The Workshop officially has a project going. Slowly, but steady. I will be using this space for relevant discussions from time to time. Here’s one thing you may want to consider starting a Flash animation – a storyboard.
Obviously you can start animating directly, and improvising scene by scene. The advantage is that you are free to go anywhere from where you are at, and you may get fresh ideas from a fresh perspective going to the next scene. The drawback is that won’t have a clear idea where the project is heading, and this may become the ultimate excuse to drop the project. There’s no time frame. The worst part is that you may loose some good inspirations you had if you did not put them down first. Overall I highly recommend having some sort of storyboard to direct your project.
Before you start, hopefully you already have a rough outline or even a script to go with. Try to have some brainstorm sessions. Form some ideas in your brain, imagine some scenes and sequences. Quickly draw them down directly on Flash. Some people prefer doing this on paper with detailed descriptions. While it’s a professional approach, I like directly putting them on Flash canvas and drawing the actual symbols over them later. Write some quick notes on the side if you need them, but keep the storyboard as simple as possible. Check this sample out:
That’s a typical storyboard drawing I have for a Flash project (spoiler alert, this is from Dragon Burial episode 3). Can’t tell what it is? That’s why I dare openly post it here. Detailed storyboard drawing is good, but I consider that as spending more time than you should. Unless this is a shared-work project, you only need to keep your drawings understandable to yourself. In my case, it’s something rougher than stick figures. Another advantage to this is that you can quickly put down your ideas before losing any of them. Try to finish your storyboard in one sitting, unless you hit a creative block.
One last thing about storyboard is that you should consider it as a foundation to the project. Don’t stress it to be perfect, but it should set a clear direction to set your project forward. You can always adjust the scenes as you start animating them.