Thursday, March 22, 2007

Visual Structure

Another benefit of the beatboard is it allows you to see the entire cartoon in a sort of outline form. This makes it a lot easier to control the visual structure – which is the storyboard equivalent of a story arc.

Bruce Block explains it much better in his book, The Visual Story, (which you really should go out and buy right now), but the basic idea is that as a story becomes more and more exciting, the visuals should get more exciting as well. The best way to create this excitement is through contrast.

It’s just like in character design, or any design for that matter:
variety = interest.
Several things that are alike, are going to be less interesting (or exciting) that things that are quite different.

When storyboarding, we have a lot of tools to create this variety with – and we want to make sure that we control them so that we can put the emphasis where we want it.

On Tigre we think a lot about on balanced compositions vs. imbalanced compositions, formal vs. informal shots, deep space vs. flat, and three dimensional character movements, vs. side to side.

To represent good people and safe places, we try keep things balanced and stable. The villains lairs we try to keep informally composed and unbalanced. Then when good and evil meet, we try to mix up the two to create maximum contrast – and hopefully interest.



SACKS said...

Hi Dave, Very informative blog. Everything I ever wanted to know about flash production, boards and then some. Could you post some test animation? Did you ever work at a studio called Wild Brain in San Francisco on a pilot called Poochini?

Dave Thomas said...

Hi Sacks,

Sorry I can't post any animation, but I did work on Poochini - up in San Francisco, with all the kind folks at Wild Brain!

SACKS said...

I was the lonesome new intern at wildbrain at the time that sat in the safe room shooting your pencil tests all day. Sweating like a dog. lol. It's good to see you directing such a great show. Congrats. Swing by my blog and checkout my stuff. Also check out ...

Glenn said...

Hello Dave,

Thank you so much for sharing those beat boards!
I was reading some of the comments about Wild Brain. I am in the MFA program for Animation at AI and one of my professors is none other than Billy Berger. I think he worked on Poochini with you as well. Anyway, Ill be sure an share this blog with him and the other students. I think we could all benefit from seeing your work, not to mention reading your blog! Take care!

billy b said...

You spelled my name wrong: burger,
like the sandwich!


billy b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn said...