What does a storyboard artist do?
Storyboard artists help the head of story create a visual representation of the animation’s narrative. Storyboard artists translate the script and the director’s vision into pictures. They produce a series of panels of images to plan the shots and ensure continuity between them. These form the basis for the animation in the next stage of production.
Storyboard artists may be asked to complete partly-drawn panels and ensure they are in the right style for the animation project. Depending on the production, the storyboard panels might need to be cleaned up (in terms of the lines and sharpness of the image), so that the drawings are tighter and more accurate. If the panels are being sent overseas to be animated this is particularly important.
Storyboard artists might also need to fill in background details or they may be asked to revise scenes already drawn by senior artist. They may be required to work using various different types of software to prepare panels for editorial.
Storyboard artists usually work in-house at the animation studio.
What’s a storyboard artist good at?
- Drawing: have excellent drawing skills and be able to produce artwork in a range of styles
- Storytelling: be able to communicate a narrative well
- Knowledge of animation: be literate in animation with a good understanding of layout, composition, sequential drawing and editing as well as a strong understanding of framing
- Learning by watching and asking: observe what’s happening in your department and company, take initiative, ask questions at appropriate times
- Watching animations: have a passion for the medium and a love of the industry