What is a Storyboard?

A storyboard for animated videos fulfils many purposes. It is partly the concept which is to be presented and sold to the client, and it is partly the guide which the production team will closely follow in order to create a successful production. The production team will constantly refer to the locked storyboard throughout the production process.

The document contains shot numbers, shot durations, an image showing what the shot looks like, a shot description, sound effect instructions, and voice-over text (if any). It will also often contain details such as whether or not it is an interior or exterior shot, and what lighting, weather or mood conditions will be in the shot.

Fitting into the Pipeline

The storyboard is vital to the pipeline and is almost like the bible of the production. It is the only way of ensuring that everyone is aiming for the same finished product. For pipeline management, things like shot numbers and frame ranges have to be exact. The smallest mistake in a name or a frame range can turn the pipeline upside down and precious hours of work are lost.

The same thing goes for the artist and the director. If anyone has any questions about anything regarding the production pipeline, the first thing would be to look at the storyboard. Therefore it is important when making the storyboard, to check for any mistakes that might have been missed before publishing it to the team. Accuracy in timing is everything when animating, partly because the client sets a delivery date for the production to which the team needs to adhere. Also, animators are very exact with frame ranges because they never want to render more frames than are needed. Rendering takes time – often days.

Therefore, the importance of the storyboard process in the production pipeline should never be underestimated; the more time one spends planning, the less production time and resources one will waste. Working on a well-planned concept is fun and definitely helps boost the morale of a team. It’s also the only way of making sure that your client agrees and signs off with what you understood you were commissioned to do!

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