A storyboard is a graphic organiser that is made up of illustrations or images displayed in sequence and is used to pre-visualise a movie, animation, or interactive media sequence. Storyboards are also used to plan out the scenes in video games and screens in software applications.
Storyboards look a little like comics. They show movement, position of objects, camera positions and angles, lighting, and usually include labels explaining the scene and the animation or filming techniques to be used. Storyboards can be in the form of very basic sketches or can be very detailed like the example shown below.
The storyboarding process, in the form that is used today, was developed at Walt Disney Productions in the early 1930s. Today, there are many programs and tools that can help to make storyboarding easy, however many people still choose to sketch a storyboard using pencil and paper.
Click here to download a printable storyboard template (or click on the thumbnail image below). This storyboard template has 12 frames but you can easily add more frames to it.
Storyboarding apps and tools
Storyboardthat.com is a web app that you can use to draw a storyboard using existing backgrounds, objects and characters and a range of tools to add text, arrows, etc.
Storyboarding tips can be accessed from the links below.
This video tutorial explains how to connect joints in Maya when working with skeletons, and also how to add bones between joints. The video also gives an introduction to the parent-child relationship in Maya. If you haven’t already watched the video on creating skeletons, then click here to watch it first.
After connecting one joint to another joint in Maya, you will notice the parent-child relationship (hierarchy) update when viewing the list of different joints in the Outliner (click on Windows > Outliner).
This video explains how to animate an object’s skeleton to a motion path in Maya. When you animate a object with its skeleton attached to a motion path, the object can bend along the curve. This is useful if you are trying to animate the movement of something like a fish or a snake.
Watch the video to find out how to animate a skeleton to a motion path.
Note: It is important to follow the step where you rotate the object so that it is facing straight towards you when viewing from the right-side view. If you don’t do this then the motion path animation will be a bit buggy. It is also important to remember to click on Modify and Centre Pivot before attaching the object to the motion path.
This video explains how to add text to a scene and then animate it in Maya. You can manipulate text in the same way you manipulate many other 3D objects in Maya – you can move (translate), rotate, scale, set keyframes or even animate along a path.
Watch the video below to find out how to create and animate 3D text in Maya.
This video explains how to extrude a circle along a curve and then animate an extrusion. When we ‘extrude’ a 2D shape such as a circle, it means that we will push that shape out. By using a curved line, we can push the shape out so that it follows the line.
Watch the video below to see how to do this in Maya.
Tip: When selecting the circle and CV curve, select the circle first and then hold down Shift key to select the CV curve. Make sure you select the curve last.
This tutorial video explains how to animate a shape in Maya using keyframe animation on the timeline.
Tip: To change the frame rate (frames per second) of your animation go to Maya > Preferences > Settings. Under ‘Working units‘, you can change the frame rate in the drop-down box next to Time. The default frame rate is Film (24fps).