Storyboard Artist - Animation
Storyboard Artists illustrate the narrative, plan shots, and draw panels to demonstrate action and maintain continuity between scenes. They may need to revise and update their work to reflect a changing script or comments from the Director, Producer, Client, etc.
Storyboard Artists may be required to prepare the storyboards for production, including indications of dialogue, character performance and camera moves, and could be asked to produce their work either as rough or cleaned up drawings, depending on the requirements of a particular production. For example, clean panels are less likely to be required for a Computer Generated film, where tight drawings of a character may not be relevant; however, on a television project where all the animation is being produced overseas, it may be necessary to present the characters very accurately. Storyboards being produced for animation overseas must usually be on model (in style), and include absolute attention to detail and very clear written directions.
Storyboard Artists need to be aware of any relevant technical or budgetary restrictions related to the production, and they are responsible for delivering the storyboard on schedule.
Above all else, Storyboard Artists must be able to tell a good story. To achieve this, they must be film literate, with a good understanding of layout, composition, sequential drawing and editing. They need to be able to work either independently or as part of a team. They should be able to take direction, and also be prepared to make changes to their work.
For certain projects Storyboard Artists need excellent drawing skills and the ability to adapt to a wide range of styles. They must be able to follow established designs and produce consistent work, drawn on model.
Good communication and presentation skills are essential. Depending on the project, basic computer literacy and familiarity with relevant storyboard software may be required.
Storyboard Artists come from many backgrounds and their talent is often instinctive. Many have graduated from Animation degree courses, during which they will have acquired a basic understanding of film theory on which to build as their career progresses.
All Animation courses, regardless of any specialist technique, should include storyboarding as part of the syllabus; and a student will have gained some understanding by producing a storyboard for a personal or graduation film.
While still at college, they may have already discovered that the part of the animation process that interests them most is storyboarding during the pre-production phase, or they may discover that this is their preference as they progress through various animation roles. Many Animation Storyboard Artists have been Animators, or they may still alternate between the two roles; others come from the layout department.
It is unlikely that a new graduate will find work immediately as a Storyboard Artist; it is more probable that they have worked their way through part of the animation studio system. Graduates from Art courses, such as Graphics or Illustration, who have an interest in film technique and story telling, could follow the same career path. Some live action Storyboard Artists move into animation, but it should be noted that the skills developed for commercials do not necessarily apply to longer format productions.
Animation - Storyboard Artist
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