Mighty B! Storyboards Part 3

Posted on:  March 31, 2011

Glad you enjoyed the layouts and the beat board set ups… now for another installment of storyboards.  This is from the opening of the hour special “Dragonflies” which was a take off on the Walter Hill cult classic “The Warriors”.  Bessie Higgenbottom and the Honeybees of troop 828 go up against tough rival girlscouts called The Dragonflies.  Keep in mind that this is the original storyboard as first submitted to production in which case, it will differ from the actual episode.

I flipped the first few pages on it’s side to show you how I set up the opening shot which is a multi-plane camera pan down from the sky, through the San Francisco skyline past some neighborhoods and wiping with a foreground tree line.  The shot slowly cross dissolves into a matching pan to screen left in scene 2. (the establishing shot of the Recreation Center)

Why do all that extra work? It’s about going the extra mile to make sure that the camera work and animation is executed properly to the best that it can.  Calling for these kinds of layouts on your board ensure that your director of animation and/or sheet timer can call for these elements to be included in the exposure sheets.

So what about the Post-Its?  Well, this was done just before digital boards became the norm.  So everything was hand drawn.  (although towards the end of my tenure, I did manage to board some digitally)  In my case, I used the Post-Its to go over a rough drawing with a tighter one or, it was a trace back from xerox and I simply changed the element that moved.

Scanning these felt like they were definitely archaic.  But there will always be something cool about flipping through a thick wad of hand drawn storyboards that will never get old.

(The Mighty B! property of Viacom/MTV Networks – For demo purposes only)

Mighty B Layouts

Posted on:  March 28, 2011

I‘ve been wanting to share some of the dormant artwork that’s been sitting in the garage for sometime and my chance came this weekend when I had to re-organize some stuff.

Television boards (whether one likes it or not) require every minute detail that pertains to animation be spelled out on the pre-production storyboards.  Layout is a key aspect of that.  Luckily for me I discovered early on that I really dug drawing layout so I incorporated that into my storyboarding process.  (And believe you me, including good layout on your boards pays off in the final animation and your producers/directors will love you for it)
As part of my job as storyboard supervisor on the tragically short-lived Nickelodeon series THE MIGHTY B! I prepared a detailed breakdown of the script plus set ups and layouts for the storyboarding crew.  The aim was to give the boarders a boost by taking some of the exhaustive scene planning off their shoulders so they can concentrate on acting out the characters.  On such a design intensive show like The Mighty B, this also meant that every last detail can’t be designed ahead of time.  So I chipped in and at the very least, gave the boarders something to plug into the boards which could be later designed by our amazing art department.
So here’s a random sampling of some of the crazy fun I had.  This is just the proverbial tip of the ice of the iceberg.  Perhaps I’ll post some more in the future. (Property of Viacom / MTV Networks)

…. next up i’ll post some more storyboards from the show.

Kim Possible Storyboards Part 2

Posted on:  September 12, 2010

Here’s the second and final installment of storyboards for the Kim Possible episode “Gorilla Fist” which originally aired in 2004. The action continues as Yori goes to save Ron from the grasp of an agitated Gargoyle. Kim in the latter part of the sequence battles the headless variety of the aforementioned goyles and thanks to her advanced cheerleading skills, she manages to be victorious.

Again, I added some post-scan Photoshop tones for clarity and legibility. One important tidbit is the fact that I rarely did underdrawings to help battle pencil mileage, . I would visualize key images and a rough choreography in my head and board directly. In television, time is a premium so any chance you get to reduce the amount of drawing is an advantage. By this time after boarding on this show for several seasons, I was in a bit of a zone where I didn’t need to look at models or layouts so that was a plus.

(Copyright (c)2004 Walt Disney Television Animation / The Disney Channel)

Kim Possible Storyboards Part 1

Posted on:  September 10, 2010

From the archives I bring you another sampling of television storyboards, this time from Disney’s KIM POSSIBLE. These following sets of boards are from an episode called “Gorilla Fist” which was part of Season 3. (Around 2004)

We pick up the story in the middle of an action sequence where Kim Possible, Rufus, (The naked mole rat) Ron Stoppable and his Japanese gal-pal Yori are battling gargantuan Gargoyles who have just come to life, and are intent on kicking their butts into next week. During this juncture in the series, Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, the show creators had started to introduce the notion of a Kim Possible/Ron Stoppable love affair. Something that fully develops in Season 4. The production boards where done in pencil. I boarded on small panels 2/3 the size of the original to reduce pencil mileage. (at 2 panels per page, the boards for half a show can balloon to about 500 to sometimes 700 plus pages) Doing it smaller also provided for a better line quality. Then by copier, the pages are blown back up to 100 percent. Of course, this was pre-digital so it’s old school compared to today’s standards… For legibility’s sake I added some tone and shading to certain panels via Photoshop CS3 after I scanned these in.
At the end of these pages, Kim discovers that the dismembered Gargoyles are even trickier to defeat… I’ll present the latter parts of this sequence plus the conclusion in subsequent posts.

(Copyright (c) 2004 – Property of Walt Disney Television Animation/The Disney Channel )

Mighty B Storyboards Part 2

Posted on:  May 30, 2010

Okay, here is part two of the MIGHTY B! episode “Ben Appetit”. In these boards Ben tries to get Bessie to sample the disgusting soup du jour he just created. Of course, now that Ben has overcome his food phobia, it’s only fitting he gets a little payback for all the tormenting Bessie has dished out on him. And what is a good story without a bit of irony?

Mighty B Storyboards Part 1

Posted on:  May 27, 2010

The now (frustratingly) defunct Nickelodeon show THE MIGHTY B! is one of the best shows I’ve ever worked on. As the storyboard supervisor, show co-creator Erik Wiese gave me so much room to be creative with lots of latitude from which to set up the individual episodes based on the scripts. That made all the difference in the fun department and more importantly, took some scene planning burden off of our amazing crew of board artists.

I am now pleased to share some of my own board work on that show. This one in particular is a raw section of an episode titled “Ben Appetit”. The quick synopsis is that Bessie Higgenbottom (voiced brilliantly by Amy Poehler) discovers that her little brother Ben (voiced by Andy Richter) has some deep psychological food issues pertaining to his food items touching each other. What’s worse is that after some comical terrorizing of Ben by Bessie, she discovers that it was actually her fault that he’s a little OCD. (well, a lot actually) As only Bessie could do, she tries to make things right by hypnotizing Ben and entering into his subconscious. That and some more hilarious de-programming by Bessie and her dog Happy, Ben snaps out his funk and finally embraces ‘combining food items’. In this series of boards, Ben is cooking up a gut-twisting concoction of odds and ends…

This was boarded digitally using my Wacom Cintiq 21UX connected to a 12 inch Mac Powerbook G4 running Alias Sketchbook Pro circa 2007. Notice that I spent some time articulating and animating pose to pose. This is tedious but a necessary evil when it comes to generating clear animatics for pre-production. What this does is essentially control the quality from the top. Clear posing means that these drawings can be indicated and specified on the exposure sheets, thus making the animation process overseas a bit more controlled. Without these extra inbetweens, a lot is left to chance. A drawing that is clearly on a storyboard can be called out in re-takes and the accountability lies with the overseas studio. As for the drawings themselves, these were a joy to do mainly due to the fun aspect of these characters and the great voice acting performances that are generated. Credit for that on this show goes to co-creator Cynthia True.
Of course, even with all this inbetweening, things still manage to come back looking bizarre. Next time i’ll post the second part of this end sequence.
(Boards copyright (c)2007 Nickelodeon / MTV Networks)