15 Second Animation · New Narratives

15 Second Animation – Story Boarding and Animatic

Now it was time to set our story into motion by creating a story board to help us visualise camera angles, sound effects and an overall image of the short film before it could be converted into an animatic. Prior to this, I did some research on the story boarding process and insight on animatics, just because I find the methods and techniques in this job particularly very interesting.

According to Pixar (2017), their definition of a story board is “Storyboards are a hand-drawn version of the movie and serve as the blueprint for the action and dialogue.” To which they would be the responsibility of a storyboard artist who uses their vision to create the rough draft which would then be presented to the director. I found this description very similar to the situation our group was in now, having to create a story board to pitch to our lecturers later on in the week.

Luckily for me, Pixar had recently released a series of videos titled ‘The Art of Storytelling’ for free online, the approach of these successful animators and story board artists was very inspiring. One of the things I learned from their insight was that storytelling was not only a method used to relay a plot from point A to B, but to make an emotional connection with the audience. The audience relates less to who the character’s are physically, and more to what they identify with emotionally. For example, in the beginnings of the famous ‘Monster’s Inc’ they found difficulty in how to best represent the character Sully, a monster working within a scare fuelled factory.  (Pete Docter “Introduction To Storytelling”, 2017) “When I started directing Monsters Incorporated, the way I would pitch it is, it’s about a monster who scares kids for a living. That’s his job…When we told the story as a film, people started getting bored and restless…Well what I finally figured out was that it’s not actually about a monster who scares kids, it’s about a man becoming a father.” This quote in particular in the series really struck a chord with me, and changed my outlook on how to approach the narrative of our 15 second animation, keeping in with a theme of a mother’s unconditional love for her babies.

As for the ‘Animatic’, it is basically taking the same principles of the storyboard only putting the scenes into motion, developing each frame into key poses and setting it to audio, to get a real feel for the final product, or a guideline for the animators to follow. What better way to truly understand how Story boards and Animatics work than by looking at a some of my favourite examples and deconstruct them to discover what I find so compelling about them.

Further Research

Feeling enlightened by my research and insight on the process of story boarding within a professional environment, I was ready to head back into university with my group to get started on our very own story board. With a large sheet of paper, we worked very hard to sort each frame and their timing, with this being a funny animation we needed our comedic timing to be spot on. Such as making revisions to the timing of each hatchling and what was the most appropriate reaction of the mother, using the best camera angle to emphasise the comedic value. Once we were satisfied with our work, Alistair very kindly made a really impressive animatic using both traditional and digital media, combining all of our ideas. This was the outcome of all of his hard work!

(The Family Tree Animatic- Credit to Alistair)


  • “Introduction To Storytelling”. Khan Academy. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • “Storyboard”. PIXAR. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • Maksn. The Rendezvous Storyboard Animatic. 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • scribs. Sincerely, Me | Dear Evan Hansen | Animatic/Storyboard. 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • Gorillaz. Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (Animatic). 2010. Web. 23 May 2017.
  • Pixar. Toy Story – Storyboarding. 2010. Web. 23 May 2017. 



    Group Credit

    Bradley:: https://bradsbadart.wordpress.com/

    Allistair:: https://alilyonsblog.wordpress.com/

    Charlotte:: https://charlottebryansart.wordpress.com/


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