I am working on a project in which I am the storyboard artist as well as the writer and director. Creating boards for a director who knows what he wants is an entirely different experience than creating them for yourself. The mental work involved multiplies drastically when you’re the one figuring out what the shot should look like. It can be daunting. Like staring into a blank canvas or computer screen before writing the first words of a story. There are so many possibilities and it’s up to you to decide which ones will fill the void.
To lighten the mental overload a bit I try to focus less on the film as a whole, and more on each individual scene. Breaking the project up into small goals.
Once I have knocked out one or two scenes I feel better about the project. Having that visual foundation can simultaneously inspire and block the flow of goodness. Sometimes all I want to do is visit the finished boards. This makes drawing new boards with any real potential near impossible because I’m focused on a different scene. Sometimes the best answer is to forbid myself from looking at the finished boards so I can focus on the scene at hand.
Questions I ask myself while creating my shots and storyboards.
What do I want to say with this scene? Which characters are in the scene and how does their personality influence the mood of the scene? Who is most important in the shot and how can I position the less important characters so to draw more attention to the main character in the shot
This is the first project I have story-boarded without using pencil and paper. Instead I am using PS and my new Intuos4! I highly recommend using PS to storyboard with. The tools are a real time saver. Layers, ctr z, lasso, and scaling. Before I got the Wacom, I used a Genius tablet. It was a great starter tablet but very limited and I couldn’t get myself to storyboard using it. There wasn’t enough pressure variance. The Wacom is very close to drawing with pencil and paper. Getting over the initial weirdness of looking at the screen instead of at your hand when you draw is the hardest part, but taking the time to get over the weirdness is worth it.
I begin each board with a very rough sketch or organized scribble. When I like the sketched composition I either create a new layer and draw the finished version over the top or if I really like the sketch, I might clean it up a little and call it done. There are times when a perspective is difficult to achieve. In those cases I take and use reference photos of a willing model. The fine artist in me considers this cheating, but the digital artist in me says back off, it’s brilliant!