A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence. The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.
Many large budget silent films were storyboarded, but most of this material has been lost during the reduction of the studio archives during the 1970s and 1980s. Special effects pioneer Georges Méliès is known to have been among the first filmmakers to use storyboards and pre-production art to visualize planned effects. However, storyboarding in the form widely known today was developed at the Walt Disney studio during the early 1930s. In the biography of her father, The Story of Walt Disney (Henry Holt, 1956), Diane Disney Miller explains that the first complete storyboards were created for the 1933 Disney short Three Little Pigs. According to John Canemaker, in Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards (1999, Hyperion Press), the first storyboards at Disney evolved from comic-book like "story sketches" created in the 1920s to illustrate concepts for animated cartoon short subjects such as Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie, and within a few years the idea spread to other studios.
According to Christopher Finch in The Art of Walt Disney (Abrams, 1974), Disney credited animator Webb Smith with creating the idea of drawing scenes on separate sheets of paper and pinning them up on a bulletin board to tell a story in sequence, thus creating the first storyboard. Furthermore, it was Disney who first recognized the necessity for studios to maintain a separate "story department" with specialized storyboard artists (that is, a new occupation distinct from animators), as he had realized that audiences would not watch a film unless its story gave them a reason to care about the characters. The second studio to switch from "story sketches" to storyboards was Walter Lantz Productions in early 1935; by 1936 Harman-Ising and Leon Schlesinger Productions also followed suit. By 1937 or 1938, all American animation studios were using storyboards.
Gone with the Wind (1939) was one of the first live action films to be completely storyboarded. William Cameron Menzies, the film's production designer, was hired by producer David O. Selznick to design every shot of the film.
Storyboarding became popular in live-action film production during the early 1940s and grew into a standard medium for previsualization of films. Pace Gallery curator Annette Micheloson, writing of the exhibition Drawing into Film: Director's Drawings, considered the 1940s to 1990s to be the period in which "production design was largely characterized by adoption of the storyboard". Storyboards are now an essential part of the creative process.
A film storyboard, commonly known as a shooting board, is essentially a series of frames, with drawings of the sequence of events in a film, similar to a comic book of the film or some section of the film produced beforehand. It helps film directors, cinematographers and television commercial advertising clients visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. Besides this, storyboards also help estimate the cost of the overall production and saves time. Often storyboards include arrows or instructions that indicate movement. For fast-paced action scenes, monochrome line art might suffice. For slower-paced dramatic films with emphasis on lighting, color impressionist style art might be necessary.
In creating a motion picture with any degree of fidelity to a script, a storyboard provides a visual layout of events as they are to be seen through the camera lens. And in the case of interactive media, it is the layout and sequence in which the user or viewer sees the content or information. In the storyboarding process, most technical details involved in crafting a film or interactive media project can be efficiently described either in picture or in additional text.
A common misconception is that storyboards are not used in theatre. Directors and playwrights frequently use storyboards as special tools to understand the layout of the scene. The great Russian theatre practitioner Stanislavski developed storyboards in his detailed production plans for his Moscow Art Theatre performances (such as of Chekhov's The Seagull in 1898). The German director and dramatist Bertolt Brecht developed detailed storyboards as part of his dramaturgical method of "fabels."
In animation and special effects work, the storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called "animatics" to give a better idea of how a scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) displayed in sync with rough dialogue (i.e., scratch vocals) and/or rough soundtrack, essentially providing a simplified overview of how various visual and auditory elements will work in conjunction to one another.
This allows the animators and directors to work out any screenplay, camera positioning, shot list, and timing issues that may exist with the current storyboard. The storyboard and soundtrack are amended if necessary, and a new animatic may be created and reviewed by the production staff until the storyboard is finalized. Editing at the animatic stage can help a production avoid wasting time and resources on animation of scenes that would otherwise be edited out of the film at a later stage. A few minutes of screen time in traditional animation usually equates to months of work for a team of traditional animators, who must painstakingly draw and paint countless frames, meaning that all that labor (and salaries already paid) will have to be written off if the final scene simply does not work in the film's final cut. In the context of computer animation, storyboarding helps minimize the construction of unnecessary scene components and models, just as it helps live-action filmmakers evaluate what portions of sets need not be constructed because they will never come into the frame.
Often storyboards are animated with simple zooms and pans to simulate camera movement (using non-linear editing software). These animations can be combined with available animatics, sound effects, and dialog to create a presentation of how a film could be shot and cut together. Some feature film DVD special features include production animatics, which may have scratch vocals or may even feature vocals from the actual cast (usually where the scene was cut after the vocal recording phase but before the animation production phase).
Animatics are also used by advertising agencies to create inexpensive test commercials. A variation, the "rip-o-matic", is made from scenes of existing movies, television programs or commercials, to simulate the look and feel of the proposed commercial. Rip, in this sense, refers to ripping-off an original work to create a new one.
A Photomatic (probably derived from 'animatic' or photo-animation) is a series of still photographs edited together and presented on screen in a sequence. Sound effects, voice-overs, and a soundtrack are added to the piece to show how a film could be shot and cut together. Increasingly used by advertisers and advertising agencies to research the effectiveness of their proposed storyboard before committing to a 'full up' television advertisement.
The Photomatic is usually a research tool, similar to an animatic, in that it represents the work to a test audience so that the commissioners of the work can gauge its effectiveness.
Originally, photographs were taken using color negative film. A selection would be made from contact sheets and prints made. The prints would be placed on a rostrum and recorded to videotape using a standard video camera. Any moves, pans or zooms would have to be made in camera. The captured scenes could then be edited.
Digital photography, web access to stock photography and non-linear editing programs have had a marked impact on this way of filmmaking also leading to the term 'digimatic'. Images can be shot and edited very quickly to allow important creative decisions to be made 'live'. Photo composite animations can build intricate scenes that would normally be beyond many test film budgets.
Photomatix was also the trademarked name of many of the booths found in public places which took photographs by coin operation. The Photomatic brand of the booths was manufactured by the International Mutoscope Reel Company of New York City. Earlier versions took only one photo per coin, and later versions of the booths took a series of photos. Many of the booths would produce a strip of four photos in exchange for a coin.
Some writers have used storyboard type drawings (albeit rather sketchy) for their scripting of comic books, often indicating staging of figures, backgrounds, and balloon placement with instructions to the artist as needed often scribbled in the margins and the dialogue/captions indicated. John Stanley and Carl Barks (when he was writing stories for the Junior Woodchuck title) are known to have used this style of scripting.
Storyboards used for planning advertising campaigns such as corporate video production, commercials, a proposal or other business presentations intended to convince or compel to action are known as presentation boards. Presentation boards will generally be a higher quality render than shooting boards as they need to convey expression, layout and mood. Modern ad agencies and marketing professionals will create presentation boards either by hiring a storyboard artist to create hand drawn illustrated frames or often use sourced photographs to create a loose narrative of the idea they are trying to sell.
Some consulting firms teach the technique to their staff to use during the development of client presentations, frequently employing the "brown paper technique" of taping presentation slides (in sequential versions as changes are made) to a large piece of kraft paper which can be rolled up for easy transport. The initial storyboard may be as simple as slide titles on Post-It notes, which are then replaced with draft presentation slides as they are created.
Storyboards also exist in accounting in the ABC System Activity - Based Costing (ABC) to develop a detailed process flowchart which visually shows all activities and the relationships among activities. They are used in this way to measure the cost of resources consumed, identify and eliminate non-value-added costs, determine the efficiency and effectiveness of all major activities, and identity and evaluate new activities that can improve future performance.
A "quality storyboard" is a tool to help facilitate the introduction of a quality improvement process into an organisation.
"Design comics" are a type of storyboard used to include a customer or other characters into a narrative. Design comics are most often used in designing websites or illustrating product usage scenarios during design. Design comics were popularized by Kevin Cheng and Jane Jao in 2006.
Storyboards are now becoming more popular with novelists. Because most novelists write their stories by scenes rather than chapters, storyboards are useful for plotting the story in a sequence of events and rearranging the scenes accordingly.
More recently the term storyboard has been used in the fields of web development, software development, and instructional design to present and describe, in written, interactive events as well as audio and motion, particularly on user interfaces and electronic pages.
Storyboarding is used in software development as part of identifying the specifications for a particular set of software. During the specification phase, screens that the software will display are drawn, either on paper or using other specialized software, to illustrate the important steps of the user experience. The storyboard is then modified by the engineers and the client while they decide on their specific needs. The reason why storyboarding is useful during software engineering is that it helps the user understand exactly how the software will work, much better than an abstract description. It is also cheaper to make changes to a storyboard than an implemented piece of software.
Storyboards are used in linguistic fieldwork to elicit spoken language. An informant is usually presented with a simplified graphical depiction of a situation or story, and asked to describe the depicted situation, or to re-tell the depicted story. The speech is recorded for linguistic analysis.
One advantage of using storyboards is that it allows (in film and business) the user to experiment with changes in the storyline to evoke stronger reaction or interest. Flashbacks, for instance, are often the result of sorting storyboards out of chronological order to help build suspense and interest.
Another benefit of storyboarding is that the production can plan the movie in advance. In this step, things like type of camera shot, angle, and blocking of characters are decided.
The process of visual thinking and planning allows a group of people to brainstorm together, placing their ideas on storyboards and then arranging the storyboards on the wall. This fosters more ideas and generates consensus inside the group.
Storyboards for films are created in a multiple step process. They can be created by hand drawing or digitally on a computer. The main characteristics of a storyboard are:
If drawing by hand, the first step is to create or download a storyboard template. These look much like a blank comic strip, with space for comments and dialogue. Then sketch a "thumbnail" storyboard. Some directors sketch thumbnails directly in the script margins. These storyboards get their name because they are rough sketches not bigger than a thumbnail. For some motion pictures, thumbnail storyboards are sufficient.
However, some filmmakers rely heavily on the storyboarding process. If a director or producer wishes, more detailed and elaborate storyboard images are created. These can be created by professional storyboard artists by hand on paper or digitally by using 2D storyboarding programs. Some software applications even supply a stable of storyboard-specific images making it possible to quickly create shots which express the director's intent for the story. These boards tend to contain more detailed information than thumbnail storyboards and convey more of the mood for the scene. These are then presented to the project's cinematographer who achieves the director's vision.
Finally, if needed, 3D storyboards are created (called 'technical previsualization'). The advantage of 3D storyboards is they show exactly what the film camera will see using the lenses the film camera will use. The disadvantage of 3D is the amount of time it takes to build and construct the shots. 3D storyboards can be constructed using 3D animation programs or digital puppets within 3D programs. Some programs have a collection of low-resolution 3D figures which can aid in the process. Some 3D applications allow cinematographers to create "technical" storyboards which are optically-correct shots and frames.
While technical storyboards can be helpful, optically-correct storyboards may limit the director's creativity. In classic motion pictures such as Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, the director created storyboards that were initially thought by cinematographers to be impossible to film. Such innovative and dramatic shots had "impossible" depth of field and angles where there was "no room for the camera" – at least not until creative solutions were found to achieve the ground-breaking shots that the director had envisioned.
Elmer Earl "Butch" Hartman IV (born January 10, 1965) is an American animator, voice actor, writer, storyboard artist, and director; best known for creating the Nicktoons The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Bunsen Is a Beast. Hartman also owns a production company, Billionfold Inc., which he uses primarily to produce his shows. Hartman was an executive producer on The Fairly OddParents for the entirety of its 16-year run.
Hartman's latest animated program, Bunsen Is a Beast, aired in 2017. On February 8, 2018, Hartman announced in a YouTube video that he had left Nickelodeon on February 2 after having worked at the studio since December 1997. He confirmed in the video that this resulted in the end of production on Bunsen Is a Beast after just one season.Chris Savino
Christopher Mason Savino (born 1971/1972) is an American cartoonist, animator, and writer, and creator of the animated series The Loud House. Savino has also worked on The Ren & Stimpy Show, Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and Mickey Mouse.Craig McCracken
Craig Douglas McCracken (born March 31, 1971) is an American animator, director, writer, art director and producer. He created the Cartoon Network animated television series The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, as well as Wander Over Yonder for the Disney Channel. McCracken has previously served as an art director and storyboard artist for 2 Stupid Dogs and Dexter's Laboratory respectively. He has been married to fellow animator Lauren Faust since 2004. He is set to create and executive produce Kid Cosmic, an animated series for Netflix, set for a 2020 release date.Daisuke Nishio
Daisuke Nishio (西尾 大介, Nishio Daisuke, born April 1, 1959) is a Japanese animator and director. He joined Toei Doga (now Toei Animation) as animator in 1981. After doing several TV series, he was promoted to assistant director on Dr. Slump - Arale-chan in 1982. He debuted as director for Dragon Ball in 1986 and made his film debut that same year with Dragon Ball: The Legend of Shenlong. Nishio also directed its sequel TV series, Dragon Ball Z, and several of its films.Dan Povenmire
Daniel Kingsley Povenmire (; born September 18, 1963) is an American television director, writer, producer, storyboard artist and voice actor associated with several animated television series, best known as the co-creator of the Disney animated series Phineas and Ferb in which he also voiced the show's villain, Heinz Doofenshmirtz, as well as Candace's deep voice in "Jerk De Soleil" and additional voices. Povenmire grew up in Mobile, Alabama, where he was a talented art student who spent summers outdoors and making movies. Povenmire attended the University of South Alabama before deciding to pursue a film career and transferring to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
Povenmire has been a long-time contributor to the animation business, working on several different animated television series such as Hey Arnold!, The Simpsons, Rocko's Modern Life and SpongeBob SquarePants. He was a longtime director on the prime time series Family Guy, where he was nominated for an Annie Award in 2005. He left the series to create Phineas and Ferb with Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Povenmire has been nominated for several awards for his work on the show, including a BAFTA, an Annie, and an Emmy Award. As of 2015, he and Marsh are currently producing a new series for Disney XD titled Milo Murphy's Law, which premiered on October 3, 2016.Isao Takahata
Isao Takahata (高畑 勲, Takahata Isao, October 29, 1935 – April 5, 2018) was a Japanese film director, screenwriter and producer. In 1985, he co-founded Studio Ghibli with his long-time collaborative partner Hayao Miyazaki and Miyazaki's collaborators Toshio Suzuki and Yasuyoshi Tokuma. Takahata earned critical international acclaim for his work as a director of anime films, among them Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991), Pom Poko (1994), and My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999). His last film as director was The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013), which was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Animated Feature Film at the 87th Academy Awards.J. G. Quintel
James Garland "J.G." Quintel (born September 13, 1982) is an American voice actor, animator, television writer, producer and director best known as the creator of the Cartoon Network series Regular Show, in which he also voiced the characters Mordecai and High Five Ghost, and the forthcoming TBS series Close Enough. He was formerly the creative director for The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, an animated series that aired on Cartoon Network from June 2008 to August 2010 and a writer and storyboard artist on Camp Lazlo from 2006–2008.
In December 2009, ASIFA-Hollywood nominated Quintel for an Annie Award in the category of "Directing in a Television Production" for his directing work on an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. In September 2011, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated Quintel for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Short-format Animated Program category for Regular Show. He most recently worked for Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, California developing episodes for Regular Show.
In May 2017, it was announced that TBS has picked up a new animated series by Quintel, entitled Close Enough, a co-production of Cartoon Network Studios with the newly-established Studio T.Jim Reardon
Jim Reardon (born 1965) is an American animation director and storyboard consultant, best known for his work on the animated TV series The Simpsons. He has directed over 30 episodes of the series, and was credited as a supervising director for seasons 9 through 15. Reardon attended the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts in 1982, where one of his students projects, the satirical cartoon Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown (1986), has become a cult classic through the likes of YouTube. He was hired by John Kricfalusi as a writer on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures and later worked on Tiny Toon Adventures. He has been described by Ralph Bakshi as "one of the best cartoon writers in the business".Reardon supervised the storyboard department and co-wrote the Pixar film WALL-E with Andrew Stanton, which was released on June 27, 2008. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for WALL-E at the 81st Academy Awards.List of Teen Titans Go! episodes
Teen Titans Go! is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics fictional superhero team, the Teen Titans. The series was announced following the popularity of DC Nation's New Teen Titans shorts, both of which are based on the 2003 Teen Titans TV series. Teen Titans Go! is a more comedic take on the DC Comics franchise, dealing with situations that happen every day. Sporting a new animation style, Teen Titans Go! serves as a comedic spin-off with no continuity to the previous series, and only certain elements are retained. Many DC characters make cameo appearances and are referenced in the background. The original principal voice cast returns to reprise their respective roles.
As of March 25, 2019, 235 episodes of Teen Titans Go! have aired.Miguel Sapochnik
Miguel Sapochnik (born Miguel Vicente Rosenberg-Sapochnik) is an English film and television director and former storyboard artist of Argentine origin. He is best known as the director of the feature film Repo Men, and as a director for the HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, for which he won the award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards and Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series at the 69th Directors Guild of America Awards.Pendleton Ward
Pendleton Ward (born September 23, 1982) is an American animator, screenwriter, producer, and voice actor who works for Cartoon Network Studios and Frederator Studios. He created the Emmy Award-winning series Adventure Time (2010–2018) and the Internet series Bravest Warriors (2012–). Ward is a graduate of the CalArts Animation Program. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas and currently resides in Los Angeles.Rebecca Sugar
Rebecca Sugar (born July 9, 1987) is an American animator, director, screenwriter, producer, and songwriter. She is known for creating the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, which has made her the first woman to independently create a series for the network. Sugar was formerly a writer and storyboard artist on the animated television series Adventure Time, until 2013. Her work on the two series has earned her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations.Ronnie del Carmen
Ronnie del Carmen (born December 31, 1959) is a Filipino animation writer, story artist, story supervisor and production designer. He co-directed and was one of the story writers for the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He was the story supervisor on Pixar's tenth full-length computer-animated film, Up and directed its accompanying short film, Dug's Special Mission.Steven Universe
Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. It premiered on May 21, 2013 with its pilot, then on November 4, 2013 with its first season. It is Cartoon Network's first animated show created solely by a woman. It is the coming-of-age story of a young boy, Steven Universe (voiced by Zach Callison), who lives with the Crystal Gems—magical, humanoid aliens named Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), and Pearl (Deedee Magno Hall)—in the fictional town of Beach City. Steven, who is half-Gem, has adventures with his friends and helps the Gems protect the world from their own kind. The themes of the series include love, family, and the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships. Books, comics and video games based on the series have been released, and a television film is in development.
Sugar based the lead character on her younger brother Steven, who is an artist for the series. She developed Steven Universe while she was a writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time, which she left when Cartoon Network commissioned her series for full production. The series is storyboard-driven; when episodes are being produced the show's storyboard artists are responsible for writing the dialogue and blocking out the action. The series has developed a broad fan base and has been critically acclaimed for its design, music, voice acting, characterization, prominence of LGBTQ themes and science fantasy worldbuilding. It has been nominated for four Emmy Awards and five Annie Awards. Its fifth season concluded in January 2019.Storyboard artist
A storyboard artist (sometimes called a story artist or visualizer) creates storyboards for advertising agencies and film productions.Unikitty!
Unikitty (stylized as UniKitty!) is an animated television series produced by The Lego Group and Warner Bros. Animation for Cartoon Network and starring the character of the same name from The Lego Movie.The series was announced on May 10, 2017. At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, it was confirmed by producer Ed Skudder that the series would premiere on Cartoon Network on New Year's Day 2018. A second season of the series was announced on July 24, 2018.Wes Archer
Wesley Meyer "Wes" Archer (born November 26, 1961) is an American television animation director. He was one of the original three animators (along with David Silverman and Bill Kopp) on The Simpsons, Tracey Ullman shorts, and subsequently directed a number of The Simpsons episodes (many of which had John Swartzwelder as an episode writer) before becoming supervising director at King of the Hill. A few years later he left King of the Hill to direct for Futurama, before eventually returning to King of the Hill. Wes continued to supervise the direction of King of the Hill until the final season. He acted as a consulting director for the last season of King of the Hill, as he joined The Goode Family as supervising director. Archer's college animation film, "Jac Mac and Rad Boy, Go!" has long been a cult classic after receiving repeated airplay on USA Network's Night Flight in the 1980s. He studied at the Film Graphics/Experimental Animation Program at CalArts. He is currently the supervising director on Rick and Morty.
Archer's namesake also appears in an episode of King of the Hill (season 3, "Death and Texas"), in which Peggy is tricked into smuggling cocaine to an inmate on death row. The antagonist of the episode, the inmate, was named Wesley Martin Archer. The name combined both Wes' and his brother and co-worker, Martin Archer.Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Yoshiaki Kawajiri (川尻 善昭, Kawajiri Yoshiaki, born November 18, 1950) is a writer and director of Japanese animation. He is the creator of titles such as Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.