Last night on MoChat we discussed preproduction, style frames, and storyboarding. We tried to keep everything segmented for those three topics and followed a progression of logistics to concepting. Some great advice was given and there did seem to be some general consensus on best practices. A few of the highlights:

  • Try to get a clear picture of the budget first.
  • Talk to the client to figure out what they want. Don’t rely on their brief, if it even exists. (Also try to find out who has the “final say” and see if you can speak with them directly.)
  • Inspiration pieces can be helpful, but be careful of clients wanting that exact thing.
  • You also have to be careful as a designer to not mimic inspiration pieces too much as well.
  • Most people tend to design their style frames as close as possible to the final production ready images.
  • Working right in AE/C4D can be a big help with having elements ready when it comes time to start animating.
  • If possible, present the frames to the client instead of sending them over an email.
  • It’s great to have the script done (or near done) before starting story boards, but that seems to rarely be the case.
  • If a scrips isn’t ready, make sure you and the writer are working of an outline.
  • There’s a mix of both digital and paper storyboarding.

And some overall advice:

  • Plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Work procedurally/modularly as a lot can change through this process.
  • Don’t be afraid to pitch concepts/frames/boards you think the client won’t like.
  • Don’t pitch anything you don’t like.

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