Storyboarding

Anyone who has ever done a storyboard before know the editing process can be rather annoying. Unless you have a big cork board that allows for easy additions and subtractions from the board, and then can bring that board to a meeting magically, it can be a rather tedious process.

The importance of storyboarding is vital to any production. It is the element in which first determines camera angles, pacing, movement, and so forth. Add in some dialogue and some music to your storyboard and you have a great rough in which to show investors or to others involved in the pre-production process.

Howl’s Moving Castle, my personal favorite movie, has a fantastic additional feature that I have not seen on any other DVD. You are able to watch the entire movie as a storyboard. Not only is this a great opportunity to see how storyboards are done, you are able to study the mastery in which Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli executes their brilliant animations (on a side note, I’d pay special attention to the way in which they do pacing. It’s a mastery unique to them that you will almost never see in modern movies).

When I went about on my usual search for interesting new software, I was very disappointed with the selection for storyboarding. There are a number of programs that generate 3D storyboards which are, in my personal opinion, very silly. Not only does it look terrible because of all the preset scenes and characters, but it simply takes too long to do. There is also a number of freeware options available which seems to offer some useful features. The program I have found to be my favorite is from the people over at Toon Boom called Storyboard Pro.

I glossed over the actual art and design of storyboarding because, well, it involves many elements in which either one should know or what should be taught in film. By that, I mean a lot of these concepts are intuitive as well as learned. Rather then go over basics, I recommend simply examining popular animations that often release at least some pictures of their storyboarding process (Pixar and Studio Ghibli, in particular).

Nothing has to be as detailed as this, mind you. I’m positive there were several extremely rough drafts before they got to this point.

Good luck in your storyboarding endeavors!