Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disco Worms - Storyboards II

Forgive me for sidetracking a bit, but it was while storyboarding on "Sunshine Barry and the Disco Worms" that I was first exposed to the wonders of the Wacom Cintiq.

To the few of you who may not know, it is a drawing tablet built into a computer monitor. I had earlier tried my luck with a regular tablet sitting on the desk beside the computer keyboard, but the necessary hand-eye coordination proved too complicated for me. I reckoned it would take me a month of very poor drawing ability too get to an acceptable level, and I simply didn't have the patience for that.

But with the Cintiq it's completely different. No learning curve, you just jump right in and draw with the electromagnetic pen directly on the screen. Fellow storyboarder Kim Hagen and I considered it for about five minutes, then ordered two Cintiq screens for ourselves, and we never looked back!

Gone were the days of re-tracing the storyboard's backgrounds to the next panel, or alternatively scanning and assembling the boards in the computer (in the old days it would be a lot of xeroxing, scalpel edge-cutting and magic tape). Characters and backgrounds could now be rotated or resized in Photoshop according to your exact desire, providing more accurate layouts for the background artists or CGI previz/blocking. As for the look of the drawings, I quickly acquired the now legendary Martin Madsen Photoshop brush, which is essentially a scan of a real pencil. Most people can't even tell the difference. A piece of truly useful technology.

Turning back to the art of (Cintiq) storyboarding, this sequence features the first rehearsal of Barry's newly formed disco worm band, taking the challenge of limb-less acting to a new level. How do you play the Stratocaster without any arms? Or the drums?

Well, when the disco music plays, nobody worries about such particularities.

This is the final animatic for the sequence. It has been shortened and rearranged slightly. The dialogue and singing is the original Danish track.

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