The Animation Pre-Production Workshop | David Miller | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Why You Start With The Script

    • 3. Scriptwriting Pt 1 Software

    • 4. Scriptingwriting Pt 2 Setting The Scene

    • 5. Scriptwriting Pt 3 Character Dialogue

    • 6. Scriptwriting Pt 4 Outlining The Plot

    • 7. Scriptwriting Pt 5 Visual Storytelling And Story Beats

    • 8. Scriptwriting Pt 6 Rewrites and Punch Ups

    • 9. Why We Storyboard

    • 10. Storyboarder Pt 1 Methods + Software

    • 11. Storyboarder Pt 2 Crafting The Animatic

    • 12. Storyboarding Pt 3 What Goes Into Your Storyboards

    • 13. Voice Over Pt 1 Using A Voice Pay Site

    • 14. Voice Over Pt 2 Recording Voice Actors

    • 15. Animation Pre Production Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Great animation is more than character design and making things move around in our favorite software; it involves crafting a solid story with interesting shots and voices to support it.  In "Animation Pre-Production", we cover scripting, storyboarding and voice recording for our animated projects.  No supplies are necessary though I do recommend a few pieces of free software throughout the course, including CeltX and Storyboarder.   

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  


I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Clou... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hello out there. I'm David Miller. I'm a Phoenix Arizona multimedia artist educator, and I want to welcome you to this course on preproduction of your animated short film. Now I'm assuming that you are an independent animator or you're just a couple of friends who are trying to get together and create your own animated film. Because if you're a big studio, uh, you have resources beyond what I'm going to talk about in this course. So this is meant for the individual animator or the small group of animators were just starting out. We are going Teoh cover, creating a script we're going to cover creating a storyboard, and we're gonna cover recording audio for your animated film. What we aren't going to cover in this course is the actual animation of that film. I have other courses relating to Adobe Character Animator, which is a motion capture animation software. It's my preferred way to do things. I also have a little bit of photo shop animation and after effects animation and other courses. And if you're interested in those, go ahead and send me a message and I'll send you links to those. But I felt like it was really important. Teoh cover preproduction on animation because there are a lot of things I've learned about doing my own animations that I felt are helpful. And I feel like this is a thing that ah, lot of artists gloss over because when we are drawers and illustrators and animators, we are very interested in making things move around on the screen or creating characters on a little less so interested in writing scripts and coming up with stories. But if you don't do these pre production steps, your animations will never really get off the ground, or they will just be limited. Teoh 10 15 2nd gags on Duh It's important for us to take steps to create things that not only look cool but have purpose and communicate a story and reach other people and have a good sound and good dialogue. So that is what we're going to focus on in this class. I'm going to name some script writing Softwares, and I'm going to show you a free storyboard tool. But if you have your own methods that interest you or you have access to something else, by all means, it really doesn't matter which software you're using, as long as you can accomplish the goal of creating scripts, storyboards and recording audio 2. Why You Start With The Script: if you were an artist, you probably have sketchbooks or ideas for characters that you've created. I feel like if you are planning on telling a story, the first thing you should do is write up a paragraph. What is that story? I don't have to tell me the ending of your story. And once you have this one paragraph guide of what you want to make, sit down and create the script that corresponds to that one paragraph. And the reason why we're going to start with the summary and the script rather than the drawings is because you will end up wasting a lot of time if you create drawings for things that aren't in a script. So I'm going to tell you two examples of films that are very well known. One did not have a finalized script, but shooting was rolling, and the other one, they had finalized the script. They had recorded the live action stuff in. When it came to the animation, they animated only what they needed and were able to save a lot of money and time. My first example is the third Hobbit movie, which is a war of five armies there some pretty amazing footage on YouTube where you see Peter Jackson sitting confused, aimless against a green screen because they did not have a finished script, but they were filming the movie. What ended up happening was he had to take a few months off to work on the script. In the meantime, he had Andy Circus, the actor who plays column film, a bunch of fight scenes where people are just running back and forth, going and hitting sorts. But it was for no purpose because they didn't know what they were filming. And you can imagine how much money on a major budget film like that was wasted. And, of course, with pressure, and the fact that they were already filming the script is weaker for it. And those movies Air not very finally remembered those three Hobbit movies versus The Lord of the Rings movies, which had a finalize script and everything was totally locked in, and they had a guide post to follow. Why were the Lord of the Rings scripts easier to complete than the Hobbit script? Because the Hobbit book was very short, and when you try and spread a short story across three movies. You find you don't have enough material to fill those movies, and you have to make up a bunch of stuff that ends up being very weak. In contrast to this, the first Deadpool film was created by Special effects Guy named Tim Miller, and Tim Miller knew that you could save a lot of time and a lot of money if you only animated what you needed. And so they filmed the entire movie, and when it came time to insert the character of Colossus into it, he knew that he needed them only for a few limited scenes. And that's how that movie stayed under budget and subsequently made an incredible amount of money versus what its budget waas. If they had created a whole bunch of stuff for Colossus and found they didn't need it for that film, it would have been millions of dollars in the trash, these air big budget film examples. But my point is, you know what your script is. You know what you need to animate? Does your script need to be locked in an 100% perfect right away? Not at all. An anecdote from Patton Oswalt talking about gratitude. He explained that he spent three years working on that film. He recorded his dialogue and then had to come back a few years later to re record new dialogue because the story had changed. That's one of the luxuries of animation versus live action is that if you need to create new scenes, you can draw, animate those new scenes and encirclement versus a live action project where maybe the set was already torn down. The actors have moved on to other projects. They cut their hair, they dyed their hair so on and so forth in a live action project. If you forgot to film something, we realized meteo Makesem connective tissue or you decide changed story midway. It is a lot harder than an animated project to do something like that. 3. Scriptwriting Pt 1 Software: Let's talk about what goes into the script. This script will have the dialogue between your characters. It will include seeing changes. It will include some descriptive matter of what the scene is. It does not include camera angles, camera shots so you don't right close up. That's not the scripts job, the dialogue that your characters say should inform the story and not explain something that is already being shown on the screen. So the script does not contain lines like I lift my hands and say the magic words the script simply, says Abacha Dobra. And then it's the animator's job to interpret that, however, it best fits the scene. If you are the script writer and the animator, it's gonna be very easy for you to interpret. If you're a script writer and you're passing on to an animator, then you're going to have to let go of some control and trust in the judgment of a professional artist. If you're an animator and you're not a script writer, but you're commissioning a script from somebody else, then you're going to have to come to some compromise. At a certain point where the script is showing something and you don't think it works is an animation, or you think there's a better way to visually interpret it. Ultimately, film and animation is a visual storytelling medium, and there needs to be some consensus between the script and visuals on what the best way to tell the story is, writing a script can feel very daunting if you've never done it before, so I'm going to show you easy way from beginners to get writing. And, of course, one of the most daunting things is the completely blank page. It's the same for any artists. When you get a new sketchbook or some new campus and you put it in front of you and you're worried about your first mark being the wrong mark. It's important for us to realize that we're our own worst critics, and there is no wrong mark of the important thing is to put something down because you can always come back and alter it. Fix it. Nothing is permanent, so this particular script writing software is called slugline, and there are many, many, many script writing software is out there. They can go from extraordinarily expensive to something really cheap or something that you already have integrated in your computer. There are people who write scripts on, say, Microsoft Word, which comes with Windows, computers or even the notes app in the Mac operating system. Um, utilizing slugline because there's some automation and formatting choices that suffer makes for me that makes it really simple to use a script. If you're just starting out, though, I encourage you to use something that's free, see how you feel about it, and then you can upgrade to something that you actually pay for. 4. Scriptingwriting Pt 2 Setting The Scene: part of my script is where is the setting, and it's either an interior and exterior. I generally start outside because even if you're going to do a animation that involves being inside of a house, think of things like The Simpsons, where they start the camera outside of the house so you can see what time of day it is. And then they go into the house. That's exactly what we're gonna do here. We're going to type text for exterior, and you can see that this script writing software automatically olds e x T. Because it already knows what exterior means. A suburban home morning period. And we have something on the page, something I can be happy with. What happens in the morning. A paperboy bikes by and throws newspaper in third feeder. Other things that you might want to have as visual cues for early morning involved. Maybe sprinkler system. If you live somewhere that has grass, you might right. The sun comes up over the horizon. Visual cues are okay. It's when you go hog wild with every detail that it takes away from what you're animator, your illustrator. He's going to do also presuming that we're all indie artists here. You don't want to be overly busy and overly detailed with your backgrounds, because that is going to make your project very, very difficult thing to accomplish. And if you have one set up that has an overly busy, overly complicated scene set, then if you don't carry that busy, complicated aesthetic through the rest of your animation, it's going to feel out of place. If you are working with a team of people and they're good at setting up aesthetically Izzy and complex backgrounds, illustrations, animations, then by all means, carry that through the entire short film or movie or cartoon whatever it is you're making. But most of us do not have that time or that team to create something like that. So I think a few suburban houses in a row see the horizon and the paperboy moving and throwing a newspaper is going to be sufficient. Teoh, get across what we want to get across, which is this is what happens in the morning outside of this home, the front door opens and a man steps out in his robe to retrieve it, shaking the water off 5. Scriptwriting Pt 3 Character Dialogue: Now we're going to have our first bit of dialogue and we're gonna named man. I am simply going to name the man after my father, Paul. And after I write a capitalized name when I hit, Enter that name goes to the center of the page, and then I can start my character's dialogue and I have given little Rasa fressin cause that similar Yosemite Sam this grumble grumble bit. I don't want the actor to say grumble grumble, so I will put it in parentheses. And then the voice actor, while reading this dialogue, should be able to come up with something equivalent Teoh What I have and they're not going to say grumble, grumble out loud. There's an amusing name out there of Anak Ter of Hercules, who did not understand that this was like an emotion or a suggestion for a sound in one of his scripts. And he stands the middle of a forest and yells out, disappointed, as if that was something he was supposed to say, rather than an emotion he was supposed to convey. Wait a minute. This isn't my world. Just support Rasa France, and maybe that is something exactly. I want the actor to say again, it's similar to something Yosemite Sam traditionally did. But for me to come up with arbitrary grumbling sounds like Carol and then try and figure out how to write those down here. It's just a waste of time, grumble, grumble, works. And now we can start with interior, and then I look at however it and this be careful in the sports section that doesn't really make any sense. That makes a little bit more sense. There's always going to be some verb ege that you never quite sure of. The best way to check and see if it makes sense or if your joke translates when you write it is to literally read it out loud. And if you have somebody who's a good listener, a good person bounce ideas off of who will give you honest feedback, you can read it out loud to them or acting out with them before you send it off to your voice Actors. That way, when you actually pay somebody to read these lines, you don't get it back and find out that it makes little to no sense or it could be done a better way 6. Scriptwriting Pt 4 Outlining The Plot: the majority of stories follow a three act structure where were introduced to our characters and our dilemma. We try to solve the dilemma unsuccessfully and then some kind of resolution where either the dilemma is resolved or other things happen that resolve the story. But most stories, you know, your protagonist succeeds and whatever they're trying to do, so I just type this up really quick and you'll see that there is a lot of details that are missing. But it's the general structure of the story, and it tells me basically what set pieces I need, who's involved. It's a lot easier, right? Dialogue when you know what direction you're going for. So it's a bad day for Paul. Every minor thing goes wrong in the morning. His son is injured from a slip. This is something we've already covered in our script, and Paul has to take him to an urgent care, making him late for work. Even worse, he accidentally drops him, appalls pain pills into his boss's coffee cup, and by the end of the first act, he's been fired from his job. For these and other infractions. What are those other infractions? I haven't figured it out yet, but in my head, I want this character Paul, to be kind of innocent bystander like he does not mean to do all these things that get him fired. It's just a lot of bad luck in a row. So that is Act one and you end Act one, really establishing what the problem is and how long Act one will be in an animated film or animated short. It might be five minutes. It might be less than five minutes. If this is a six minute short, I'll probably divide these up into about equal to minute generations. The way I visualizing this is more along the lines of The Simpsons of the King of Hill structure. So probably eight minutes for each act. This also establishes a lot of the people that are important people they need designs for, and places I need to be active covers the course of one week and Paul's attempt to cover the fact he's been laid off while scheming to get his job back through sneaky yet unsuccessful means. So this is often what they call fun and games. And, of course, in a story this is the part where we're most invested because we like to see what our characters are going to come up with next. An episode of the Roadrunner Coyote cartoons is basically entirely fun and games. I mean, they have the introduction in Latin of the characters in the 1st 10 seconds of those shorts , but generally it's Coyote trying to achieve a goal and failing each time. That's what active covers. And then Act three brings us full circle when more honest, unless sneaky methods succeeded, maturing Paul to a job that he find he doesn't really want. Anyways, being unemployed was much more successful and lucrative. So I have not outlined to myself, much less in here. How Paul will get his job back. One thing that I've always liked in my stories is a moral. I do not like stories where nobody learns anything. No behavior was changed. No lesson was learned. I feel like if the characters don't change it all from the start of your story to the end of your story, even if it's a animated short film than unless that is the absolute structure of the peace , say in the case of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Then it's failed. Most movies, most TV shows. You have to move the characters from Place A to Place B by the end of the show. The movie, the program. That's what I'm gonna do with this character, Paul. He needs to learn that being sneaky or grouchy does not help him succeed as much as being nice and honest. And it sounds like a Sesame Street kind of lesson. I do think it's true in real life that people who are devious ultimately get hoist upon their own petard. As the phrase goes, If you're honest about things, let's say you got pulled over for speeding. He lied to a cop. There's gonna be bigger consequences, potentially then, if you're honest with the cops and your apologetic and sincere about things. I also wanted to include a bittersweet realization that oftentimes we work really hard for things that we don't care about or don't want. We strivings driving's driver like we have to have this. We can't live without it, and we get it and realize you know what? I probably don't need this. It was a waste of my time and energy to go in this direction, and that's how I feel about Paul going back to his job. He finally gets it and he realizes how miserable he is in that job. And maybe he was having more fun scheming to get back his job. Maybe he was doing things while skimming to get back his job, that he made more money doing and life was better than when he actually had it. 7. Scriptwriting Pt 5 Visual Storytelling And Story Beats: I have the signed poster, My story, the only thing that's missing besides the details of what these things are, which I usually will just drink a lot of coffee and sit around and think about or come up with while I'm walking the dog. Um, the only thing that's missing is what makes this deserving of being a cartoon. Because the way it's written, it really feels like it could be the live action. You could say that about a lot of King of the Hill, because there's no magic. There's no aliens or science fiction elements. But what King of the Hill does have is a unique perspective of Mike Judge, the show creator. He also created Beavis and Butthead. He created Silicon Valley and office space, and everything he does has they feel that is uniquely Mike's. And what makes King of the Hill special. Besides how rich all of the characters are, is the art style that is 100% generated by Mike Judge. We should also think of things that cartoons conduce that are either difficult or incredibly expensive and live action, for example, having incredible points of view. Maybe you have the camera in a mouse hole. Maybe you have the camera, come out of outer space and go straight into someone's house. Kind of like Google Earth. There are a lot of things that you can include in the script that make it visual and worth watching as a cartoon. So I'm thinking a lot of these fun and games are going to be dangerous in the way uh, Wiley, Coyote and probably for reference. I'll go and watch a bunch of Roadrunner cartoons and have a note pad and write down things that Wiley Coyote does that I think I can adapt for this particular short. So the boss will have a psychedelic drug trip, and he'll envision Paul as some kind of demon. Maybe when he fires Paul, it will be a total misunderstanding because of what's happening to the bosses psyche. Maybe one of the reasons Paul gets his job back is because there is some kind of drug tests that gets perform on the boss, and I'm not certain, but these air all ideas and brainstorming. And when you have something like a character in a cartoon going on some sort of psychedelic journey, there are a lot of reference points, an animation I can think of right away. One would be The Simpsons episode, where Homer eats on insanity. Chili Pepper. There's a Yellow Submarine, of course, from 1968 there is rang Go, a C G I animated film that involves a sort of vision quest. There's Bojack Horseman at the end of the first season when he consumes massive quantities of drugs to write a autobiography and I'm laughing because, of course, that's a horrible way to write an autobiography, but they got some really amazing visuals out of that. So something that you can do in a cartoon that would be very hard to replicate in a film would be what happens to the boss when he ingests thes pain pills. The entire cartoon does not need to be some sort of animation freak out, but we want to establish a style that gives it a reason to be visual and also highlight things that you can do Onley within this medium with minus films that have incredibly inflated C g. I budgets were working with next to nothing, and we're still able to make really cool things if we can convince people of the verisimilitude of our stories, The reality of the things that were coming up with And the only way you can do that is if you have a good story structure to begin with. 8. Scriptwriting Pt 6 Rewrites and Punch Ups: However many drafts you dio of this script is kind of up to you. I feel like it's good to do multiple drafts. I know things that are done for big budget movies. Often times go through 30 plus drafts of the script, and they hire other people to come in and punch it up. So I mentioned Patton Oswalt, the voice of latitude very famous comedian. He has worked as a script punch up writer in his time, and many comedians do that. If you're trying to write a comedy and you are not a comedian yourself, you befriend somebody locally or do an Internet search for people who are punch up writers . They will gladly do that again. It's another investment of money and time, but you really want to make your project the best it could possibly be. If you are not a funny person, I would not encourage you to seek out writing and comedy. Whatever genre you have the strongest affiliation with whatever story you think you can tell completely that is really what you should be working with. I would be awful at writing mysteries because I do not know how to come up with a mystery that other people couldn't figure out in five seconds 9. Why We Storyboard: At this point, we're going to talk about story boarding, which is the process of laying out shots that relate to what is in your script. This is where you can get visual with the words that are put on the page and a lot of the details, like the emotions of the character or the positioning of the characters, how they relate to each other. What the setting actually looks like this can all come together in the story boarding phase . Ah, lot of storyboards are notoriously just stick figures. Oftentimes they're not done by people who draw, but people who are able to see things cinematically so they know where the camera needs to be positioned, and they're aware of the relative scale of characters to each other within a particular shot. The software I'm going to be working with is conveniently enough called story border, and this is a freeware. Once you have your drawings put down in story border, you're able to print these out if you need a physical storyboard sheet to keep track of the shots you were doing and you are able to make an and a Matic, which is a sort of cheap demo version of your film and a Matics don't have a lot of motion to them, but they do show you what the shot is, and they can be paired with the voice actor recordings, which makes it really easy for everyone else involved in the film to see what the film is supposed to be, what it supposed to feel like and work from that. In movies, there are directors who always storyboard their stuff, most notoriously, the Coen brothers. And there are filmmakers who storyboard nothing most notoriously, Werner Herzog. It's far more typical and not an animated films that there is some story boarding, some pre visualization that takes place because again, like the script, we need to know what exactly we are animating. We can't just expect our actors to show up and aim a camera in the direction we have to illustrate or build a set virtually in whatever direction we want the camera to aim 10. Storyboarder Pt 1 Methods + Software: Now, before we get started with this story. Border software I want to let you know that there are plenty of people who freehand their storyboards and have done so for decades. There are many storyboard template papers that are available on the Internet. Sometimes people just draw straight in their sketchbook, so using a specific software to do your storyboards is not an absolute requirement. There are also many APS out there that have some form of story boarding that you can utilize on your tablet. Your iPad. I have used paper 53 in the past. It is one of my favorite tablet drawing Softwares. That said, this software story Border has a lot of cool features that make it simple to create the Ana Matic from our script and and dialogue story. Border has the option to draw directly from a script. If you have it in the proper formatting, we'll go ahead and do that, and you can see that story. Border breaks it up by seeing the exterior and the interior. So I have seen one exterior suburban home and then seem to interior house so you have your scenes on the left hand side of the screen. You have your frames on the bottom. You can add frames very easily by pushing the plus icon on. Of course, you can bounce back and forth between those frames by tapping each of them. I am working off of a large drawing on inter that's attached to my computer, so I will be drawing with an actual pen stylus if you are working on an iPad. I've had pro Microsoft surface. Of course, you can draw directly on the screen. Currently, at the time of this recording story, border is not a standalone app. So if you were working on the iPad or iPad Pro, you could not draw directly into the frames the way that I can. Using these drawing tools up here, my understanding is story. Border is working on creating a standalone app for the IOS devices. I do believe you can draw directly into these panels with a Microsoft Surface tablet, so my first frame is almost always going to be a setting frame, very important to establish setting so we can orient ourselves as viewers exterior suburban home. I'm going to use the pencil tool because it's easiest for sketching and I'm just going to lightly sketched suburban street. The details are not critical, and certainly they're not critical with this sketching tool. I only do basic shapes with the sketch tool. This pencil. I make a mistake. I haven't undo tool up here. And of course, you can always undo with your classic control. Z Command Z. It's really up to you how detailed you I need to be or want to be with your storyboards. In some indie animation, you might just be making the storyboard for yourself. And so I would be making this storyboard for myself to look at. I don't need to impress myself. I just need to know what the shot is. And if the shot is literally exteriors of houses, this might be a detail, as I need to get. If you're trying to raise funding from a Kickstarter or an investor, I think you would want to be a lot cleaner and clear with your overall scene. If you need to alter the colors that are listed, press and hold on the color palette. Select what you want. If you need a larger brush than what's provided here, utilize the brackets on your keyboard and you'll see the pen tool get larger and smaller. I'm gonna draw the tiniest paperboy. I can duplicate frame by hitting D. I need to duplicate my first frame that doesn't have the paperboy. Then I need to move this frame over because I want to draw the paperboy advancing along the street. To do that, I push hold. And where that bouncing triangle icon is now, I've changed a sequence 12 paperboy moves along. You always have a little ghost image of your previous shot. This is the onion skin. So right here I can see partially where my paperboy waas, and that helps me illustrate where he's going to be in the next. Frank, I'm not doing a full animation, so I am not illustrating every single bit of sequence in between what he's up to. I'm on Lee moving him along so people get an idea of what the shot's supposed to be 11. Storyboarder Pt 2 Crafting The Animatic: so by default, your frames are two seconds each. If you want it to be any different speed, the way that you can change that is to go straight to your duration. 1000 milliseconds is a 2nd 2 seconds is 2000 milliseconds. Let's try something really small, like half a second each frame. Set that for each one. If I want to highlight a group of these and change the duration all at once, you simply select the 1st 1 Old shift grabbed. The rest go to duration. Half a second would be 500 milliseconds, and now they're all changed. Let's preview what we've drawn by pushing the play button. Other features and story border include adding an audio file. So if you already have some sound effects or you have a voiceover recording that you want to add to your automatic, you can do that by selecting the audio file here and adding it to your frame. If you want to record your own dialogue to match the action that's happening in your story board, let's say you don't have an actor and you want to try and set the shot duration to the dialogue as it is written. You can utilize this record button right next to select audiophile, and you'll record straight into your computer through the computer microphone when you've drawn your boards for all your scenes, and I happen to have only two scenes here, you can export on automatic by going file, and then you have many choices for how you want to export. You can print a storyboard or worksheet if you simply want to have printed versions of what you've drawn digitally. So you have export animated GIF as an option or a scene that you can use in either final cut pro or W premiere. You can also import worksheets or images if you're more of a paper and pen illustrator who draws away from the computer and doesn't have a drawing monitor but still want to make use of story borders and a Matic tools 12. Storyboarding Pt 3 What Goes Into Your Storyboards: At this point, we should talk about what actually goes in the frames, and if you've ever illustrated a comment before or been a comic reader, they don't put every single detail in the frames of a comic. They put the most important moment or emotion or information within the frames. That's all the space they have when comic is being illustrated. So I've broken this information down into a few different varieties. One is the decisive moment, a term coined by photographer Henri Cartier Bresson. In his photography, he aimed to capture the peak moment of a scene in this particular scene, a man leaping into a puddle of water. But right before he hits, So he has this energy that proceeds in the past and into the future. But it is in this particular frame that is the most exciting one. If he actually had jumped in the water and have the explosion, yes, it would be climactic. However, it's the anticipation that gets us most excited as viewers. This is the decisive moment. This is the knockout punch cause and effect relates to a sequence of events where one thing happens, causing another thing to happen, and If your story boarding and you want to show that somebody is killed by a gunshot, you really do need to show the killer somehow preparing for that shot. Either they take out the gun, you show them firing it. But having a frame where person both shoots the gun and the person says argued, killed me and dies does not quite get across the energy of a scene that we need. We need to see the cause, the gunshot, and we need to see the effect, the person getting shot for us to invest our minds into the scene at the start of each scene, we need to establish setting. If we don't establish setting, we have problems with both the believability of what's happening on the screen and continuity with previous scenes. Once you've established setting, you don't always have to showcase that setting behind your person. A transition to a new setting is a way of refreshing viewer's mind. We've moved on. We've advanced this story in one direction or another in comics. Traditionally, they'll establish a setting, and then they'll Sprinkle in some set details behind the characters. But they might leave panels that are essentially the main character emoting against a blank background. One thing that separates comics from animation besides the factor of time and motion and animation is that you don't need to leave space for word balloons as they do in comics. So if you want to keep a consistent background, that's great. Just make sure it doesn't overwhelm what your character's air doing on screen. The final thing we need to concern ourselves within story. Boarding is point of view, and what the shot actually is. So point of view relates to a close up a bird's eye point of view, which looks downward a worms eye point of view, which is close to the ground and looks up. But camera shots relate to the movement of the actual camera that could be zooming in on a character where your figures or your background gets larger. As time progresses, it could be zooming out where you start close up to something, and over time it gets smaller as it recedes into the background. It could be a pan or a sweet, where the camera actually moves side to side or rotates around a figure or object. These are things that you can establish in store boarding. So when it comes time for animation, you already have decisions made for you. There always will be a specific drawing or shot that best serves the story that best sells the emotion of what characters are supposed to be feeling, what they're supposed to be thinking that gives the audience all the important information it needs, while making sure that everything that you put on the screen is visually interesting. If nothing else, when story boarding remained dedicated to what best tells the story, and you're likely to be very successful in your work, okay, if you do that, your story boards should be clear to anybody, whether they're fully rendered or basic stick figures, whether they have a whole bunch of action to them or if they're just the simplest, decisive moments of your scenes. 13. Voice Over Pt 1 Using A Voice Pay Site: Once you have the script and you have your story board, this is a good time to record your actors voices. One mistake that a lot of animators make is to simply use whatever voices are immediately available to them, including their own voice. So you may be a great storyboard artist, but it is unlikely that you are able to do all of the characters voices young, old, male, female from every walk of life. And people who watch your film will definitely notice if it's the same exact person doing every voice on. They will notice if it is poor acting and they will notice if it is poorly recorded. That is why I encourage you to seek out a professional actors, voice artists. And I'm not talking about people who work on The Simpsons or Futurama. But there are many options to finding voice over talent, voice over actors. So you have websites like voices dot com, the voice realm, many others. One of the great things about thes sites is you can audition people for particular voices. You can be confident that they will deliver because they have ratings and reviews, and you can also be confident that they have good recording scenarios. They have a home studio or they go to a studio. They have access to a good recording studio, and they will deliver something that is not full of noise that does not need be cleaned up , does not have a lot of eco or river and does not have a PLO sieves on the mic, which is where you speak into the mike and use P, and it pushes there. It makes it very difficult to clean up any of that kind of mistake. We will get into good audio recording techniques in a few minutes, but I wanna walk you through a few of these sites and show you how you can search for talent for your project. So here we have three sites where you can commonly search for voice acting talent, voices dot com, the voice bunny and the voice realm. So searching specifically for animation is it really easy? We can go straight to cartoon voices as a key word. It's a common keyword in all of these, so I'll go ahead and browse voice actors invoice bunny, and you have choices of what kind of language, including variations of English. You have what kind of gender and age group. So we have young, adult, female, white and large number that young adult male, 7000 voices, middle aged males, 11,000 voices on the voice bunny alone. You have the purpose and one says characters in video games Go ahead and click that. And then you have the voice samples that, as you can peruse no, you think you can destroy me? No way. So on each of these sites, you're able to save actors. Two favorites If you like their style or you think they're going to be appropriate for your particular project, each actor has a different rate, so it's very difficult to say how much you should budget for voice acting. My experience, though, is that always go for exactly what you want. If you need to find a way to increase your budget, you need to find a way to raise more money for your animated project than that's what you need to do. But if you're settling for the cheapest actors, then you're really sitting up your project for failure. This is Toby Ricketts. I've gotta sting with your name on it So you something you like. So, as you can see here on Voice Bunny, the starting rate for 150 words one minute audio is $69. That's starting, right? Not all actors have this particular price and might be some that are a lot higher because they're more in demand. Five minutes of recording You're starting at 1 43 I remember pricing a product a while ago with actress that I wanted for five minutes, and I even had a coupon on. It was something the neighborhood of 304 $100 it sounds pricey, but you are getting things within. A. You will get a professional recording within a few days time by a professional who knows what they're doing, and often times you can direct them over Skype during the recording process. So if they're doing things a little bit differently than you want them done for your animated project, you're able to make suggestions and they'll follow through on it. 14. Voice Over Pt 2 Recording Voice Actors: So once you know who is doing the voices for your animation, we have to talk about how to record them, especially if you are the one doing recording. Step one is you need a consistent set up. So when you have actors voices next to each other in your animation, one doesn't sound like they were recorded in closet, and the other one sounds like they were recorded in an open field. If you are the one doing a recording than you can either rent studio time and have them come in either altogether or one at a time. Or you can create some kind of mobile recording set up. I have one of those, and I transported around and record the actors myself. My mobile recording set up actually involves the things that I'm recording this tutorial currently, So I have an iPad with GarageBand running. I have a blue raspberry microphone Frequently, If I was recording actors, I would have a pop filter, which is something that sits in front of a microphone and stops the place of storm coming through, and I would have some kind of sound absorbing foam around the microphone. I've seen people make this stuff themselves. But you can buy these kind of sound absorbing boxes very cheaply, and I would probably have additional sound absorption underneath the microphone. Like currently, I have a towel underneath this microphone, so it's not catching any reverberations off of a hard wooden surface. As I'm recording this, if there are audio flaws in your recording process, they will show up, and they will make your cartoon very hard to watch. There is very little you can do to correct sounds when you have massive echo reverb, close IDs on them. You can look up on Google or YouTube on how to fix these things, and you can spend a lot of money buying plug ins. But ultimately, most of these things don't work, and you're much better off capturing good audio. The best you can and consistently between all of your actors, always take time setting up your stuff properly so you don't have problems that you can't fix in post production. Now, if you have your actors recording together, it's very difficult to get a good recording between two people on one microphone, so you'll need multiple microphones for that in the majority of animated films and voiceover work. People do not record together if you are in a scenario where you're sitting with your voice actor and they're reading their lines. But it's a dialogue, So there needs to be another actor responding to them as the film director, writer producer. Whatever role you have, I would encourage you to read the dialogue of the person they're having a conversation with . So if I have acted saying their lines, I would play actor B and say my lines. Even though I'm not a good actor, I just need to fill up the space and have pacing. So this actor knows how quickly to respond. And when you take your audio files into your sound editor, you can just cut out actor B. You can cut out your bad acting. You're giving your actor something to respond to when you have a recording session with somebody and they're recording their lines. Your best served to get multiple takes of a line reading. Director Stanley Kubrick was famous for making his actors repeat scenes over 100 times. I feel like that's not only unnecessary, but it's very annoying to your voice, actors particulate early If they are somebody who feels like they know exactly what they're doing, they know how to act. A good number of takes might be 3 to 5 takes. And when somebody reads a line, they read that line in three different ways. You, as a director are responsible for guiding the actors in the directions that they should be reading these takes. If somebody says, Watch out radioactive men, you might then say, OK, do one with Mawr Theory. Watch out, Radioactive man. Okay, now do one with more fear and faster what you already erected, man. And now you have your three takes and you can choose after the fact which one fits better for your script, your animation. But you have three choices, and they're very distinct. Of course, sometimes there's dialogue where there's confusing language. Maybe, and that might be a point where you have to actually change the script on the fly. Because a lot of times when writers write things down, they don't think of how they are going to be said out loud and how difficult it is for the actors to say, Go ahead and look up. The very famous Orson Welles Frozen peas commercial to get a good example of how a great actor can be tripped up by poorly written dialogue. But like everything else in this pre production class, if you took the time Teoh, write the script and make sure that it was delivering important information to move the story forward, and the words were not full of confusing syllables and sounds. 15. Animation Pre Production Final Thoughts: one last bit of advice when you were recording your voice over actors before you shut the session down and go home. Always go back and make sure that you've got the recording that you needed because they're instances I've had where my software messed up and actually cut out sections of dialogue. This microphone has an audio nam, and maybe it was turned all the way down, and I wasn't aware of that when we did the recording, so the sound was too soft to use and I couldn't boost it. There are times when there is just a weird hum because maybe a cable was broken. There are things that will show up in your final recording, and if you have already call an end of the session and you gone home or your voice over actor has gone home, then you have to do the whole thing over again and all it would have taken waas a couple minutes for you to scrub through and make sure you got what you needed. More than anything, I hope you got out of this class. That prep is vitally important to creating the thing that you want to make and we as creators, animators illustrators tend to want to be satisfied right away. We want to make a thing. We want to see it move. If we skip over the steps where we nail down the story, we get good audio. We figure out what our shots are. If we skipped those steps than our product is going to be so much worse for it, never forget what happened. Peter Jackson. Remember to check out my other courses on animation, especially those motion comics character animator, illustrator After Effects Photoshopped Mawr If you have some examples of things you've made as a result of this class, I would love to see him. So you can email me at info at primordial creative dot com and share your creations with me . Talk to you next time.