Storyboard Writing Techniques For Newbie Animators

Storyboard Writing Techniques For Newbie Animators,Storyboard to write storyboard,animatics,animation.filmmaking.storyboarding process

Hey ! Today I am writing or actually i'm sharing my Storyboard writing Notes With All Newbies Animators those who were looking to learn about storyboard writing technique.

Let's first understand What is Storyboard ?

Storyboards are graphic organizers such as a series of illustration or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing motion picture,animation,motion graphics or interactive media sequence, including website interactivity.

Your storyboard will should convey some of the following information :

  • What characters are in the frame,and how are they moving ?
  • What are the characters saying to each other.if anything ?
  • How much time has passes between the last frame of the storyboard and the current one ?
  • Where the "camera" is in the scene ? Close or far away ? Is the camera moving?


  • The storyboarding process can be vary tedious and intricate.
  • The form widely known today was developed at the Walt Disney Studio during the early 1920's.
  • In the biography of her father, The Story of Walt Disney(Henry Holt,1956), Diane Disney Miller explains that the first complete storyboard were created for the 1933 Disney short Three Little Pigs.
  • The first storyboard at Disney evolved from comic-book like "Story sketches"created in the 1920s to illustrate concepts for animation cartoon short subject such as Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie.
  • One of the first live action films to be completely storyboarded was Gone with the wind.


1. Film
A film storyboard is essentially a large comic of the film or some section of the film production beforehand to help film directors.Cinematographers and television commercial advertising clients visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occurs.Often storyboards include arrows or instructions that indicate movements.

In creating a motion picture with any degree of fidelity to a Script., a storyboard provides a visual layout of events as t
hey are to be seen through the camera lens. And in the case of interactive media, it is the layout and sequence in which the user or viewer sees the content or information.  In the storyboarding process, most technical detail involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in picture, or in additional text.

Some Live-action film directors, used storyboard extensively before taking the pitch to their funders, stating that it helps them get the figure they are looking for since they can show exactly where the money will be used. Animation directors are usually required to storyboard extensively, sometimes in place of writing a script. 

2. Theatres 
A common misconception is that storyboards are not used in theatres. They are frequently special tools that directors and playwright use to understand the layout of the scene. 

3. Animatic
In animation and special effects work, the storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called “animatic” to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a series of still images edited together and displayed in sequence.  More commonly, a rough dialogue and/or rough sound track is added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.

This allow the animators and directors to work out any screenplay, camera positioning. Shot list and timing issues that may exist with the current storyboard.  The storyboard and soundtrack are amended if necessary, and a new animatic may be created and reviewed with the director until the storyboard is perfect.  Editing the film at the animatic stage can avoid animation of scenes that would be edited out of the film. Animation is usually an expensive process, so there should be a minimum of “deleted scenes “if the film is to be completed within budget.

Often storyboard are animated with simple zoom and pans to simulate camera movement .These animations can be combined with available animatic, sound effects and dialogue to create a presentation of how a film could be shot and cut together.

Animatic is also used by advertising agencies to create inexpensive test commercial.  A variation, the “rip-o-matic” is made from scenes of existing movies, television program or commercial, to simulate the look and feel of the proposed commercial. Rip, in this sense, refers to ripping off an original work to create a new one.

4. Photomatic
A Photomatic is a series of still photographs edited together and presented on the screen in a sequence. Usually, a voice-over,
Soundtrack and sound effect are added to the piece to create a presentation to show how a film could be shot and cut together.  Increasingly used by advertisers and advertising agencies to research the effectiveness of their proposed storyboard before committing to a ‘full up’ television advertisement.

The Photomatic is usually a research tool, similar to an animatic; in that it represents the work to a test audience so that the commissioners of the work can gauge its effectiveness.

Originally, photographer was taken using color negative film. A selection would be made from contact sheets and prints made. The prints would be placed on a rostrum and recorded to videotape using a standard video camera. Any moves, pans or zooms would have to be made in camera. The captured scenes could then be edited. Digital Photography, web access to stock photography and nonlinear editing programs have had a marked impact on this way of filmmaking also leading to the term ‘digimatic’. Images can be shot and edited very quickly to allow important creative decisions to be made ‘live’. Photo composite animations can build intricate scenes that would normally be beyond may test film budgets. 

The term ‘Photomatic’ is probably derived from ‘animatic’ or photo-animation.

5. Comic Books 
Some writers have used storyboard type drawing for their scripting  of comic books, often indicating staging of figures background and balloon placements with instruction to the artist as needed often scribbled in the margins and the dialogue/caption indicated.

6. Business
Storyboards were adapted from the film industry to business, purportedly by Howard Hughes of Hughes Aircraft. Today they are used by industry for planning ad campaigns, commercials, a proposal or other projects intended to convince or compel to action.

A “quality storyboard “is a tool to help facilitate the introduction of a quality improvement process into an organization. Design

Comics are a type of storyboard used to include a customer or other character into a narrative.  Design comics are most often used in designing websites or illustrating product usage scenario during design. 

7. Interactive media  
More recently the term storyboard has been used in the fields of web development, software development and instructional design to present and describe, in written, interactive events as well as audio and motion, particularly on user interface and electronic pages.

I hope this article is little bit helpful in understanding about storyboarding is and we will continue to know more about it in my next article. In my next article we will learn about benefits of storyboarding and creation, points to remember. Production storyboarding checklist and How do I make a storyboard? 

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