So you have all of your storyboards drawn out. The next thing to work out are you timings. To do this you need to make a Boardmatic.
Effectively a Boardmatic is a very simple version of your animated film. It is produced by layout all of the storyboards in time with a rough sound track. This sound track should include any key sound effects, music and a placeholder read of any dialog. The idea is make a rough, full version of you animation. This way you can get a sense of how long each shot needs to be and the pace of the overall film – whether it’s moving too slow and sections need to be shortened or moving too quickly and more time needs to be given to particular shots. It at this stage you often find yourself going back and re-drawing or drawing new storyboards to fill in sections that need more work.
Animation is a long, costly, and frankly, laborious process. The last thing you want to do is spend a long time animating something that isn’t right and ends up in the bin. The advantage of starting with a Boardmatic is you very quickly get a sense of whether the animation is working. You don’t want to spend ages polishing the first few shots, only to find out when you come to make the last few they don’t work with each other.
The Boardmatic gives you both a visual and time based frame work to start building your more complex animation on.
Here’s the completed Boardmatic for the Foxes short film.
Even though I am happy with how it is coming along, I very quickly noticed there where a couple of areas that could do with a couple of extra shots. These I will add in when it come to the Animatic stage, however for the time being the next thing to be looking at is what the final film will look like. Next step, Concept Art.