To make the characters easily distinguishable, each character is given a simple but distinct silhouette. Making the characters before the storyboards gives me a clearer approach to thinking about how the character will interact.
Thumbnailed frames from my sketchbook
Quick and rough thumbnail frames are drawn as I read the script. Most times, I will draw multiple versions of the same frame, trying out different camera angles and shots to best capture the scene. The frames are labeled with a caption from the script, the camera position and movement for future reference. After sketching the entire script, I go back through all the thumbnails and select the frames that I will take to the final stage.
Revised linear frames chosen from the thumbnails
The storyboards were done in mixed media, starting analog with graphite linears and a black marker to block in shadow shapes. The frames are then taken into Photoshop, where the frames get a gray background and additional shading.
Storyboards are always function over form, so additional information like numbers and directional arrows are added to further assist the director. Frame captions also boost clarity with descriptions that include sound effects, character actions or speech and camera movements.
Here is the original opening scene of Tim Burton’s Batman