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Tag: storyboards


Twins Scratch Game Shooting Board

Last month, I drew up some shooting boards for Unbelieveable, a commercial for Minnesota State Lottery featuring some former Minnesota Twins players and ex-head coach, Tom Kelly.

I met with the director (who'd flown in from California) Monday morning, drew the frames Tuesday in 4-5 hours, and they had a crew at Target Field by Thursday to shoot the spot. It was released March 12, only five weeks after I first snagged the job.

Based on a quick discussion with the director, I dashed out 27 frames to serve as a guide on set. Take a look at a sampling (below) of 2/3 of the group - some of the scenes did not make the final cut, most likely due to editing.




I always find it interesting to compare my rough frames to the finished spot. Though I would've loved to have more time to flesh these out, this was a quick, fun job!


Best Buy 3D TV storyboard

Maybe you've seen the new 3DTV Best Buy commercial? Here are a couple storyboard concept drawings I did for it: I was provided reference for the actor playing the blueshirt. He's all over the Best Buy site, too, in vids for laptop test drives, etc. The character types, staging & blocking and more change as it gets closer to actually shooting the commercial. Sometimes the concept drawings I do look exactly like the final commercial, other times they bear only a passing resemblance. These frames were done digitally, completely in Photoshop.


Microsoft Superhero Video Storyboards and Stills

So, after Microsoft decided on a format change from an 8-page comic book to a semi-animated video, I had to rethink the storytelling and change gears. Either format was fine with me; I just had to disregard the comic page layouts I had already begun to formulate in my head and think instead how to tell the story in a fixed widescreen format, with zooms, pans, fades and simple movements and effects. Instead, then, of doing comic book page layouts of varying panel sizes and shapes, I needed to do a series of what amounted to 35-40 "shooting storyboards" to figure and convey the action frame by frame. These were drawn quickly and small, 2" x 3", taking maybe 3-10 minutes each, depending on the degree of complexity. They're not much to look at, they're supposed to be just enough to form the plan to tell the story, a guide for effects and movements, and figure shot compositions. Below is a sampling of the boards alongside the finished color shots. The story begins with the four heroes meeting at their...meeting place, Justice League of America-style:

Nova (kinda like Charlie did with his Angels) speaks to them via intercom, informing them of the situation and and their task. Then, my fave, Affinity affords her mates a glimpse into the Dark World of the Workers they're to aid:

The Workers' World is filled with shadow and devoid of color, as they toil away chained to their desks at their desktops, limited and hampered in their prison-like workplace:

Affinity peers into that Gray World and transports herself and her colorful clan there to perform their task:

But despite their best efforts, the evil force, Pernicious fights back and begins to drain color and energy from the heroes!

Harmony turns on her charm, spreading enthusiasm and sweet color to the workers, freeing them from their sorry state:

The above shots of Harmony leaving her feet we determined to be superfluous, slowing down the action. I'd hoped to see her lower into frame from above, but that action was cut from the final video.

Harmony and the heroes celebrate before returning to their headquarters for kudos from Nova.

In the end, I lost only a few effects and motions I'd planned and hoped to see, and was pleased the animator added effects I hadn't thought of or expected. To view the video for the rest of the story, visit the GXS Facebook page. And now in benediction, Harmony wishes you peace and happiness:


Fiber Choice Storyboards: Veggie Faces

For this frame from a Fiber Choice storyboard, we were asked to fill the screen with fiber-iffic fruits and veggies. This was patched together digitally from a series of other drawings, so we could save time using elements I'd already drawn, just rotating some to mix 'em up a bit. And these two were of a series prepared for a Fiber Choice running on TV currently. Veggie and fruit eyes and mouths were moved and rotated digitally to form various expressions. Why redraw?

For this last grey tone "bite 'n' smile" shot, we threw a spot color on the tablet to help draw attention to the product.


Storyboards: Sleepy Teddy

I'm coloring my storyboards digitally now, with my trusty Cintiq. Still penciling at the drawing board, I scan the pencils, darken them in Photoshop, and color away. I'm finding with the Airbrush Pen Opacity Flow brush at certain settings, I'm able to achieve a similar look to those frames colored with markers. To rough things up a bit, and to lessen any computer sterility, I use a large chalk brush to finish things off. The more I do, the quicker it gets!



Storyboards: Sleeping in the Bathtub

About half (and in the past, sometimes more) of what I do is storyboard work for television commercials. Storyboard frames are quickly executed drawings to communicate a concept, and help test and plan television, movie or animated projects. I've been doing storyboards for over a decade, and find it helps me as a cartoonist, requiring me to think and work fast, and keep loose. For years, I'd color them with marker over inked drawings I'd copied on marker paper, achieving a more cartoony and clean look, but which also created an extra step and took time.


The last five years, I've skipped the inking step altogether. With these two examples above, I colored with marker over printed pencils on marker paper. I beef up some lines and spot black areas with a thick marker, and rough up and add texture with a black colored pencil. Some storyboard artists do more polished and finished frames that look nearly like finished illustration. I prefer a looser, rougher look and feel, and so work with Art Directors with a similar sensibility. The last few months, I've been coloring my penciled storyboard drawings on the computer with the Cintiq, and will share a frame or two of those tomorrow.