Back to the Digital Drawing Tablet

Please excuse me for not posting as much these past few days. On occasion I have to meet a television deadline and when that happens, everything else is put on hold for a few days.

After celebrating analog, it appears I’m back working digital for a while. That’s my trusty Cintiq Tablet sitting on our dinner room table. This allows me to watch television with Adrienne while I work. “Watch televison,” you say? Yes, it’s true. I can actually watch television while I work. That’s because the major part of my job has been done. You see, I’ve always had the habit of thumbnailing everything on paper before I move on to the Cintiq Tablet. The digital drawing tablet is what I use during the final phase of my storyboarding process. I prefer working things out on paper before finalizing things in the computer. It may seem an odd way to work, some might say. Why not simply do the roughs in the computer? And yes, you may have a point. However, it’s important that I retain part of the analog process in my work flow. Working out ideas on paper is not only important to me - it’s critical.

Naturally, the Cintiq Tablet can be a great time saver especially when it comes to redundant tasks such as copying and pasting. Duplicating a drawing in the computer can be easy as pie and that enables me to concentrate on more important things. Of course, the real joy of doing a storyboard ( at least for me, anyway) is the process of working things out. The compostion, staging and continuity is what truly interests me. In a way, it’s film making on paper and I’ve always enjoyed the creative process. I began doing storyboards when I was a young animator because it was a way of working out my animation. At the time, I had no idea I would one day become a storyboard artist. After my trial by fire on Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book, my career was changed forever. Of course, storyboarding on a television show is quite a bit different from working on a feature film where time and money allows more time for exploration. However, television has its own challenges and I find that refreshing as well. In any case, the process of telling a story well is something that will always interest me.

I’m wrapping up this digital storyboard today and I’ll quickly deliver it. Gone are the days of gathering up stacks of paper and putting them in a folder. Today, files are delivered on a small Flash Drive that fits neatly in your shirt pocket. It’s just one more thing that has changed in this wonderful world of animated film making. Techniques and procedures change with time, but the creative process remains the same.