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Hey Sarah... can you tell us what it is you're storyboarding? It can mean a lot of different things. 

 

Way back, before there were a lot of flexible digital tools, I used pads of paper to scratch out rough storyboards for some of the more complex PowerPoint presentations I was preparing. Eventually the storyboard moved into PowerPoint, and the presentation slowly fleshed itself out, as "live" slides replaced the storyboard ones.

 

I later found that the material used for whiteboards can be purchased at the office supply store, in squares a bit larger than a flooring tile. Paired with very fine whiteboard markers which were a eureka discovery, it was possible to let the creativity flow, scratching out images and diagrams with the markers, erasing bits with my pinky finger, and washing my drawing hand regularly, before i got the chance to scratch my face... This is actually pretty powerful, and I still use it sometimes. (I have a small stack of those whiteboard tiles, glued onto some pieces of stiff cardboard, to keep them rigid.)

 

The ultimate for me lately uses the free program, Blender, which we've exchanged info about, elsewhere. Though it's primarily for 3D modeling and animation, it has a complete 2D workspace, called the Grease Pencil. Paired with a digital USB drawing tablet (not too expensive, these days...), it's easy to draw storyboard frames into individual video frames. With a drawing tablet, the top of the "drawing pen" works as an eraser, and my pinky finger now remains pristine.

 

If audio is involved, I can record audio, and drop it elsewhere in the program. Then when I play the "video" in the 2D workspace, the audio plays. With that, I can drag the storyboard slides to the appropriate parts of the audio, and "play" the whole presentation in storyboard. If it's an animation, which I'm learning to do now, intermediate frames can be scrawled with notes, describing what's supposed to be happening. This helps me visualize how the actual animation might look, when I get around to doing it. (From experience, just building without a good plan produces a lot of work that later gets abandoned...)

 

It's interesting, but this "new" workflow is exactly analogous to what I did so long ago with paper and PowerPoint. The more things change, the more they stay the same...

 

Edited by Wes B
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1 hour ago, Sarah Daffy said:

@Wes B I’m just using pencil and paper right now but I thinking about getting a stylus for my iPad. 

 

A stylus is a nice, inexpensive way to try out digital drawing. After that, if you're technically inclined or know someone who is, you might then look into tablet apps that let you plug the iPad into your computer via USB, and use your tablet as a drawing pad on your computer. You then have easier access to some really powerful drawing software.

 

It's a little different, moving your hand off to the side while watching the computer screen, but we get used to it surprisingly quickly. For me, the "Aha!" moment came when I realized I needed to rotate the tablet just right, so that what felt like Up-Down to my hand moved the cursor exactly up and down on the screen. (Same for Left-Right...) From then on, it felt pretty natural. Took a little practice to draw circles and ellipses that closed neatly, but when there's not even any paper to use up, it's not that big of a deal...

 

Anyway, you didn't mention, but are you able to tell us what it is you're storyboarding? Those kinds of details, if you can give them, may bring more helpful advice for what you're doing.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention last time with the whiteboard squares... It's also possible to get whiteboard material, bound in a spiral notebook, so you can do a lot of quick draw/erase cycles. The individual whiteboard "sheets" are alternated with sheets of clear acetate, so your hand doesn't smear one page, while you're drawing on the other. I found a bunch of 'em called a "Forever Book" in the discount section of a local department store, and it contained a small notepad, and a larger, journal-sized book, plus a set of fine markers.  These can be very handy for blocking out various schemes...

Edited by Wes B
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8 minutes ago, Wes B said:

Anyway, you didn't mention, but are you able to tell us what it is you're storyboarding? Those kinds of details, if you can give them, may bring more helpful advice for what you're doing.

I'm taking a storyboarding course and they want me to board some of the Zootopia script but I have no idea how much as they gave me the whole script. 

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1 minute ago, Sarah Daffy said:

I'm taking a storyboarding course and they want me to board some of the Zootopia script but I have no idea how much as they gave me the whole script. 

Interesting... so you're storyboarding an existing movie, but from the script, rather than from the existing video... are you allowed to see how the director blocked it all out, or are you supposed to find your own way to show the story?

 

BTW... you replied to my last comment while I was adding an edit to the end of that comment. It might be useful to go back and check. The gadget I mentioned might be very helpful in trying out ideas...

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3 minutes ago, Wes B said:

nteresting... so you're storyboarding an existing movie, but from the script, rather than from the existing video... are you allowed to see how the director blocked it all out, or are you supposed to find your own way to show the story?

I dunno, the videos are prerecorded and There aren’t many instructions. I contacted the people of the website but they haven’t answered and I don’t know if my message went through. 

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Okay... now I'm confused...in one post you said you had a script, which I supposed means you have a bunch of text, describing dialogue, camera motion, etc. But then you mention prerecorded videos. Are these videos of the movie, or are these instruction videos from something like a Udemy or Skillshare course?

 

It's odd that they didn't give more precise details, but I guess that if they weren't precise to you, they weren't precise to anyone else either. If you don't get a response, it might be safe just to start from the beginning. No guarantee that that's the right spot, but it seems to have a slightly higher chance of being right than a spot picked at random...

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8 minutes ago, Wes B said:

kay... now I'm confused...in one post you said you had a script, which I supposed means you have a bunch of text, describing dialogue, camera motion, etc. But then you mention prerecorded videos. Are these videos of the movie, or are these instruction videos from something like a Udemy or Skillshare course?

 

It's odd that they didn't give more precise details, but I guess that if they weren't precise to you, they weren't precise to anyone else either. If you don't get a response, it might be safe just to start from the beginning. No guarantee that that's the right spot, but it seems to have a slightly higher chance of being right than a spot picked at random...

Sorry, should've been more clear.

 

I'm taking an online prerecorded Storyboarding class at www.tomorrowsfimmakers.com. The instruction videos are prerecorded. The instructions for my first assignment (which was optional) was to storyboard part of the Zootopia script.

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I can tell you what I did when I wrote a screenplay - I used a second desktop on Win10, and used PowerPoint. You can size slides in PowerPoint to be basically index card sized, then use grid view, and you can actually see all 40 cards at once and it makes a very nice storyboard.

 

Related to that, I recommend Blake Snyder's Save The Cat as an easy short read on screenplays. Syd Field's Screenplay is sort of the classic text on it, but longer and denser than Snyder's book.

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2 hours ago, Sarah Daffy said:

Sorry, should've been more clear.

 

I'm taking an online prerecorded Storyboarding class at www.tomorrowsfimmakers.com. The instruction videos are prerecorded. The instructions for my first assignment (which was optional) was to storyboard part of the Zootopia script.

 

Okay, now I'm gonna make a huuuuuuuuuuuge presumption here...

 

If it's optional, and you're not even sure what to do, this may be something like a "pre-test" that you take before actually taking a class. It not only lets the instructor see how much you've learned over the class, but if they have you repeat the same storyboard as a final project, it may also show you how much you've progressed. (Ever look at some of the writing you did long, long ago? Don't cringe... Be happy at how far you've come...)

 

Understanding what you've just said, look carefully at the assignment. If, as you've said here, they just said to storyboard "some" of the script, then just storyboard some of it. Scan through, find a scene that looks like fun, and go to it. Again, part of my huuuuuuuuge presumption... there's at least a chance you'll be working with that scene for longer than you realize...

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