Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Digital Age of Storyboards

A year ago, story artist Mark Zoeller noted in the Peg-Board that digital storyboards seemed to be catching on slowly in the animation biz... Of late, however, I see more and more pixelated boards across toonland. The digital storyboard package Mirage is used at Cartoon Network, Photoshop at DreamWorks. Today at DW, I got a look at Photoshop combined with After Effex. Coupled together, the two pieces of software created a vivid scene of insects moving through a forest of cattails -- sort of a Technicolor multiplane camera in a box. A board artist can now create elaborate computerized boards at her desk, then with a few mouse clicks edit the result into a story reel. Editorial departments aren't happy, but hey. Technology marches on.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Links! Very helpful.

floyd Norman said...

Big deal! I was creating digital boards at Disney ten years ago, and nobody seemed all that interested.

It's a turf war, naturally. Editorial was not all that happy about it, nor were directors. But, I guess times are a-changing.

Kevin Koch said...

That's the problem with being too far ahead of your time, Floyd. You get ignored, then later somebody else looks like a genius for the same idea!

I know Mark Zoeller was trying for years to get studios to pay attention to the technology, but most wanted to wait till some other studio took the plunge first.

Anonymous said...

A handful of board artist at Disney tva are trying to do digital boards, but in true far-from-the-cutting-edge Disney fashion, they are not supporting it or actively trying to incorporate the efficiencies of working digitally into a new animation workflow. This results in 2 or 3 different programs being used and--no lie--one of the productions printing out digital boards, only to scan them for animatic use. Somebody really needs to take the reins and figure this out. The advantages are too great to ignore.

Anonymous said...

I heard today we are less than 5 years away from the Digital Executive...and next year, the Digital Coffee stain pluggin gets launched

Mark Zoeller said...

I just came across this blog by chance. FYI, for the past few months I have been working on a half hour 2D animated short that is generously funded by private investors. It is a totally paperless production drawn on Cintiqs. I oversee several other artists, most of them industry veterans. Although I did the storyboard paperless, it was clear to the "powers that be" that it made sense to keep it going to full production- and in town. It's amazing to see the project taking shape right in front of our eyes. Sometimes we just laugh in disbelief that this is really happening. While Disney or Dreamworks may be flirting with digital storyboards, much more action is being accomplished in their shadows. -Mark Zoeller

Anonymous said...

Have a look at the making of incredibles, on the incredibles collectors dvd.
They have a wonderful section about their animatics there, using photoshop and after effects. I tried both and must admit to being faster and better with paper and pen but then again I guess it's just pratice. I use a wacom intous 3 with phtoshop and after effects on a mac powerbook 15" g4 with 2 gig ram. It rocks but then again so does paper and pencil ;)

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