Storyboarding for an environment reel


I’m in the process of making a new environment reel for games. The reel will be three minutes long, 2 minutes of a realtime rendered scene consisting of a futuristic cityscape (noir metropolis style), a flying ship and a character integrated into the same shot(s) , particles, fog, shader fx etc and 1 minute of asset breakdowns. I’ve a pretty clear idea of everything I intend to include in terms of content, art style, lighting etc. This isn’t an animation reel and needs to focus mostly upon the environment art, however there is no limit with camera movements and scene transitions. As the reel won’t consist of static images and will be rendered in realtime with camera animation and particles, I’m struggling to come up with ideas for dynamic camera shots to fill 2 minutes worth of material, hence the need for storyboards, shot lists and ideas for maximum impact. I’ve attached a concept by Philip Straub to give an idea of the size, scale and layout of the scene. Any help would be appreciated :thumbsup:


If it’s pure environments then maybe look at real architects reels to see how they present their stuff (maybe?)

Have you modeled any vehicles to go with the environment. If so you can use flying vehicles as virtual camera platforms (think helicopter shots from Apocolypse Now) or use ground vehicles as focal points to track. I think there were a few car shots in minority reports that show off the city nicely. Might be worth a watch on DVD.


I’d like to come away from your “reel” with a strong sense of the size, scope, and scale of the world. Am I an “ant” in this world, or could I accidentally step on it?

Presumably, this “reel” is being built for a specific purpose, and for a particular audience… such as investors (bad) or game-designers (good). In that case, the reel needs to quickly emphasize the “trouble spots” and the “important spots.” In other words, the specific areas that are i[/i] very important to the game-player (or to the plot and the theme of the game itself), and i[/i] crucial to point-out visually to the Implementors.

A good grasp of that purpose ought to shift you comfortably into the zone of having “too much,” rather than “too little,” material to choose from.


Yes, there will be cargo/passenger monorail vehicles, I never thought of mounting a camera on one, great idea. Thanks for the minority report suggestion also, never thought of using that film as a point of reference, I had been using blade runner and the 5th element.

I think the “ant” hits the spot. I think I will have achieved my goal if I can convey a strong sense of size, scope and scale of the world


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