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Renegade Animation, Animation Studio
Illustration by John Hersey

Digital workflow: storyboards


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Renegade Animation, Animation Studio

with Renegade Animation

Video: Digital workflow: storyboards

(Music playing.) Darrell Van Citters: Generally, at Renegade, we are not involved into script writing on work for hire projects. When it's our own project, say like the Funny Face project, and we are responsible for the writing, but either way when we get the script then we hand it off to-- each script goes to the several board artists. So, the board artist is responsible for that entire segment and John and I for example would discuss what we plan on doing with that script, if there is anything that we feel could done better with just visuals over dialog or things that we might want to hit that are indicated in the script, but not necessarily indicated in the dialog.

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Renegade Animation, Animation Studio
1h 2m Appropriate for all Sep 01, 2009

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Renegade Animation has pioneered digital 2D paperless animation with a unique all-Flash workflow—and a bunch of really great cartoons! This installment of Creative Inspirations gives viewers an inside look at this innovative character animation studio. Partners Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters describe how they left jobs with major studios to form their own company, and how they have been able to create a successful business that defies all the rules and provide a great working environment in the process. Learn how these renegades have evolved traditional character animation into a completely digital workflow that provides greater creative expression and faster turnaround.

Subjects:
3D + Animation Creative Inspirations Animation Documentaries
Author:
Renegade Animation

Digital workflow: storyboards

(Music playing.) Darrell Van Citters: Generally, at Renegade, we are not involved into script writing on work for hire projects. When it's our own project, say like the Funny Face project, and we are responsible for the writing, but either way when we get the script then we hand it off to-- each script goes to the several board artists. So, the board artist is responsible for that entire segment and John and I for example would discuss what we plan on doing with that script, if there is anything that we feel could done better with just visuals over dialog or things that we might want to hit that are indicated in the script, but not necessarily indicated in the dialog.

Anything we can do to punch it up visually, so that we are telling a story through pictures and not just reciting the dialog. John D. Anderson: We have the sound, the sound has been recorded, which is great, so that really helps to go along, read the script, listen to the voice records because you can really hear the emotion in the voice recorder as opposed to just reading it on the page. And then I will actually do something really archaic and that's on paper. Just some really quick thumbnails. I mean this is very-very rough and just like really quick, like kind of what I am thinking, before I do anything else and then show them to Darrell and say, okay, this is kind of what I am thinking.

It's a very-very rough thumbnails, what do you think and we will discuss more about the arc of the whole show. Darrell Van Citters: One of the great things about doing it the way we do it here in Flash is that you are actually creating an animatic as you go, so that you can tell if the story points are working by playing it back against the sound track immediately and it makes it much easier to make those changes if we need to make them. John D. Anderson: Absolutely! After I have my thumbnails, I would take it to Flash. Basically this is an empty Flash page and then just going from my thumbnails, referring to them and what Darrell and I talked about, I will just start sketching it out.

Just really-really rough, again just shapes, kind of where this stuff is going to go. Really no more than that. (Video playing. Inaudible.) And at this point, I will start timing it out, because we are doing animatics directly instead of going into just a paper board and then going into animatic. So, again this is just really, really rough. But where he says corn, I decided that there needs to be an action so. (Video playing. Inaudible.) So, it's just going to be like that. So, I will basically go through the entire movie like that in this very-very rough form.

I mean just a feel, so you can feel where there is action happening, and that action is changing. Just basic action, roughed out, placements, and most important, timing. Because the timing is really crucial. Darrell Van Citters: When John comes to me with this animatic in this very rough form, we will just discuss and see if it feels right that those poses are coming right where he thought they should come. If the staging is right, we can tell instantly at that moment if we want to change. Maybe this angle isn't the best or maybe we we want to do a little slide-up angle on it, or maybe just want to focus in tight around his face for this particular part of the thing.

All of that gets discussed, and you can see it played back against the sound and know how it's going to work. It's a very quick, amazingly quick way to see how your story is progressing. John D. Anderson: So, then I will go back and with those notes and really from this part, make any timing changes at this point, make sure that's got all Darrell's notes in there and then start cleaning up. And all that means is I will go over the drawing, a little tighter and a little darker.

So basically, you just see I have just gone over what I have done here. And it's a little more on model. It's still fairly rough. And I will probably do again, like this would be a little tighter, but a little more of a rough pass. Darrell Van Citters: And while it's a lot closer to model, you will notice that he is not concerned with matching the exact model, because one of the benefits of having a programs like Flash is the model's already predefined. So, you know it's going to look right when it's actually produced in the animation stage. So, it isn't as important as it was in the earlier days of doing animation for television where you had to match, where everything in that story would had to look exactly like it was going to be finally produced.

John D. Anderson: Here is an example of something that's a little further along. This is for a show called Funny Face. This is kind of what it would like at the end. It might even be a little tighter than this. Again it doesn't have to be as tight as some traditional boards, but wit will have when it's finished is actual, very clearly defined props. I have done the character a little darker here, so it's really easy to see what's happening. And it will have camera moves, so. (Video playing. Beeping.) All of that would be included in the final animatic, the camera moves, gestures.

Here you get to a little more rough area that I haven't cleaned up yet, but you can clearly see that it's almost like a finished show. Everything is temp as far as sound effects, but it does help to, it helps me especially, if there is music in there, it helps me get into the mood of what's happening, even though it's temp, and helps later on when they do music to figure out what's going on, what was my idea. Darrell Van Citters: Also it helps you to figure out your timing, because you know I need to have this much space for a sound effect, or this much space for music. So, that you don't just have really everything stepping on one another.

John D. Anderson: That's absolutely true. I love that, because it's so crucial, especially to shows like this that our timing has to be spot on. I mean like by frames. It has to be a certain number to get the joke across. Having those sound effects in there, at least temp, you hear when somebody gets hit in the head with a mallet. Oh! You hear that sound, you know how long that's going to have to be held for the comedy before it goes into-- Darrell Van Citters: The next little frame. (Music playing.) Newscaster: Grape prices have skyrocketed, as it appears a world-wide shortage is causing a run on the tasty little vine-ripened wonders.

Goofy Grape: La, la-la-la, la. La-la! (Phone dialing and ringing.) Apple: Ah yes, how much would you pay for say a 50 pound grape, huh? (Inaudible response.)

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