Building out a Storyboard
Based on examples I had found online of the best ways to prepare for creating an animation I knew that I would need to translate my script into a rough storyboard to help get a clearer sense of the story of the video, the movements I would be using and the overall visual representations of the script. I went through and highlighted some key aspects of the story and found repeated elements that I knew would need to work in a range of situations, the pilea itself and some of the characters are good examples of this.
For the storyboard stage, I was more interested in helping to visualise the whole rather than very specific pieces. As such, some illustrations changed quite dramatically from the boards to the final piece while others closely resembled one another. I knew I didn’t want to get bogged down at this stage with intricate details so I used a technique I learned on a day-course with Illustrator Steve Simpson. He suggested drawing initial sketches very small, much smaller than I would normally draw and I’ve found, as he suggested, that I ignore the details and manage to avoid getting caught up on parts of the illustration that realistically won’t be part of the final piece anyway.
I could tell the storyboard would be very useful to get a better sense of pacing for each illustration and I realised I had to cut quite a few shots out that only would have worked if there was more time. Having the script within the document allowed me to recognise when I was trying to fill too much into short sentences and re-evaluate if I needed t re-write a few lines to fit an illustration or get rid of the illustration for clarity.
One very helpful impact of going through the storyboard was visualising how the pieces would connect. I was able to imagine how each illustration could possibly animate into the next shot. I could also create and see very simple consistencies that could be carried throughout the video to help give the overall piece a sense of cohesion and repetition. The storyboard in this way seemed to play a dual role, making the task of creating this video both very doable when it seemed so small and simplified and also very daunting when I realised each little image held quite a lot of work to do within it. The storyboard was very necessary and helpful but also at times lulled me into a false sense of security.