A Storyboard is a sequence of drawings that is used to help visualise the animation and to communicate ideas clearly. It details key events and scene changes in the animation, often accompanied by text notes describing what is occurring in the scene such as camera movements. It is often the first opportunity for others to experience a real impression of the animation before it enters the production stage. Experienced film makers will be able to visualise the movement as well as sense the overall pace of the animation. Often storyboards include notes to describe the frame in more detail such as mood and lighting as well as camera moves.

The Storyboard helps to finalise the development and the storyline and is an essential stage of the animation process. It is a visual reminder of the plan and can be referred back to throughout the production stage. Storyboards can be especially useful when working in group environments, something quite common in the animation industry.

As ideas develop it's not unusual for an animator to produce several storyboards to reflect the refinement of ideas.

See for yourself...

Below are two storyboards. The first was drawn early on in the process. It highlighted to Inglis some of the complexity in his approach. The second storyboard illustrates how certain features and movements have been simplified to cut down on the work load. Notice how the main characters hair has been simplified. Also the proposed movement of Elvis emerging from the mouth now appears to be far more straightforward and less confusing for the audience.

Original Storyboard:

'Minty-cool Minty-cool, storyboard

Final Storyboard:

Revised storyboard

If you want to try creating a storyboard we've prepared some simple templates to get you started. Download storyboard templates in PDF format .

  1. What is Pre-production?
  2. Storyboard
  3. Character Design
  4. Animatic
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