Archive for June 2011

Storyboarding Recap Part 2   Leave a comment

In the previous post, I covered my Discussion Board project for Storyboarding and Storytelling. The other half of the class, the Individual Project, was much more focused on the core subject matter. Unit 1 began with an assignment to write a short 2-3 page story. The idea was to create a story suitable for the opening cinematic of a big-budget, ‘AAA’ game. I didn’t spend any time trying to come up with a game idea for this, I just tried to build an interesting story.

I’ll try to let the images tell most of the story. The thumbnails only go about halfway through the main story, though, so if you’d like to read the long version, click here.

The assignment for Unit 2 was to draw a 3-pose turn-around of the main character, along with a full-color action shot. I simply wanted him to be tall, pale, thin, and subtly unnatural. I did a quick sketch of Rob to try and get the proportions right and try out the pose I was considering.

Unit 2 - Individual Project - Sketches - 7 May 2011

After a few adjustments, I re-drew the 4 poses at full size. He was intentionally lanky but his head is still a bit too small. At some point in the process I had to just continue and maintain the same size for the sake of consistency.

Unit 2 - Individual Project - 3-Pose Turn-around - 8 May 2011

Unit 2 - Individual Project - Action Pose - 9 May 2011

I’m relatively happy with the 3-pose turn-around. The features and proportions are consistent from one image to the next. The action pose is a bit painful for me to look at, honestly. It makes the character look painfully awkward and lanky, well beyond what was originally intended. The arms look almost twice as long as they should be and the positions of the legs just aren’t quite natural. The version from my original sketch is much more dynamic and believable. Something was clearly lost in translation on this one but it’s not such a bad start, as rough as it is.

Unit 3 - Individual Project - Thumbnails 1 - 16 May 2011

Unit 3 - Individual Project - Thumbnails 2 - 17 May 2011

Unit 3 - Individual Project - Thumbnails 3 - 17 May 2011

It was an interesting process to replay the entire story in my head and map it out frame by frame. I had a pretty clear vision for what I wanted to do with the camera but a few changes had to be made along the way. For example, in the opening sequence, I had to mirror a few of the images to put the camera on the opposite side of the bed to avoid crossing the line and for better flow. When I went into more detail in the next unit, I further refined this same scene into a single shot, which you can see animated, below.

Unit 4 - Individual Project - Storyboards 1-5 - 16 May 2011

Unit 4 - Individual Project - Storyboards 6-10 - 17 May 2011

Unit 4 - Individual Project - Storyboards 11-15 - 17 May 2011

In unit 4, I chose three of my strongest sequences and redrew them larger and in more detail. The hardest part for me was drawing the character consistently enough to make it seem like the same person in every frame. I’ve never considered myself very skilled in drawing the human form and this certainly isn’t one of my better attempts, but I’m still satisfied with how it turned out, overall. The second frame of the third animation is a good example of how I got the character completely wrong, making it look like I used some sort of stunt-double. Beyond that, I think the sequences are effective in conveying the mood and movement of each scene.

Unit 5 - Individual Project - Storyboard 5 - 28 May 2011

Unit 5 - Individual Project - Storyboard 9 - 25 May 2011

Unit 5 - Individual Project - Storyboard 9 - 28 May 2011

Unit 5 - Individual Project - Storyboard 14 - 28 May 2011

In the final week of the project, I chose the most interesting frame from each detailed sequence to add color and shading. I found myself trying to be too subtle or ‘accurate’ with the shading and had to keep going back to give it more depth and variation. On the two versions of Storyboard 9, you can clearly see the effect of making a few adjustments to color and pushing the shading and shadows further. I started coloring with the very boring assumption that bricks are red or tan and merely toned them down a bit for the sake of contrast and focus. However, making the building more monochromatic turned out to be much more effective on many different levels. Now the focus of the piece is the character, standing out against all that green. The dull olive of the stairs gives weight to the ground while the bright green railing guides the eye upward. The higher contrast shadows really give the whole thing more interest and mood.

In the end, it was an interesting project to follow through on. I find the results of my own work a bit amateur in the grand scheme of things but I learned a lot through the process and it’s a pretty solid base to build upon.