View Full Version : Storyboarding


Āme noire
08 August 2005, 09:57 PM
Hi there, I'm searching for good information about storyboarding. I assume some of the people here in the forums have professional experience with it. My questions:

- How much time do you have to make a storyboard, let's say for a average commercial?

- What is the preferred technique in your expierience by the "client" and by yourself?

- Is it common to make computer-based story-boards or are traditional forms of production like pencils preferred? If not, is this something which will come in the future?

- Do you have to know the locations, props and actors of a scene or are you part of the creative process when you make a storyboard and therefore also suggest designs of these things through the storyboard?

- most storyboards I've seen so far, have been made b/w they didn't use colors. Is this because it would take too much time or because the preseted mood is too exact in it's presentation?

- How much details does the customer usually want? Is too much detail, e. g. facial expressions too much for the client?

- Is the process of realization in your opinion usually not very exact to that what you expressed through the storyboard?

I'm asking these questions because making storyboards and concepts is part of my education at university, and I wonder myself how much work I should spend in training it (not because I'm lazy, but we have to specialize and this is only a small part :-) ). Besides these questions I would be also happy about recommendations according books or other information and what parts to lay focus on in training.

Lunatique
08 August 2005, 02:50 AM
I can only answer these questions based on my own experiences, so don't take them as the standard for all storyboarders. I've done storyboards for independent films, CG animation, and TV commercials, but they are all fairly small productions and do not adhere to any industry standard.

- How much time do you have to make a storyboard, let's say for a average commercial?

Depends on the project and who you're working for. For a 30 second commercial, I can do it in about a couple of days for the first draft.
- What is the preferred technique in your expierience by the "client" and by yourself?

I don't understand the question. Techniques as in what?

- Is it common to make computer-based story-boards or are traditional forms of production like pencils preferred? If not, is this something which will come in the future?

Doesn't matter. You can print out digital ones to be pinned to the wall just like the traditional ones.

- Do you have to know the locations, props and actors of a scene or are you part of the creative process when you make a storyboard and therefore also suggest designs of these things through the storyboard?

You work from screenplays or other written material. What is not covered in the written material, you usually decide on your own, and I suppose you can call that being part of the design process. Sometimes if the director wants specific stuff that's not in the written material, he'll just communicate with you before hand.

- most storyboards I've seen so far, have been made b/w they didn't use colors. Is this because it would take too much time or because the preseted mood is too exact in it's presentation?

Depends on the project and who you're working for. I've seen all kinds of storyboards--from stickmen scribbles, line drawings, fully shaded drawings, to full color renderings. TV commercials tend to be highly detailed and in full-color because they are relatively short, and are part of the selling pitch to the client, so they need to make strong visual impact.

- How much details does the customer usually want? Is too much detail, e. g. facial expressions too much for the client?

As much detail as the shot needs to convey. If you are depicting a shot with a woman in agony, why would you leave her facial expression out?

- Is the process of realization in your opinion usually not very exact to that what you expressed through the storyboard?

Depends on the director. Sometimes the finished shots look identical to the storyboard, sometimes they only bear slightly resemblence. Some directors are really into detailed storyboards and follow them shot for shot, while some directors use them only as a general guide. I've done storyboards for others, and also for myself when I directed, and when I'm the director, I pretty much direct on the page, in the storyboard, so I follow the storyboard as closely as I can.

Āme noire
08 August 2005, 11:39 AM
- What is the preferred technique in your expierience by the "client" and by yourself?

I don't understand the question. Techniques as in what?



I meant art-techniques, like pencils or copic-markers

Thank you very much for sharing your professional expierience, you helped me to decide some serious questions. :thumbsup:

I still have a question to this forum:
Do you usually do storyboards if you are making animations, whatever kind of?

noelt
08 August 2005, 04:16 PM
Hi i was reading your post about boarding, i'm not a working board artist as of yet but i've been studying and boarding for a while and i've been trained buy some pretty good guys in Hollywood California. The thing that is most important in boarding is communication, perspective (the horizon line and your page is the camera's horizon line), clarity. I would suggest looking at the Miles Teves site i think he can board and i just discovered his storyboarding section this week (for film), look at the cuts. A good rule for storyboarding is that if you have to explain the board....it's bad. Steven Spielberg movies are excellent examples of movies to practice your boarding theory, also just watching T.V. and being able to reproduce the feeling of a commercial ,for example, if i think about a Dodge Ram Truck commercial i think like a mouse...well, let's say a short person (low horizon line) running from the truck so i see these big tires, mild three point perspective, dirt comming off the tires, tough guys all dirty..etc, gray colors, but how do you cut these shots i'm thinking, i would have to have a tape library of all commercial types and i would have to study the tapes to where i can reproduce the various types of shots at will, same with animation, get the disney DVD's with the storyboards on them if you find one with a pitch session.... be able to do EXACTLY what they(pitch session artists do down to the most minute detail (this is for feature animation). Since you are in school i'm trying to throw a lot of stuff at you, i'm giving you the mind set of someone who is trying to make a living from boarding, if you are serious you have to be professional and being professional, i think, is giving the customer what he or she wants and that means knowing the nuts and bolts of the craft (i'm still learning), perspective & horizon line (feng zhu, disney layout guys) communication cinematography (Miles teves web site, spielberg movies), feature animation (disney making of books,dvd's with storyboards preferrably ones with board pitch sessions), commercials (just watch t.v. ,i quess, tape tv and understand the reasons behind cut's ....i'm not a commercials type of guy so i can't suggest a guy to look at), well, that's it, sorry for any spelling errors, you have to also be able to rotate images in your mind as well....my suggestions here, are for, if, you want to be good, if it's just a maybe type of thing, i don't think you would be asking for details then so i'm assuming you want to be good. this past week 3 days i think i did about 62 panels and that sucks, compared you what guys are doing nowadays i think. I also think that the painter & photoshop softwares (never used photoshop) ,anything with layers, is a godsend as far as composing boards, it's almost like cheating to me, im totally addicted to boarding with layers (i juuuuust might be able to do this for a living now) so i would say digital is much better than 2d paper for storyboarding, it's much more painless and free.

Sorry to not answer your questions line by line but i hoping to give you something which you might not have thought of asking for. PEACE!!

theCloudmover
08 August 2005, 07:48 PM
Hey a series of questions I can answer! I've been doing story-boards for commercials for over ten years in NYC.

- How much time do you have to make a storyboard, let's say for a average commercial? Variable. I've never been given more than a week to do a series of boards. On average, I get three days to complete the job but you have to be prepared for the overnight assignment that is faxed to you at 10:00 at night.

- What is the preferred technique in your expierience by the "client" and by yourself? There is no preferred technique. Whatever gets the job done. Clients hire storyboard artists and storyboard studios for their distinct style. For instance, if the client and art-director want a comic-book action packed approach they call on Neal Adams Continuity Studios. If they want a more realistic approach they contact an artist with that style.

- Is it common to make computer-based story-boards or are traditional forms of production like pencils preferred? If not, is this something which will come in the future? Whatever is the fastest. Utilizing a digital solution you can shave valuable hours off of a job and the INEVITABLE corrections. For that reason, I have noticed many artists switching completely to digital (myself included). The pencil still has it's place in the field but I have noticed fewer and fewer people using Markers because of their prohibitive expense. Artists will usually sketch in pencil and scan it in to color.

- Do you have to know the locations, props and actors of a scene or are you part of the creative process when you make a storyboard and therefore also suggest designs of these things through the storyboard?
Story-boards fall into two stages-

1. The Art Director/Advertising Studio commission
This is where the idea for the commercial is pitched to the client - say Coca Cola. The A.D. has an idea, hires a storyboard artist to flesh it out and shows those boards to the client. If the client likes the idea and the campaign, it is approved the go ahead is given to hire...

2. The Director
The director is given the boards that the client has approved and is free to follow them or reinvent them to follow his vision.

Your freedom as an artist is dependent on which stage your services have been utilized in. You can conceptualize until you pass out in stage one but, in stage two, you have to bow to the constraints of the budget.

- most storyboards I've seen so far, have been made b/w they didn't use colors. Is this because it would take too much time or because the preseted mood is too exact in it's presentation? Black & White = Speed

Also, storyboards are usually made to provide a shot by shot description of the commercial or movie. Color is unnecessary to fulfill this task.

- How much details does the customer usually want? Is too much detail, e. g. facial expressions too much for the client? In my experience you have two important areas of detail on a board- facial expressions and product design. If you have to draw Lays Potato Chips make sure you draw that bag with the proper color and type and make sure the character has the proper expression.

- Is the process of realization in your opinion usually not very exact to that what you expressed through the storyboard? Depends. I've seen commercials I've worked on where the shots are exactly as I rendered them in the board - The Pokemon commercial for example. With other commercials I only recognized my involvement in them through the dialogue.

Besides these questions I would be also happy about recommendations according books or other information and what parts to lay focus on in training. There are books each has their plusses and minuses I would look through them before purchasing them.

Two that come to mind are:
Comps, Storyboards and Animatics by James Fogle and Mary E. Forsell
ISBN 0-8230-0882-7

Storyboards: Motion in Art by Mark Simon

Again, look through them first.

I would recommend you utilize the web. You can find excellent examples of the state of the art if you look through some of the storyboard studios online portfolios.

Hope this helps.

Āme noire
08 August 2005, 12:07 AM
Sorry to not answer your questions line by line but i hoping to give you something which you might not have thought of asking for. PEACE!!

That's on reason I posted it here, and yes it helped me :) Thank you for the tip with Miles Teves, the section on his website according storyboards is really interessting.

I would recommend you utilize the web. You can find excellent examples of the state of the art if you look through some of the storyboard studios online portfolios.

Can you name me some in your opinion important studios? Thank you very much for your detailed reply :thumbsup: . I'm glad to hear that you should have a distinct style of doing storyboards.

One more question:

Is there a standard for displaying storyboards in the scenegraphs/timelines of video and rendering-software which is actually used in the industry (if something like this exists at all)?

Āme noire
08 August 2005, 12:19 AM
BTW: I did this storyboard for the photography course at university. The exercise was to make a storyboard for a user-manual of a product you could choose on your own. It's done with copic-markers. So what do you think how good or bad is it?

Lunatique
08 August 2005, 02:58 AM
I meant art-techniques, like pencils or copic-markers

Thank you very much for sharing your professional expierience, you helped me to decide some serious questions. :thumbsup:

I still have a question to this forum:
Do you usually do storyboards if you are making animations, whatever kind of?

It doesn't matter--whatever gets the job done, unless the client asks for a specific look.

You should ALWAYS storyboard your animations, and then for your animations, you really should sketch out thumbnail sketches of the poses too. It's a good and practical habit, and ideally you should do it everytime to help you organize your thoughts and the direction you are taking the animation/scene. Think of it as printing out the stuff in your head so you can have a hardcopy to look at and correct/tweak/edit to your liking.

Your camera instruction board looks fine, except I think another step between images 4 and 5 would probably spell things out more for the not-so-clever folks.

theCloudmover
08 August 2005, 03:22 AM
Can you name me some in your opinion important studios? Thank you very much for your detailed reply :thumbsup: . I'm glad to hear that you should have a distinct style of doing storyboards.

I would start out with the God, as far as commercials are concerned here, in NYC.
Neal Adams' Continuity Studios (http://www.nealadamsentertainment.com/)

Neal has this look locked up and his studio commands top dollar. This is also the general finish that is required for commercial storyboards. It should be clean and readable. There are OTHER studios of course, some with artists more sophisticated and photo realistic and some more cartoonish. A simple search of goggle will yeild hundreds of storyboard studios.You'll be able to view their online portfolios there.


One more question:

Is there a standard for displaying storyboards in the scenegraphs/timelines of video and rendering-software which is actually used in the industry (if something like this exists at all)? No standard that I've seen. I've seen timelines done on everything from Apple's Imovie to Avid. It's all whatever get's the job done.

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