Monday, April 23, 2007

Life Sucks 2 sc 4-Storyboards are for STORY, not finished art

Here's an earlier sequence from Life Sucks. This is where Ren first approaches Stimpy in his garden. Stimpy thinks nature is proof that the world is full of beauty and joy and Ren begins to burst his bubble by explaining how much torture goes on in his lawn every minute of every day.

These two still drawings are Nick's cleanups of my scribbly roughs. This animatic is mostly drawn by me in my "bus doodle" style.

I have a few different drawing styles and I use them for different thought processes. When I am writing ideas, I draw them, but I draw really fast, with no regard to construction, perspective, line quality or any finished techniques. I am purely drawing feeling. I am trying to draw in real time as the events play out. I look like a complete spaz when I'm doing it and people make fun of me and imitate it.

The drawings are very scribbly but have the germs of all the visual ideas in continuity. Once these scribbles are complete, then I switch my brain to style mode and draw bigger versions of the same drawings that use more solid principles. This step (layout) requires slower, more carefully choreographed drawings and uses a completely different part of the brain to do. If I was trying to storyboard a scene in this finished style, it wouldn't work. I would be thinking of pretty drawings rather than story and emotion and continuity.

This is a major flaw with TV studio systems today. They expect their storyboard artists to draw finished clean drawings "on-model" so they can send them overseas and then have the animators just xerox them up. This is an extremely inefficient way to use storyboards.

Storyboards are called "story"boards because the story artists are supposed to be writing the stories, not doing the animation and layouts. The more time they waste doing clean stiff on-model drawings, the less time they have to spend on making the story work.

Executives do not understand storyboards anyway, let alone rough drawings. They are easily impressed by a clean inked line, and even if the story isn't working they will quickly sign off on a fancily rendered finished looking storyboard.


You should look up some of Mike Maltese's storyboards for Chuck Jones to see how writers used to work.

Anyway, this animatic is made up mostly of my bus-doodle style. Scribbly but emotional. The few clean and semi-clean drawings are done by Nick Cross and Matt Roach following me up.
Uploaded by chuckchillout8

Eddie has a great storyboard drawing style. It's simple but full of amazing life, fantastic strong clear poses and staging and composition. I used to shudder when layout artists would get his boards and then instantly tone down all the poses when they added the details and put them "on-model". I loved doing layouts from Eddie's boards because all the thought and life was there, and I got to add my own creativity in the finished design details and adding a few poses.