My animation journey continues & the beginning of trimest3 has been a roller coaster ride so far.

It began with us being divided into a group comprising of a mixed bag of personalities from trimester 3& 4. We were assigned designated roles & responsibilities based on what the professors thought we would handle best given our past experiences. Being a team lead it was crucial for me to know my team members, understand how they function best, what are their key interests so I could align them better with the tasks & roles assigned to them. Most importantly I wanted them to know how I function & what I envisioned for us as a team to achieve at the end of the trimester. Setting boundaries so as to avoid conflicts & misunderstandings was also important. We had our share of a few minor personality conflicts but nothing that couldn’t be resolved. As of last evening I could see the team becoming comfortable with each other, cracking jokes while working tirelessly to meet the day’s deadlines. I could sense them finally getting excited about the project as they could see all the hard work from the last 5 days coming to life & the project beginning to be a promising one.

Apart from all the above personally for me this week has been a huge learning curve. I have always shied away from doing storyboards as I am not very good at drawing in perspectives. I can visualize the scene in my head but find it to be a challenge to put it down on paper convincingly. Unfortunately we lost a team member to the pressures of deadlines & I had to step into the task. It was quite uncomfortable in the beginning & I realized if I want to get over this mental block of not being able to draw convincingly, I would have to take the bull by it’s horns. Not that I really had much of a choice in the matter  ;).

A few essentials for making an effect storyboard that I learnt were:

  1. Ensure that the story is tight & all three acts are in place.
  2. There should be no element / scene that shouldn’t be progressing the story further or adding value to it.
  3. It is crucial to identify the key scenes in the story, since the storyboard is only to give a gist of how the viewer will be engaged in the story.
  4. 1st block out the elements in each scene to see if it is working. The rules of composing a good scene should always be kept in mind such as effective camera angles, rule of thirds, the kind of shot it is (wide angle, close-up, over the shoulder, tracking shot) etc.
  5. Once the story flow seems to be working well the amount of detailing we want to put in should be decided. One can make it as detailed as one wants but the idea is not to create a pretty picture but to have all elements in play be put in. E.g.: for us the lining of the trees, the bend of the road, the placement of the braches, the subtle rays of sunshine penetrating the forest etc was crucial to show in one of the scenes. In another where the focus was on a clsh between the 2 characters, drawing in the background in great detail was not really relevant.
  6. To further explain the scene the jotting of a dialogue or sound is beneficial. Adding numbers to each panel also makes the board clearer & easy to follow.
  7. Further details explaining a shot can be added in a short description below each panel.
  8. Once we are happy with the overall storyboard we can refine the pictures better.
  9. Adding a pop of colour to emphasize the character / crucial element of the shot is a great way to understand the viewer’s experience through the journey & also make sure our crucial scene element is emphasized enough.
  10. Last but not the least, get constant feedback from people around you. It only helps to get a fresh perspective on it as sometimes we are so over engaged with a project that we miss the very obvious mistakes.

References:

  1. By using Opposing Poses like in some of the examples shown below, you can have characters curved or directed on an arc, other characters have straighter poses, but still aimed on an angle. This kind of dynamic posing sure beats the hell out of characters standing straight up and down all the time. (n.d.). Terminology. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://www.floobynooby.com/comp1.html
  2. The making of: Storyboarding Tips & Tricks – eyewantcandy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://www.eyewantcandy.eu/index.php/making-storyboarding/
  3. Karen J Lloyd’s Storyboard Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://karenjlloyd.com/blog/
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