Storyboarding for Film or Animation | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

Storyboarding for Film or Animation

Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Storyboarding for Film or Animation

Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

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23 Lessons (1h 48m)
    • 1. Learn to Storyboard

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. What you need to get started

    • 4. 7 Simple Drawing Tips

    • 5. The Storyboard Template

    • 6. Storyboard Terminology

    • 7. Drawing Dynamic Poses

    • 8. Drawing a Basic Male Character

    • 9. Basic Female Character

    • 10. How to Draw in Perspective

    • 11. Camera Angles and Shots

    • 12. Overview of the Process

    • 13. Blocking Out a Sequence

    • 14. Drawing Thumbnails

    • 15. Refining

    • 16. Thumbnails Part 2

    • 17. Refining Part 2

    • 18. Intro to Visual Language

    • 19. Principles of Composition

    • 20. Storytelling Shots

    • 21. The 180 Degree Rule

    • 22. Drawing Camera Moves

    • 23. Wrap Up and Review

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About This Class

This class is an introduction to the art of drawing storyboards for Film, TV, or Animation.

It covers everything you need to know to about the creative process of Storyboarding for Film or Animation. You will learn concrete skills such as how to draw characters, how to draw in perspective, what camera angles and shots to use for your scripts, and how to make your shots and scenes flow together.

As a Storyboard Artist you get to draw the film, shot for shot. It's by far the most creative job in the whole production process. Whether you are interested in gaming, animation, sketching, comic books or filmmaking, the concepts and techniques in this course will get you started on the road to professional success. You can begin to build a portfoliofrom right within the course, or you can start storyboarding your own projects now to a professional standard. I've packed this course with only the most relevant and detailed material. I've distilled everything I've learnt in my 15 years as an animation and film professional into each lesson.

Meet Your Teacher

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Siobhan Twomey

Artist, Illustrator, Instructor


Hello, I'm Siobhan

My background spans the disciplines of drawing, painting, filmmaking and animation. I studied Film in Dublin, and at the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU in New York. I later studied drawing and animation. Since 2002, I have worked in studios in Vancouver and Dublin as a professional background artist and environment designer. I've also worked as a storyboard artist, concept artist, and I have directed a number of short animated films.

All in all, I've worked for over 15 years as an Artist, Illustrator and Animation Professional. I've provided artwork for studios whose clients include Disney UK, Sony Pictures Animation, HMH Publishing, to name a few.

I also have an ongoing painting and drawing practice, and I paint portraits on commission, and exh... See full profile

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1. Learn to Storyboard: Hi there, I'm sure born, I teach animation and storyboarding. I have over 15 years experience working as an animation professional. And this class is my ultimate storyboarding course. I've distilled everything that I know and have learned from working on the job into this class. And I've designed it specifically so that you can learn the exact skill set that professional storyboard artists use in the industry. You don't have to have any prior knowledge of storyboarding. You also don't need to be super skilled at drawing. I'm going to teach you how to draw for storyboards. You don't even have to have fancy software or drawing tablets. You can use a pencil and a piece paper or you really need is an interest in film and animation and in the art of visual storytelling. Here's what you will learn with me over the next few hours. To start out, I'm going to give you my top seven tips on drawing for storyboards. These are the tips that you need to know about to ramp up your drawing skills fast. I'm going to teach you common animation shorthands for easy drawing. You'll learn how to draw male and female characters, how to draw seeds and backgrounds. And you'll also learn how to draw in perspective. Next, you're going to learn the basic building blocks of film. These are the camera angles and shots that every director uses to make film or animation to basically tell any visual story. And once I've covered these basic elements, I'll teach you how to break down a script. I'm going to show you how to thumbnail it and draw a fully finished storyboard. I'll share with you a script that I wrote specifically for this course so that you've got something concrete to work with. And I'll explain the exact process that you're going to work in from start to finish. This storyboard is something that you can include in your portfolio if you want to show to a studio and possibly land a storyboarding job. Finally, in the last section on expand on everything that I've taught you and give you a proper grounding, a visual language. This section we'll cover principles of composition, such as the rule of thirds or symmetry. I'll explain what these rules are, why they work, and when to break them. You'll also learn all about specific storytelling shots, about how to use advanced technical aspects, such as the 180 degree rule. And also you'll learn about moving camera angles and how to draw them. Throughout this class, I'm here to help you to answer any questions that you have and to give you feedback on your work. So I hope you decide to join us to upgrade your skill set and to take your first few steps on this exciting journey to becoming a storyboard artist. 2. Introduction: So welcome to this course. I'm so glad that you are enrolled and I can't wait to share with you everything that I know about to create an art of storyboarding. In this course, I'm going to break down the entire process and show you how to storyboard a script from start to finish. And I'm also going to explain how to do this really effectively. So I'll be explaining how you can start to think about a story in visual terms, from compositional techniques to what kinds of shots are best used to tell a specific story points. I want you to walk away from this course with concrete real-world skills and start using today. To do that, I've included a one-page scripts that we're going to look at it together. And I'll show you how to break down any script or idea or even any concept. So by the end of the course, you will have the skills to start drawing your own boards and to build up a portfolio so that you can show two studios or producers or even prospective clients. So let me start the whole thing by saying exactly what a storyboard is. A storyboard is a series or a sequence of drawings that visualizes the action of a script so that the director can see the flow of shots and make big directing choices before a huge budget is spent. The other crucial, important thing about a storyboard is at once it is locked and decided on, then it becomes a blueprint for the entire production. And what that means is that everybody in the crew who's working on that film can refer to the storyboard as the foundational document and see what is going to happen in each and every scene. So you do get different types of storyboards. For example, a storyboard for a live action film is very different to a storyboard for an animated film. And again, both of these are very different to a storyboard for a commercial in live action, there's more of an emphasis placed on the types of shots or movements or big action sequences. Whereas in an animated film, the emphasis is on the character's poses and the acting. For this course, I'm going to aim for the most part to focus on storyboards for animation, for the simple reason that animation storyboards are the most comprehensive and the most inclusive type of board. So they are much broader and more detailed in scope. And therefore they'll cover every topic that you need to know, even if you're interested in just doing storyboards for live action. And if you are interested in animation, then this course will be a fantastic introduction into the whole animation process. So next, in the next video, I'm going to explain what you need to get started in this course. And then we'll dive into some drawing drills. And I'll show you my top seven tips for drawing. 3. What you need to get started: In this lesson, I'm going to cover what you need to get started storyboarding, and specifically what you need to get started in this course. Now, I said before, you don't need to have a lot of fancy equipment or software. You can actually get started with just a sketch book and a pencil. That's all you need to start jotting down thumbnails and quick sketches. And I'll be going over exactly what thumbnails are later in the course. But I just wanted to point out right now that that's, if that's all you have access to, that's perfectly fine. The next level up then is to scan your drawings in and bring them into the computer so that you've got digital version of your storyboard. If you want to email it to a client. You could also scan your joins in and work on your drawings in software such as Photoshop or Krishna. And then finally, if you do have access to digital tools, then you can just start drawing in Photoshop. But photoshops not the only drawing software. There are tons out there. There's Krish, there's procreate for iPad. There's also software that I really like called Sketchbook Pro, that's totally free to download. And there's also a software package called Storyboard Pro. And this is specifically geared towards professional storyboarding. It has everything you need all in one program. You can easily keep track of numbering your panels, your scenes. That's all totally automated. So it's a very good way to work, but it might be very complex at, for a complete beginner, if you wanted to, you could follow along with me in something like Photoshop or Procreate. Now if you are working digitally, the other thing that you need is a drawing tablet. And you can look into other options that are out there for your drawing tablets. I personally use WACC come into us, probe. My setup is very simple. It's not a big tablet at all. It's a nice small Wacom intos Pro medium with the stylus obviously. So something like that. But there's also a lot of cheaper options other than WACC, if you didn't want to be spent on your drawing tablet in this course, I'm going to be doing all of my demos in Photoshop because it's the easiest for me to just draw panel by panel and what I normally use as a storyboard template like this. So I've left you a few different options in the project files that you can download and test them out. So that's all that you really need to get started. And hopefully you're all set up and ready to go. Meet me in the next lesson. And I'm going to share with you my top seven tips for drawing, for storyboards. 4. 7 Simple Drawing Tips: Before we dive deep into the world of storyboarding, care and my top seven tips for how to draw when it comes to animation in general and storyboard in particular. My first tip is always warm up. When you sit down to start drawing. Just a few minutes of warming up will help you a lot to loosen up and get drawing fast. The whole idea is that you need to be able to draw your ideas on paper very quickly. So these warm-ups are grayish. Simply draw lines and circles, but keep it going and aim to fill a whole page with circles or a whole page with lines. The second tip is to draw a rough. This is another one that's not immediately what you might think of when it comes to drawing, but I always encourage people to try and keep your initial drawings as rough as possible. This will help you obviously to draw loose and fast, but you won't get bogged down in details and start to lose your way. My third tip is use a grid. I'll be explaining perspective grid in much more detail later on in this course. But just be aware that by simply adding a horizon line and then these radiating lines, a central point can instantly give your drawings gray composition and context. Plus, it will eventually help you to draw and perfect perspective. So it's good to get used to using this grid right away. Number 4, keep your faces simple. Even if you are working with detailed model sheet for characters, you can draw heads using a simple circle or oval shape and indicate the eyes and the nose like this. So you basically draw a line down the center to indicate the nose and then align across this that will indicate where the eyes are. And once you have this in place, you can actually use this to really effectively show which way the head is turning without having to get into details of the features of the face. Number 5 is all about the eyes. The eyes are going to be one of the most expressive features of your character. So know which shorthand is going to work to convey emotion. For example, normal eyes are usually drawn like this. We usually just see the lower half the pupil, but not the top. If you wanted to draw angry eyes, you obviously would have the eyebrow scaling downwards like this. Surprised or frightened dies. You usually see the whole pupil. Maybe for frightened eyes, you can just angle the lids going upwards. So there are a bunch of shorthands for eyes and get to know them and practice drawing your eyes. For my sixth step, it's all about the mouth shapes. There are a lot of dander match shapes and animation that convey letters than a very, very widely used when it comes to dialogue. And you want your characters to be seen to be saying a certain line. So get to know mad shapes. These are just a couple for you. You don't have to get too detailed at all growing in the teeth and, and all of that. Just one or two lines, we'll correctly and effectively market your mouth shapes. My final tip is for joining hands. A lot of people will skip over drawing hands or kind of avoid drawing them because there can be quite complicated. But you can keep it very simple by just drawing a block to represent the palm of the hand and then the 45 fingers, whatever you want. And a really good sort of professional insider tip is to make sure that you don't have the fingers all looking the exact same. Tried to vary their positions a little bit. If you're ever are drawing hands. It just gives a lot of life and a lot of character to the hands. And so those are my top tips for drawing an animation and storyboarding in particular. I'd encourage you to kinda take time out right now and practice some of these tips that I've gone through. And I'd love to see any of your drawings if you want to share them with me or with anybody else in the course, feel free to post them in the discussion board. 5. The Storyboard Template: In this video, I'm gonna show you some sample boards so that you can become familiar with how a storyboard is setup. There can be a lot of technical details that go into a storyboard like numbering and sequencing. And I'll get into all of that much later on in the course. But for now, I just wanted you to be aware of what goes where on a storyboard template so that you know ahead of time, this layer here is the standard typical format for animation storyboards with three panels laid out here like this, few lines of text below. But you might also see storyboards that looks something like this with the panels going down the side and the text on the right. Now these are typically used in live action or for adverts or games. And for the purposes of this course, I'm going to stick with the animation setup. So let's have a look at this template. Basically, this panel here is where you're going to draw all of the action. From here on out. This frame is your primary tool for expression and everything that you'll be drawing or visualizing in your head that you've picked up from your personal reading of the script has to fit into this frame. You can think of this frame as both the final screen that the viewers or watch the movie on. And also think of it as the camera angle that's filming the action. As I said, these lines down here are reserved for any dialogue or actual notes the director might write in some notes down here, or any special effects that need to occur in the shot. Though, those notes will also be put in down here. And up here, you can fill in the production details like the name of the show, the scene number, the panel number, things like that. If you are using software such as Storyboard Pro for example, a lot of this information like seed shot sequence. It's all automated and you set that up at the start of your storyboarding process. And it'll update as you go along, which is really, really useful because once you do start adding in drawings or taking drawings out, your, your numbering might get messed up very easily and that can be a bit of a headache to have to go back in and change. But we will address those issues down the line. This video, I really just wanted to give you the intro to what the layout of a storyboard looks like. What it's all about, the technicalities of it just so that you know what goes where. In the next few videos we're going to focus on drawing, specifically drawing for animation and drawing for storyboards. 6. Storyboard Terminology: So I'm going to elaborate a little bit further now on the terminology of shots, scenes, sequences, and panels, because it can get a little bit confusing. And I want to explain the main difference between live action and animation storyboards. Before we move into the next part of the course, I'm aware that this might be getting a bit too technical to early 3D. I want to focus and place the emphasis more on getting you comfortable drawing stuff before you get caught up in technical aspects. But it is good to talk about these things now, just so that there's no confusion and you're at least aware of the main differences. So when it comes to talking about scenes and shots on a storyboard, templates, you need to know that there is a difference between live action boards and animation boards. If you're working in live action. And by that I mean feature film or a short film with actors, not an animation production. Then you're dating with scenes and shots. So a scene is where the action will take place during a specific duration of time. And in a specific location. I am when you go to another location that's a new scene. And within that seed, you're going to have all of your different shots that describe the action that takes place in that scene. So if we take a look at this scene, this is all one scene, but each of these panels represents a different shot or a different camera angle. And in a live action film, those would be called shots within the scene. So let me take a quick look at an animation storyboard. So this is the one that I'm using for this course and we'll get to see me working on this a little bit later on. But essentially, an animation have one sequence that's made up of scenes. So in animation, the terms are used differently. Instead of having a scene that's made up of shots, you have a sequence that's made up of seeds. As animators, we just use the word scene to mean a camera shot or a camera setup. But for example, this is one sequence where this character here climbs out. He's been digging in the ground and he climbs out and he's really angry. Well, this is made up of two scenes. And this scene here has two paddles. So showing him standing beside the hold on the ground and scratching his head and getting really angry. And then you have a cut to a different camera angle, which is a close up. And that's a new scene. So just to sum up, a panel contains your drawing and animation. Scene refers to the camera angle or the type of shot. And a sequence refers to the duration of time or the location where the action is taking place. In live action, a shock refers to the camera angle or the type of shot that's being used. And the scene refers to the location or the duration of time. 7. Drawing Dynamic Poses: The next few videos in this course are going to tackle sort of basic principles of drawing simple characters and scenes. It's just to give you a few pointers and to get you started in case you are thinking that you're drawing skills aren't up to scratch. You'll quickly see you don't have to draw detailed scenes or characters at this point. I hope you're enjoying the course so far and that you've had a bit of an introduction to the art of storyboarding in the last few videos. And please, I just want to say don't hesitate to send me a message if there's anything that's unclear or or if you've got questions of any kind, send me a message and I'll definitely help you out. And also a quick note. I just want to mention before I forget that if you are enjoying the course and if you do, or if you do have any feedback, please do leave a review. All right, So far I've been emphasizing drawing rough. And part of the reason for this is to get your drawings and your ideas down fast and furious. The other reason is that the more gestural your drawing style, the more expressive it is. And that's ultimately your goal when you're drawing characters, you want to have your characters to be expressive and dynamic and have life. Now, a standard starting point when you're drawing characters is to start with a gesture line, or what's called a line of action. A line of action is basically a line that goes from the head to the toes of the character. It tells you immediately the direction that the character is leaning in and the sort of gesture of the pose that he's taking. And it describes basically the whole pose in one line. So you start out as I'm doing here, just draw a line of action. And then on top of that are building up the pose by adding the head and the limbs. The line of action definitely helps to give dynamic qualities to your characters. Whenever you want to push, oppose further, and get more energy out of us, just try to push the line of action. So say you've got a character punching somebody like this, sort of drawing it like this. You can push the pose from the line of action and then you get something like this. In story-boarding, especially some nailing, you can get away with drawing stick figures until you're more comfortable drawing characters on model. And there are a number of shorthand techniques for characters. For example, round head, square shaped body, easily signifies a male character, or triangle shapes for female characters. In the next lesson, I'll get into more anatomical drawing and go a bit deeper with that and show you some pointers for effectively join people. When it comes to drawing a scene. You can also keep it very rough and loose. And even if you wanted to, you could just block in areas of shading to sort of delineate the scene where characters are standing. Bear in mind for storyboarding, you don't need to be to draw a fully finished layouts or background art. Especially in animation, the most important thing is getting the energy and the dynamic quality of the poses between characters that, that needs to be spot on. So I would say work on that more than working on drawing up very nice backgrounds and detailed street scenes or things like that. 8. Drawing a Basic Male Character: Most likely when you're storyboarding for a studio, you'll be given very detailed model sheets. A model She's, is essentially a diagram of the characters that you're going to be working with in your storyboards. In case you don't, in case you want to put some storyboards together with characters of your own inside of them. I want to show you in this class exactly how you can draw realistic looking human figures. So in this video, I'll talk about the male drawing, a realistic male figure. And in the next video, we'll look at how to do the same thing. The same kind of construction for female figure. Let's start out with the heads. So the first thing you want to do is just really lightly draw in a circular shape or as close to circular as you can get it. And then from the sides just draw lines coming down maybe slightly going inwards like this and squaring off at the bottom 2, for the bottom of the chin. At this point, divide your entire shape up into thirds so that you've got a line running across the center horizontally. And then the top half divided again, and the bottom half divided again. And these three lines will give you the brow line, the, or I should say the hairline, the eye or eyebrow line. And the line to create the mouth will go to draw the eyes. Um, I don't wanna get too detailed. Like I said, all of these are pretty much just construction lines. I'm just trying to place features of the face on to this drawing. So I'm just going to make very rough marks. And then about halfway down from there is the nose and halfway between the nose and the chin, the line of the mouth. Sometimes you can get away with just drawing the line of the mouth and a tiny little line underneath like this to indicate the lower lip. So there you've pretty much got your features in the right place. Now this might not look like an exciting character, might look a bit bland. But once you know where the features of the face go, then you can pretty much adapt to different characters and to different emotions within a character. So it's all about getting your proportions right. And these sort of step through these construction lines will really, really help you. Now that I've put in the hair, you can see exactly how the eyes are in the right place. I'm going to push this guy over here and just do a couple more. So if you were to draw the head, say from the side or from a three-quarter view. The eyes are still, you place them around the bottom edge of this circle. And then you could draw the nose to give you a good indication of where you wanna go with the chin. Draw the mouth. And again, you want to be able to make Joe line a bit square, so nice and angular. And that indicates they will indicate the back of the neck. And then if you'd like, go back in and define the eyes. Move this guy over here. I'll just do one more. Let's see, you have this co-writer facing the other way. So once you get used to this, you can really block in things much, much quicker and just put a few lines down to show you where the direction of the head is tilting, the jaw line, the nose and the mouth. And sometimes in storyboarding, you don't need to get too much more detail than that. As long as you can bring a little bit of dynamic quality into your line work and infuse your character with a bit of life. You don't have to draw detailed portrait, hyper-realistic looking drawings. For storyboards. This, this is a really good technique. Okay, so now I'm going to just quickly run through basic, basic anatomy for drawing a full figure of a male character. And this is for somewhat realistic looking male character. I just want to give you general anatomical references that you can use. The first one I want to show you is you just basically draw the torso. You can draw it like this, like a square or rectangle. Sorry, I should say, you can draw it like a rectangle. That's the upper torso and then the pelvis. If you want to block out like this kind of a square shape, you've pretty much got the core of the figure down. And then the legs can be no more complicated than two cylindrical objects coming down. Similarly the same with the arms. So the really good thing about breaking up into cylindrical shapes or in two square shapes like this, is that it helps you to see how the figure is built, how the figure fits together, and how it moves. And it will really help your drawings to make it look realistic and in proportion. So taking that a little bit further, I'm going to quickly plot in a rough drawing of a standing figure out over on this side based on these anatomical markers. I always like to put in the shoulders so that I know how wide the figure shoulders need to be. Generally, I don't do them wide enough. I'm going to keep it simple for the torso, just a shape like this. The arms coming down. The elbow of the arm should actually be where the waste is. If you check on your, on yourself, you'll see that your elbow comes to your waist. So that's a nice marker to have when you're drawing. And then just make sure that you make legs long enough. So think in terms of blocks and generalized easy shapes to work with because you can always go in afterwards and add details and even erase out you're under drawing completely once you've built it up. But it's really nice to be able to get the proportions correct by using this kind of system of using rectangles, cylindrical shapes, circles, just to, just to get the construction lines down. 9. Basic Female Character: So for female heads again, start with a circle. I think I'll just put a central line down the middle like this just to give myself an idea of where I need to go and that's my halfway line. So there's the bottom of the chin. So lines coming down the side and tapering in gently and we'll give you the sides of the face. And then you can go in and plot out the eyes. And again, get not getting too detailed or low. It's very hard not to get sucked into doing details at this point. I kind of tend to want to draw the details of the eyes a lot here. And really this is just a about staying rough and loose and getting the features down where they're meant to be. One of the problems with drawing like this. I just want to point out, I'm doing this as a demo, but you should be aware that it's never great to just draw out of your head. It's much better to always have a reference. Unfortunately, I don't have a reference, but if I would encourage you to search for reference online and just try to copy the images that you find and learn how to draw that way. It's a really good practice. Okay, so I can make any adjustments that I want now to the sides of the face. I'm going to just correct this line. It's coming in a bit too thin, making the chin a bit too pointy. But that is generally how you would place down the features of the face for female character. Okay, and then you can put the ears and the hair in like this. I might just go in, zoom in a little bit and fix up the eyes. They're jumping out at me as being a little bit too weird. A good thing to do is you can lower the opacity of the layer that you're working on, add a new layer above it, and then come in over that and start to refine the details. When you're drawing female eyes. Nice approach is to draw the upper lid quite dark and heavy and leave the lower lid super, super light. Even very understated. But a darker are printed, defines the eye very well. Once you've worked around the whole face and don't all of the adjustments that you need to and changing it up, then you can just get rid of the under drawing, deleted or hide the under drawing layer. And you'll have a nice clean finish layer on top. And that's a very basic approach to drawing female heads. Okay, so to draw the full figure of a female character and me first tuple, break it down into basic shapes. When you start out, you will draw a head as a circular or oval shape. The torso can be broken down, as I said before, and to the ribcage and the pelvis, then that will ensure you've got enough space within the midsection of the character so that everything is in proportion. So get that right. And then the rest, the legs are easy, just cylindrical shapes going down. Break those shapes up at the knee and the ankle. And then the same with the arms. Very simple cylindrical shape to the elbow and then down to the wrist. And that's the best shorthand that I know of to draw full figure of a female character. And I hope that it's useful to you if there's anything that's unclear, do let me know. But once you get a handle on these proportions and drawing in this way, any other character will be very easy to do. And you can actually even abstract from this even more and make things more stylized and more cartoony if you want to. But knowing the very basic anatomy is going to be really, really useful for drawing characters. 10. How to Draw in Perspective: In this video, I'm going to show you how you can make sure that your drawings are always correct in perspective. Once you know how to work with the Perspective grids, you'll never draw incorrect perspective again, it's really useful for helping you to compose interesting and detailed shots. The basic concept of perspective is that the horizon line that you always join first is actually the eyeline of the camera. So say for example that you set up a camera here and you're capturing a scene that has two trees just like this. This is how you would see it from the side. And this is how you would see it in the perspective view. The scene looks like this, with one tree in front and the other one far away in the distance. So in this example, it's pretty much horizon line that's at eye level. I would say that the horizon lines probably in the middle of the frame here. You can also have the camera at different heights. And so if I just copy this scene and drag it down and I'll show you exactly what I mean. I'm going to take the camera out. What I'm going to take the camera and just tilt it so it's up, it's looking down from above. Almost like a bird's eye view. What's known as a high angle. So here you're looking down really on the trees and your perspective grid, where your perspective drawing would look a little bit like this. The front tree will show you way more foliage and you'll barely see the trunk beneath it sort of taper down towards the end to the ground. I'm going to copy this down again and show you if you had the same scene setup, but with a very low angle, your camera would be down almost at the ground, looking up almost like a worm's eye view. And in this instance, what you would see in your frame is something a little bit like this. Now my drawings are very, very rough, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of how you can change the horizon line in any given drawing simply by changing the camera angle. This becomes very useful later on when you're trying to use camera angles and shots to underscore the narrative. And I'll be talking a little bit more about that when I get into composition and storytelling shots. But basically, a low angle will imply that the point of view is from a very small diminutive place, looking up at things around a set of very, very big. So this is what that drawing would look like from a low angle. So I can just plot or I'll just throw in a, with a different color, a different horizon lines and you can see what I mean. This is the standard horizon line. In this drawing. The horizon line is nearly, almost at the top of the frame, which means that the objects within the scene, we're looking down on them. And with a very low horizon line like this, we're looking up at any objects in the scene. Okay, that's the general concept. But I want to show you a very good exercise to start practicing drawing in perspective. Working with the Perspective Grid either in one-point perspective or 2 perspective. And it's really all about just getting comfortable and familiar with Join blocks and shapes on this grid. So here's how you set yourself up to do something like that. Draw horizon line across the center of the page if you want to work on a standard one-point perspective grid like this. And from one single point on the horizon line, just draw straight lines radiating out from that point. In Photoshop, you can hold down Shift. When you join a line, I tap on 1, hold down shift and tap on the second, and that creates a straight line. Then what you do is you draw parallel lines, pretty much moving from that horizon line towards you. So this is your perspective grid. And what you can do is more the way I like to work as I'll drop the opacity of this layer down, come over to the layer stack and drag the opacity down. Then you can lock that layer and create a new layer above it. And this is where you can start drawing. And then just start drawing blocks and squares rectangles on this grid. A handy tip is to draw in your base first, then draw your lines going up to where the full height of the box or rectangle and then join those sides up to form the top of the box. And you can also have a box that's above the horizon line altogether. And you get the idea. You've probably done this a million times anyway. But I wanted to point out that it's really good practice. And you'll see how it can apply to a scene later on when I draw a background scene for you. But I would highly recommend using this way to just warm up and get used to drawing in perspective until it becomes second nature. Now if you wanted to do a drawing with 2 perspective, it can be a little bit more tricky. This is how you go about doing that. I'm going to use a standard horizon line again, cross the middle of the page. And then you mark, mark or two points on this line. For two-point perspective, it's actually good to have them as far apart as you can so that things don't get squashed. And you're going to draw radiating lines for each of these points. This part is a little bit laborious and time consuming. You have to spend quite a bit of time setting up the grid. And now in this situation, you don't have to draw parallel lines coming towards you. Because, because there are two vanishing points, each of those lines formed the grid itself. And so you're drawing blocks that are basically in three-quarter perspective, if I can put it like dash. So you're not looking straight onto the box from the front others, you're kind of looking at it from the side. So you see both sides of the square or the rectangle. And again, just work with this grid, start to fill up the whole page. Try and do as many boxes or rectangles as you can. You might find this really fascinating or completely boring. But either way, if you commit to working with this, with the grid like this, your drawing will definitely improve, I guarantee it. So let me show you a very rough, very quick way of how that might apply in your storyboards. And I'm not going to get to details. This course isn't specifically geared towards teaching you how to draw layouts. By layouts, I mean fully rendered background, line drawings. For a storyboard artist, you rarely need to do that. All you need to do is be able to confidently and comfortably draw a scene where a character or characters are interacting. So say for example, I wanted to draw that street scene from our made-up script, the Western that I've, that I've left for you. So say I wanted to draw the street where the sort of cowboys walking down the street, something like dash. Here's how you could very quickly and easily sketch that out in, in a storyboard format. Okay, lightly and loosely just block in some perspective grid lines like this. I'm going to bring the opacity down so it doesn't interfere with my drawing too much because this is more or less the thumbnail. And then on top of that, I can just very easily sketch in buildings that are in complete perspective. And it gives the impression that we're honest street. And over here maybe I'll put it in the silhouette of the cowboy kinda coming in from screenwriter. If I turn off the grid now you can see how it works really well. Everything look realistically in perspective with each other. Everything matches up. The drawing goes off into the distance and you get a sense of the scene in perspective. Okay, so that's a very quick roundup of how to draw in perspective. And let me know if you've got any questions after this. After this, I want to move into the process of storyboarding and tackle the script and show you how you might just start jotting down thumbnail ideas and moving through a script in an orderly fashion. 11. Camera Angles and Shots: Shots and camera angles are the language of film. And as a storyboard artist, there you're building blocks. Every panel that you draw is essentially describing a camera angle. So it's like you're almost deciding what the camera's going to be filming. In this video, I'm going to get you familiarized with domain shots and angles that you'll come across. And you'll probably know all of them already if you're at all interested in film. So it's something that should come as second nature. Camera angles are often mostly described as being either eye level, high angle, low angle, or what's called Dutch, which basically means tilted and shot. A camera shot refers to the size of the camera view. The six most common shots are the establishing shot, the wide shot and long shots, and then medium close-up or extreme close-up. There aren't too many more angles are shots than these. And any other ones that you come across are usually just a variation on one of these. So these last six shots really represent the main storytelling shots in all cinematic language. So I'm going to look at each one. The establishing shot establishes the scene. So it's very wide. It shows the audience where the action is taking place. And most obviously, most commonly, this shot is used at the beginning of a film, but bear in mind, it can also be used at the beginning of a sequence. After the establishing shot, you can use the wide shot for re-establishing the scene. It's not as sweeping or as grand, but it's wide enough to give general information about where we are for storytelling purposes. And very often, a director will cut back to a wide shot after it has been a succession of close-ups, say for example, in a dialogue scene. The next four shots are really more oriented towards character than the previous, establishing a wide shot. To think of those first two shots as specifically referring to the landscape or the geography of the action, and the next four referred to character. So the long shot is a shot that will, if there was a character within it, you will see the head and feet of the heart. So using the full length of the character or however many characters are there. Then as you move closer and you get the medium shot, medium shot is literally shows the character from waste to head. After the medium shot, you have the close up. The close up is probably one of the most important shots in all of film. Just because it's the one shot that you can use to really focus in on a character. And it helps audience identification, which I'll be speaking about much more later on in the course. But just think of it for now. The close-up is the head and shoulders up a character. And then after the close up, you've got the extreme close-up, which as it implies, usually hones in on just one area, like the eyes or features of the face. But you can also have an extreme close-up of someone's hand or a detail like dash. So later on in this course I'm, we'll be talking about camera movements, how to indicate camera movements on your storyboards, as well as other shots like over the shoulder shot and point of view shot. But for now, just get to know these six main shots and of course the main camera angles. And you'll quickly start to see them if you're watching film or shows or anything like that, you'll begin to pick them Irish and see how they're used within a context. 12. Overview of the Process: In this video, I want to give you an overview of the actual process of storyboarding. What would you be doing? Where do you start when you're faced with this huge, massive script? I basically broken it down into five steps. Step one is you will be given a script. And if you're not given a script, then you're given a treatment. But either way, you'll start out with the story in a written format. So your job, step one is to read the script. Probably read it a few times, more than twice, three or four times as good. Then as you read it, you start to visualize what you're reading and see it play out as a movie in your head. Then step 2, you'll have a discussion with the director. You're sit down with them and they'll give you more or less some direction to go in. And they'll discuss the sequences and the main camera angles that they're thinking of. Then step 3, you'll break down the script into beats and start thumbnailing. Think of it as a story points when you're reading the script, any moment in that script is a beat. That, and that leads on to the next moment which becomes the next beat. The purpose for doing this for I'm making a beat board or thumbnailing is to draw out your options for camera angles. You'll show these thumbnails likely to the director and get approval. And once you've gotten approval, then you can start dialing into the details of each sequence, and that's step 4. Then step five is cleaning up your drawings when you've got a finished sequence and sending data or for approval. And then you move on to the next sequence. So it's a really good workflow and helps you to not get so overwhelmed by this daunting task of drawing an unlimited number of frames. If you break everything down into chunks and approach each sequence of the script, then you'll be able to progress through it a lot more efficiently. Once your story, once your work is completed, where does your storyboard go? Well, in animation, the process, the production pipeline, it very clear cut. Your board is taken off to the editor who will sit down with the director and the two of them will match your board panels up to the audio track. This then will give the director a completely timed out version of the film based on your storyboards. And it's called an antibiotic. And automatic is basically a movie version of your storyboard. This is an essential piece of the production pipeline because it's timed out. The director knows exactly how long each scene is. And then they can cut that down into chunks and send each scene off to the animator who will then animate the scene. And the background artist will then add in background artwork. And once all of those are approved, that comes back to the editor and they match the finished animation and background art backup to the storyboard. So now you can begin to see how important the storyboard is in the whole production process. Think of the storyboard as the anchor, or literally the foundation of the film. 13. Blocking Out a Sequence: The process of blocking and breaking down a script into sequences enables you to approach your work in small, manageable chunks so that you can work through the whole script easily and efficiently. For the next few lessons, I'll use this sample script that I wrote as an example. It's just a couple of pages of a completely made up scripts that I wrote, but we'll just use it in order to explore the process of drawing a storyboard. So a script might look to you at first glance like a continuous story unfolding. But as you know, it's actually a series of scenes, interior, exterior, night, day, things like dash. And so the best way to break down the script is to identify these scenes and then identify the beats within these scenes. As you read through, just mark off each part of the script that feels like a beat and the story. So for example, let's look at the script. It says, the sun is beating down on the scorched earth. Well, that's one beat. And then a lizard, Darton and blah, blah, blah. That's another beat. Camera pans, that's a third beat. And then we see y naught digging, and that's another beach. So we can now mark up some initial ideas for shots right here. Obviously, we can start with an establishing shot because we want to show the audience that, you know, where we are, where the action is taking place out in the desert. Sun is at high noon, things like dash. And then we can have maybe a close up of a lizard darting out from under the rock because you're, you won't be able to see a lizard on a long, a wide shot or a long shot. You could use that to as the starting point for the pan, keeping low to the ground. So you could have a camera pan. The pan, the camera pans in the direction of off-screen noises. And then possibly at this point cut wider. And suddenly we see that Ronald is digging a hole in the ground. That's obviously a medium shot. And then I would think you could cut back to a long shot. When he climbs out and throws his shovel down, he says is line, maybe to finish it off, you could end the sequence on a very, on a close-up of him shaking his fist. So what I've done there is basically block at the scene in terms of what shots could work to tell the story. These choices are by no means the only choices you could make in terms of camera angles. There are countless combinations that you could go to for the sake of this class. This is how I would approach it on a first pass anyway. Let's just keep going. The next scene is exterior town day. Again. You can start off if you like, with a bit of a wide shots to re-establish where we are. We're in the main streets of the town and the sheriff is walking. Crosses the street and walks up the steps of the saloon. So that could ALL actually be in just one wide shot, showing him crossing over and going into the saloon there. Then we cut to the interior of the solution. So you got a couple of options. You could follow the share of through the doors and go have a panning shot going in. Or you could establish the camera already within the saloon and we see him walking in. So I think I'll go with dash. So I'm going to go for let me write down. What did I say? That was a wide shot. When I go for a long shot, hear him opening the door coming into the saloon. And you could actually pan then as he walks across the solute over to the bar, if you chose that kind of a option, it would almost be like the audience was already inside this loon and watching the action. So it brings the audience rise in. So let's just do panning Szasz. As he walks across to the bar, you could see that these notes are very probably wouldn't make any sense to anybody who just picked up the script and started reading them. But these thumbnails and notes are excellent for getting your ideas down. And they only really need to be able to relate to you and your understanding. Now this next sequence you're going to notice is dialogue sequence between the sheriff and the bartender. And in film and an animation, there are standard setups and standard shots that you can go to for dialogue. One is called a shot, reverse shot. Another is over the shoulder shot. And the point of view shot. In the next section of videos, I'm going to go much deeper into storytelling shots, like the over the shoulder shot and the point of view shot. So to give this section a first pass, I would probably start off with a what's called a two shot, which shows both characters in the frame. So it's going to be medium. And it's going to be a two shot. And then once the dialogue starts going, I would give each character single. So in other words, the camera would just be on one person while he says his line. And then a reverse shot showing the second character saying they're nine. So that's called a single when you have one person. And then you could do an over the shoulder shot. So the dialogue continues onto the next page. So these are all pretty much single mediums or close-ups. We can figure that out when we go to actually draw a storyboard. But this last line here is the queue for a third character to enter. So I might cut back to a medium shot of both characters because it'll be nice to see them looking off-screen. And that can cue this third character entering. And then for graduates, entrance into the scene says from the other side of the bar, appears and walks up to the share. You'd probably want to cut back to a long shot at that point. He could be you could have a bit of an over the shoulder of him still in-frame and showing her walking up to him. Then it says she slides a small pouch, costs the bar in the direction of Tucker. He puts out his hand and catches it. So that would be a close-up, definitely because you want to see the object. And then her line, that's what you're looking for. Could be you could have her lime coming in over this close-up. Or you could cut to a close up of her saying it. Then he says, Checker opens the pouch and empty is a small pile of diamonds into his Pam. For that last shot, I would go with an extreme close-up. And that's the end of our sample script. So we've got all of our sequences worked out, all of the beats and all of the shots. We've noted them down. The next step is to bring all of these into a beat board or basically a page of thumbnails. And just start jotting down to visual ideas that we've indicated here. So I'm going to tackle that in the next video. 14. Drawing Thumbnails: Now that we've blocked out the first part of the script and identified the shots, it's time to start drawing. So when you first sit down to storyboard a script, because you'll be drawing very, very rough. Just don't worry at all about making perfect drawings. What we're talking about here is almost stick figures, rough lines. And it's all about keeping it loose and rough at this stage. So the first shop that I identified as an establishing shot, Let's do that. I'm going to draw, It's got to be a very wide sweeping view of the whole landscape. I'm gonna come over here and I'm just going to really roughly sketch out some ideas. It's going to be the desert, typical Western scene. I'm actually, I think I'm going to draw this over the first two panels that I have here, even though it's not a pan. But I just want to give myself some options so I'll start, I'll do my drawing quite wide. Put in those iconic Western sort of motifs of the cactus and the skull and bones and the desert. Tried to give a sense of depth and put the sun obviously high up in the sky. So it's high known as hot and arid. Alright, so the next shot is the close-up of the lizard darting out from under the rock. So that's fairly straightforward. Don't need to put in too much detail. It's going to be a lizard and he's going to run from one rock to the other. Lash. That's a nice cutaway shot. And now the next shot is going to be a pan along this landscape. So we're going to hear Reinhold the character digging off-screen and then the camera will come to rest on him. So I'll keep, keep a medium shot because when the camera comes to resonance, will see him at burst from the waist up. Then we move a little bit closer in on Ronald's still emphasizing the heat of the day and the desert background. He says these couple of lines of dialogue. So once that's done, then we can cut back to a long shot. The long shot is going to be him standing up. He has climbed up the hole and he's standing up, sort of throws the shovel down, frustration beside him. Maybe have them scratching as edge, wiping the sweat of his brows and the like. There's the shovel. And then after that we're going to cut to a close up of him. But I think what I'm gonna do first is just draw in another panel. I want to show another pose of him being, getting really angry, really frustrated, that will lead into the close-up a lot better. This is optional. And obviously after your beat boards stage or your thumbnailing stage, you do go in and add more panels for more detail and flesh out the poses. But you can also do it at this stage as well. So have them standing up, going, starting to get really, really angry, and then go into the close-up whose face? I'm just going to block it out here first in very light. Just very lightly. Get that emotion on his face. And he's shaking his fist at the sky, curse you and all of that. And then I'm going to go in over that with a darker line. Again. It's this even going in over this now it's not finalized, still quite rough. These are my first, initial ideas for the script. So they should lead to something. Okay, and that's pretty much the first section done, that first sequence. And what will happen now is we'll go back into these and start to refine things a bit better. Start to make sure that the flow of shots works. And that one pose naturally will lead into the next. 15. Refining: Once you've got feedback from the director on your thumbnails, then it's time to take these rough drawings and get them looking a bit cleaner, more precise. And this is the opportunity now to flesh out your sequences and add in anymore joins. And if you need to. Working in software such as Photoshop or Storyboard Pro, actually makes this part of the process quite easy. It's not like you have to double up the workload. I'll show you how you can do it in Photoshop. Basically, you grab your rough layer over here and just copy and paste it into your storyboard template. Then you can turn the opacity of that layer down and create a new layer above it. And on this layer, you can draw with a more clean and precise line. Then really from here on out, it's pretty much all about just cleaning up your nine and drawing the panels in again, much more in much more of a detailed and considered way. Hopefully on your thumbnail stage, you'll have worked out all of the layout issues that might crop up. So you're not really drawing from scratch. And that's going to be your process for the next while so that you can move through each of these thumbnails and bring them to a more fully rendered drawing. I've basically gone back over my thumbnails and I've just done this exact thing for each page. So I'm not gonna go through every single drawing. You get the idea. But what I do want to point out is that I've numbered my pages as I go. So once I've finished page of drawings, then I'll come up here and put in c number and panel number. So you might have a scene that has 34 or five panels. In other words, it's the same scene, but your drawing are different poses in each panel. At the top of the page, write down my page number and I'll just write down the production title. So for this example, I'm just going to write sample script. Now because this shot is the pan, what we want I'm gonna do is using a red color. So something that'll stand out. I'm going to indicate on this storyboard that these two panels constitute a pan. So in other words, I'm joining them together and I'll indicate a starting point and an ending point for the camera pan. And name one position a and the second position B. If you're working in a studio or four on a professional basis, the specific production that you're working on will likely have a whole set of conventions and parameters that you can work in in terms of your storyboard. I just wanted to make sure that you have an idea of the whole process and how to number, finalize your storyboards. 16. Thumbnails Part 2: In this next video, I want to move on to the second half of our script. So we've gone through the first half and worked out pull apart, and I want to tackle the second part of this. The main focus of this is the dialogue scene between the bartender and the sheriff. But there is this intro bit where we established the action that's taking place in the town. We've got the wide shot that I talked about with the share of crossing the road. I identified that first shot as being static long shot. I think what I'm going to do now, just to flesh it out a little bit, is use the camera move and have the share of walking from the left-hand side of the screen, cross the street and have the camera move with them as he crosses over the street and goes up to the saloon. So I'll just quickly sketch out a sort of a rough idea. Again, I'm thumbnailing at this point. I'm not going to get into details. I'm just going to block it out as quickly as I can when I'm thinking about here, really is those classic opening sequences in western films where you see the town. It's established as a bustling center of activity. And usually there's characters hanging around different areas of the street. And I want to use that notion of the pan camera move going across and following the cat, the main character, as he's walking across a walking through this setting. That'll do two things. That'll show us the location where the action is taking place. But it will also help us to start to connect with the share of because the camera will be focusing on him watching his movements, picking him out from the rest of the hustle and bustle of the street and following him as he crosses. That's a nice way to identify him as someone of importance, a character that we're going to want to identify with, or where are these going to want the audience to identify with? So these are really just thoughts and notes that I'm jotting down. As you can see, I'm keeping it really, really loose. These will probably just makes sense to me until I come back in and clean them up like I did before. But for now, I think that's more or less the kind of the layout. And I'm thinking of the next shot that I'm going to draw is the shot of the share of walking into the bar. He's going to walk in and walk up to the bar. And what I'm thinking about here is having something of a Down shot and showing the whole scene from above. So it's almost like we're standing on the balcony. But as I'm blocking this out, I've got this idea that what I thought I might do is put in the character of Garreta into this shot for framing. This is great because it instantly frames the share of coming in the door. It shows at somebody else's also looking at this action that's taking place. And so it's a bit intriguing. He's obviously caught someone's attention. And as a viewer, as the audience, we're going to sort of be intrigued ourselves. It's a great visual cue for the story. So I'm going to have her standing off like this. My second panel in this shot is just going to be a very slight action of her walking or screen by screen, right? So she's going to be exiting and we'll just see her hands sort of trailing along the bannister. So I really like that idea, but I need to draw it out again. I don't think what I've done there is not really showing the character in office, just showing a hand. So let me quickly just copy this down, delete that, and put the character of crashes. So when we see Gretel later on, but definitely recognized that it's the same character who was standing up here watching the sheriff entering. Okay. So and there I've got my other drawing of the hand going along. And then after that, what I'll do is go into that dialogue sequence. So the next section of this script is the dialogue between sheriff and the bartender. For any dialogue sequences like this, we have standard go-to shots that we can use a quote corresponding shots. And it's just going to be medium or close ups of each of the character as they say their lines. So too complicated. Before I move on, I've just had another idea which I want to put into the storyboards. So after this character of Russia who we don't know, it's gradually yes, but she's looking down, watching him watching the share of coming in, and then she moves out of the frame. I'm going to put in basically a new, a new shot. But it'll be what's called a cutaway. So essentially want to have like an angle on the door with her hand just trading off and closing the door behind her. And what this is going to do is add a deepened the mystery about this character. So we've seen now that she is somebody that's important because there's obviously something going on. The film wouldn't reveal this to us as an audience of mess. There was a reason why we should sort of take note. There's some some mystery happening because it's going to be, you know, she's closing the door. So in a sense, it sets us up for later on when we do see greater, we're going to wander. Can we trust her? Especially from the point of view of the Sheriff? Because later on the sheriff is going to ask her about the diamonds or she's going to reveal that she has the diamonds. But at that point in the story, because we've seen this other sort of element. We've seen these two shots. We're not going to be a 100 percent sure if we can trust her because there's something shady going on. What this is called is a cultural way. That's a really useful filmic device for giving extra information to the viewer that's not necessarily explicit in the script. So it's not an explicit story points such as the sheriff walks up to the bar, that's an explicit story point. What I'm doing here is I'm inserting a cutaway, contains or reveals sort of some extra information that then we know about a head of the Sheriff. I think that's going to work really well when we get to storyboarding it, this property, and it feels like there's, there's some intrigue happening now. Okay, So from here, I'll carry on. The next part of the sequence is the dialogue. And I have cluttered it out on my shortlist. I've got medium two shots, single shots. These are standard corresponding shots for dialogue. So I went ahead and just quickly dominated out a few options. I don't need to go through it, I think in detail with you, but you can see that when it comes to cleaning up these thumbnails and boring it out, I have room to flesh this out if I need to put some more character into them. So the last shot there is the bartender looks offscreen, right? And that's the cue for gratia to enter. And I'm going to go for the standard classic western entrance where she comes down the stairs and stands at the bar. And then she'll toss the diamonds or she'll toss the pouch onto the bar. So that's going to be a close-up. I can go in and close here. Just rough out. This is sort of her hand will come into frame and she'll throw the bag down onto the bar that slides along and it's going to be grabbed by the sheriff. So I'll keep keep it as one shot and just then have to share sound coming in and grabbing it. And then jumping ahead. I'm going to go for a close-up on greatest face for her line of dialogue, which is what you're looking for, sheriff, I had gone in and done a close-up of the hand up there, but I realized we don't see that until after she says her line. So she says or line and then we can have that extreme close up of the diamonds in the sheriff's palm. Palm of his hand. Right. So I've thumbnail that the whole second section. Now I'm going to go back in and flesh it out. First of all, what I'll do at this stage is put the script away and just look at my shots and see if the whole thing flows. Play out the movie in my head. And then the front, happy enough. I'm going to go back in and clean them up and put them into my storyboard template. So let's get to that in the next video. 17. Refining Part 2: In this video, I'm going to walk you through that cleaned of panels that I blocked out in the last video. I've gone ahead and drawn them up in the storyboard template. Because I think you get the idea by now of how to clean up your lines. It's really just a matter of redrawing over Europe's making sure that the mayor capacity of Europe drawings is low so that you can see what you're doing. But if any part of this is unclear or if you think that I've skipped a step, please let me know. Or if you've got any questions at all, just posted in the discussion section or send me a quick message. Here's my first page. It's the camera pans showing the sheriff walking across to the saloon. What I want to do here now is marked my camera move. So I'm going to frame up this first shot and the camera Bolden truck out to here, That's my second position. And then it pans along to here, which is my third position. And then a small push in as he goes up to the door. And that's my fourth position. On the next page, we see him enter. And then in the second panel, this character here, exit screen, right? And then that's followed by the cutaway of her closing the door behind her. And so we'll have just a beat on that closed door before we cut to the next scene, which is the sheriff at the bar. Here, the two guys have their exchange going from medium to shot to a single and then an over the shoulder shot and then a close up when we hear graduate from off-screen. So having the bartender turn his head to look in this direction, motivates the cut to then a long shot or greater standing at the bottom of the stairs. Now this is a good example of how you show point of view shots. So without the bartender looking off-screen first, it might be a bit confusing to the audience to suddenly cut to another part of the bar. But by just motivation that cut in this simple way, it's actually perfectly seamless and we know exactly now that the sheriff and the bartender are looking at greater, then it's the shot of the bag being thrown onto the bar, followed by a close-up of greater. She says her line. And then our last shot is that extreme close-up of the diamonds in the share of sound. I could probably have added another shot onto the end of this, just to really tie up the sequence. I was thinking that probably a stronger shock to end on would have been to cut wide again to show reaction of the sheriff and the bartender, but to have it as an over the shoulder shot from aggressors point of view. But anyway, I think for now, I guess I'll leave it like this. Since this is the last shot on the script, the last one we planned out. And that's that sequence done. I'm going to leave all of these resources for you to download. So make sure that you download the Photoshop files as well as the script. And feel free to have a go at boarding at this sequence yourself and maybe experiment with different shots and see if you can come up with a much more exciting or interesting way to tell this very simple story. Next section of videos, I'm going to go into visual storytelling. I want to cover some really important points about composition, some technical details about storyboards like the 180 degree rule. And now that we've got more or less the process under our belt in terms of drawing skills and in terms of approaching a script. I think the next section will really make things clear as to how the visual language plays such a huge role in storyboarding. So I'll see you in the next video. 18. Intro to Visual Language: Welcome to the last section of the course. In this section, I'm going to look at visual language. The way I think about it. I see the storyboarding as being really made up of three components. The first one is you need to have drawing skills. And as I've shown you, you don't have to be highly skilled dropped person, but you do need to be able to draw your ideas so that you can communicate them visually. The second component is that you need to have technical knowledge. Now I covered this in the last section of videos. The boarding process is considered a very technical part of filmmaking. You need to know a lot about camera angles, pans, shots, cuts, and you need to know all of the technical details of a storyboard template. The third component is understanding visual language. And for me, this part really brings the first two parts together. And that's what makes the whole skill set of a board artist fully rounded and complete. So I can't get into visual language in huge detail in this course. The whole scope of visual language make for about a series of courses. But I can't introduce you to some of the concepts. In this video. I just want to introduce you to two concepts. One is sequencing and the other is how you can use the close up for emotional intensity. I want to leave aside the use of sound. Obviously sound is a huge part of the book because I want to focus only on the visual elements that relate to storyboarding. We'll put that aside for now. Visual language really started to become formulated as a concept or as a, as a discipline in its own. As far back as the 1920s when people first started experimenting with editing techniques. So in the early days of film, it was discovered that certain sequencing techniques actually really worked to tell a visual story. And that the audience quickly made connections without needing to have any further explanation. Checkout this example. This is based on a Russian film from the 1920s. What the filmmaker did was he showed a shot of a man's face, followed by a shot of a bowl of soup. And he played his films, the audience. And without any further information or any dialogue. When the audience viewed the sequence, they assumed that this was a story of a hungry man, and they saw his face as actually registering hunger. Then he showed another sequence using the same shot of the man's face, followed by a child in a coffin. And the audience felt such an emotional response to this tragic story that actually saw the man as suffering grief, even though it was just the exact same shot that he had used before. And that the man didn't really move as face at all. This technique is referred to as juxtaposition or a montage. It's using one or more shots to evoke an idea or a stage of mind. You simply get more information from a sequence of shots than from just one shot alone. And you can get layers of meaning. This forms the basis of our visual language of film. And this together with editing, and is how we make compelling stories. When you add camera angles into this, then those stories can become really powerful. And one of the most powerful camera angles that you can use as the close-up. For example, if you wanted to convey the idea of fear, you could show a character in a posture of fear like this. But a much more effective use of visual language would be cut to an extreme close-up. Say, if the character's eyes, that's so much more effective. If you just show the action or the emotion from here, from a long shot, the audience just will feel objective. They weren't feel engaged emotionally, but they're moving closer and suddenly the audience feels like they are part of the action. Plus a camera angle desk this close psychologically creates an uncomfortable or intense effect and can therefore heighten the intensity of any scene that you're filming. Just think of that iconic shot from anions when Ripley has an encounter with the alien. That's an extreme close-up. And it really works the first time you see that, it's terrifying. So in the next few videos, I will take this idea little bit further. I want to talk about composition and the rule of thirds and how that's used in filmmaking. Then I also want to talk about some of the storytelling shots that are available to you as a board artist that you should get to know and work with. So I'll see you in the next video. 19. Principles of Composition: Composition is so much more than just being about how you make a strong or a well composed image. We really tend to think of a good composition as being just about the pleasing order of elements within a frame. But as a storyboard artist, you're going to have to take that idea of composition much further and use it to tell the story and a more compelling way, rather than just simply illustration the words or the dialog. Here's what I'm talking about. Let's look at the rule of thirds. I'm sure you've come across this before. People are always talking about the rule of thirds and you see it everywhere. You're told never to put a subject right in the center of the fray. Use the rule of thirds and put the subject off to the side. People rarely explain why that's important. And here's why I think it's important or relevant to us, the storyboard artists. The structure of film narrative, as we know, is based on a way of telling stories that was developed as far back as the ancient Greeks. So that's just to say that it's now pretty much ingrained in us as to how we appreciate and understand and engage with a good story. Now one of the very core things that characterizes this way of telling stories is that a good story has to have conflict. If you think about it, every film that you've seen in our Western tradition anyway, either has overt conflict between characters or it has inner conflict within the main character. And it's what drives the story. It's at the very heart of every story. And it moves that story along towards resolution. And for the most part, we go along with that story about the conflict. We're interested in how characters deal with conflict and how they work towards resolving Nash. So that this idea relates to the rule of thirds because an image or a shot which has complete balance and evenness, say in a binary sense, really is always going to convey to us stability, slowness, even normality or convention. Whereas things within a frame that are slightly off kilter will instantly convey uneasiness or, or a dynamic quality. They might convey adventure and especially convey conflict. Visually off-kilter leans towards a division of thirds. And therefore in this case, three is better or more interesting and 2. Now of course, you can think of examples that go completely against this notion and one that instantly springs to mind. You're probably thinking of a right knows that movies of Wes Anderson, he will very much plays subjects right? In the center of the frame. He uses binary setups a lot. But if you think about it, his style really is all about being unique and being very different from the norm. So what he's doing there, I think pointing out that the norm is to visually adhere to the rule of thirds. And he wants to disrupt that by not using the rule of thirds. For the most parts. I mean, just to go along with this idea for the most part, in nearly all the films that you can think of, the rule of thirds plays a huge part because visually this rule disrupts this binary harmony and we'll make a composition more interesting. So to work this into your storyboards, here's an example of how you might do it. If, for example, you've got two characters, Tolkien and you present this dialogue scene like this. You're essentially conveying and some subconscious way anyway, that these two characters are equal, that there's an even balance of power in their dynamic. But if you present the same exact scene like this, suddenly you're actually showing the audience that this character is more dominant and more powerful, um, that he probably has power over this other character. And there are many ways that you can do this. You could present the scene like this or like this. So every time you draw a shot, you need to ask yourself, what's the story point in this shot? What is the underlying dynamic between the two characters? And then use the rule of thirds to play with the tension or to push it that. But further, if you work in this way, then you'll actually be using composition as a powerful storytelling tool in Excel. 20. Storytelling Shots: The point of view shot is when the camera is showing us something that a character is looking at. It can be a direct shot of the object or the thing that he's looking at. Or it can be an over the shoulder shot which keeps that character still in the frame. And it'll just to emphasize that the character is looking at this thing. Now why is the point of view shot such an important Szasz? Previously in the last video, when I talked about the rule of thirds, I mentioned one of the main constructs of storytelling is conflict. All of our stories do have some element of conflict in them which drives the story forward. The other all important construct of story is Hero identification. This is the notion that for a story to work or to be compelling. And anyway, to us as an audience, we need to be able to relate to or identify with the main character. So there are two shots in cinema that are used to ensure that this identification is driven home for the audience. The one is the close up and the other is the point of view shot. The point of view allows us to almost see things from the very viewpoint or through the eyes of the character. That then leads us to identify with him or her, or to at least see things from his or her point of view. Now, I'm saving this as very obvious thing right now. But in actuality, it's a lot more subtle and it's even sometimes subconscious, but it's one of the most powerful visual storytelling techniques. And if you think about it, it's probably the one shot that will that and the close-up are probably the two shots that separates the medium of film from some other art forms like theatre. So to bring it back to animation though, and to storyboarding, the point of view shot is very commonly used in dialogue sequences. So if we take a look at the sample script that we've got, the whole dialogue sequence between the sheriff and the barman is really can be played out using point of view shots between each of these characters. So therefore, you will use the over the shoulder shot quite a lot. One character says Align and then cut the character that he's looking at, as he says his line, things like dashed. If you're using the point of view shot to show an object that the characters looking at. Then when you're boarding that, you would always make sure that you show that you set that up first and basically you to do that in the previous frame. You just show his eyes looking off-screen in that direction. And then you can cut to the object that he's looking at. 21. The 180 Degree Rule: The 180 degree rule is actually an essential convention for you to understand as a storyboard artist, it's something you need to know about from the outset. I'm going to explain its application in the whole storyboarding process. In this video, I'm going to show you what exactly the rule is. And also I'm going to show you how you can break it. Essentially, the rule states that a camera has to stay on one side of the action throughout a scene. For example, your storyboarding is seen with two people talking. Start off first, just as a rough thumbnail to plot to see. Now, start off by drawing an imaginary line in-between the two characters in order to maintain continuity and to make sure that all your cuts flow smoothly throughout the scene and coherently. You can use any camera setup or any combination of shots that you like as long as you stay on this side of the line. So this entire area is your safe zone. Another way of putting this, which term you might often hear is that this will ensure your characters maintain screenside. So the red guy over here will always be on the right-hand side of the screen, no matter what the shot is. If you cut to a close up or an over the shoulder shot, he's going to be on the right. And the blue guy over here will always be on the left of any shot that you choose. Similarly, an over the shoulder shot or two shots or anything like dash key will be on the left. If you were to insert a cut during the dialogue scene where that was saved from over this angle. Then all of a sudden the characters will be switched around in our frame and the effect will be really jarring to the viewer. The audience will suddenly start asking themselves like, hang on to those guys, just switch places, or is it a different time or a different location? This all becomes even more important when you have an action sequence like a car chase. So imagine you're shooting the car moving at speed like this. Screen direction indicates that the car will always be moving from left to right. So obviously, if you cross that line and have a shop on the other side, the car is suddenly going to appear to be going right to left, which is the opposite direction. But then what if you really do want to get a shot from the other angle? What if you really need to break the line? How can you then break the 180 degree rule? Well, there are two very simple things that you can do if you do want to cross the line. One of them is you simply include a shot that actually lead the viewer's eye through a smooth transition. For example, you could just cut back to a wide shot of two people talking. Then show one character actually walking across the screen within that wide shot to take up a new position on the opposite side, then you can cut back to your close-ups with the new AMB position established. Or the other way you could do is you could just pan the camera showing the audience exactly that. The screen direction is changing and you move from one side of the room to the other. In terms of the 180 degree rule, it's always a really good idea to sketch out a rough diagram to help you plot your action and your camera angles. Then you can get into the process of boarding in detail and you won't get lost and you won't get confused about where your line is. It just will really help you to avoid making kind of basic errors. And of course, like any ruler convention, it is there to be broken or disregarded altogether. And you will definitely see tons of movies where this 180 degree rule is broken like all over the place. Well, I want to say is usually it does support the story and it's pointed that happens, it's dunked for great effect. But sometimes it doesn't support the story. It's not done for effect, it's actually a mistake. And in those instances it's just plain jarring. So whether you want to observe the rule of breakage, the most important thing is just to have visual clarity and make sure that what you're doing supports the story point. 22. Drawing Camera Moves: In this video, I'm going to go back to our script and storyboard. And I want to cover some of the technical aspects that you'll use when you're constructing your own boards and that you'll be called upon as a border is to put into your work. First up moving camera shots. In this script, the action tells us that the camera moves along the ground and then comes to rest at the character of Reinhold. And this is usually called a tracking shot when you start the camera here and move it all the way along. So that ends up in a different, different position here. And what you do is you basically indicate the very center of the camera as its starting point. Draw an arrow like this. And where the camera's going to end up is your ending point. And usually the convention is that you label the starting shot and the ending shot, shot a and shot B. Because you don't want to number these, that might get a bit confusing with your numbering, your scenes and your panels. Now if you were to keep the cameras static, standing in the same spot, but move it from left to right. That's known as a panning shot. So the camera pans left or right. For our purposes, it's pretty much the same thing. You track the difference between tracking shots and panning shots really apply to live action. And for animation. Just indicating these arrows where the cameras starts and where it stops is the most important thing to note. And when you do draw a tracking shot or camera pan, you combine two or more panels. Another common shot that you'll be drawing is a lot is the Zoom or truck in. Zoom is when the cameras stays static and the lens zooms in closer. Whereas a truck in is where the camera is literally pushed from one position closer to the action. Again, either way, an animation, it doesn't make a huge difference. Technically speaking, both shots represent the same thing. And as a board artist, all you have to do is indicate that you want the camp, the action to be focused in on a certain point. In that case, you just draw the whole scene as it is, show it from its wide, widest position. You name this position a, and then you simply draw a rectangle or a frame around it. Part of the scene you want the camera to focus on, and you name that be. You could also have a Zoom Out, which would be the exact same thing. You still would draw the widest angle possible. Put a rectangle around the area of the frame where the action or where the camera will start. And then draw your arrows coming back out to indicate zoom out. 23. Wrap Up and Review: Well, you've made it to the end of the course. I'm so thrilled that you came this far, and I sincerely hope that you've enjoyed the course and that you've got something useful out of this. My intention really from the very beginning was to share concrete real-world skills that can help you on the road to becoming a professional storyboard artist. I've worked in nearly every row in production. And I can tell you that being a board artist is the industry's best kept secret. I think it's the most rewarding and creative role in the group. So I hope this course has given you some direction at least. And I hope that you've got work out of it that you can take to the next level. To wrap up, here are my top five takeaways that I think you should have after this course. Number one is join. The queue will always have a model She's or something like that to work from. If you are storyboarding in the studio. And if not, there are a lot of very specific conventions and shorthands that you can actually use to draw with four scenes and characters. Your ideas are more important than your drawings. So just don't be afraid to get your ideas down in any way that you can. Your drawing skills will always improve in time. Number 2 is approach the script in reasonable chunks, break it down into acts, and then break those acts and down into sections of scenes and break a seam down into beats. Then start with one scene and identify your shortlist first, then work up the drawing step-by-step. Always start drawing rough. Number 3, thumbnailing is the most important part of the whole storyboarding process. So get comfortable drawing small postage stamp size drawings of your ideas. These can be crushed and pasted, added to take it out much more easily than finished board panels can. Number 4, composition needs to support the story point. So not in every single panel, but I do want you to get into the habit of asking yourself, what's the story point of this scene, of this section, or even of this act, so that you can create compositions that support when needed. If you do that, your director will love before us. And then my last, my last point I think, is just to say that the, remember the POV and the close-up tell the story. These two shots are character-driven shots. Use them well and effectively, knowing that your aim to get the audience to identify with the character and his or her journey. Then I guess my very last piece of advice is just this. Watch as many films as he can, stay visually hungry. You can learn so much from watching films and seeing how other directors have chosen to sequence their shots. You can even do something like watch the opening sequence of your favorite movie and draw it out shot for shot, just to see how they made it. Okay, Well, good luck you're on your way now to being an amazing border. Just, I wish you every success. If you took this course simply for the love of film or script driving that I hope you've got good information and good perspective on visual storytelling. So please stay in touch and I hope to see you on my next course.