Help with the storyboard.

I need help with the story board. Does anyone know of examples of past storyboard submissions for the competitions? How should I go about making the Storyboard? Any help on storyboards would be helpful…it is my first year in robotics and my last so i want to do my best for the team.

thanks so much!


Storyboards are very usefull in laying out what needs to get done, the camera angles you want

buy some 4x6 notecards to draw your shot out, that is what works best for me

Basically, you just get some massive sheets of paper and some markers and map out a sequence of events in your animation. Last year, we did an animation about our robot in a sort of nuclear reactor type situation. We had about 1 brief sketch for each of the six different shots and a description(like camera angles and such) of what goes on in that shot, and what needs to be done for that shot. That was how we did it, but I think that we may have not gone in enough detail. I think that you should maybe make about 3 or 4 sketches for each scene so that everyone can at least have a good idea of what is going on. It should be something that you can refer to often. Not following it led us to disaster last year when we kind of forgot about the different amounts of time we had plannned for each segment. At the end, we only had about 20 seconds of animation so I had to quick improvise some shots (which didnt turn out that bad).

As to getting ideas for a storyboard, just think about what FIRST means to you. If FIRST means robots and competition, then just demonstrate the game. If it means gracious professionalism, then think of a creative way to demonstrate that.

Story boards are just like cartoon or funnies in the paper. They are simply a series of pictures/words/ideas in rectangles or squares, which are arranged in the order that you want the story to be developed and told. A couple of easy methods that I have had the students use in the past are;

  1. Poster board divided up into rectangular sections
  2. Individual pieces of paper or card board arranged in order
  3. Divide the chalk board or dry marker board into sections
    Remember that story boards will almost always change as you develop and re-develop the story - so, make sure you can drop or add each piece of the story individually. I have found that starting with bigger pieces of paper and transferring down to smaller pieces helps scope the story line. We usually start brainstorming BIG dreams that eventually are forced into smaller stuff - due to a lack of resources and/or time. Also, I don’t want to stifle creative minds right off the bat. Eventually, once it’s all put together the way you want it - someone can “pretty it up” and reformat it to best fit the way you would like it presented.
    I agree - don’t forget to allocate time to each section (we allocate frames) - so that you don’t exceed the time allotment and it also helps force you to develop sound bites (music or words) and movement timing that matches. The time allocation starts out as a target - it also is rearranged as you go along.

I was in a hurry with my last post, had to run off to a team meeting :slight_smile:

You want to know the story or the slogan you want to portray to you audience before getting to your storyboards.

To do this, there are many methods, The way I like to do it is this…

we get down whatever pops into our heads when we are thinking about the required topic (what FIRST means to us)

then we try to expand the favorites of the bunch into actually scenes or stories that could be the basis for our animation

THEN we do the finer details of the story, and then storyboard.


Not too simple, but not overwhelming detail, you want to give your animators a good idea of what you want them to do, but too much detail can limit their own creativity. also, too much detail takes VERY long to draw out :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d recommend using note cards because it allows you to move scenes around, you might have different camera angles of the same area so this way you can easily mess around until you find one to your liking.

sorry for such a long post

Thank you guys so much!

I have read over everything and it all makes sense what you are saying.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to type it all up to help me.

THANK YOU!!! :wink: :slight_smile: :smiley: :wink:

remember the storyboards aren’t graded or judged in anyway…autodesk just wants to see that you have one. SO anything goes as to how you accomplish yours.

In addition to what everyone has said, make sure you add everything it says to add in the rules -

“Storyboard (no size or length requirements). Use #3 pencil or softer. Color may be used on
the original but is not required. Storyboard must be clearly labeled with Team Number,
Team Name, School(s), Name and Sponsor(s) name. Without this information entry will not
be judged.”

On the subject of the #3 pencil, we were planning on non-pencil (computer-generated) storyboard. So I wrote to Autodesk to ask them if they really meant ONLY #3 pencil, or if that meant “if you use pencil, make sure it’s #3 or darker” (for reproduction). Autodesk promptly replied:

Hello Mike,

You are totally correct: if you do your storyboard in pencil it should be #3 or darker. The idea is that it be reproducible. Dark marker sketches or printouts from a computer/web storyboard are both acceptable.

Looking forward to seeing your entry. Best of luck.

It may have been obvious to others, but we had a discussion on the team as to whether it was really required to be in pencil or not.


Here is yet another suggestion… Go to your local video rental store and rent the Shrek DVD.

Besides being a great example of a really great professional animation, there is a Special Feature on disk 2 called the “The Tech of Shrek”. This is an excellent insight into the organization of a large project.

More to the point: Also a Special Feature on Disk 2, you will find “Storyboard Pitch of Deleted Scenes”. This is a really great example of how the pros use a storyboard, the pace (how many frames/seconds to a picture) and relative detail (some of the pictures were pretty simple). Even better, these were storyboard pitches which never made the final movie (not every idea works out).

I used this with my students last November and feel that it worked pretty good at getting the point across.

The best thing the storyborad can be used for is to time out how long a particular scene should go for. With such strict time constraints time-management is at a premium. Looking back at previous aniamtions that didn’t do well in the past poor time mangement often did them in. 30 seconds is not a whole lot of time so you have to plan to use it well.T eh storyboard will help with that alot.