What is a Storyboard Artist?
A storyboard artist creates visuals for each major scene in a film or TV show. Visuals will include character poses, facial expressions, and backgrounds.
What Is The Job?
The roles of a storyboard artist can differ from job to job. In some cases, the storyboard artist gets a script and has to create a storyboard based on that script, whereas in other cases, the storyboard artist also acts as the writer of the episode. In many cases, storyboard artists are responsible for ‘pitching’ their ideas to the director of a film. It’s one of the few art jobs in animation that can influence the final product.
The storyboard artist has to visualise everything, specifically from the camera’s point of view – from gestures to emotion, and based on preference, a storyboard artist can visualise the scenes by hand, or visualise them using software such as Photoshop or Storyboard Pro.
The illustrations that the storyboard artist creates have two functions: to help directors clarify what they want to achieve, and to illustrate to other members of the team exactly what is required (e.g. props, makeup, computer generated images).
The main role of a Storyboard Artist is to produce a series of panels of images to plan the animation’s shots and ensure continuity between them. Storyboards are mostly useful for productions involving a large amount of action, CGI and special effect, as it allows to reproduce expensive and time consuming on-screen effects just with pencil and paper. Big budget movies are often entirely storyboarded even before production, to help avoiding overshooting and prevent the filming to be too expensive.
During the first day of production, Storyboard Artists meet with the directors to discuss angles, mood and colours of each scene. They can then start producing the first illustrations and possibly give suggestions on the following scenes if the Director asks for their advice.
In big-budget films there are usually 2-3 Storyboard Artists employed on set full-time, usually working within the Art Department, where they can examine any props, models and Location photographs they need to get a clearer idea of scenes.