Monday, October 26, 2009

DreamWorks Moves

DreamWorks was part of my appointment calendar today (and yes, I swing by a lot. There are a lot of buildings to hike through.) One tidbit:

"They changed the release date for Puss'N Boots, moved it up, and a whole bunch of us got moved, I think it was two hundred people. I was over on the other side of the campus, but now I'm in the Lakeside Building. I get moved so often I forget which building I'm in ..."

The constant shifting of personnel would make me crazy. I stayed in one office for years at the Mouse House. I knew old-timers there that had been in one office for flipping decades.

Different companies, different management styles ...

One story artist I came across offered the opinion that at some point, story artists won't be drawing boards anymore, even on Cintiqs. He thinks the boarding process will evolve to three-dimensional boards with the modeled characters and rudimentary, three-dimensional sets, and that boards in the Snow White and Dumbo style will cease to exist. His words: "This won't be happening soon, but in five to eight years. I think it's inevitable."

Me, I'm not too sure. I mean, live action has done three dee boards for a while now, blocking out camera angles and positioning characters, but in live-action it serves a somewhat different purpose. I think hand-drawn boards will remain the coin of the realm, at least for the first pass.

Sigh. Like so many other things, I am probably wrong.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope they wont be doing 3D boards... The story artists are the ones that breath first life into the written word... Some of the most uninspired, tired boards I've seen have been 3D animatics and layouts... Keep the drawings coming...be they cintiq or paper... We need them. seems the only people that think the early early 3D passes/boards are a good idea are management/studio heads etc. The animators just throw them out, and try to find the original boards.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.

I've seen animation done to 3D animatics instead of drawn boards. Almost unwatchable. No acting, just movement.

This will be a huge step back for the industry if it happens.

Tim said...

As we all know, feature boards are more than just blocking. They are another draft of the script (but don't tell the WGA).

Every screenwriting class and guidebook says, "write what you see". Storyboarding is screenwriting in its purest form. One literally visualizes the story.
There is a whole lot more information in a story sketch than can be put in a 3D previs.

(btw, I am not anti-3D animatics. They are imperative for planning the cinematography, and a great tool! It's just not a good method for storytelling.)

Anonymous said...

3D animatics just replace Workbooks.
Even in live-action 3D animatics are only used to figure out complicated action sequences (unless there is a fool running the production)

Anonymous said...

-They are another draft of the script (but don't tell the WGA).

which is why the wga play for animation 'jurisdiction' was such a joke, since, at the end of the day, they do not give a shit about anyone that does something with a pencil besides put words on a page. god forbid a human being actually teach themselves more than just final draft. they are myopic dinosaurs out to protect nothing except their glorious past.

CG Feature Animator said...

Drawn storyboards are GOLD! How can I work without them?

Michael Polvani said...

"I knew old-timers there that had been in one office for flipping decades."


Now THAT would drive ME nuts!!!
Change once in a while is nice and refreshing.

Justin said...

I agree with the posters above and you, Steve. 3D animatics can be very useful for blocking the timing of a sequence and staging the cameras, but there is no substitute for boards. Boards can be drawn quickly and thrown away easily. They can be used to quickly sketch out an idea and explore different paths in the story. Too much work would be spent creating an animatic that they wouldn't want to throw it away if it wasn't working. I don't see hand drawn storyboards going away any time soon.

Anonymous said...

3D animatics just replace Workbooks.
Even in live-action 3D animatics are only used to figure out complicated action sequences (unless there is a fool running the production)


I believe Clone Wars was done this way, and it shows. Pure action, no emotion.

Jeremy said...

Don't have much to add except I agree with everyone else. I just can't see hand drawn boards going away. If nothing else, it's faster for a good artist to draw a whole board then pose a model.

Floyd Norman said...

I did hand drawn boards on a live-action set. It's faster, it's more effective, and it can be done in minutes.

Technology is cool, but it, like everything, has its limitations.

Anonymous said...

Floyd, you are the man. Is there anything you have not done?

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