Feb 26, 2012


Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob SquarePants © 2012 Viacom International Inc.
Finally, something exciting!  For the next couple of weeks in my Advanced Storyboarding class, we're drawing Spongebob!  We've been given the script (actually, the transcript) and dialogue track (audio recorded directly from the episode) for an episode from Spongebob's first season titled "Sandy's Rocket".  For obvious reasons, we were also instructed to not watch the actual episode until after completing the project.  The episode was actually co-written and boarded by one of my favorite board artists: Sherm Cohen!  Sherm has been a HUGE influence on me through his great blogs, his "Storyboard Secrets" DVD set, and through Facebook/Twitter, where he constantly posts new job listings.  A genuinely great and nice individual that I simply cannot praise enough.  Needless to say, I am pumped for this project.  Pumped!  Woo!

First round is thumbnails!  We only had to choose one scene from the 11-minute episode.  I chose the second one (and also boarded the first, cause I can).  Here be me thumbs, mateys!  Argh!

Next will be the rough boards, then the final storyboards.  I also had to sketch around to figure out how to draw the character.  Most of the sketches below are just me [poorly] copying Sherm's work.  Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I think they say or might've said at some point somewhere.
SpongeBob SquarePants and related characters © 2012 Viacom International Inc.

Feb 19, 2012

Types O' Shots

In addition to Advanced Storyboarding, I am taking two other classes this semester at the Academy of Art University.  One is essentially a one-on-one class with Sherrie Sinclair (the amazing and inspiring Director of the 2D Animation department) and the other is Storyboarding and Animatics, which is actually a class from the School of Game Design.  I'm working on my thesis projects in Sherrie's class and I'm working on my first heart attack in the Gaming class.  Never have I been so frustrated with a class!  It's truly an intro to storyboarding class filled with five other students that are all gamers and want to create concept designs.  One of them actually said last week that he doesn't see the value/connection in doing storyboards if he's a concept designer!  [*raise blood pressure here*]  Ever hear of story? Or character?  What about composition??  It's all there in one package!!

Anyway, while I certainly don't mind refreshing myself on the basics of what I plan on doing the rest of my life, the teacher is mind-numbingly uninspiring.  Can he draw?  Yes, he's shown us his own concept design work, and he's beyond capable of drawing.  But should he be teaching a storyboarding class?  While he did show us some really neat layout work that he did for FernGully 2 (which is more than I can say for my actual Layout instructor), he has been in China for the past three and a half years and is clearly teaching this class for the first time.  So his "teaching" method is to read through (and I do literally mean READ through) the online modules of the class.  [*raise blood pressure some more, here*]  It makes storyboarding seem incredibly bland, and I can truly imagine where the other students are coming from when they say they don't see the importance of boarding.

So what I'm learning most in this class is the importance of knowing and understanding what you teach.  Perhaps I was spoiled last semester with my storyboarding class taught by DreamWorks story artists, but story is just far too important to myself and to the creation of great movies, television shows, graphic novels, and yes, even video games to be treated so unjustly!  I would expect (and indeed, actually took) this kind of class in an undergraduate program, but Masters degree students deserve more. yeah, that's part of what I plan on writing in my review for the class.  Meanwhile, our first week assignment was to pick a scene from a movie/TV show and deconstruct the shots in board form.  I chose this scene from my favorite drama, Breaking Bad! (WATCH THIS SHOW!!!)

Oh, and the image at the start of this post was our second assignment: draw the seven types of shots he listed for us.  I decided to have some actual fun with it and make a little story out of my shots.  When life gives you lemons...

Advanced Storyboarding - Week 2/3

Weeks 2 and 3 of my Advanced Storyboarding class have been spent working on a public service announcement-type live-action commercial.  As a class, we chose and wrote a story about a father and son washing their car and choosing a biodegradable soap instead of the evil, Earth-destroying option.  Here be my second and final pass at it:

Feb 4, 2012

Advanced Storyboarding, Week 1

It's that time, again!  No, not for George Lucas to change the Star Wars movies! It's time...what's that?  He has?  Oh.

Well, anyway, it's time for a new semester at The Academy of Art University!  This will actually be my last full semester.  Hard to believe.  Three new classes to challenge me over the next 15 weeks.  First up, we have Advanced Storyboarding with Arnold Wong.  "Arnie" has been around for awhile and used to own his own studio. He has also directed a few episodes of CatDog, but not too long ago, he decided he didn't want to go digital and left the industry to teach surfing in Hawaii.  Long story short, he's now teaching storyboarding at the Academy.  Should be an interesting semester, to say the least.  In any case, our first assignment was to watch one of three commercials and reverse engineer a storyboard for them.  I chose this classic Pepsi commercial:

My boards, which were hand-drawn, go a little something like this:

Did these all in one sitting.  Can you tell where I started to get bored and antsy?  The template is one that Arnold gave us; I can't say I enjoy it.  More to come...

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