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Storyboard Week - Day 2 - Establishing Shot


Storyboard week
continues with the start of a panel-by-panel, page-by-page look at the choices and thought process behind the drawing of this sequence from "The Mighty B!"


The video window looks small, but if you click on the full-screen button while it's playing (at the bottom right of the video), it'll look nice and big!

I've received a ton of great questions already, and I want to make sure you know that I'll be answering every one of them as this series continues. Today's video doesn't get further than the first panel, but that's only because the topic of the establishing shot is so important.

Next storyboarding commentary video:
PANNING Shots

Please ask any and all questions about the video -- or storyboarding in general -- in the comments section below. Thanks ^_^ -- Sherm

11 comments:

Roberto Severino said...

I've always seen these type of shots in all sorts of animated cartoons and even comics, but I never knew they had a name to them. Very interesting. I'm assuming that with storyboarding, that once you become really good at doing it, you can start bending the rules a little bit to make the cartoon funnier and maybe kinda strange as an effect, like with the early Fleischer cartoons. I hope there are no strict rules behind good storyboards.

Sherm said...

Hi Roberto...I'm glad you brought up this point so early in the series. It's definitely not about rules that restrict what you can do. A storyboard artists just needs to learn the conventions of visual storytelling, and then master them so he can tell story the most effective way possible. They're tools, but you need to learn how to use the tools before you can build a solid house.

FRANK M HANSEN said...

Thank you for all your work on putting these post together. You paced out the information really well so there is no mistake what you are talking about or why it is significant.

Sherm said...

Hi FM-- thanks! I try to keep the videos short, too -- helps break up the topics, and viewers' attention is less likely to drift.

Kirun said...

DUDE these are really great, and super informative!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, SHERM!

Severin said...

Actually, I was a little curious about the scene description written on the bottom of the storyboard panel. It's something I don't see used too much on other boards, but you seem to use with nearly every panel. Are the descriptions pulled from the script, or do you supply your own as a helpful guide?

Thank for for this helpful presentation!

Bob Flynn said...

Very cool start to the week, Sherm. I'm still digesting all of your boards. I guess the main question for me—being mostly self taught—is knowing how tight to work (drawing and detail-wise).

My process has been to rough out tiny thumbs on a sheet of paper, and then hammer out the details on the computer (usually in Flash). Lately I've been working tight so that when I hand off my drawings the steps from layout to animation are shorter (At FableVision—we have a tiny team, and the process needs to move fast and is often abbreviated). So, it's often that someone takes my boards, cleans up my line a bit—and then its on to coloring and animation. Keep in mind I'm not talking about series work, here.

I've heard that when people do work rough—some studios will actually add another step of cleaning up the boards so they are on model. What's your experience been in that regard? Seems like an odd step.

and FINALLY. What kind of a script are you working with, here? Primarily dialogue, with stage directions?

(sorry if it was a bit rambly, there) Just chiming into the discussion. :)

Sherm said...

Hi Kirun...thanks for the nice comment!
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Hey Severin...I made a note of your question and I talk all about scene descriptions in the next couple videos. On TV boards, scene descriptions are always necessary...the boards go overseas so you need to make sure nobody misinterprets your drawings. More in the videos... Thanks for the question!

Sherm said...

Hi Kirun...thanks for the nice comment!
------------------

Hey Severin...I made a note of your question and I talk all about scene descriptions in the next couple videos. On TV boards, scene descriptions are always necessary...the boards go overseas so you need to make sure nobody misinterprets your drawings. More in the videos... Thanks for the question!

Sherm said...

Hi Bob -- regarding "how loose/clean" -- these storyboards are a good sample of typical TV boards. Some panels are tight, some are sloppy and most are in the middle. But everything is there, and clear...no ambiguity, that's the main thing. Depends on the quality of the overseas studio. With some, you can trust them more to interpret any rough drawings.
On Kick Buttowski we get kinda rough sometimes, but that's because Mercury studio in Ottowa is totally awesome...always making the shows look better than the boards!

One very helpful guideline is that the FIRST panel in any scene should be the cleanest, with a very clear background and all the details spelled out. After the first panel, the storyboard artist can be a lot looser because the basic setup has been clearly defined.

On "The Mighty B!" we were all working from a fully fleshed out script. The only two show I've worked on that were fully scripted were Hey Arnold and The Mighty B. For SpongeBob, Gym Partner, & Phineas and Ferb, storyboard artists worked off of an outline, and were free to expand, develop and change it as needed. Kick Buttowski was a hybrid; Some worked from outlines, others from scripts -- depended on the writing abilities of the board artist.

Bob Flynn said...

Wow. Crazy great insight, Sherm. Thank you. I feel less like an outsider every day (ha). I'm definitely staying tuned to see what else you have up your sleeve.