Saturday, April 11, 2009

How I work (Kinda...)


Here is an attempt to show how I storyboard a scene in a film. Hopefully there are script pages when I start, which I can use to breakdown the scene. But sometimes it is just a verbal description.
Most of the time I thumbnail a sequence first, but not this finished, usually. I also do overhead diagrams, even if I am on the job before any set designers or location people, just to keep it all straight in my mind, and to be able to show the director, or whichever department head may need to know, once they are hired. They almost always change my designs, as they should, but my job is to cook up something out of thin air, so I do it.
In this case I just made up a church and exterior, and tried to make sure I chose shots and cuts that could be easily split between stage and location work, but still cut together.

Again, these are nicer than the kinds of thumbnails I usually do on a job. I was trying out different pencils, brush pens, etc. It was fun!

Very often the revision process moves quickly and is complex (after the slow period of very little input). Important pieces of information end up as mere scribbles, compared with earlier drawings that seemed to capture the scene, but are now tossed into the trash.

I create a very tall document in Photoshop, and rough out the frames...

...for years my goal has been to be able to draw directly in ink, but I still just can't really do it, so I "ink" over blue, just like my old analog process....

...I still struggle to have a clean inking style, but so far I still have this loose ratty line look... kinda sloppy perspective too, but I don't think it detracts from the point of the shot. We are story artists, not accurate "drawers", although we keep trying. You can see that I have quickly dodged and blurred the BG line work...

Here is the finished frame. I often don't do them to this level of finish.

...here is a look at the tones for the above frame, without the lines. It is much quicker to do than it looks. I just use the standard Photoshop brush called Airbrush pen Opacity Flow to do tones on a layer below the ink line. I keep moving the slider to change the value.

4 comments:

  1. man. this is great, thanks so much for putting this up. i've only done a few storyboard projects and always felt like i winged it. so looking at your process really helps me see how much i have to learn :)

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  2. This is awesome. And your thumbnails are beautiful! I love the loose line work and the Photoshop gray tones. Thanks for showing this.

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  3. Your lines are great. I never learned photoshop so fascinating to see line and tone in 3 separate images.

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  4. Great sketches, Josh! It's always great to see the process of other artists. Thanks for sharing!

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