What does a Storyboard Artist do?

A storyboard artist can help set up camera shots for a film or television production.

A storyboard is a single panel or series of panels that show a mockup of the action sequence, staging and camera shots for the production of a video or film. Using storyboards can help cut production costs by envisioning ways to handle stunts, brawls, special effects, comic encounters, and other complicated and expensive production elements. Storyboards can be in black and white or in color and can tend towards the rough or polished. They can also be rendered on paper or in a computer graphics program and in 2D or 3D. A person involved in creating storyboards is a storyboard artist, and there are a number of tasks that can be involved in this job.

The storyboard artist’s work will help film and TV producers envision story elements and potential additional production costs.

A storyboard artist can apply for individual jobs or work for a studio. Required qualifications may include a BA or BS in Fine Arts, Media Arts or Animation and previous experience as a storyboard artist or a combination of training and experience. Specific requirements often focus on conveying emotion and movement and may require working in a variety of styles or matching a defined production style. While storyboarding is traditionally images, animation skills may be specifically needed for certain jobs, such as preparing storyboards for stunts.

Storyboard artists focus on the visual presentation that a film offers the audience.

A small group of programs is often used by a storyboard artist. This includes Adobe® After Effects®, Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Flash® and Adobe® Illustrator , as well as Autodesk® Maya® and Autodesk® 3ds Max®. In some cases, experience with a Wacom® Cintiq® pen tablet is required. Works typically go through several stages, including sketches, thumbnails, and finished drawings. The resulting product of a storyboard artist’s work could be a commercial or television show, a live action or animated film, a video game or a computer-based training application, to name a few of the more common possibilities.

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A drawing or tablet will be a useful tool for a storyboard artist.

In addition to the technical skills required, a storyboard artist needs to receive guidance from the director, the head of story, and specifically the storyboard supervisor, if any. Excellent listening skills are required and the ability to transform verbal descriptions into evocative drawings. Reworking, altering, editing and reworking the initial designs is a standard part of the process. The storyboard artist can also contribute to character development through the way characters are conveyed in storyboards. Meeting deadlines, handling pressure well, and working with a wide variety of different people are also essential.

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