Storyboard and Animatic Research

Storyboard Research:

Storyboards are used to illustrate the shots and scenes that make up the final animation and/or film, allowing you to plan out what it will look like and how to create it. A storyboard is usually comprised of a rectangular frame called a panel, this shows the content of what the camera sees. Using storyboards, you can establish the camera angles and perspectives you will use early on, as well as the locations, props and effects needed for the different parts of the animation and/or film.
To show movement, the use of arrows is generally employed. These show the direction something is moving in, be it a character, door or camera. Arrows within the panel indicate movement within a scene, arrows outside of the panel are used to show camera movement.
It is better to over explain than to leave information in ambiguity. Notes are extremely useful, helping to create clarity and communicate the information more effectively. These notes can be outside the panel, usually below, or inside arrows.

Types of Shots:

Camera Angles:
Extreme Long Shot:
-Camera is positioned far away from the subject, good for establishing the environment and the character’s position within it, especially useful for new environments, areas and locations.
Long/Full Body Shot:
-Closer than the Extreme Long Shot, showing the entire character.
Medium Shot:
-Closer than the Long Shot, usually showing a character from the waist up or down. Medium Long Shots can be used to show the character from the knees up.
Close Up:
-Close-up shot of the subject that usually shows, although it is not limited to, the character’s head.
Extreme Close Up:
-An ever closer viewpoint, usually used to highlight a specific element. Often used to show the eye’s of a character.
Up Shot:
-Camera is tilted up, viewing the subject matter from below. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Down Shot:
-Camera is tilted down, viewing the subject matter from above. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Low Angle:
-Camera is positioned lower in relation to the subject, however it is still pointed towards the horizon line. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Tilt (Dutch):
-The camera is tiled and held in an angle, usually used to create an unsettling and unstable feeling.
Pan Shots:
-Pans are when the camera moves within an environment, physically changing position. Usually used to show the movement of the subject matter or the changing of the audience’s point of view.
Horizontal Pan:
-Camera moves in a horizontal direction, parallel to the horizon line.
Vertical Pan:
-Camera moves vertically, usually tracking a character’s movements and adjusting accordingly.
Diagonal Pan:
-Camera moves diagonally, using both horizontal and vertical movement.
Non-Linear Pan:
-Camera follows the subject.
Camera Angles, Movements and Arrows:
-The manipulation of the camera, its viewpoint, and its direction.
Track/Dolly Shot:
-One arrow that narrows to suggest movement in or out of 3D space.
-Arrows in all four corners of the panel, going in or out, showing narrowing or widening of perspective. Drawing a panel within the panel shows how far the dolly goes.
-Often used to track/follow a character through a scene, usually keeping pace and creating a background that ‘pans’ behind them.
Zoom In/Out:
-Arrows in all four corners of the panel, going in or out, showing narrowing or widening of perspective. Drawing a panel within the panel shows how far the zoom goes.
-Similar to a tilt, the camera moves from one angle to another in a rocking or spinning movement. The angle could range from several degrees to a complete 360 degrees rotation.
Rack Focus:
-This is where one element is in focus with everything else being out of focus, then the focus changes to a different subject within the scene. Usually this in-camera movement is paired with others, such as a zoom.
Pan Right/Left:
-Pans to either the left or right are shown with arrows on the sides of the panel.
Tilt Up/Down:
-Tilts have arrows on the top or bottom of the panel.


 Character Shots:
One Shot:
-One character
Two Shot:
-Two characters
Three Shot:
-Three characters
Crowd Shot:
-More than three characters
-Foreground character and background character. Camera looks over/past shoulder of foreground character. Foreground character = framing element.
Establishing Shot:
-Establishes scene and location.
Point of View (Subjective):
-Camera = character’s eyes
-Characters are seemingly unaware of the camera, as though it is hidden in the environment. Most movies are filmed this way.
-Similar to the Object Shot, however it usually involves a more ‘hidden camera’ kind of feeling, with the content being something you normally would not be able to see.
Split Screen:
-Screen is divided into segments, showing the audience multiple scenes at once.

Types of Scenes:

-Physical movement is occurring.
-No intense physical movement.
-Character/s are talking.
-A series/sequence of events/scenes that are related, highlighting important shots.
-Silhouetted scenes, usually used to invoke a creepy and/or unsettling mood/atmosphere.

Cuts and Transitions:

-Changing from one scene to another in order to advance the story and establish a different perspective.
Cutting in Action:
-Moving from shot to shot as the subject is in motion.
Cut Away:
-Cut to an insert shot of something, and then back again.
Cross Cut:
-Cutting back and forth between locations and scenes.
Jump Cut:
-Cuts between and inside the same shot, used to show the passing of time, especially in montages. They can be used to add urgency to a scene, adding a frantic nature and/or…
-Cuts from one shot, to a similar shot, by either matching the action and/or composition. These are usually used as scene transition, as they are often ‘jumpy’. They can also be verbal/auditory, with the continuation of sentences/music/sounds being part of the transition.
Fade In/Fade Out:
-Dissolving to or from black.
-Blending one shot into another, usually used in montages and the communication of the passage of time.
Smash Cut:
-Abrupt transitions, making use of contrast in mood, tone and visuals etc.
-Dark circle closing in or expanding from an area in a shot/scene.
-One scene ‘wipes’ off across the scene, revealing another one ‘below’ it. This can also happen with the second screen going over the first, ‘wiping’ across it and ‘hiding’ the previous scene.
Invisible Cut:
-Cuts that are hidden in blackness/darkness, the movement of an object within/crossing/leaving the scene/frame or camera motion/movement (whitpans).
-Audio based transition, with the audio from the current shot carrying over to the next shot.
-This is when the audio from the next scene starts before it visually appears, this technique is good for revealing a new element within the scene.
Cross Dissolve:
-One image/scene is gradually replaced by another, with the fading taking place over a number of frames with a percentage tied to each increment/frame.
Ripple Dissolve:
-Same as Cross Dissolve, however there is an effect/filter applied to make the image look distorted.
-Screen fades to or from black.

Animatic Research:

Animatics are essentially animated storyboards, matching your storyboard with the timing, basic audio and pacing of the animation. Animatics are effective for pre-visualisation, taking storyboards a step further. They allow you to bridge the gap between storyboards and the final animation, letting you plan out the final animation more effectively.

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