The first and the foremost step is to take a look at
your script and break it down scene by scene or shot by shot. Typically, people
choose to make groups of 4-6 cells (a cell is a single frame of storyboard), to
ensure large enough cells and nice placement on standard paper (8 ½ by 11
inches) when printed. Begin the storyboarding process by labeling your scenes,
writing the directions, adding character dialogue, and placing imagery.
Here is a breakdown of the parts of each cell. (Add
the typical 90-120 pages of a feature length movie is a long and arduous
process. Even producing the 30-second commercial may demand great effort on the
filmmaker. That’s why scenes need to be broken down into chunks first. Separate
the scenes out and work them piecemeal as you assemble the larger overall work.
do we identify “a scene” anyway? Scenes are usually defined by two things:
place and time. Broadly speaking, any action taking place at a single
place/location is termed as a Scene; if the location changes, we term it as
Once you’ve identified the scenes, organize
them into a single document, in the absolute chronological order as they would
appear on screen after your final edit. You can scratch this on paper or in a
Word document. Make sure that the document is simple and to the point. It’s
just a reference tool to visualize your storyboard from, albeit a very
Break the Scene Down
Here’s where the filmmaker
really needs to employ the imagination. It is best to see an edit of a film
before a scene or a sequence is shot, especially in the case of Animation. Each
storyboard drawing should convey how the filmmaker anticipates the camera will
be viewing the action, and any significant motions that either the camera or
the scene’s inhabitants will be making. Study the script properly. What will be
the sequencing? Which characters will be engaged in which order? Will the
camera be changing angles? Will a character or a prop have to move? Will the
Identify the types
of Shots to be used in the Animation
Once you have broken
down a Scene into shots, the next step is to identify whether the shot is a
Close-up, or Mid-shot, or is it a Long-shot? This is a very crucial step, as
your selection of the type of the shot will have a direct visual and emotional
impact on the viewers. For example, to show extreme emotions in a character,
you may wish to use a Close-up shot of the character as it will show the details
of the facial expressions of the character; a smile on the lips, a glow in the
eyes and so on. Whereas in a Long-shot, such details would not be visible. Each
Storyboard cell represents a single shot of the film.
Take note of the
details while creating the Storyboard
Storyboards need not
be detailed, but it is always good to have some idea of the details like what
is the Background in a given shot- is it outdoors in a field or is it indoors
in a living room? How is the lighting in the shot? What all props (Properties
or articles, say, a flower vase, books, or a table lamp etc.) are there in the
shot? Is the shot static or do we see movement of the Camera or the Character
in the shot? What kind of movement it is- is the camera panning sideways following
a Character or is it zooming-in to the Character?
Keep visuals simple
Visuals should be kept simple and uncomplicated. Everything that appears
on the screen should be there for a reason.
Focus on the big picture
In the beginning
it’s important to keep your eye on the overall story and how the big ideas fit
together, instead of getting caught up in the details of every scene. Once you
get that right, the details will be easier to manage.
ADD Storyboard Samples Images
the following questions:
Q.1 what is storyboarding and how it helps?
Q.2 which are the basic elements that make
up a storyboard?
Q.3 what are the guidelines to be kept in
mind while creating a storyboard?
Q.4 Create a storyboard of the script you
had written in the previous chapter?
Q5. Create a single cell of the storyboard
and explain how and where all the elements of the storyboard are placed?
Camera Composition and Shots
What is shot?
In Moviemaking and video
a shot is a series of frames that runs for an
uninterrupted period of time. Film shots are an essential aspect of a
movie where angles, transitions and cuts are used to further express emotion,
ideas and movement.
TYPES OF CAMERA ANGLES/ SHOTS:
Camera angles are a great way to
attract viewer interest and hold the audience’s attention in film, TV or
CLOSE UP SHOT
Close up shots are used to
show an object in such detail that it blurs the background around the image. It
can be used in film and media where the actors are close up to the screen which
gives the audience a feeling that they are involved in what is happening. It
could also add emphasis and importance to the scene, the object or person that
the close up shot is taken of being the focal point.
Close up shot shows the Character/figure chest up and in case of
Extreme Close up, we get to see only
the face of the Character chin up.
type of shot usually contains a figure from the knees/waist up. Such a shot is normally
used for scenes that have dialogues, or to show some detailed actions. There
are three variations to this –
the TWO SHOT – containing two figures from the waist up
the THREE SHOT – containing 3 figures
the LONG SHOT – more
than three figures
OVER-THE-SHOULDER-SHOT –it positions the camera behind one figure, revealing
the other figure, and part of the first figure’s back, head and shoulder.
is the shot that shows the image as close to being life-sized. Such an image
corresponds to the real distance between the audience and the screen in a cinema.
This includes the FULL SHOT showing the entire human body, with the head near
the top of the frame and the feet near the bottom. While the focus is on
characters, a lot of background details are visible.
EXTREME LONG SHOT
can be taken from as much as almost half a kilometre away. It is mostly used for
scene-setting. It normally shows an EXTERIOR, e.g. the outside of a building,
or a landscape. Few details are visible in the shot; since it is just meant to
give a general impression of the scene rather than any specific information.
typical Scene follows the following order of Shots in a given Scene-
Extreme Long shot of the location, this establishes the
Long Shot, we see the characters in full figure sitting,
standing or moving on the location.
Medium Shot, we see the Characters in more detail.
Close up Shot and full focus on the character.
This order is not a rule to be followed, but just to give an
idea of how the different types of shots are generally ordered in a given scene.
It is ultimately the Director of the film/Animation decides on the types of
shots he/she wishes to use in a Scene.
HIGH ANGLE SHOT
A high-angle shot is a
cinematic technique where the camera looks down on the subject from a high
angle and the point of focus often gets “swallowed up.” Giving them
an appearance of being small and insignificant, It is usually used in media
when the aim is to show that something is more powerful than the subject and
also make them seem vulnerable when applied with the correct mood, setting, and
LOW ANGLE SHOT
In cinematography, a
low-angle shot is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical
axis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it is even directly
below the subject’s feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is
that it makes the subject look strong and powerful.
OVER THE SHOULDER SHOT
In film or video, an over the shoulder
shot (OTS, or third-person shot) is a shot of someone or something taken from the perspective
or camera angle from the shoulder of another person. The back of the
shoulder and head of this person is used to frame the image of whatever (or whomever)
the camera is pointing toward. This type of shot is very
common when two characters are having a discussion and will usually follow an establishing
shot which helps the audience place the characters in their setting.
DUTCH TILT SHOT
Dutch tilt is a camera shot in which the camera angle is deliberately slanted
to one side. This can be used for dramatic effect and helps portray unease,
disorientation, frantic or desperate action, intoxication, madness, etc.
An eye-level angle is the one in which the camera is placed at
the subject’s height, so if the actor is looking at the lens, he wouldn’t have
to look up or down. Eye-level shots are incredibly common because they are
neutral. They often have no dramatic power whatsoever, thus they are ideal for
romantic comedies and news casting.
An exciting variation of a crane shot, usually taken from a drone.
This is often used at the beginning of a film, in order to establish setting
and movement. A drone is like a mini helicopter with a Camera attached to it;
this offers tremendous flexibility in taking an Arial shot and can convey real
drama and exhilaration — so long as you don’t need to get too close to your
actors or use location sound with the shots.
BIRD’S EYE VIEW
This shows a scene from
directly overhead, a very unnatural and strange angle. Familiar objects viewed
from this angle might seem totally unrecognizable at first (umbrellas in a
crowd, dancers’ legs). This shot does, however, put the audience in a godlike
position, looking down on the action. People can be made to look insignificant,
ant-like, part of a wider scheme of things.
Photography as a tool to understand Frame Compositions:
Each second of
Animation is composed of 24 individual frames (and sometimes 25 or 30 frames).
These individual frames are the still images that are projected at a speed of
24 frames/second to give the illusion of movement. Composition of these
individual frames is crucial in conveying the mood and the impact of the Scene.
We can use Photography as a tool to understand how to compose a Shot for
maximum impact. So, let’s begin!
First of all we have to define what is meant by
‘composition’. Composition refers to the way the various elements in a scene
are arranged within the frame. There are no hard and fast rules but there are
guidelines. It is good to understand a few fundamental rules that have been
used in art for hundreds of years as they help in achieving aesthetically
We’ll start with the most well-known composition
technique: The Rule of Thirds.
1. The Rule of
In the rule of thirds, we divide the frame into 9
equal rectangles, 3 across and 3 down. In many cameras this grid can be viewed in
live view mode. Add Pic
The important element or elements of the scene are
placed along one or more of the grid lines. We have a natural tendency to want
to place the main subject in the middle. Placing it slightly off-centre using
the rule of thirds will more often than not lead to a more attractive
Symmetry and the Centre
an object placed in the centre also looks good. Symmetrical scenes are perfect
for a centred composition. They look good in square frames too. Add Pic
Foregrounding and Depth
something interesting in the foreground keeps it interesting. It also adds to
the depth of the image.
lines can be curved or straight; both are equally interesting. Pathways, river
beds, roads, etc. can be used as leading lines. Leading lines help to focus
attention on the important elements in the image.
Fill the Frame
filled frame allows the viewer to really focus on details such as the eyes or
the textures in the image. One can use the rule of thirds in this composition.
6. Negative Space
Keeping a lot of space around your subject empty or unfilled can
be very attractive too. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. It
too, helps in bringing the focus to the main character shown in the image.
7. Simplicity and Minimalism
itself is a superb compositional tool. It is truly said that often ‘less is
more’. The principle of simplicity implies taking photos with uncomplicated
backgrounds, so that there is no distraction from the main subject. This can be
done by zooming in on a part of your subject and focusing on a particular
8. Changing the Point of
Instead of from
the eye level, taking images or pictures from above or below it can create a
more interesting and unique composition of a common subject. For example, wild
life shots have extreme close-ups taken from ground level at times, making it
interesting by shooting the animal from a new angle instead of directly from
9. Rule of Space
The rule of space
relates to the direction the character or object in the image is facing or
moving towards. This directs the viewer’s sight to the direction the object is
10. Balance Elements in the
A balanced composition means keeping the focus on the main object
while also including an object of lesser importance within the same frame. This
might seem to go against the concept of negative space given in guideline
number 6., however, this is okay as there are no set rules in photographic
11. The Golden Ratio
In this, instead
of a regular grid, the frame is divided into a series of squares known as a
‘Phi Grid’. The squares are used to draw a spiral that looks like a snail’s
shell, called a ‘Fibonacci Spiral’. The squares help to position elements in
the scene and the spiral gives us an idea of how the scene should flow. It
works almost like an invisible leading line.
The golden ratio
can be set up in different directions. In this photo taken in Prague, the
spiral leads us across the bridge to the castle on the far bank.