- By Joy Davenport
- Published 08/30/2010
Previsualization is a system of mapping out an artistic vision and script before the cameras roll – for decades, this process has been used to set up shots, share ideas, and generally get organized before the actual shoot. In the days before digital cameras, most shots were set up and practiced using foam shapes, low-tech handheld cameras, and paper or fabric “characters”. Then, locations would be mocked up using still photos or realistic drawings. Simulating action sequences could be tricky – often, these would be mapped out on Bristol Board storyboards, or acted out with small-scale models or puppets. Seeing a crew member’s arm or body in camera range (as he or she manipulated a crude model!) was par for the course back then! Obviously, a lot of care, effort, and consternation went into previz in the “old” days. Today, there are new methods for achieving a perfect previsualization of your film, cartoon, or presentation – digital storyboard software is now on the market, and it offers many benefits to budding directors, animators, ad execs, and presenters. For example, in prior decades, it was tough to deal with the drama, expense, and delays of hiring an artist. Often, the final drawings would cost more than anticipated, arrive late, and even clash with the director’s vision for the project. Today, movie storyboard software comes with pre-loaded characters and backgrounds – with a simple click of the mouse, people and locations can be placed perfectly, and then, just as easily, be moved around or deleted.
Playing and experimenting are the essence of effec
tive previz – it’s about changing things up to see what’s best. By utilizing film storyboard software, you can save different versions of your storyboards and then decide which one really works for you. It’s also very easy to add music, text, dialogue, and special effects. Within minutes, you can create a workable storyboard that maps out the frame by frame action of your film or presentation. Within hours, you can create a veritable masterpiece that you’ll be proud to show off to potential investors, corporate clients, or classmates or colleagues. Today’s programs have so many layers and so many features – how far you want to go is really up to you! You’re probably already familiar with certain programs that you use to store and manipulate images and text. The designers of storyboard software have taken this into account, and designed programs that are compatible with popular programs. You can import and export files with ease. As well, you can even create Flash movies of your final storyboards, and then share them on the Internet. Compatibility with iPhones and other modern gadgets is also a possibility. Obviously, promoting your ideas (unless they’re top secret) is a breeze when everything is digital. Although you need to purchase this software, it tends to pay for itself over time. Paying artists and wasting time with old-fashioned previz methods can cost more than a computer program!
For cool online demos, Google digital storyboard software or movie storyboard software. You’ll be able to see how easy it will be to streamline your script and vision. The beauty of modern technology is the way it frees you up to be creative, have fun, and save money on your final shoot or presentation.