Friday, 4 March 2016

Join Us for Our Free StoryBoarding Webinar on Wednesday 30 March at 5pm!

Our next free animation webinar on Wednesday 30 March at 5pm is on the subject of storyboarding, and we're taking the opportunity to demonstrate our latest shiny new piece of software - Redboard.

Redboard is a great new piece of kit, developed in London's Soho, that allows storyboard artists to combine the storyboard process with the 3D Layout dept.

It was created by animators who were frustrated by the problems caused when storyboard sketches got turned into actual shots in the 3D layout dept - and things began to go wrong.  Redboard is a way to control the storyboard pipeline from the start, making choices about camera and cinematography up front.

What is Redboard?
Redboard describes itself as a "revolutionary technology that lets you accurately plan and manage your 3D animation production from the storyboard stage and then seamlessly transfer camera and scene data into your 3D workflow".

Redboard is a new technology that allows storyboard artists to use low-poly 3D assets to speed up their work.

First, story artists import 3D models and sets as low resolution digital assets into Redboard.  Then, you sketch over the top of the 3D assets, to make the character poses and expressions stronger - a bit more like traditional story boards. 

So it's a bit like doing PreViz in Maya then?
Yes, but it's simpler, and more versatile, because Redboard combines the process of storyboard and layout.  According to Blue Zoo animation: "this saves the production a ton of work, because you don't need to have a whole extra 3D layout process after storyboards are done". 

Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest independent animation companies, uses Redboard for its TV shows, including QPootle 5, which we reported on last year.

What's in the webinar?
I'll be demonstrating how Redboard works, and showing how storyboard artists can make great boards in much less time than it would take using the traditional story process.

Do you need to know how to draw?
A bit, yes, but because Redboard gives you 3D assets, the story board artist is not faced with the dreaded blank sheet of paper. So, while you are still drawing over the top of the 3D assets, you don't have to worry about camera, layout and staging - because these things are all done for you.

Is Redboard hard to learn?
No. Redboard was designed with traditional story board artists in mind, so the tools are deliberately streamlined to make it super easy to learn and use.

Who is doing the Redboard?
I'll be running the webinar - I have storyboarded on many animated feature films and I'm excited to be showing off this latest piece of tech.

Can students download a copy of Redboard and if so where?
Yes, Hibbert Ralph animation have generously agreed to provide (closer to the time of the webinar) a link where students candownload the RedBoard installer and the Windmill Project installer.

Remember though that this is only a demo version. Students can work in RedBoard's demo mode, which allows you to make as many storyboard panels as you want with no time limitation. The only real limitation of the demo mode is that is doesn't allow you to export any panels or mel scripts direct to Maya. In other words, the demo version will be great for training, but not for production. If you want to use it for production, you'll need to buy a license!
When is the webinar happening and where do I sign up?
Wednesday 30 March at 5pm.  To sign up for our storyboarding webinar, follow this link!

----Alex Williams

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MA starting in September 2016, follow this link

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