This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Storyboard for a commercial

As an illustrator, one of the things I've enjoyed doing is drawing storyboards. If you've ever watched the special features of a movie on a DVD, you may have seen storyboards.

The process of getting something filmed, such as a movie, or a commercial, has a lot of *behind the scene* stuff, and storyboards are one of those things. When I first started doing them, they made perfect sense to me - it's simply doing visual storytelling, like a comic book, with multiple frames.

I grew up reading comic books. And from the great masters like Jack Kirby, I learned about staging action, showing continuity, long shots, close-ups. You know, just like in the movies. And any visual medium, from comics to film, relies on visual storytelling.

For me, it starts by looking at the script. For the project that I just started, I asked the director to give me specific instructions on what he would like for each storyboard frame, although the script already had that. I read both carefully.

The sketches are done in pencil, in a rough format. Storyboard art is not meant to be framed and hung on the wall, it's meant as a guide to the director. In the old days, storyboards were drawn on large boards and hung on the wall and someone would read the script along with pointing to the pictures. Nowadays the drawings are scanned and made into a simple animation, with sound added.

It's amazing effective, going from a script to an animated storyboard. Even though the sketches are rough, everyone from the actors to the director gets a clearer idea of what to do. And that saves time, film, and mostly money.