A storyboard is the blueprint for your finished animation, it tells the story visually, as sketches panel-to-panel, allowing the reader to see the story unfold sequentially.
Most storyboards are rough sketches providing sufficient detail to allow the reader to focus on the flow rather than the visuals, although it is also important to give an impression of what is happening.
A good storyboard will show:
- The overall flow and pinnacle of the story
- Brief description of camera actions
- The actions of any characters on screen
- What props/background are in each scene
- If text will appear, what the size, colour and position will be.
- Timings for voice-overs, sound effects and music tracks.
Here are 5 reasons why storyboarding is so important:
1. It allows you to work through ideas
Storyboarding is essential to let the animator work out rough motion ideas and problem solve before any of the time-consuming animation begins. From a long explainer video to a very short animated ident, it will take less time to produce the finished version if the animator has had time, at the storyboarding stage, to work through ideas, solve problems and dismiss actions that won’t work.
2. Voice-overs and sound
If the project contains any text, sound or voice-overs, then a storyboard is crucial for timing the action. A detailed timecode on the storyboard will show the animator the timing points and where action needs to match the voice-over. If there are any animated characters who speak, then this timecode will also show where their mouth movements need to be for lip-syncing to the sound.
3. Client buy-in
A storyboard is a great way of getting initial sign off on ideas and involving the client in the process. It also gives them a chance to really understand what they are paying for and get excited about the collaboration .
Animation can be a long process, so a good storyboard saves the animator a great deal of time as the motion is mapped and prepared for animating. As amends and revisions have already happened at the storyboard stage, it means that they can start work knowing that most of the changes have already been dealt with.
5. Budget saving
The time-consuming nature of animation can mean that any last-minute tweaks and amends can be very expensive! A detailed, well discussed, revised and signed off storyboard will give the client time to correct errors before they become too expensive to rectify.
To see our storyboarding in action please view our Markadis project.