Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Storyboarding Evening Class Returns 21 Sept 2022

Storyboard by Anastasia Gurova
Our evening class in 
Storyboarding returns on Wednesday 21st September 2022.

This evening class in storyboarding is an online class, taught from 7-10pm, and runs for ten weeks.

Storyboarding is a growing area of the animation industry; one which has recorded significant skills shortages in recent years.

Our storyboard students have gone on to successful careers at studios such as Walt Disney, Brown Bag Films and Blue Zoo Animation.

Who this is for
Art by Sasha Fusini
The class is aimed at anyone who wants to learn storyboarding, whether for live action, animation, commercials, or your own film independent projects.

Storyboard Course Content
This part-time course is spread over ten evenings. Each class involves a blend of one-on-one feedback, lectures, and simple in-class exercises.  Each week students will receive a homework assignment to complete and bring in for review the next week. This way, students will get meaningful feedback on their work over the full period of the course.
Lumber Room by Leroy Dias

Course Outline
Week 1 - General Introduction to Storyboarding: Introductory Exercises. Creativity, ideas and inspiration for stories. Gesture drawing, fast sketches, and research.
Week 2 & 3- Creating images which tell a story: Single images that tell a story. Gag drawings. Situations and character-driven ideas.
Week 4 & 5 - Standard industry storyboarding process: Script, beat boards, story reel and animatic. Movie structure analysis. Camera and Layout. Reverse-storyboarding a pantomime sequence.
Week 6 - Character Design and Art Direction: Introduction to principles of design and visual development.
Week 7 - Structuring a Scene: How to break down script pages. Progression and punctuation in a sequence. Staging.
Week 8 - The Performance: Story beats, narrative structure, pacing, cinematography.
Week 9 - The Animatic: How to edit, cut and time storyboards in Premiere, to create a storyboard animatic. Music, sound effects, voice over and dialogue.
Week 10 - The Pitch: How to pitch your storyboards. Acting, performance and delivery.

Software 
Panel Forge
We have a number of new software packages recently installed at Escape Studios, much of which is now available for download from home.
  • Toonboom Storyboard Pro, arguably now the industry leader for storyboarding. We have a number of licenses available for home use. 
  • Panel Forge, a new hybrid software that blends 3d modeling resources with drawing tools. Panel Forge is essentially a stripped-down version of Maya, pioneered by Blue Zoo and Jellyfish animation, that greatly speeds up the storyboarding process. 
  • Storyboarder. This free software is open-source and a welcome addition to the board artist's toolkit.
Storyboards by Anastasia Gurova
Where and when
The course is taught online, using online platforms and resources.

Class starts on Wednesday 21st September 2022 and takes place from 7:00pm-10:00pm

Jobs in storyboarding
Skilled storyboard artists are in high demand, and there is a serious skills shortage here in the UK.

Storyboarding is a complex craft that involves the ability to tell a story visually using both traditional drawing and also (increasingly) 3D skills.  Storyboard artists must also understand acting, performance, cinematography - and also have a sense of fun and entertainment about their work. Above all, they must learn to be clear.  Great board artists often become directors - storyboarding can be a route to the very top of our industry.

Storyboard by Anastasia Gurova
Success Stories
A number of Escapees have gone to successful careers in storyboarding:

Official page
Storyboard by Ronnie Kim
To find out more, take a look at the Escape Studios official storyboarding course page here.

Inspiration
Finally, to take a quick peek behind the scenes at Pixar, and see a story pitch by the late (and much-missed) Joe Ranft, one of Pixar's most talented storyboard artists, watch the video below. 

Storyboarding hasn't changed a whole lot in the years since it was pioneered at the Disney Studio in Burbank. It's still about story, story, story.

Pixar Story Pitch with Joe Ranft




How to get ready
To prepare for this class, all you really need do is sharpen your pencils (soft pencils please, 2B or softer), and do some warm up sketches. You might do quick sketches of yourself, your friends, and (in general) the world around you. You should also consider learning the basics of Photoshop and also Adobe Premiere, both of which you will be using extensively in class.

Reading List
We recommend Prepare to Board by Nancy Beiman. You can read more about it here.  We have copies in the animation library at Escape Studios.

MA in Story & Previs
We also run an MA in Storyboarding and Previsualisation, starting in September 2022, for those who want to dig deeper into the story and previs skillset.

Storyboarding Links
To see more about storyboarding at Escape Studios, follow these links:

The Escape Studios Animation Blog
offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2022, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here.

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