Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Art of The Storyboard

I recently picked up the book "The Art of The Storyboard" by John Hart after reading several chapters I've learned more about the process of drawing storyboards. The first paragraph already enlgithened me about one aspect of storyboarding.

"Steven Spielberg's Storyboard sketches for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are little more than than chicken scratches, but since his concepts for the action sequences were at least indicated, even primitively, he was able top visually convey his ideas to a professional storyboard artist, who, in turn, rendered them in, shall we say, a more realistic manner."

what should be brought away from this is the fact that a storyboard doesn't need to be particularly detailed, the key to a good storyboard indicating the sequence as clearly as possibly and in essence a storyboarder's job is "Conveying visualisations of a written scene."

Often a storyboard is used only when needed to keep and interpret continuity of a sceenplay in a scene, usually an action scene. When drawing a scene John Hart cites that it's important to keep certain factors in mind such as;

What is the Story about?
Who are the characters?
What do they do and say, if dialogue is indicated?
Which characters are in the foreground, middle ground and background?
With whom are they in conflict?
Where does the conflict take place?
How many lights and light stands are needed to illuminate the locales?
What intensity is demanded?
What should ne the main light sources, for both indoor and outdoor shooting?
Where should the key light be positioned?
When are long, medium and close-up shots necessary?
What kind of reflectors, filters, gels, gobos and cookies are called for to create the right mood?
What colours dominate each scene?
What types of sets, costumes and makeup is required?

It should also be noted that when designing a storyboard thought about interesting camera angles should be applied as to make the sequence look as interesting as possible.

Other tips that Hart suggests is to generally practise the art of drawing such as proportion of anatomy and depth. Often black and white tones are used as it's simpler and easier to make out. Arrows are used to define movement, white arrows for movement of characters and black arrows for movement of the camera.

The key facts to take away are: careful consideration of what I'll be drawing, think about camera angles and make the action/sequence as clear as possible to follow.

Overall understanding how to create storyboard doesn't really seem that difficult and that it's generally learning how to tell a story/sequence through a series of images in the most visually interesting way possible. With this said I'm still going to try analyse at least one storyboard sequence.

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