What Is Storyboarding?

Storyboarding Defined

The term storyboard is often used in the world of animation, but what does storyboarding mean? Storyboarding is the visual representation of a written story. As a storyboard artist you are creating the very first visual of a script. It is your responsibility to take written words and break down exactly what the viewer is going to see.

Storyboarding involves showing who and what is going to be seen in the shot, how close or far away the camera will be, and the camera angles. In this video Shane Sowell, storyboard artist for The Simpsons, explains that being a storyboard artist can be one of the most exciting and fun jobs to have as an animator.  You are the one creating the very first images with your own personal touch, and seeing them come to life.

Storyboarding Jobs

The Three Main Roles: Director, Storyboard Artist, Storyboard Revisionist

The Director

The director is what Shane calls the “captain of the ship.” They will guide you in the direction of what they want to see to best tell the story. The director is the person you want to keep happy.

The Storyboard Artist

The storyboard artist will be required to read the script and create a corresponding visual story. As a storyboard artist you get the opportunity to put your own unique touch on the work although it is important to keep in mind the wishes of the director and the importance of good storytelling.

The Storyboard Revisionist

The storyboard revisionist is responsible for any changes made after the original storyboard is created. This may mean small revisions in positioning or possibly even creating an entirely new storyboard if the script is rewritten.

Creating a storyboard is one of the first steps in bringing to life an animated story. You’re responsible for turning words into images, and while this can seem like a daunting task creating a storyboard can be a fun and exciting way to let your personal touch as an animator shine through.