Topics Covered in Class:
Animation Production Workflow: Overview (1/2 hour)
Story Development: Every story has three main stages – Beginning, Middle and End. Screenwriters call it a three-act formula: Set-up, Conflict and Resolution.
In the Set-up we are introduced to the Protagonist. We see enough of him to care
what happens to him. He wants something – even if it’s only to carry on being
Then he meets the Problem. This involves the antagonist (the bad guy). Immediately we have Conflict. This is the longest act, with the hero solving an immediate problem, then finding another one in his path – in many cases it’s the previous solution that causes the next stumbling block.
Eventually the protagonist achieves his goal and we have resolution.
Script: The written story of a film that supplies dialogue, camera moves, background,
staging and action.
Story Overview: Animated Short | TV Pilot
Storyboards: A storyboard is a visual script designed to make it easier to for the director to "see" the shots before executing. It is used for movies, commercials and animation.
Animatic: An animatic or story reel is made after the soundtrack is created, but before full animation begins. An animatic typically consists of pictures of the storyboard synchronized with the soundtrack.
Model (Character) Sheet: A basic model sheet shows a character from all sides and gives the animator a clear idea of the character's structure and proportions.
Activity: Brainstorming and Story Development (1 1/2 hour)
Consider a story you would like to tell. The underlying concept should be simple and straight forward and must happen in 1.5-3 minutes. Use a watch and act out the entire story.
Finding Idea Exercises:
Make a list of People, Places and Things. Choose one from each column- mix and match.
Spoof a well-known story or historical event.
Look at photographs in magazines – ask questions about the characters and the environment – What are they doing there? – How did they get there?
Write about something from your family experience
Watch people in a public place, expand the actions of two or more people into a simple story with a conflict.
Think about a situation or event from your childhood.
Write about an event from the point of view of a child.
What makes you feel passionate or angry or sad?
Make up a story from a piece of dialog or quotation
Use a fairy tale or myth as the basis for a story
Write a paragraph or two about the story, indicating the personality, motivation, emotional states and relationships between the character(s), the location and environment, the message and mood. In a couple of paragraphs you should be able to clearly state the aim of the story. [Example]
Make quick, rough sketches of your character(s), props, costumes, and background scene(s).
Atom Films - check out a few animated shorts and see if you can find the Set-up, Conflict and Resolution.
Activity: Rough Storyboarding
Here you will rough out the pacing of the complete short by breaking down your story idea into a series of shots.
Determine what the important elements are in each shot and figure out the most effective way to convey your ideas. Think about:
How the characters and props move within the shot
Number each shot and determine how many panels will be needed to explain each shot. Coordinate your script with your rough storyboard panels. Indicate dialog, sound effects, camera direction and timing.
Your storyboard will should convey some of the following information:
What characters are in the frame, and how are they moving?
What are the characters saying to each other, if anything or how are they interacting?
How much time has passed between the last frame of the storyboard and the current one?
Where the "camera" is in the scene? Close or far away? Is the camera moving?
CLOSE-UP SHOT: A close range of distance between the camera and the subject.
DISSOVLE: A transition between two shots, where one shot fades away and simultaneously another shot fades in.
FADE - A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually becomes darker is a Fade Out; or from black where the image gradually becomes brighter is a Fade In.
HIGH CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks down on its subject making it look small, weak or unimportant.
JUMP CUT: A rapid, jerky transition from one frame to the next, either disrupting the flow of time or movement within a scene or making an abrupt transition from one scene to another.
LEVEL CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which is even with the subject; it may be used as a neutral shot.
LONG SHOT: A long range of distance between the camera and the subject, often providing a broader range of the setting.
LOW CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks up at its subject; it makes the subject seem important and powerful.
PAN: A steady, sweeping movement from one point in a scene to another.
POV (point of view shot): A shot which is understood to be seen from the point of view of a character within the scene.
REACTION SHOT- 1.: A shot of someone looking off screen. 2.: A reaction shot can also be a shot of someone in a conversation where they are not given a line of dialogue but are just listening to the other person speak.
TILT: Using a camera on a tripod, the camera moves up or down to follow the action.
ZOOM: Use of the camera lens to move closely towards the subject