on a timeline and we used premiere to do so. Doing so revealed so much about our story and characters, about timing and about production limitation. (the same occurred when translating the drawn storyboard into 3d-animatic but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet).

What do we make of all of this?

What we learned from this experience, and we sincerely urge you to do so, is to NOT be afraid to take the next step. moving from script to storyboard, from storyboard to videoboard and then to 3d-animatic were all milestones in the production of our film. It’s very convenient refining details to perfection, and equally frightening to move forward and risk failure, but the next step usually holds the answers to questions that were raised prior to it.

In addition to our digitally drawn and timed storyboard, we printed the frames. This actual board helped us referring to specific shots while talking about changes that needed to be made and also gave us an overall look at what our movie is going to look like. a very handy tool.

In our next entry we discuss the overall design of our animation and the leading characters, don't miss out some secret designs and an inside look in the creation of Ben and Abe :)


1 comment:

  1. Excellent example for a healthy workflow

    Keep it up ;)