Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Illustration Assignment #2: Storyboard a TV Commercial

Storyboarding is an essential way of visual problem solving for a great number of graphic arts tasks. Its a way of breaking down visual actions in a sequences similar to a "comic strip" : a story board is a form of sequential art!

Story boards are used in a wide variety of graphic arts professions: television and film, animation, video game design and comics, to name a few. The principles of story boarding can be applied to an even wider range of graphic arts tasks, as we will learn in the course of this program.

To effectively create a story board that is both entertaining and informative, its important to have a solid grasp of good picture composition and design. Here's a short cut visual that will provide you with an excellent starting point: Wally Wood's "22 panels that always work!"

Step 1: The first stage in a typical storyboard is the client brief. The brief is how the client conveys the concept they need you to visualize for them. This might be presented to you in a wide variety of ways: as a verbal conversation while you jot down notes or scribble thumbnails, as a written script and accompanying discussion, as a script with the clients "stickman' thumbnails attached, or as a "photo board" assembled from found images for you to use as a guide when drawing.

Step 2: The first thing you'll need to do after you've been briefed by the client is to "thumbnail" the sequence of drawings you'll be doing. Thumbnails are small rough sketches, usually not more than basic shapes that only you really understand. They are a way for you to 'think on paper' as you figure out what will go where in each panel composition.

Step 3: Once you're satisfied with your thumbnail sketches, its time to develop them into rough drawings. These should be done at the full size of the storyboard frame. In the case of our example, that will be 4 by 5 inches - but the size of a storyboard frame can vary greatly and must be determined with the client before you begin!

Step 4: Once your rough drawings are developed to your satisfaction, a finished line drawing can be done. Remember, storyboards are not finished art! The manner in which you do your line drawing should be loose and energetic. It should still be sketchy to some degree.

Step 5: Some storyboards require a grey tone or colour treatment at the client's request. Here's an example of a typical full colour storyboard frame.

For this week's lesson...

1. Script your concept for a tv commercial that will entice a different market demographic segment to purchase your cereal than the traditional kid's cereal demographic. Be sure to check with me for "client approval" before you proceed to thumbnails!

2. Draw out your storyboard frame sequence on 8.5 x 11 paper or digitally on the tablet in your graphics program of choice. post the thumbnails on your blog.

IMPORTANT: Remember to post your work on your own blog and the link here on the Class Blog by 9 a.m. next Wednesday ( February 17th ) so we can review your efforts in class that day.

* Important Resources for storyboarding reference:

Storyboard Central

Leif's Storyboards Set on Flickr

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