Drawing storyboards helps plan what will be needed once filming starts, important for animation, games design or live-action.
This unusual widescreen storyboard template includes a ‘top-down’ view. It can prompt us to think in 3 dimensions, suggesting character or camera moves.
The camera view is represented by a triangle, and in this Star Wars Troopers fan movie example, you can see that there are a couple more stormtroopers and an additional Jawa just out of view to the right. Perhaps one or more will run into the scene, or the camera could pan right to show them, or dolly/zoom out to a wider shot to include all of the protagonists?
Conventional storyboard templates can lead to a kind of flat ‘Punch and Judy’ approach with characters simply arriving and leaving on the left or right edges. Here is a printable sheet with 4 storyboard screens, each 16:9 HD ratio on either A3 paper or A4 paper landscape that look like this:
creativebloq’s storyboard-tips from Imagine fx
Simple online storyboarding software with free option: storyboardthat.com/
Intro to Storyboards:
Cuts & Transitions:
Storyboards are all about getting the essence of the action and emotion across in the frame, which may be different from the styles of drawing you have done previously.
Disney animators would attend life drawing classes run by Walt Stanchfield – his notes are available as a pdf here for free.
‘We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us, the sooner we get them out the better’
Stanchfield means you need to practice and practice to reach a better level. One system which might help is the concept of Solid-Flexible, useful for making animation puppets too. Drawings by Walt Stanchfield:
Drawing storyboards can be made much easier when you have some decent references. You might prefer to draw over the output from one of these applications or just use the images they create as ‘pre-viz’ – pre-visualisation, sometimes given some movement and turned into an ‘animatic’ which is a first draft version of the film, often with some basic dialogue and soundFX:
There are also phone variants (by different companies):
Solent University recommend the book Force – Dynamic Drawing for Animators by Michael Mattesi.