We've already talked about the fascinating process of video scriptwriting. Now it's time to move forward to the next stage and learn how the storyboard of an animated explainer video is made, and specifically, how we at Yum Yum create it.
Let's go behind the scenes and analyze some key steps that really make the difference when creating a video.
WHAT´S THE STORYBOARD SPECIFICALLY?
To start, we need to understand what´s the storyboard and how it fits in the video production process. To make it simple, the storyboard is a key element for the client and the video producer to have a clear idea on how the narrative will be. If the script is the what, then we could say that the storyboard is the how. In other words, the storyboard is a pre-visualization sketch of the main actions and elements that will appear on your video (including camera shots and transitions). Due to its strong visual content, it is usually developed by a director with knowledge in film and arts and/or graphic design, and then usually re-drawn and optimized by a professional storyboard artist.
HOW DOES THE STORYBOARD OF AN EXPLAINER VIDEO LOOK LIKE?
A picture is worth a thousand words. So, rather than making an opulent explanation of how a storyboard looks like, we prefer sharing with you one of the storyboards we've recently developed:
As you can see, the actions are drawn inside frames (like in a comic book) and they work as some kind of “translation” of the script into images.
Another important aspect to have in mind is that it's possible to define the aesthetic the video will have right from the illustration style that's been chosen. This means that the video could have different feels depending on the draftsman that has worked on it.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS IN EVERY STORYBOARD?
Generally, storyboards have three different segments. We can summarize them in frames, descriptions and VO (voice-overs). Let me explain you each:
1. FRAMES: they are probably the most important aspect on a storyboard. Frames are scratched static images that represent what is going to be seen on the video at a specific time. Within these frames you can set up the general visual composition (this is, how the characters and all the visual elements will be displayed on the shot), and the actions that they make at that specific moment of the video. This is also the time when you define camera angles and other visual details. Check out this example:
2. DESCRIPTIONS: it could also happen that a still image is not enough to fully understand what's happening at that moment of the video. That´s when descriptions come in: the creative director writes under each frame what happens at that specific moment, what´s going to be displayed on screen and how elements come into motion. This is vital for illustrators and animators to clearly understand what will be seen on screen and what needs to be left aside. All this could be conducted by the voice-over, but sometimes what happens on screen has to be self-explanatory. Here you have an example of a frame with its specific description:
3. VO (voice-overs): the VOs are placed below the descriptions. They are the words that the voice actor says in that particular moment of the video. The voice-over conducts the timing of the video: depending on how long the voice actor takes to say those words you know how long it will take to complete the action on the frame. Look how VOs are inserted in a storyboard:
LAST CONSIDERATIONS AND SOME KEY ASPECTS!
Have in mind that explainer videos production company customizes and adapts different elements of the process according to its style and culture. Every company crafts its storyboard in a different way: at Yum Yum Videos, for example, we use the vertical format and place 9 frames on each page.
Tip: it's vital that you choose a professional vendor to help you out during the whole video production process, including the sketch of the storyboard. If you need help to pick up the right production company that can assist you on this matter, you can download this useful eBook.
Finally, let me give you some basic tips so you can evaluate if the storyboard process with your vendor is heading the right way:
- It´s always a good idea to number the frames consecutively.
- Make sure that there’s a clear description under each frame, even when you think it might be repetitive. It will help avoid misunderstandings with the illustrators and animators.
- We recommend to measure the VO on each frame. This will help to better estimate if that time was enough or scarce to narrate what's happening on screen.
Now, would you like to learn more about how the storyboard is inserted in the video production process? Download this free slide and check out the step-by-step process!
We want to help you understand in depth how's the video production process so that you can take wiser decisions: stay tuned as we'll be sharing more valuable tips in the upcoming posts!