Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts

by ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2007-03-01
  • Publisher: Focal Press
  • View Upgraded Edition

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $39.95 Save up to $9.99
  • Buy Used


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Packed with illustrations that illuminate and a text that entertains and informs, this book explains the methods and techniques of animation preproduction with a focus on story development and character design. Story is the most important part of an animated filmand this book delivers clear direction on how animators can create characters and stories that have originality and appeal. Learn how the animation storyboard differs from live action boards and how characters must be developed simultaneously with the story. Positive and negative examples of storyboard and character design are presented and analyzed to demonstrate successful problem-solving techniques. Artwork from an international array of students and professionals supplement the authors own illustrations. Three never-before-published interviews with well known development artists and a comprehensive glossary are also included. Written and illustrated by a renowned animator with 30 years experience as producer, designer, and story artist. Storyboard and character design examples from an international array of students and professionals. Positive and negative examples illustrate the techniques.

Author Biography

Nancy Beiman is currently teaching animation, storyboard, and character design at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Dedication and Thanksp. xii
Getting Started
First, Catch Your Rabbitp. 1
Linear and Nonlinear Storytellingp. 5
Setting Limitations and Finding Liberationp. 6
Shopping for Story: Creating Listsp. 7
Nothing Is Normal: Researching Actionp. 11
All Thumbs: Quick Sketch and Thumbnailsp. 13
Reality Is Overratedp. 13
Past and Present: Researching Settings and Costumesp. 15
Vive la Difference! Animation and Live-action Storyboardsp. 17
Comic Boards and Animation Boardsp. 23
Television Boards and Feature Boardsp. 26
Putting Yourself Into Your Workp. 29
The Use of Symbolic Animals and Objectsp. 32
The Newsman's Guide: Who, What, When, Where, and Whyp. 36
Situation and Character-driven Storiesp. 41
Stop if You've Heard This Onep. 44
Defining Conflictp. 45
Log Linesp. 46
Stealing the Showp. 47
Parodies and Pastichesp. 48
What If? Contrasting the Possible and the Fancifulp. 49
Beginning at the Ending: The Tex Avery "Twist"p. 53
Establishing Rulesp. 56
Appealing or Appalling? Beginning Character Designp. 59
Reading the Design: Silhouette Valuep. 60
Construction Sightsp. 61
Foundation Shapes and Their Meaningp. 65
The Shape of Thingsp. 68
Going Organicp. 70
Creating Characters from Inanimate Objectsp. 73
Across the Universep. 75
Size Matters: The Importance of Scalep. 79
Practicing Your Scalesp. 81
Stereotypes of Scalep. 83
Triple Trouble: Working with Similar Character Silhouettesp. 84
Getting Pushyp. 88
Beauties and Beasts: Creating Character Contrasts in Designp. 91
The Great Dictator: Charlie Chaplin's Character Actingp. 91
I Feel Pretty! Changing Standards of Beautyp. 92
A Face That Only a Mother Could Love?p. 96
Gods and Monsters: Contrasting Appearance and Personalityp. 97
Location, Location, Location: Art Direction and Storytellingp. 103
Starting Story Sketch: Compose Yourselfp. 115
Tonal Sketchesp. 115
Graphic Images Ahead!p. 120
The Drama in the Drawings: Using Contrast to Direct the Eyep. 122
The Best Laid Floor Plansp. 124
Structure: The Mind's Eyep. 127
Roughing It: Basic Stagingp. 135
I'm Ready for My Close-up: Storyboard Cinematographyp. 142
Boarding Time: Getting With the Story Beatp. 147
Working to the Beat: Story Beats and Boardsp. 149
Do You Want To Talk About It?p. 151
The Big Picture: Creating Story Sequencesp. 155
Panels and Papers: A Word about Storyboard Materialsp. 157
Acting Out: Structuring Your Sequencesp. 158
A-B-C Sequences: Prioritizing the Actionp. 161
Arcs and Triumphsp. 162
Naming Namesp. 164
Patterns in Time: Pacing Action on Rough Boardsp. 165
Climactic Eventsp. 182
Present Tense: Creating a Performance on Storyboardp. 183
Working with Musicp. 189
Visualizing the Scriptp. 190
Diamond in the Rough Model Sheet: Refining Character Designsp. 195
Tying It Down: Standardizing Your Designp. 199
Your Cheatin' Part: Nonliteral Designp. 209
Color My World: Art Direction and Storytellingp. 217
Fishing for Complementsp. 218
Saturation Point: Colors and Tonal Valuesp. 220
Writing the Color: Color Scriptsp. 227
O Tempora, O More or Lessp. 229
Show and Tell: Pitching Your Storyboardsp. 231
The More Things Change: The Turnover Sessionp. 241
Talking Pictures: Assembling a Story Reel or Animatic with a Scratch Trackp. 243
This Is Only a Test: Refining Story Reelsp. 247
Build a Better Mouse: Creating Cleanup Model Sheetsp. 249
Maquette Simple: Modeling Characters in Three Dimensionsp. 257
Am I Blue? Creating Character Through Colorp. 265
Creating Color in Contextp. 269
It's a Setup: Testing Your Color Modelsp. 276
Screen and Screen Again: Preparing for Productionp. 277
Further Reading: Books, Discs, and Websitesp. 279
Appendices: Animated Interviewsp. 283
Discussion with A. Kendall O'Connorp. 283
Caricature Discussion with T. Heep. 290
Interview with Ken Andersonp. 296
Glossary of Animation Preproduction Termsp. 303
Indexp. 309
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review