Intro to Storyboarding - OFFICIAL DISCUSSION


Storyboarding is all about clear communication of your vision. Storyboards can help you construct your film, plan your shots and your edit, and visually communicate what you want to the rest of your team.

Kevin Senzaki, confirmed sound wizard and also storyboard artist for VGHS and other RocketJump projects, covers the basics of what storyboards are used for and why. He also covers who typically creates them, what formats they come in, and the different styles and elements that are most often used to create clear and informative boards.

If you are totally averse to drawing of any kind, you’re in luck-- Kevin also shows you some alternatives to storyboards that can help you achieve the same goals in planning out your film.




So who usually makes the storyboard? Is it more the role of a director or writer?


The director is almost always involved - it’s often a collaboration between the director and someone else, either a dedicated storyboard artist or the cinematographer or even production designer. Depends on the scale of the shoot and who wants/needs to be involved. As Kevin mentions in the video, he often meets with the director directly. Hope that’s helpful!


Just to elaborate further on Cherish’s answer, the writer typically pens the script, and then his or her involvement in the project is complete (though there’s many exceptions of course, and there’s a reason the term “writer-director” exists). The director adapts that written work to an actual on-screen film, and the storyboards are a part of preparing that process of transforming and interpreting the written word into shots - thus, the director’s involvement, but typically not the writer’s.


Thanks to you both :smile:


I am new to film making. Started my storyboard and am curious can one film story without knowing exactly where a CGI monster will be? Don’t have the budget for the high tech stuff they used in LOTR or Planet of the Apes :frowning: So can I have a general marked area then add the CGI monster and to fit it’s movements to the actors; instead of the other way around?


In general, you want to make sure you decide the location, size, and movement of anything you’ll add in post, so the actors can look in the correct direction (and to the correct eye height), and also so you can frame your shots appropriately, so when you add in your CG creature, the shot is composed “correctly” as if the creature were there on-set. It can be extremely helpful to rehearse with the actors before shooting, and you can use anything low-tech (like a stick with a marker on the end) to show actors how tall the creature is, and rehearse its movements (this is equally useful for camera), and then once everyone has it down, you can do a take with the stand-in missing.

Here’s a brief moment where you can see Phil Tippet holding a stick with a T-rex drawing on it which they used to plan the ending for the original Jurassic Park - super cheap, low-tech, but it worked! This kind of technique is still commonly used today.


Thank you. Was trying to figure out how to mark the ‘monster’ but cheap…this is perfect.


And I juuuust now found a better explanation of the same Jurassic Park trick, but from the second film!

Depending on the level of sophistication of your effects, it might also be smart to look into how VFX artists capture lighting reference on set. I know some of the Star Wars prequels cover this pretty well in their behind-the-scenes, but it often involves a combination of notes about the camera (height, lens, etc. - again, this may be a bit more sophisticated), and also photographing reference for lighting - you’ll see a lot of spheres which help give shadow and color reference (basically, if you can recreate a sphere in CGI that matches for shadow direction, strength, and feel, then you’ve probably got your lighting correct for the scene).


Thank you again. I am excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. We have many dragons and LOTR type monsters/settings/characters. So a lot of CGI. Right now I am studying, studying, studying before we start shooting (Spring is when we hope to start).


I’d highly recommend doing test footage - just a handful of shots that cover some of the common kinds of framing, movement, etc. that you intend to do. That way you can work in a “safe” test environment and figure out (and solve) all the problems first - a lot better than shooting the whole thing for real, and then figuring out there’s a problem! It may sound like a lot of work (it is), but it can pay off immensely.


I think in the absence of a good artist, one should consider pre-viz


I personnaly suck at drawing and I would recommend to use a shotlist, and yeah, previz may be useful.


Hey! I’m a new filmmaker, working on my first film. I wrote the screenplay, and storyboarded the first 3-4 scenes with hand drawings and graphic designs. I just went and brought a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and I got Photoshop Cs6 and also storyboarder which is a storyboarding software. I saw a professional do his work in Photoshop. But I have know idea how or where he got his professional storyboarding templates. Can someone help with some guidance to some professional storyboarding templates. It will be highly appreciated. I can really use the help. Thanks so much. I hope to get some good help. I’m new to this site.

Kind Regards


Hey there!

So as mentioned at the start of the video, I’m more of a sound designer by “day job,” but the most important thing as far as templates go is matching the aspect ratio to what’ll be shot. I’ve had some decent luck finding templates just via Google image searches, and then I’ll work with that file a bit to come up with my own Photoshop template. If you find something that’s low resolution, you can trace over it on a new layer to set up your own template (if you also have Illustrator, that might be a little faster).


Thanks Kevin! I really appreciate the help, means a lot bro bless!