Yeah, check it out, yo. That’s Villainy Episode 3, start to finish. Allow me to elaborate!… (A lot of what I’m about to say may seem pretty obvious, but hey, not everyone is as smart as you, alright??)
So after you’ve got a script, you’ve got to take those words and put them in a more visual form. In the case of turning my own scripts into storyboards, I basically just have to draw what I pictured in my head while I was writing the script. So how does one go about doing that? Well basically, (at least the way I do it), each frame up there is either a cut or an action. Frame 1 (an establishing shot), is very different from Frame 2 (an interior shot), because the setting is changing, and the camera is being put in a new position. Meanwhile, Frames 3 and 4 look pretty damn similar. The difference between them is just the position the character is in. Things like that aren’t imperative, because they’ll emerge on their own when the rough animation starts coming together, but I like to have them there so I know how much movement is going to be in each shot, and can thus estimate how long it’s going to take to animate. The differences from one frame to the next are subtle, but they illustrate a different expression or movement associated with a particular sentence or part of the line.
You probably (hopefully) see the rough scribblings I’ve made up there and have no idea what you’re looking at. That’s fine, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me. Once the cartoon is done, you can come back and look at it and it should suddenly be crystal clear. Like one of those Magic-Eye things. I’m counting on no one having a clue what they’re seeing, because I don’t want the story being spoiled. (I’d love to hear your best guesses, though!)
So what did I learn from this? Well, unfortunately, I learned that this Episode isn’t as short as I was hoping it would be. The script for Episode 3 is a page shorter than the script for Episode 2, but the storyboard for Episode 2 was only 101 frames long… this one’s 116.. that’s pretty significant. I could make the animation simpler, include fewer poses, have less motion and layout less complicated shots, but I’m not into that. This way’s going to be harder, but it will look better and improve the telling of the story, which is my ultimate goal. The extra work will be worth the effort (in theory), and the practice will make me a better artist/animator. It makes the February release date seem less-attainable, certainly, but that’s the way it goes.