Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animation Features and Shorts

Book description

Packed with illustrations that illuminate and a text that entertains and informs, this book explains the methods and techniques of animation preproduction with a focus on story development and character design.

Story is the most important part of an animated film—and this book delivers clear direction on how animators can create characters and stories that have originality and appeal. Learn how the animation storyboard differs from live action boards and how characters must be developed simultaneously with the story. Positive and negative examples of storyboard and character design are presented and analyzed to demonstrate successful problem-solving techniques. Artwork from an international array of students and professionals supplement the author’s own illustrations. Three never-before-published interviews with well known development artists and a comprehensive glossary are also included.

·Written and illustrated by a renowned animator with 30 years experience as producer, designer, and story artist.
· Storyboard and character design examples from an international array of students and professionals.
· Positive and negative examples illustrate the techniques.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Dedication and Thanks
  8. Part One: Getting Started
    1. 1. First, Catch Your Rabbit
      1. Linear and Nonlinear Storytelling
      2. Setting Limitations and Finding Liberation
      3. Shopping for Story: Creating Lists
      4. Nothing Is Normal: Researching Action
      5. All Thumbs: Quick sketch and Thumbnails
      6. Reality Is Overrated
      7. Past and Present: Researching Settings and Costumes
    2. 2. Vive la Difference! Animation and Live-action Storyboards
      1. Comic Boards and Animation Boards
      2. Television Boards and Feature Boards
    3. 3. Putting Yourself Into Your Work
      1. The Use of Symbolic Animals and Objects
      2. The Newsman’s Guide: Who, What, When, Where, and Why
    4. 4. Situation and Character - driven Stories
      1. Stop If You’ve Heard This One
      2. Defining Conflict
      3. Log Lines
      4. Stealing the Show
      5. Parodies and Pastiches
    5. 5. What If? Contrasting the Possible and the Fanciful
      1. Beginning at the Ending: The Tex Avery ”Twist”
      2. Establishing Rules
    6. 6. Appealing or Appalling? Beginning Character Design
      1. Reading the Design: Silhouette Value
      2. Construction Sights
      3. Foundation Shapes and Their Meaning
      4. The Shape of Things
      5. Going Organic
      6. Creating Characters from Inanimate Objects
      7. Across the Universe
    7. 7. Size Matters: The Importance of Scale
      1. Practicing Your Scales
      2. Stereotypes of Scale
      3. Triple Trouble: Working with Similar Character Silhouettes
      4. Getting Pushy
    8. 8. Beauties and Beasts: Creating Character Contrasts in Design
      1. The Great Dictator: Charlie Chaplin’s Character Acting
      2. I Feel Pretty! Changing Standards of Beauty
      3. A Face That Only a Mother Could Love?
      4. Gods And Monsters: Contrasting Appearance and Personality
    9. 9. Location, Location, Location: Art Direction and Storytelling
  9. Part Two: Technique
    1. 10. Starting Story Sketch: Compose Yourself
      1. Tonal Sketches
      2. Graphic Images Ahead!
      3. The Drama in the Drawings:Using Contrast to Direct the Eye
      4. The Best Laid Floor Plans
      5. Structure: The Mind’s Eye
    2. 11. Roughing It: Basic Staging
      1. I’m Ready for My Close-up: Storyboard Cinematography
    3. 12. Boarding Time: Getting with the Story Beat
      1. Working to the Beat: Story Beats and Boards
      2. Do You Want to Talk About It?
    4. 13. The Big Picture: Creating Story Sequences
      1. Panels and Papers: A Word About Story Board Materials
      2. Acting Out: Structuring Your Sequences
      3. A-B-C-Sequences: Prioritizing the Action
      4. Arcs and Triumphs
      5. Naming Names
    5. 14. Patterns in Time: Pacing Action on Rough Boards
      1. Climactic Events
    6. 15. Present Tense: Creating a Performance on Storyboards
      1. Working with Music
      2. Visualizing the Script
    7. 16. Diamond in the Rough Model Sheet: Refining Character Designs
      1. Tying It Down: Standardizing Your Design
      2. Your Cheatin’ Part: Nonliteral Design
    8. 17. Color My World: Art Direction and Storytelling
      1. Fishing for Complements
      2. Saturation Point: Colors and Tonal Values
      3. Writing the Color: Color Scripts
      4. O Tempora, O More or Less
  10. Part Three: Presentation
    1. 18. Show and Tell: Pitching Your Storyboards
      1. The More Things Change: The Turnover Session
    2. 19. Talking Pictures: Assembling a Story Reel or Animatic with a Scratch Track
      1. This Is Only A Test: Refining Story Reels
    3. 20. Build a Better Mouse: Creating Cleanup Model Sheets
    4. 21. Maquette Simple: Modeling Characters in Three Dimensions
    5. 22. Am I Blue? Creating Character Through Color
      1. Creating Color in Context
      2. It’s a Setup: Testing Your Color Models
    6. 23. Screen and Screen Again: Preparing for Production
    7. 24. Further Reading: Books, Discs, and Websites
    8. 25. Appendices: Animated interviews
      1. 1: Discussion with A. Kendall O’Connor Discussion with A. Kendall O’Connor
      2. 2: Caricature Discussion with T. Hee
      3. 3: Interview with Ken Anderson
  11. Glossary of Animation Preproduction Terms
  12. Index

Product information

  • Title: Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animation Features and Shorts
  • Author(s): Nancy Beiman
  • Release date: March 2007
  • Publisher(s): Focal Press
  • ISBN: 9780080514673