Storyboarding: Where Method Meets Madness

January 28, 2022

When we think of pre-production, most of us think of scripting. While that’s important — fundamental even — the real magic happens when you storyboard a script. Read on to learn more.

You make a good video by doing everything right, but the only way to make a great video is by doing everything deliberately. All great videos have one thing in common: a lot of planning, aka pre-production. 

When we think of pre-production, most people think of scripting. While that’s important, and fundamental even, the real magic happens when you storyboard a script.

What is storyboarding, you ask? It’s an exercise where we visualise what the final video is going to look like, before you even start production. The execution team then uses this storyboard as a visual bible during the creation of the video.

Storyboards are fundamental to both live-action and animated films — and there are certain nuances to storyboarding each kind. For the sake of simplicity, this post will focus on storyboarding for animated films.

We asked our visual lead, Raaj, what he enjoys most about the storyboarding process. Here’s what he had to say:

  • Starting with a blank canvas. Even if the script provides a basic framework, every artist’s best friend is a blank canvas.
  • Storyboards are a great platform both to let our imagination shine and to be prepared for executing the project. A meaty animation project needs us to draw thousands of frames and stack hundreds of layers on After Effects — you wouldn’t want to go that far without a plan.
  • It makes execution a breeze — having a visual bible, so to speak, makes the animation part much easier. You get a sense of framing, composition, camera angles, movement, and anticipation for almost every scene you’re going to construct.
  • Storyboards help our clients visualise what the video is going to look like. Scripts help, of course, but we all know a picture can speak a thousand words. And when that’s not enough, animatics or motion storyboards help the viewer get a sense of timing and atmosphere along with the visuals.

Here’s a live example of a storyboard that took our script to another level — read the Blockedge product explainer script, then take a look at the storyboard, and then the video — in that order, to see how a well-designed storyboard can enhance any video.

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