Storyboards are frame by frame 'illustrations' of the 'key frame' moments in a proposed timeline based media production. This definition may sound vague, but that is because their application and use is widespread in many disciplines.
Here are some of the uses and users of storyboards ..
|Discipline||Who uses them?||What for?|
|Animation||Producer / director / writer / lead animator||To convey a vision to financiers or the creative team.|
|Video/ TV drama||Director||To communicate a creative vision to cameramen and creative staff.|
|Feature film||Director / cinematographer||To communicate a creative vision to cameramen and creative staff.|
|Music video||Director||To support a treatment when pitching for a job.
To allow budgets to be precisely set, and help avoid costly mistakes.
|Commercials||Advertising agency||To communicate the idea to the director and production team|
|Games||Games designers||To plan game-play and cut scenes|
|Web sites||Designers||To help team members visual designs, interaction, and navigation|
|Apps||Designers||To help team members visual designs, interaction, and navigation|
|Business||Managers||Presentations of business and project plans|
In general story boards will show the key frames from a planned sequence. Sufficient frames (eg anything from between 4 fps to a frame every few seconds) will be drawn to capture the action and show the camera angle and shot framing. They often include arrows to show the direction of the action such as the movement of a vehicle.
Originally storyboards were created by skilled storyboard artists who were skilled in graphic illustration, and this is still the favoured method when budgets allowed. It is particularly relevant to animation where storyboards are often the developed into finished frames.
Many directors like to assemble storyboards from photos taken at a planned location perhaps with stand-ins.
Computers offer a fast way to create a storyboard visualisation of a scene by utilising wire frame or modelled characters, locations and props.