Using Storyboards for Cartoon Animation

        Issue # 9 Summer 1984

David Jefferson tells of the advantages of using storyboards and looks at two professional storyboards done for TV adverts.

It has been said that the storyboard was invented at the Walt Disney studios. This may be true although it is hard to imagine a cartoon film being made without first having the scenes mapped out in drawings. Maybe it was Walt Disney who gave these drawings the name ‘storyboard’ because of the practice at that studio of pinning them on a large board similar to a notice board. These boards were about 6 feet by 4 feet , but portable so that they could be carried from the script room to the animation department. The name stuck so we now refer to sheets of paper as storyboards although they are not on a board at all.

Drawing up a storyboard is the first creative step in making a cartoon film. It will serve a number of purposes:

It can be used to sell the idea to other people, these could be people you want to help you if it is a personal film or it could be the people who have commissioned the film if it is a commercial production. Changes can be made at this stage for relatively little expense. It is much better to change a storyboard than to reanimate a scene.

7UP by Speedy Cartoons.

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