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Therefore, when we switch to the close-up of the snowmen it is almost a mini-reveal. 11 The establishing shot. 12 The snowmen peeks from behind a tree. 13, we cut back to a close-up of the boy. 14), the camera pushes in (note the arrows and camera direction built right into the storyboard) and his expression changes. As we’ve only seen the boy and the snowmen so far, it’s reasonable for the viewer to assume that the boy is smiling because he has seen the snowmen. This makes the viewer do a tiny bit of mental work, but hopefully it is more engaging than the long shot.

If you are creating your storyboards digitally, save the image into your storyboards directory using the following convention: Board Number  Description . You do this so that if you decide to enhance a sequence of storyboards with a few extra drawings, you can keep them numbered sequentially without renaming all of your files. If you’re really nervous about it, you can number by hundreds. The description is a very short description of what the storyboard depicts. 26 A listing of the storyboard files from Snowmen.

Overly ambitious stories with many characters, sets, and effects can easily overwhelm a lone or small group of animators. Keeping a handle on the length and scope of the story and whether or not it is producible is just as important as having an engaging story to begin with. It cannot be emphasized enough that it is far better to show the world a rough-around-the-edges animation with a great story than a short full of amazing effects and a subpar storyline—or worse still, a great looking project that never gets finished.

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Advanced Animation by Preston Blair

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