Basic Storyboarding Tips for Animation Students

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Storyboarding is a very important process if you want to create a well-made and professional looking film or animation. The storyboard serves as a visual template of the scripts and scenes of the film or animation that you are trying to make.

Creating a storyboard is not as easy as it sounds, the goal of having it in the pre-production process is to provide a realistic version of the script and overview sequences of the scenes. As a storyboard artist, “you are kind of like breathing life into the film”, says Garth Laidlaw.

In this video by “The Admission Insider” Karen Kesteloot, you will learn the basic storyboarding tips from Garth Laidlaw.

Garth recommended using pencils when creating a storyboard in your art portfolio for college instead of markers. A common technique for doing animation is that you use a little bit of a grid when you are trying to do a scene. One thing that you’ll notice when you get to an Animation School, according to Garth, is that you don’t get to use rulers anymore so adding grids can give you more perspective as you draw your storyboard.


There are types of shots or scenes that you can use when creating a storyboard, according to Garth. For example, there’s the “Extreme Close Up” which is a type of shot that only shows face. It usually shows the change of emotion or expression from a character. He mentioned that using this type of shot adds a lot of drama to the scene.

Another type is the Medium Shot, this is the shot where you really get to see the environment which is commonly used when you’re trying to introduce a new scene to the film. When trying to draw a medium shot for your storyboard, Garth said that this is where you should start being conscious of your composition as this type of will probably require you to include a lot of elements in the background.

Below is a list of other types shot/scene that you can use for your storyboard:

  1. Extreme Long Shot
  2. Long Shot
  3. Close Up
  4. Up Shot
  5. Over the should shot

Watch the video and to get more storyboarding techniques from Garth Laidlaw and how you can apply them on your animation storyboard.

Want more video tutorials? Visit our Tutorial Tuesday page for more tips and tricks to improve your artistic skills!


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