This is part 3 of 5 in our series on The Animation Process. 

So you’ve finalised your Script and established your Concept. Now it’s time to establish your Storyboard. This is essential before beginning your Animation, as it shows exactly what you’re going to animate. Without this direction, you will have a difficult time explaining the animation to your client and animators.

To develop your Storyboard, follow these 6 steps:

 

1 – Double-check your Concept and Script

 

Before you begin your Storyboard, check your Concept to make sure you understand your animation’s visual direction. After that, scan your Script for keywords. Start a column of any terms that establish a clear visual for your Animation. For instance, if the Script mentions a city, place that in your keyword column.

While you look for keywords, use your Script to determine the length of your Animation. For a voice-over Script, 150 words represents around a minute of animation. This is important for your next step.

 

 

2 – Segment each scene

 

Split the total length of your Animation into sections of about 20-30 words. This represents about ten seconds of screen-time, which forms one distinct “scene”.  You want each scene to be fairly short and sharp, otherwise you’ll bore your audience.

 

 

3 – Establish a mood board for each scene

 

To begin, start a new PowerPoint where every slide represents a scene. These slides will become mood boards to inform your eventual Storyboard. Place the relevant keywords and script excerpts for each scene on these slides. Now, use websites like Pinterest, Shutterstock and Google Images to populate these mood boards with relevant images.

While you create your mood boards, it’s important that you stay open-minded. Experiment with a few different options for each scene, as your next step asks you to establish a common thread between all of them.

 

 

3 – Consider how every scene ties together

 

Look for related keywords and similar imagery. As you find this common thread, trim the fat until you’re left only with assets for the first draft of your Storyboard.

 

 

4 – Establish your storyboard skeletons

 

Insert a blank slide after every mood board slide. On these blank slides, insert up to nine squares squares using a grid layout. Ideally they should be in the 16:9 ratio, as this is the most common ratio for screens. This is the skeleton for your finished Storyboard. We’ve prepared a blank example below:

 

Storyboard, Starting Your Storyboard – Part 3 of The Animation Process

 

 

5 – Populate your storyboards

 

Use the keywords, images and script excerpts from each mood-board to fill your Storyboards with rough drawings of each shot. Don’t waste time making them too detailed, as any storyboard could be scrapped before you begin animating.

As you draw, use editable vector graphics. In PowerPoint, these include EMF/WMF files. This enables you to easily change anything your clients or animators don’t like.

 

 

6 – Make it ready to make

 

Beneath each square in your Storyboards, include instructions on how to animate the shot. Insert the appropriate VO excerpt in the notes section of each slide.

On top of this, you should create things like layers and masks at this stage. These steps will make it much easier for your animators to begin work.

 

Once everyone’s happy with your Storyboards, you’re ready to move on to the most important and challenging part of the animation process: Animating.

 

Otherwise, save time by speaking to one of our professional animators today.

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