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Visual Storytelling

:
A Crash-Course in Filmmaking and Storyboarding
ART/CSC/FST 320: Computer Animation E. Patterson
“I think one of the biggest problems
that we have in our business is the
inability of people to visualize... The
visual, to me, is a vital element in this
work. I don’t think it is studied
enough” -- Alfred Hitchcock
All about directing
attention!
Montage
Mise-en-scène
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Wiene
Lev Kuleshov’s experiment.
Mise-en-scène
Setting
Decor
Staging/Blocking
(planar, depth, multi)
Framing
Composition
Lighting
Focus/Depth-of-field
Camera Movement
Montage
Transitions: cut, dissolve, fade
Rhythmic pace of shots
Temporal relationship
Kuleshov effect
Graphic relationship of frames
Parallel action
Continuity
Cut on the action
Establishing shot
Master shot
Reaction shot
Shot/Reverse-Shot/Framing-distance
POVs, Cutaways/Inserts
Match Cuts
Jump Cuts
Bridging sound
It’s also about perception -- using “film grammar”
with the tools of mise-en-scène and montage to
construct time and space for the audience.
Some spatial tools:
“the line” -- 180-degree rule
eye-lines and eye-line matches
screen direction
30-degree rule/jump cuts
eye-lines and eye-line matches
Amélie (2001) Jeunet
screen direction
“the line”
180-degree rule
jump cuts
Breathless (1960) Godard
Composition is all about directing the viewer
attention to key realizations, decisions, and
storytelling objects.
composition
staging (planar & depth)
positive/negative space
contrast
value
texture
depth cues: scale, overlap,
form, perspective
focus and depth-of-field
color versus black-and-white
symmetry, asymmetry, balance,
series, random
framing devices: shapes such
as circles, squares, arcs
rule of thirds, rule of fifths
diagonal or other lines in frame
to direct attention
proxemics, distance, height,
angle of camera
Visual mediums have a long history: drawing,
painting, photography, comics, animation, and
film use similar tools.
Seek inspiration in these.
composition
Famous Artist’s Course
composition
composition
basics of camera/lens movement
pan
tilt
(roll)
dolly/track/truck
jib/crane
hand-held
swish pan
steadi-cam
motion control
rack focus
zoom
zolly
basic shot terminology
extreme close-up (ECU)
close-up (CU)
medium shot (MS)
American / Hollywood
(knees up)
Full
Long Shot (LS)
Wide shot (WS)
single
two shot
insert
high-angle
low-angle
aerial/bird’s-eye
worm’s eye
high hat
3/4 shot
profile
frontal
over the shoulder (OTS)
canted/dutch
storyboarding
Using the tools of filmmaking discussed, tell the story in a series of
frames that use primarily composition and sequence to reveal the
narrative elements as mise-en-scène and montage will in the final film.
Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas
Create each board to be visually specific for a shot.

scale (frame to object)

angle (camera and object)

camera movement

blocking of character, vehicles, etc.

(possibly contrast/lighting cues)

all of the previous filmmaking ideas
Useful tools for drawing.

1, 2, and 3-pt perspective.

Scale, overlap, foreshortening.

Using basic shapes in perspective.

Human proportions.

Gestures first.

Build volumes using scale, overlap, and lines.
before shading for form.
one-point
perspective
Use for looking straight into rooms or straight at buildings.
Choose the horizon line. Horiz/vert stay; other lines “vanish.”
Use for viewing from an angle.
two-point
perspective
Extension of two-point for more extreme angles.
three-point
perspective
gestures: pose and action come
first with simple lines
... then build form over gesture using
scale, overlap, shape, shading
human proportions
Andrew Loomis
facial proportions
Resources

Begleiter, M., From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking
Process, Michael Wiese, 2001.

Vineyard, J. and Cruz, J., Setting Up Your Shots: Great Moves Every
Filmmaker Should Know, Michael Wiese, 1999.

Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques
for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas, Focal Press.

Thomas, F. and Johnston, O, The Illusgcc

ion of Life: Disney Animation, Walt Disney Productions, 1981.

Lee, S. and Buschema, J., How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, Fireside,
1984.

Simblet, S., Anatomy for the Artist, Doring Kindersley, 2001.