Storyboards are used in the planning stages of an animation or movie. They are a way of recording the flow of scenes. The individual scenes are shown as panels in a similar way to a cartoon/comic.

Some story boards have high quality drawings, but many are simply stick figures and rough outlines. The important thing is to get the necessary information across as effectively as possible. A good storyboard should include the settings for the characters in each scene, as well as indications of camera motion (zoom, pan, etc.) and character actions. The storyboard artist uses arrows to indicate camera movement, the settings for the scenes and short written notes to describe the action in each scene. Sometimes the dialogue is included. There are also often notes on the sound track, describing sound effects needed, the music and if the sound is quiet, swelling, etc.

In solo projects the story board helps to get ideas down quickly and see what might work and how the animation will flow. In bigger projects they are even more important as they are way of conveying the intentions of the director to the animation team.


In this first example the sketching is quite detailed.


This detail is often not necessary and quick sketches with stick figures are perfectly sufficient to convey the scene action.


Video Tutorial

This video tutorial outlines the basics of storyboarding for people who can't draw.

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