Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Archive for the ‘storyboards’ tag


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A lot of people overlook the importance of storyboards.  And even I haven’t done any formally in a very long time.  Even the scratchiest of stick figures and blobs can be helpful when one is planning out an animation or video though.  Lately at Sapling, I’ve become very fond of scribbling out little storyboards on post-it notes.  This allows me to communicate my intentions with people there who are smarter than me on the science end, as well as those who would be more interested in the scope of time and effort likely to go into a project.

Since I recently posted the Translation animation here, I thought I’d post the early storyboards that went with it as well.  As you can see, they are nothing fancy.  But just sticking little post-its on a white page allowed me to talk through a plan, and also made it easy to ditch and/or rearrange shots any time such need would arise.

Already here, just on the first page, I learned that I was planning to run mRNA through the ribosome complex in the wrong direction, and my initial plan had to be adjusted a little to accommodate that.  Mistakes like that are easy to fix in post-it note scribbles.  They are not so easy when one is deep into an animation.  In my case, I changed the direction that we see the mRNA first join the small subunit.  Otherwise, I would have had to show the ribosome complex forming from behind (and by behind I mean to the view which blocks the mRNA entirely), which I did consider, but it seemed like this would be less confusing.  I didn’t change the first couple post-its, but just remembered that I would have to get that from the other way.  And I redrew the ones where I thought I might get confused.

You can see that I also added a few notes in the spaces between the post-its where ideas were I wanted to remember something but didn’t feel the need to draw up anything new for it.  And lastly, you’ll notice that I gave myself a little map.  Especially after the initial attention to direction, I knew that I would need this.  I can’t recommend doing this enough.  Just that little scratch of a picture I gave myself there, was a lifesaver.  It’s very easy to get lost in space when one is doing 3D work, and working with molecules can be especially tricky for that.  Of course you can get more out of doing more work with your map, but don’t ever let that stop you.  Just give yourself something.

Obviously, I’m not showing these off to impress anyone.  Rather I’m showing them as an example of how useful even the simplest of storyboards can be in working on a project.  Personally, I’m at a point where I pretty much have to think in pencil sometimes.  It ain’t always pretty, but it is so helpful.

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September 10th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

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Script and Storyboards

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I’m so excited.  Tomorrow I get to observe the surgery on which I am basing my project research.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now, so it only seemed appropriate that I post the current version of the script and storyboard I have been working on.

First, the script (click to access the PDF)…


And then the accompanying storyboards…

Written by Sara

August 26th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

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