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Dec 13, 2012

Storyboard thumbnails from 'A Wizard of Earthsea' class project

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Lou Holsten said...

These thumbs are amazing! I'm just curious, how long do thumbnails usually take you? I know these are supposed to be quick/rough since they're thumbnails, but you're showing so much detail that they look beautiful.

I'm currently taking Rad's storyboarding class, and I find that I'm super slow with the thumbnailing stage. I find myself noodling around so much, trying to get the layout "perfect" and by the time I realize "why am I wasting so much time on this" it turns out I've spent an our only doing a handful of panels. I'm sure with time/experience this stage will go much faster though.

Stephanie J. Stine said...

Hey Lou!

I tried finding you on Facebook, but I'm not sure if you have a profile there... anyway, we should connect! :)

Thanks for your comment. I think all together it may look like the thumbnails have a lot of detail, but really when I was sketching each panel out I was trying to be quick but also go for strong readability. It was hard to be quick sometimes, because I doubted a lot of my choices when I was thinking about them, but once I jotted the ideas down I felt like I had a lot of moments like, "Ah, maybe that's not so bad... that can work." A lot of times as I started sketching I got ideas about how to connect the following shots, or even the shots that came previously.

Also I think drawing thumbnails quickly just takes practice... I remember the first few times I thumbnailed before storyboarding, I spent A LOT of time just drawing one panel, inadvertently putting in a lot of detail and taking too long on it... you just have to keep in mind that thumbnails don't have to be pretty at all, it's just a really good way to see how a sequence COULD look... it's not permanent. But you know that already. Like I said before, I think it's just a matter of practice, like with anything :)

Oh, one last thing. I remember when I was drawing these out that I tried to do my best to limit the number of times I used close up shots. For me I believe that close-ups are best used to reveal an important moment emotionally. It's not a set rule or anything, but for the sequences I thumbnailed here it worked pretty well.

Hope that helps! And thank you once again for commenting. I'm sure you're loving Rad's class--I actually haven't taken it yet (he moved to SF before I could take it at Concept Design Academy), but I'm thinking I should take it next term. How do you like his class?

Lou Holsten said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply :) I started to speed my my thumbnailing a bit. I'll actually be thumbnailing a different story tonight. I've found that taking the time to put together a descriptive beat sheet for the panels helps a lot; just writing down all the cuts and actions. Spending a little more time up front thinking about everything and how it flows together really helps when you actually get to the drawing stage. Then you don't have to fumble around as you're drawing.

As for Close-up shots I totally agree. I save the CU for when I NEED to show the character emotion or need to show a sudden change in the facial expression. Rad actually did a really great class on what shots to use when and how/when to cut. Learned a ton in that one :)

Rad's class is great so far. I've been wanting to take some classes from CDA, especially his, for a while now. I just couldn't considering I'm in the Seattle area. So when I saw he moved his class online I just had to jump on it. Needless to say, in person would be better, but the online setup is pretty nice and I'm learning a lot.

I'll probably be taking his Figure Invention class next, which I see you've already taken. Did you enjoy it? If I move to Cali for a storyboarding job (that's the goal), I'd love to take some CDA classes, like Tron's storyboarding class and Stu's Figure invention class... and Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying visdev class, and, and, and, etc. LOL.

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