Personal Experimental Studies: Foundation : Storyboarding for Animation

1st Class: Introductions to the course. Expectations, and intro to mindmapping and sketching.

What’s a mindmap? A mindmap is a brainstorming technique which allows you to quickly generate words associated with a certain topic.

We will be doing mindmaps next class based upon your emotion, as well as the medium which you have been assigned.

 

Click on image to download Mindmap Template for a4 sized paper.

Storyboarding for Animation

2nd Class:

Today you will be  you will all be assigned the materials with which you will be working.

For this assigment you will be creating simple animations. Or loops which will combine the use of various media.

Each student will be assigned a traditional medium (Such as paint, ink, charcoal, clay, or photography). The student must then use the medium which they have been assigned in order to create a short sequential animation.

For example. If your medium which was assigned to you was Ink, and your emotion which was assigned to you was anger. Then you will have to make a short animation with ink which demonstrates anger.

Once all of the emotions and mediums have been assigned you will have the option to set up a blog for your research. If you would like help doing this then let me know and I will take you through the steps. If you have a Gmail account I would suggest just setting up a blogger account and using that as a place to compile your research.

Here’s a video of how to set up a blog in blogger.

 

 

After research on the medium has been finished we will begin to storyboard your plans for the animated shorts (Maximum of 10 seconds long). I will work individually with each student to help finalize these storyboards.

Storyboards are an important part of many different disciplines. Today’s lesson will involve an introduction to storyboarding, as well as give you time to work on your sequential animation assignment for Animation Techniques. Storyboarding Your Idea The first thing I want you to do before you begin drawing is to take time to evaluate your story and start to imagine which different shots you will be utilizing. Get a clear picture of what you want each shot is in your head before you start storyboarding it. Once you’ve got a mental shot list, you can start to draw each frame. Make sure that the frames of your storyboard match the size of the frame for the aspect ratio which you will be using in the production of your short sequential animation. Questions??? What’s an aspect ratio? An aspect ratio simply refers to the size of the frame which a film or video is created in. Think widescreen vs television.

What’s a shot list? A shot list is just a list of shots for a project. It would be a good idea to write down your shot list before storyboarding.  For this project you won’t need to create such an extensive shot list but it’s a good habit to start thinking about. Otherwise since you are working on such a short animation you can write your sound effects, music, camera angles, camera movement all on your storyboard.

As you plan your shot list, here are some questions to consider. What’s the setting? How many people are in the shot? Are there certain items which the characters need in the shot? Consider if you want it to be a close-up, wide-shot, establishing shot, or whatever type of shot you need. What’s the angle of the camera? Looking up? Wide? Low? Is stuff moving, if so, in what direction? What’s your lighting going to be like, and in which directions do you want your shadows to fall? Use the shot list as a guide. You don’t have to stick to it 100%, so as you storyboard don’t be afraid to tweak certain elements if you feel a change is justified. Choose a style of storyboard you wish to use. Here are some free examples which you can print out.
Storyboard 1 Storyboard 2
There’s a lot more to choose from. Just go to google and search for “storyboard templates” in images. Once you’ve got all of these preparations made you can then begin drawing. There’s no right way to draw a storyboard, in the end it should serve you, or others working on a project to understand how to shoot something. They can be very detailed, such as this one which made by Shane Acker for Tim Burton’s film “9”.

Or they could be very simple.

All in all the most important thing to remember is that storyboards are a tool which will be used by yourself in this project, however in the future you may have to be working with a group of people who need to take directions while you’re not around. This is where a good storyboard artist comes in handy, because he is essentially choosing many elements which could be very important to the overall feel of the film. Here’s a brief video tutorial from Sherm Cohen who is a storyboard artist at Disney if you’re still looking for inspiration and guidance.