Advanced Storyboarding Techniques | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

Advanced Storyboarding Techniques

Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

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17 Lessons (1h 6m) View My Notes
    • 1. Advanced Storyboarding for Film and Animation

    • 2. My Top 3 Tips for Drawing

    • 3. Gesture Drawing

    • 4. Drawing Dynamic Poses

    • 5. Drawing Characters

    • 6. Drawing Layouts and Backgrounds

    • 7. Staging for the Action

    • 8. Composition

    • 9. How to Create Depth in your Panel

    • 10. Identifying the Storypoint

    • 11. Beats and Timing

    • 12. Standard Opening Sequences

    • 13. Alternative Opening Sequences

    • 14. When to Cut

    • 15. Match Cuts and Hook Ups

    • 16. Shots for Character Development

    • 17. Conclusion

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About This Class

This class is a follow up to my first class, called "Learn to Storyboard for Film or Animation". Check that out first if you haven't done storyboarding before! This class is going to teach you further principles, and professional approaches to visualising and drawing your storyboards. 

This course dives deep into the art of drawing storyboards professionally for film and animation.

I teach you how to draw dynamic character poses for animation, how to do Gesture Drawing and how to work with Character Model Sheets and Layouts. I also unpack advanced principles of drawing for animation such as: Composition,  Staging for the Action; Framing your Shots and how to lead the audience's eyes to where you want them to look. In addition, you will also learn directing techniques like when to cut a scene, when not to cut, and how to build audience identification with the characters of your story. This course is also packed with practical exercises and 3 fun assignments so that you can start making work for your portfolio. By the end of the course, you'll be primed for professional success as a Storyboard Artist!


1. Advanced Storyboarding for Film and Animation: Hi there, I'm sure born. I'm an artist and an animation professional. And this class is advanced storyboarding for film or animation. It's a follow-up to my first class, learn to storyboard. That course covers all the basics of shots, camera angles, had to Thumbnail a script and work with storyboard templates. So check that out first if you're brand new here. But if you've taken that course and you have some experience and you want to now build up your portfolio of work to show to a studio and learn more about the professional approaches to storyboarding is script. Then welcome. This class is for you. In this course, you're gonna learn how to draw dynamic character poses. You will understand what gesture drawing is and how to use it for character poses. I'm going to explain what model sheets are, how you can get to work with them as a storyboard artist. And you'll also learn about layouts and backgrounds and get to draw your own layout using perspective so that you can draw a seen exactly how you imagine it. I'm gonna teach you all about composition and how to compose your shots, how to identify any story point in a given scene. Then in the last section, you'll dive into the process of linear storytelling. So you'll learn about the most widely used directing and editing techniques for film. You'll learn all about how to structure your shots for a narrative sequence. You will learn when to cut, where not to cache, and what match cuts are and what hookups are, and how you can use them. I'm also going to teach you all about the standard shots that are used for the all-important cower to development that needs to happen in any story. So this course is packed with a lot of fun mini assignments. We actually get to practice some other techniques. And there are also three main projects for you to tackle. So by the end of the course, you'll have a whole suite of professional looking portfolio pieces. I wanted you to have as much practical work as possible in this course. I also wanted you to have the opportunity to really put these techniques to use, try them out for yourself with your own drawings and send them into me for review. I've reviewed hundreds of student works and says Course was first launched and are given personalized detailed boot back on each assignment that is submitted, many students have actually gone on to work as a storyboard artist after taking this course. And that's something that I'm really proud of. This was no your chance to show me your storyboarding work. Ask me any questions that you have. And crucially to get the support and the encouragement that you need to develop your skills as a story artist. I see this course as an essential companion to the first one and an opportunity if you're serious about becoming a storyboard artist, to join me and to take your next steps towards becoming an animation professional. 2. My Top 3 Tips for Drawing: So we're about to dive deep into the main learning sections of this course. And I just wanted to start things off by giving you some practical drawing tips to work with. These tips are actually really simple, but don't underestimate that just because they seem a bit obvious or simple. If you use them every day in your sketch book, you will see a big, big difference. So tip number one is something I talked about in the first storyboarding core is quite large. And that is to draw very loose and very rough at the beginning when you start out drawing, really always start out lights don't draw heavy lines straight away. You can always clean up and refine your line work leisure. When I say loose, I don't really mean draw messy, even though it might look a little bit messy. Drawing loose means that you develop your pencil control or pen control. And it also means that you develop your competence in your drawing. So this is often also called gesture drawing, and I'm going to cover that in detail in a class later on. Tip number two is to draw from reference material. This might come as a surprise because I know a lot of people think that the creative mindset is just you sitting with your sketchbook and coming up with fabulous ideas. And also a lot of people think that referencing something is like copying. But that's not the case at all. And I want that to be very clear for you to develop your skills as an artist. The creative mindset is actually one that's constantly looking around and drawing inspiration from what you see around you. So making a drawing based on reference material really means that you can take something that already exists and make it knew through your own interpretation of that. Think of reference as being your starting point or you're jumping off point for your creativity to take over and create something totally new. And also drawing from reference is a really good way for you to learn how to draw structure. So the most important way to draw from reference is to draw from life. But you know, sometimes you can't actually go out and draw a Western saloon from life. So in that case, you have to search for images online and collect reference images that way. So Google image search, Pinterest, or escape. All of these websites are fantastic online tools for artists. So I encourage you to really spend a lot of time doing your visual research. And then tip number three, which is the most simple but sometimes the hardest one to actually apply is consistency. Try and draw in your sketch book every single day. If you can carve out five or ten minutes of drawing time in a matter of weeks or months, you'll really see a huge difference in your drawing. Those are my three tips. I hope there are useful and helpful to you and I'll see you in the next video. 3. Gesture Drawing: So gesture drawing is a technique that's most often used in figure drawing or in a live figure drawing class as a way to capture the whole figure very, very quickly with expressive dynamic Marx, it's often seen as a way to draw or capture the energy or the essence of the figure. But for animators and story artist, gesture drawing is really an essential tool or an essential technique to be able to draw. Number one, character poses that are clear and expressive. And number two, to be able to draw scenes or visual ideas really quickly with clarity and without getting bogged down in details. So you can think of gesture drawing as just loose scribbling, sort of sketches or very rough drawings. But if you work with gesture long enough, you'll come to see it as a way of drawing that's really powerful and can communicate your ideas and your feelings really very, very well. So the thing to remember by gesture drawings is that you're not going for accuracy in terms of proportion or a nationally. And that's really okay because that's not the point of gesture drawing. The point is to get your ideas down and then refine them laser and make your drawing anatomically correct. So the techniques for gesture drawing are as follows. First of all, one very good way to try gesture drawing is just to draw with scribbles. So let's say you are drawing a figure. Then just use small, round circular marks and work your way around the entire figure drawing like this. You can, you'll find that you can start to really build up sort of the mass and the weight of the figure by doing this. So you can spend way more time with these small scribbles in one area, make it loose and leisure in other areas. This will give you a really good sense of how to capture the weight or the mass of a, of a, of a figure. Now the next technique for to practice gesture drawing is to not take your pencil or your pen off the page as you draw. So if you're drawing something from live or even from your imagination, keep your pen or pencil or your stylus in contact with the, with what you're drawing on throughout the whole drawing. So I really loved this way of drawing because very often you have an idea of a scene. But then when you go to draw it, suddenly the composition or the perspective gets in the way it gets really difficult. And the thing that you imagined or visualized becomes really hard to get down on paper. So instead, block out shapes using gesture and scribble drawing. And then afterwards, you can come back and refine it properly with more perspective and fix up the line work. So I really want to encourage you to practice gesture drawing, pauses videos right now, and grab your sketch book, look at the room around you, and pick something to draw using this technique. Or if it's possible to take your sketchbook and go outside and try to draw figures from life. So get to a coffee shop or a park or something like that, and just observe people around you decisioning or even moving. And it doesn't matter what your drawings look like. It's about observation and just making these quick sketches in your sketchbook. Then when you're ready, come back and I'll see you in the next video. 4. Drawing Dynamic Poses: one of the key things to get rising your storyboards is how you pose your characters within the scene. Strong posing will tell the character story in a much more dynamic way. On diff, there was one thing that I would suggest you focus on. Then it's trying to make sure you know how to draw clear poses. Posing basically means showing the character acting. How a character does something is nearly more important than what they do because action reveals character. Something as simple as entering a room can tell us a great deal about a person that's really good acting on. That's what you're essentially trying to do in your storyboards when it comes to your characters. One way to make sure that you're getting the acting right is to think about how you would act the scene out yourself, even its if it's something as simple as just opening a box and getting a fright. How would you do it yourself? Once you've gone through that motion and understood the action that's involved, then you'll have a much better understanding of how to draws Another. Nearly better way, though, is to just exaggerate what you think is the biggest action. I'm not kidding. Your idea of what the biggest action is is likely not going to be that big. So if you exaggerate your poses, you end up getting a much more dynamic pose. Remember, I showed you this little drawing in the last course. Well, when you exaggerated, you just got actually a better image. It's not that wildly outlandish on dumbed. It'll probably in the context off other sequences. It'll probably read just fine. So another tip to help you with good posing is to always ensure that the silhouette off the off the character is clear. This is almost like the golden rule of story boarding, especially for animation. If you silhouette out your oppose and you just remove all the detail and see the outline, you should be able to still clearly see what the action is that the characters doing if the character is picking up something like a cup of tea, Um, has is holding that in his hands, you would want to show it this way so that we can actually see it clearly, and it's very clear for the audience. So a good way to exaggerate oppose is drawing S and C curves as your basic standard line of action. It'll help you become more fluid in your drawing style overall, but it'll help you very much to push the character into more dynamic poses. S and C curves are very standard character lines for animations, along with the line of action. These are lines that move up and through the entire body of the character, and it's almost like if you could sum up in one word, the emotion off the character, then that's the equivalent here off this line, this nine is that one word that sums up the action that the character is doing so for an assignment. What I want you to do right now is grab your pencil or your pan and quickly draw and s or C curve in your sketchbook on. Before you start thinking too much about anything drawn over shape for the head, draw lines for the arms on the legs, then keep going. Use thes curves to build up your characters on. Get the mentors as many dynamic poses as you can try to fill up a whole page or even a few pages of these drawings in the next lesson. I'm going to develop character. I'm gonna explain how you can develop characters, brother, how you control stylized characters on. I'm also going to talk about the model sheikhs that you'll get for your storyboards. So when you've had a when you've spent some time during your sketches, meet me in the next lesson. I'll see you there. 5. Drawing Characters: in animation, whether it's a TV show or future film. As a storyboard artist, you'll generally always be given the final design for the characters that you need to draw and include in your story board. So in industry terms, this is called a model sheet on pretty much the model sheet is about as detailed a diagram of the character that you can get. It shows you what the character looks like in different views almost in rotation. So from the side, the front, the 3/4 view and the back then your job is to draw this character in as many different poses to write the story board as the script goals for In this case, the key thing to look out for when you are redrawing characters throughout is to make sure that you're keeping volumes consistent. So what that means is that your character isn't getting progressively skinnier as each panel goes on or, you know, progressively wider, either. As you change the pose, just make sure that you're on model on that the volume stay consistent, so that's quite easy, or it's a least straightforward. When you've got a model sheet to work from you know you can always reference the exact character specs as you go along. But what if you are asked to storyboard out a script and you don't have a model sheet and your house to come up with the character Design yourself? Well, then it does depend on the style of the project. So the first thing first out of the gate, you need to know what kind of script you're dealing with. Our Western seemed sample script that I've given you. The the look of the characters in that script is more or less realistic. There isn't a huge amount of what we call stylization, except maybe the character of the barman. And in the last story boarding course, I gave you some indications about how you'd go about constructing a basic male character or a basic female character. There are certain short hands that you can always go back to Andi. I hope you got caught up with Dash from that last course, so you should be fairly okay, knowing how you would go about coming up with a realistic looking character. What if you need to draw a stylized character for the storyboard? Well, then, my advice is that you? And this is something that your torch toward in animation school is. Start out, think in terms of geometry. Start out with basic geometric shapes, a square or a circle or a triangle and build a character out from there. When you're working with stylized designs like this, the number one rule is to include contrast. If you take a very basic element, like a line, you can't really say if this is long or short until you see something to compare it against . So if I introduce second line like a curb, then immediately the sliding here has specific character. Now the strongest designs will always have this contrast. Um, you'll always find a straight line counterbalanced by a curved line. In the case of this pirate character that I'm working on, you could say that he's based on a circle in terms of the geometry. His design really is just a basic round form, and from here have added the other elements of the arms and necks. Now knows also that the arms used this idea of contrast. This is what I was talking about with straight line counterbalanced by a curve on ive also kept the idea off contrast in the overall design. If this roundness is the main motif, then the arms and the small pointy beach on the stretched head all add a bit of variation that kind of balances out that main Circle idea. The last thing I'd add as well is that stylized designs like like this one have to somehow relate to the underlying essence or personality off the character. So it's really important that you know what your character is, who your character is, what the back story off the character is. For example, it's no point making a pirate around jolly lovable rogue like this if he's actually supposed to be the evil villain. So think about who your character is and what the back story is and that will help you define how they look 6. Drawing Layouts and Backgrounds: along with characters as a storyboard artist. The other elements that you'll get when you start out to board a project is and layout or even a couple of layouts, depending on whether the action takes place in one or more locations. In this lesson, I'm gonna walk you through exactly what L. A out is and how you can adapt it to your boards. So the procedure on a boat explain is usually very specific toe animation, but you can apply it to live action as well. Let's just say for the purposes of this lesson, I'm gonna be kind of talking about animation specifically, and that will make more sense. So any given sequence usually takes place in one location. Then, when you change the location, your into a new sequence Onda. Within each sequence, there are any number of shots you can have establishing shots showing the whole scene. You can have a long shots showing the characters and then close ups over the shoulder shots . Point of view shots, all of that kind stuff, so you'll use the layer that you're given to draw up, say, the establishing shot. Now that's easy, because then, if you're drawing an establishing shot. You just redraw your layout as it is in your board panels. But then, when the action moves closer in or say the camera angle changes completely showing a different view, you'll need to be able to interpret the layout accordingly on draught from different angles . If that's what's called for now, close ups and extreme close ups are fine. Generally speaking, you don't even need to really draw background here in most cases because you're just concerned with the features of the face. But for any long shots or medium shots, you need to know exactly where you are at all times and where your characters are in relation to each other and in relation to the environment. This is where drawing a very quick floor plan comes in very really handy. Now. A floor plan is a diagram. If you like off the scene as a whole on it's viewed from above. So you're looking at it like as a complete down shot. Now this drawing is just for you, maybe for you on the director. But it's not for the storyboard, and it's not for anybody else in the production. It's just so that you can get clear wherever everything is. Um, place your characters where they need to be, and then you can mark up any movements that they're gonna be taking. If they do, walk around the scene on, then place your cameras in position so as to reflect your shot choices. Then you can just number each one sequentially. Now, when you go to board out of the scene or a sequence you won't go wrong on, you'll know exactly what to draw in the background in any given shots. It will really help you a huge amount to keep consistent to keep your screen direction correct. And, of course, toe help you to not break the 1 80 degree rule. Um, so that's all very, very useful. My last word of advice is don't really get to overwrought or focused on drawing all the exact details off the background or the layups. Just to indicate the major landmarks on drawing the background is enough so that at least the director and the animators know where the scene is taking place. 7. Staging for the Action: So this next section is going to cover some more advanced techniques for cinematography and for visual storytelling. I'm going to show you how you can creatively use visual language to enhance your work and how to get your shots to flow seamlessly. So the first thing I'm gonna talk about is staging. Staging in animation or in film beans. How you arrange the elements in your seeing for the clearest possible view of the action that has to take place. The action usually means or refers to any of the animation that the characters are doing. So that means prioritizing the position of the character throughout the scene in your storyboard. So you don't want the characters to be covered up by a background element. Or for your characters do not have enough room to move around or to do whatever it is that they need to do. It basically means controlling the attention of the audience. So in a way you're directing the audience's eye to look at the characters and to look at the action. So as a storyboard artist, you're job is to figure out what is the most important thing that needs to be seen in any shock. And also it means thinking ahead and figuring out what needs to be show next as the story unfolds. So how do you plan for that next piece of action to flow seamlessly? Here's a really simple example. If you've got two people sitting at a table like this, you and they're talking to each other, you would probably think about just staging the shot like dash, like this. But if you know, for example, that in the next panel, you're going to have a third character walking in. Then clever staging means that you prevent, present the first panel like this so that the third character has room. We see her coming in and entering. It's all very nice and smooth and there's no need for cuts or for new setups. Another thing that always calls for good staging is when you've got more than two characters. So say you've got a group of characters and a scene like this. Here, we've got a main character is talking to a group of friends. A clever way to stage this would be to treat this group as one character. So that when you do start to cut back and forth from this shot to this one, it's really clear where everybody is. The audience can follow the flow of shot smoothly and doesn't, and they won't get confused. And then finally, a fail-safe Guide to staging is to just give your characters lots of room. Directors will often say that most storyboard artists don't actually cut wide enough on characters and they don't give characters enough room. And this is one thing that will really stand out in terms of poor staging. So a really good rule of thumb is to state your seed for the widest possible action. Even in a close-up, give the character a bit of headroom and a bit of screen space in the direction that he's looking. So once you get really good and thoughtful about staging, you'll be able to combine shots without needing to actually cut them. And that's something that your director will really love before, because it just means that things can be a bit more efficient in the pipeline. And the background artist doesn't have to make a new background for each cosh. So I've left a short assignment for you to tackle just to practice this idea of staging. It's a really simple scene. It's just got two characters, but give it a go and send me your staging of this, of the scene, how you would handle it. I'd love to see it. When you're ready. I'll see you in the next video. 8. Composition: in the previous course. I talked about the rule of thirds. If you remember, I showed you how to use it to divide up the frame on. I also talked about why I think it actually works on a much deeper level than simply being just because it's pleasing to the eye toe. Have things arranged in this way? Hopefully, you caught up on lock course on. If you haven't, I recommend going watching it because there are some good points there to keep in mind for now. In this lesson, I'm going to look at other compositional techniques that you can use. There's certain things that you can do in your story boards that can lead the audiences I to exactly where you want them to be looking. And that's basically what you're doing in staging and composition. You're sort of drawing their attention to this part of the frame or that part of the frame . A really easy thing to use in your compositions are diagonal lines. These are great for always leading the eye to a certain point in the frame, and the idea is that you use what seems like natural perspective within the scene as strong directional lines on these lines and literally point to where you should be looking. Another way to do this is with framing. Braving up a shot is when you have elements off the scene arranged so that the character who's the focus off off the shot is actually framed out within these elements. A lot of times you could do this with foreground elements like this, or you could even use characters to frame each other. Anything that blocks out part of your panel on leaves. Only enough space for the other for the character to occupy, is framing. Now. If you really like this compositional technique, then I'm going to recommend that you watch a film called In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai. I think probably the 1st 10 minutes of this film is completely made up of frames within frames on then. Throughout the movie. The composition on the use of screen space is amazing. It's ah, that movie. I think it is pretty much a masterclass in composition, so definitely go check that out again. Always relate your compositional choices to the story, so avoid using these techniques just for the sake of for example, in this room, the director specifically isolates his characters by precise framing on using frames within frames. Because that visual motif underscores the story. The story is about two characters who are literally trapped in their interior worlds, even from each other. On this amazing use of composition adds layers of meaning to each and every scene that they're in. So when you are experimenting or playing with compasses, compositional ideas try to always relate them to a reason like use diagonal lines. If you want to show dramatic moments, use framing. If you want to show a character in a in psychological isolation or to give that feeling of being boxed in in the next lecture, I'm gonna talk about how you can create a sense of depths within your panel. 9. How to Create Depth in your Panel: in this lesson, I want to show you two simple techniques that will help you create a sense of depth in your drawings. And then, at the end of the lesson, I'll give you a short assignment so you can have a go practicing this yourself. The first tip is to use perspective lines now. This will really help you. If you're in a situation where you don't actually have much going on in your frame at all, and you want to convey distance, all you have to do is add in a simple grid. Now it doesn't have to be the technical bomb point or two point perspective that I explained about in the last course. It's just simply an indication off where the vanishing point is, where the horizon line is, that's all. But it instantly creates a great sense of depth in your frame. On it can add a huge amount. Your drawing. What's also good is that we understand immediately what the camera angle is, and that's very important because camera angles will often determine the feeding of the shot. If it's a high angle like this, then we're going to be looking down on a character, and that'll give the audience the impression that maybe this character is in a week or vulnerable position. And conversely, if we add an agreed like this, it tells us that the characters above us it conveys a sense off that this person is in a position of power or dominance. I know I'm stating this as a bit over the top, but these are actually subtle visual cues that we are reading all the time, even unconsciously so, it is good to be aware of them. The second tip is to overlap elements within your frame. Sometimes you don't really want to convey vast distances, but you don't want your drawing to be flash. Either you want to have some depth, so simply overlapping things like this can give you a nice feeling off depth within the frame. This is where Judy art can become quite magical, because if you think about it, you're using just a flat plane on a few lines to create this really realistic feeling or impression of deep space. So for your assignment to practice compositional techniques, I want you to draw it like a simple farm scene. I've given you a list off things that you can include in this drawing a barn tree, maybe offense. Wagon wheel you could possibly put in some far away hills, but you don't have to be too detailed or complicated. Just a rough sketches. All I'm looking for. I want to see how you can arrange these elements within the frame to give a sense of depths and to also to direct the audiences I or the audience's attention. So think about leaving space somewhere in your frame for any characters or action to take place on. Think about how you would direct audience to look at that space. Maybe you're gonna have the barn off to the side, then you know you don't need Teoh. You don't need to show the whole structure in the middle, but I'll leave it up to you completely. And then again, go ahead and post your drawings in the Q and a section that see what you guys come up with . Andi, get some feedback. Otherwise, just send it to me. If you want me to take a look at it, hit pause, go off and do some sketching on, then come back to me in the next sector. I'll see you then 10. Identifying the Storypoint: every panel that you draw needs to tell or at least support the story. Point off that particular moment or seed, and every scene progressively tells the overall story points off the entire film. So I'm going to take a look at the process of how to effectively render a story points in simple and clear £4 on for this. In this lesson, I'm gonna use an example to do so. So say, for example, you've got a script that says something like Colorado Bob is in the cabin. He's frantically looking for the gold on outside. The marshals are fast approaching, while often when you're working from a script, you know you could easily get a bit lost or distracted from all of the things that you could draw. So what you want to do is when you're starting out, just ask yourself in every situation. Why is a character doing a certain action on that's going to immediately help you get clear on what the story point is. So in this instance, he's frantically looking for gold, and why is he looking for it? Because the marshals are riding out to get him on. Do you know and he needs to go. He's not looking for the gold to counted or admire it. He's frantically looking to get it so he can get out. So boarding this, I wouldn't really spend time drawing unnecessary details off the cabin or the surrounding area. You want to focus straight away in on Bob's frantic state. So then I would probably choose a lot of close up camera angles to show maybe his hands rummaging through, looking for things, maybe a close up of his eyes. Or you could even have him looking at the window. And at one point now you'll see that this sequence flows and it heightens the dramatic tension because it's visually underscoring the story points. But here's another example that I want you to look at. Let's say, for example, you've got a character who's walking through a forest. You could choose to draw him in front of the trees on, then were walking towards camera, and that will give you nice, lovely Foresti background. But say, for example, the overall story point off the script is that this character has this intense internal conflict going on that makes him feel somehow trapped. Then this kind of a set up here is brilliant because thes trees, as you can see instantly, they create silhouettes that kind of reinforce his emotional station. They underscored the overall story point when you ask yourself why. Then you'll be able to determine how best to draw any sharp on how to effectively use visual language to explain that you'll avoid spending lots of time drawing unnecessary camera set ups. And remember, you have to be as economical as possible as a storyboard artist in getting the point across . So I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions at all on in the next class. I'm gonna talk about beats and timing even aboard. 11. Beats and Timing: okay, in this class, I'm gonna talk about beats off a story on explain in more detail how to understand and recognize beats. So identifying the beats is one of the first thing that you do right at the very beginning . When you start reading your script, the beats, in a way, determine your shot list. So it's very good to have a very clear understanding off this part. One of the best ways that I could describe it is to literally compare a script to a song. So think of a song that has a specific story within it, one that unfolds as the song goes along. The song is timed out musically on every line off the song or verse that has a specific story. Point has has its own timing. If you were to storyboard a song and match those board panels up to the soundtrack, then your timing would be all done for you because it's matched to music. So as a storyboard artist, you've got to find that rhythm in your script when you're reading through it, Do you do all of this in the reading phase off your process? Then when you come to thumbnail out the drawings. Every idea that you've had in your head put that into your thumbnails. The reason that you have toe have a feeling for timing is because it's crucial to drawing the correct number of frames per shots or per scene, and also because later on, when it comes to making it Anna Magic, then you'll know exactly how long each shot needs to be, because you'll have time do that for yourself. This means you won't be scrambling around for extra frames or you won't be trying to cut down on a scene because it's gone too long and it's too involved. So I guess you could say finding the beats is something that's a bit intuition of, but the best way to do it is just watch the movie in your mind as you're reading, then be specific about what you're seeing in terms of camera angles and shots. In the next lesson, I'm going to get you to start thumbnail ing out the second half of that Western script that we've got. So right now, I think it will be a good idea to go grab that script and read through the two pages on. Just play that movie out in your head. Get a feeling for the rhythm after you've read it a few times, then you can write down on the script itself your shot list, just like I showed you in the previous course. Just mark up in the margins wherever you want. Um, what you think you need for each beat? Do you need a wide shot for this or a close up or a pan? You know anything like that, have fun. And when you're ready, I'll meet you in the next lesson where I'll go through the cast project in a bit more detail. 12. Standard Opening Sequences: in this section of the course, I want to talk about some standard passions of story boarding on. I want to show you how you can treat specific sequences in almost like a roughly formulaic manner. You can use thes set pieces for virtually any type of script, and with the sequencing formulas, you can be sure that you're conveying the story point and you're using good visual language for your audience. So in this lesson, I want to look at how to treat an opening sequence, and I'll show you what shots and camera angles best work to serve this kind of a sequence I want to start off by explaining that this passion for an opening sequence is based on the idea that a story progresses forwards towards a resolution off course you can. Also, you can instantly think of films that are told backwards. I know a film like 500 Days of Summer is a perfect example, but in general you start out with the premise of the film, and you move towards a resolution of that on. The overall effect is that you've gone on a journey with the main characters, so this is called linear storytelling, and it leads us. Toothy idea in story, boarding off, basically progressing in words. This is an excellent way to approach on opening sequence, because by progressing in words, you're showing things from far away and then moving closer and closer until you establish the character. So, in other words, start with the widest shot off the location. You move progressively inwards through a Siri's off. Immediate long shots medium on finally the close up of the character. So here's a script example that I've got. I'll just show you how how it works With this very simple opening sequence, we have a script that says the film opens in a city apartment block. Jack is waking up and the alarm talks going off so right away, I want to be able to tell the audience this information that number one. Our story takes place in an urban setting. It's a big city number two that the characters waking up in his apartment. So here are the standard shots that you could use for this sequence. You'd start off with your wide shop, which establishes the location, gives the audience a very clear overview of where the story is going to take place so immediately they've got context. Then the next shot is one closer in and clearly identifies the apartment building that we're moving towards. So now the viewer is beginning to be drawn closer into the action. But then with the third shot, which I've chosen to be a close up of the building itself in order to identify the apartment where Jack is now we know. OK, so this is where the action is going to take place. Then I can cut inside of the apartment show. Jack Sleep, Andi. Now we're into the meat of the story. Then I cut to an extreme close up of the alarm going off, so we know that it's morning time on. You know Jack's going to be waking up. We have Jack's hand coming in and knocking it out of frame to silence it, and the next shot shot after this pulls back from the close up to reestablish the scene again. It's a medium shot showing Jack sitting up on, sort of like groggily waking up. So this pattern off wide, medium close up and back to medium has the effect of drawing the viewer into the action progressively, drawing them in closer. Once you've established the scene from a wide shot and cut too close ups, you can always pull back to your medium shots to reestablish the setting in the action. This works in so many opening sequences. It's the easiest way just to set the stage and to start the ball rolling on it, it works. Opening sequences are crucial in setting the tone and creating the exact right tension or drama for the story you're about to tell. You can think it immediately off the iconic opening sequence of Star Wars, showing us that it's in space right away. That's all we need to know. But in the next lesson, I want to show you how you can use three exact same shots that I've shown you here to tell this exact same story in a completely different way on have it have a completely different effect. So up next, let's look at an alternative opening sequence 13. Alternative Opening Sequences: in the last lesson, I explained how to illustrate a standard opening sequence on. Now I want to show you some options for doing things a little bit differently. Let's imagine for a moment that the script that we've got is actually not so straightforward or boring as you first the host. Let's say, for example, that this'll is one of those scripts that where the character wakes up only to find that the whole city he lives in is completely deserted and he's the only one left. Let's say it's the opening sequence to some kind of dramatic thriller or horror movie. In that case, the standard formula of shots that I showed you previously isn't really going to work so well here. That combination, I think, is just not dramatic enough. It feels very humdrum, ordinary Onda little bit pedestrian. So I want to show you how you can use the exact same shots, but mix them up in a totally new order on watch. Hoda completely changes the tension on the drama off the sequence. Let's start our sequence with that close up off the clock, so bring that in as your very first shot straight away the audience is brought into the very middle of the action without giving them any information about where this is taking place or what's going on at all. It's just close, an extreme close up of an alarm clock going off, then cut to your extreme wide shots of the city. And as a note underneath, you could say that, you know, show that the alarm clock is still ringing over the soundtrack, then cut back to this medium shot Jack, sitting up looking a bit dazed and confused, cut back to the close up of the alarm clock and show Jack's hand kind of hitting the alarm clock off the silences. So starting with that extreme close up is really disorienting to the viewer. It's a bit claustrophobic, especially with thesis soundtrack off the alarm buzzing. We don't know where we are, what's going on, but it does give us a couple of visual visual clues. It's telling us that it's early morning on day. As with most alarm clocks, it should be assigned a daily routine is underway on that things were normal and habitual. But when we cut that wide shot of the city and it's completely silent. And all we hear is this annoying alarm clock going off that might start to signal that maybe something is a little bit strange or a little bit off. Normally, you wouldn't cut from an extreme close up to an extreme wide shot because it's just too orange, disorienting for the viewer, it's not very smooth. Use all visual language. But here in this case, if we put these two shots together, it will really help to keep the audience on edge and keep them wondering what's going on. So the medium shot, then with Jack looking a bit groggy and dazed, this intrigues us more as to what's going on with this person. So what's happening to him? Onda? We waiting on. Now we wait to see what will happen or unfold next, so that's a fairly intriguing opening sequence, using visual cues to set the scene. If you want us to check out a film that has one of these very interesting opening sequences , I recommend that you look at Blade Runner, one of my all time favorite films, and that's the original Blade Runner, not the reboots. That opening sequence is iconic starts up with an extreme close up of an eye, then cut still extreme wide shot of the city. So go check that out and see what you can you know, understand and learn from Ridley Scott's opening sequence. The visual formulas or patrons that I'm talking about are there for you to use, but they're by no means the rules that you have to go by. It's just options for you. If you want to think about linear story, it's story telling. Think about starting from wide and progressively moving into close ups. But again, maybe you want to mix that up completely. Andi Use it for dramatic effect to tell a much more interesting story. It's totally up to you during the rules and then learn to break them in the next lesson. Gonna talk about some more story story boarding patterns like when to cut and also where not to cut. I'll see you in the next lesson 14. When to Cut: think of story boarding as essentially editing a movie before it's made. Um, so if you think about that, then you definitely need to know some basic editing rules, like when to make your cuts. The cut is when the camera angle changes. The term actually comes from the days of film before digital film, when an editor would actually physically cut the film the strip of film and then tape it back together with another piece of footage. Eso that's just stuck with us into the digital era. So there are some reason that you need to know. But when you should cut, this will improve your timing for your storyboards on. It'll just make your boards and your shots flow together. The 1st 1 is to cut on emotion. For example, if somebody says something dramatic, then you could cut to see the reaction of the other person that's cutting on the emotion. Or if there's a strong emotional moment in the scene, then you would want to cut their rather than linger on the shot and risk letting the emotion get dissipation. For example, this shot here, let's say someone has just read a leisure. Andi in it. They have received some really shocking news or something like that. Well, you would want to cut then and then move to the next scene right when they registered that shock and the audience sees it on the character's face. You wouldn't sort of want to linger on that shot and maybe show the person putting the letter down. And I know going off for making a cup of tea that just would really let the whole emotional impact of that scene sort of drift away. Another good moment in the script to make your cuts is when you want to show information. So, for example, cutting to show reaction shots or point a few shots, or to show what a character is looking at showing information to the scene or to the story point. But the most obvious place to cut scene is what's called cutting on the action. Now cutting on the action is basically it's a standard edit across live action films as well as animation. If you've got a shot of somebody getting up out of a chair and going to answer the door, for example, that's an action that characters action is him getting up so you'd make the cut there as he gets up out of the chair, then cut to the shot off the door rather than showing the character getting up out of the chair and walking along and then getting to the door. Occurring on the action is very intelligent. Juice off timing because you can actually, you know, get rid of those long, drawn out moments where a character need is doing something in order to get somewhere else . Sometimes, especially if you're story boarding for TV animation, it can be the case that, actually, too many cuts end up causing quite a lot of problems later on. It's often the case that if you have lots and lots of cuts, the director will ask you to try and consolidate the shots in order to be more efficient in terms of the workload for other departments, like the backgrounds or animation. So the best way to know when not to cut is literally don't cut if you don't have to. If you consider sage your shots so that their space for action and secondary reaction, then you won't need to cut two new setups or new camera angles in this example. Causing from here to here is known as a jump cut because the position off this character literally jumps from one shot to the other. She's over here in this shot, and then you cut to a new camera angle, and she's not in the same position. In order to solve that, you could just use a simple camera move and shift from this position just over to the left . Then that will allow you to show the secondary character in the background without having to cut the shot at all. Remember when I talked about staging? I mentioned this. If there's something you can show now that will help the story unfold in the next shot, then rather stays your action like that because it helps you not have to make new setups or cuts. A good rule of thumb is just think logically and clearly about the amount of sort of business that you have to get through in a scene the amount of action that you have to get through if you like. How can you best render the story point and think about whether one shot could actually work? Justus well as three or four different angles 15. Match Cuts and Hook Ups: match cuts or hook up is when you cut from one shot of a character, for example, to another shot or angle where that character is still in the scene or in the frame. You have to make sure that the new shot matches the previous one in terms of where the characters placed and in terms of his posing character, is leaving their house and walking down the path to the car where their friend is waiting. Okay, so in terms of timing for the scene, you don't want to have to watch each and every step from the car from the door to the car. As I explained in the previous lesson, if you just showed him stepping away from the door and then cut to him at the car, that would be a jump. Cash and sometimes jump cuts are fine if you want to inject a bit of dynamic sort of energy into your scene. But if the mood doesn't really call for it, then it could look jarring. So instead you would show your character leaving the door and then use a match cut foot in which, in this case, is a close up of his footsteps. Now it's a match. Cash, because the footsteps match the same direction on the same sort of action as the previous shot, Then the next shock could show him at the car. So that's very effective. Use off editing. There's only three different shots. Two cuts on we've established that time has passed from him, leaving the door toe him, arriving at the car. That is pretty seamless editing when you watch us played out, and it's a very good use of a match cut. Another way to do it is you could have them leaving the door, then cooked. Then use a cutaway off his friend, sort of stop looking off screen and watching him and then show him standing at the car again. This is the same exact effect. It compresses time so that we don't have to watch him taking every step from the door to the car. So it's a very good use of a cutaway to speed up the action. So what's a hookup then? Well, here's a very simple example. Off the hook up, if you have a character looking off screen before a cut, then you see a wider shot. But it shows them looking down towards the ground. Well, there could be, like a lot of logical reasons in the script. Wide, this character has to look down, but your story board would be wrong because the pose doesn't hook up. So you either need to start the first panel off with them looking down or start your stack and panel with them looking off screen and then showing them looking down. I hope that makes sense. But once you start to see hookups in storyboards, you'll begin Teoh, just do it very intuitively. Think also about your background elements. By the way, background elements can have a tendency to move around and change positions by themselves. If you're not careful about your hookups or your match cuts when you go to cut your scenes , you'll need to keep an eye on that, too. And make sure if the character is standing beside a lamppost in one shot, then make sure that that lamppost is placed relative to the character in the next shot. If it's from a different angle, let's hop over to the next lesson. I want to talk about some standard story boarding patrons for character development. Specifically, when we use close ups, I'll see you then 16. Shots for Character Development: dialogue sequences are usually boarded out, using a combination off close ups and medium shots. The medium shot is a great go to shot for dialogue. It's an extremely versatile shot because you still have lots of room in a medium shots for characters to move around, especially if there doing something with their hands. But we still see the expression and the emotion on their faces, so a medium shot is a very useful tool in your storytelling. Plus, the medium shot is equally important for relational aspect off staging. If you need to re establish a scene and get back to sort of home base in the sequence of cuts, say you've gone from a close up to a cut away to an extreme close up, then your mid shot or medium shots is a nice solution to bring the audience back to base in terms of where we all are, where the characters are in the in the scene and in relation to each other. Okay, now I would just want to talk a little bit about the close up on. I think it's worth spending time to discuss close ups in depth because this shot is such an important shot to your visual vocabulary. The main thing that I think is worth noting about the close up is how audience identification works through this shock. This is something I did talk about briefly in the first story boarding course, but I can't emphasize enough how how important this is for for visual storytelling. So I just want to talk a bit more in this lesson. Let me explain it, sort of like this. If you think of an audience watching a play, the action is unfolding in front of thumb. But they're pretty much stuck in this zone like they don't actually get any closer to the action or to the characters. So just imagine if they could actually get up on stage, sit right beside that main sort of hero off the play. Um, I think about how powerful that would be in terms of watching and understanding the emotion of the actor. That's almost how close we get in cinema when we're watching a movie. Four audience identification that close up is crucial, but there's no point cutting to a close up just randomly or haphazardly just because it's a nice shot. Uh, because it's strong visual language or because you just don't want to have to draw in the background details. Always think carefully when you could use a close up on. Be sure to consider the following cut to a close up when the characters emotion or reaction is the most important thing to show in the scene when it's thes story point number to establish intimacy and connection both of the audience and between characters. By going for the front 3/4 like this, you could even square off the character completely. But make sure that their eyes were looking screen after screen rice. If you've got two characters talking, this kind of close up really connects them. Just give them some room around the head and just don't go too close. Unless it's very dramatic or intense moment in the script that calls for an extreme close up. Don't make it so tight. Be sure that you've got nice, negative space around the character and think about your route of thirds and maybe placing the character on one or one or other side off the screen. Up next, I'm going to discuss with you the last off our class projects That's Project number three where I'm going to get you to clean up and finalize your storyboards, so I'll see you in the next lecture. 17. Conclusion: Wow, well done for reaching the end of the course. I'm so glad you made it this far. I think that's awesome. You really shouldn't underestimate the amount of work that you completed and what you achieved, even by just getting through the whole course. Thank you so much for being here and for watching goes all the way to the end. I just wanted to leave you in this video with some of the points that I think are my top takeaways for this course. I think these are the most essential tips that you should focus on moving forward. First one is life drawing or figure drawing. If you're at all interested in being a story artist or in drawing or an animation in general, I can't stress enough how important it is to practice figure drawing. So if you can't get to ally figure drawing class, that's, that would be the best thing to do. But if you can't, you can always just draw from photo reference online and there are tons of resources out there to help you. If you are keen semi message, I've got some pointers that I can give you for where to find good tutorials about figure drawing. And number two, if, if animation is really your main focus, then character design is something that you should think about and you should practice as much as he can. Studios loved to see character designs in your portfolio, and especially for Storyboard artists being able to draw a diverse range of characters, not just one style of character is something that they're going to be looking for. So focus on your character designs and practice that as much as possible. Ok, number three is trying to get clarity in your storyboards as much as possible. So what I mean by that is, you know, look back through your storyboard panels as you're working on them and ask yourself, if somebody who didn't know the story comes along and looks at your shot choices or flow of shots, would they be able to follow the story? Sometimes it might mean that you have to add in a few more frames to describe an action that the character is doing. And if that's the case, then do that. Because really you want to be able to let your story, your storyboard speak for itself, okay, my fourth tip is to watch as many movies or shows as you can and really study how shots are used in those films. A really good practice that nearly every story border I know does is pause the video, pause the movie and thumbnail out in your sketchbook. Certain scene or a sequence that you think is interesting or compelling. And you'll start to understand how directors think, how editing works. And that will really, really improve your storyboarding skills. And then my fifth tip is to join as many groups online as you can. There's lots of groups on Facebook for Storyboard artists. And you can really get tons of inspiration and knowledge and ideas by joining those groups and seeing how other story artists work. Okay, well that's it for me. It's just time for me to sign off. But before I go, I really want to say thank you so much for being here. Thank you for all of your contributions in this class. I can't tell you how much that means to me. It's been amazing to see people's work improve over time. And I look forward to seeing you in another course.