Storyboarding

A graphic, sequential depiction of a narrative, which is often similar in appearance to a comic strip. Storyboards are often used to plan and visualise live-action video, animation, theatre, advertising, graphic novels or interactive media (including website interfaces). As well as visualising action, storyboards also enable advance planning for design, production and technical aspects, as well as identifying potential problems.

In a storyboard for a live-action or animated film, the images show how events are seen through the camera lens (e.g. close-up, wide shot, high camera angle). Some images include lines to convey movement, as well as written information about dialogue, what is happening in this scene, and how it relates to the soundtrack.

For interactive media, such as websites, a storyboard shows the layout and sequence in which the user views the site’s content. Creating a storyboard for a user interface can enable user evaluation to start before the system is actually developed.

Storyboards tend to be drawn on a digital or analogue storyboard template, which looks like a blank comic strip, with spaces for comments and dialogue. A digital storyboard can either be drawn directly on a computer using graphics software (or a 2D storyboarding program), or hand-drawn and scanned. Some programs contain a library of stock storyboard images that can be used to populate the template as quickly as possible.

For some films, 3D storyboards can be created digitally. These show exactly what the cameras see in more detail than is possible in two dimensions, and allow experimentation with more complex ideas.

Related methods include: 2D graphic design, 2D scanning, Animation, Usability analysis and Visualisation.

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