New Storyboarding Tutorials – What’s your biggest question?

storyboard artist Sherm CohenHey, everybody…I’m putting together some new storyboard tutorials, and I want to make sure I cover the topic you’re most interested in. Can you take a few moments and let me know what questions you have about drawing storyboards?

Please let me know in the comments section below…
Just a quick little topic idea would be a big help. Like:

How to get started
how to use Angles
Camera moves
Putting together a portfolio
Making a storyboard sample
…but mostly YOUR most important question

I’ll be posting the new videos on the blog soon,
so be sure leave a comment with your question right away.

— Sherm

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44 Responses to “New Storyboarding Tutorials – What’s your biggest question?”

  1. how to direct the story because your storyboard tutorials covers most of the topics so there should be something about telling the story .i have learned alot from your tutorials.

  2. hi
    ive been creating some stories and i never start from a script to break in diferent parts.i get an subject that seems interesting.then start imagining and drawing the characters and the backgroundssearching from diferent angles and in diferent things keep coming.then i start to select and organise all that drawings and so i get the whole sequence of that story as in a comic book.thats my creative process.for a final storyboard i have to to put all that sequence in toonboom storyboard and start checking the directions of the action,composition,the camera moves,and all the timings for a movie,as well as the soundtrack.its this final part that i need to learn well as the beat for animation as im working alone and have to do it all!

  3. I would like to know how to go about storyboarding action scenes. Like a sword fight or fast paced action scenes.

    Also, I would like to know if there is a different approach one would take in shots and staging for more realistic storyboarding. For example would you Sherm Storyboard an episode of say …. Teen Titans the same way you would Storyboard Mighty B? or would you choose more Dynamic angles?

    So basically the question is, Do you adjust how you storyboard depending on the style or type of Project you are working on?

  4. I agree with anima. I think how to be a better storyteller. And still find it hard to pick which camera angle would make the scene more interesting for a situation.

  5. he I want Know more about storyboard can you help me or give me some tutorila.

  6. Hi Sherm,

    “Putting a tutorial” would be an interesting topic, when it comes to applying to jobs for tests. it’s quite awkward for me to end up with materials I don’t even know how to display properly.

    Also the necessary amount of panels to show per page, the lisibility, if rough thumbnails are worth showing, which ones are more likely to appeal and what studios and businesses can that be applied to (advertising, feature, TV…).
    That’d be sweet to hear few words from you.
    Thanks a lot for the great work and the help you’re providing. This is gold.

  7. hey,sherm

    my biggest question is this:
    how to draw the backgrounds and how
    make storyboards????

    thanks,from your friend,luis

  8. hello
    my question is
    what are the new way of storyboard???

  9. Hi Kedar…I’m not sure I know what you mean…could you be more specific? I’ll be happy to answer the best I can 🙂

  10. Hello sherm


    how long it takes to make a script and a storyboard

  11. HI Manu — the most common timeframe for TV storyboards is 5 weeks for an 11-minute show. That’s typically 500-600 panels.

  12. oh! thats work!

  13. Did you do the storyboard of the one that candace wants to go to the concert of Paisley Sideburn Brothers, didnt you?

  14. Hi Manu — yes, that was one of the last Phineas and Ferb storyboards I did (along with storyboard partner Chong Lee) before I moved to Kick Buttowski. I’ve actually never seen that one on TV!

  15. really?! i have just seen it on tv today!

  16. Are there any tutorials regarding storyboards for live action? I realize that some of the same principals can be applied, but as you know they are different.

  17. Hi Chauncey…animation is what I know best, so those are the tutorials I specialize in. But, as you say, most of the same principles apply 🙂

  18. Heyas Sherm

    I’d like to see more on the portfolio, I’m trying to get mine together for some of the jobs you post here and I want to make sure I get the best impact.

    I’d also like to see a day in the life of a storyboard artist, or something of the like. The dream would be to have you followed with a camera all day, as uncomfortable for you as that would be. =)

  19. Hi Jason…thanks for the suggestion! I’ve been working on a guide to creating good portfolios, but it may take me a while to finish it with all the work I have on my plate. Keep watching the blog because I’ll certainly talk about it here when it’s done!

  20. I guess I would like to hear about how you approach breaking down a script. I have gathered from other resources that a good habit to get into is to break it down into “beats”. I am not sure that I know what that means to be honest with you. Also, would be cool if you create a Portfolio review section someday. Thanks for all of your tutorials and this resource Sherm!

  21. Thanks Alex — There’s a whole DVD in the Storyboard Secrets 10-DVD set that shows the entire process of breaking down a script into beats and thumbnails…and if you ever get a chance to come to the CTNX Expo in Burbank, I do free portfolio critiques for everybody that asks 🙂 Thanks for the input! — Sherm

  22. Is there any disadvantage to using Flash or other animation software to do storyboards? Or do you focus on the drawings and then leave it up to someone else to handle the animatics?

  23. Hi Beau…personally, I never worry about making animatics; I have enough on my plate without adding an extra layer to the process. They DO make nice presentation pieces, though. No matter what program you use, make sure you arrange the images on sheets so that people can easily read a hard-copy version. 3 images to a page is standard, but you can have more per page if it’s still easy to read.

  24. jesse sauchelli 20. Mar, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    hi ive bin asking around many blogs n such asking questions and never gettig replys, so i hope u can help me on some insight on picking a college major that best suits a career in storyboarding:) im currently in highschool and want to plan my pathway to being a story board artist

  25. Hi Jesse — depending on where you live (and your college budget) you should first look into a school that specializes in animation or commercial art or comics. I learned a lot from The Joe Kubert School of Cartooning, and also from my community college journalism classes at Los Angeles Pierce College. If you go to a college that does not specialize in animation or commercial art, take as many art courses and creative writing courses that you can. Which state or country do you live in? Maybe I can recommend where to start looking.

  26. Jesse sauchelli 22. Mar, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the reply, I appreciate it a whoooollle lot! I’m currently living in Los Angeles. So if u hAve any recommended schools please spill the beans. Again thank you soooo much it’s great to finally hear some words of wisdom from a pro 🙂

  27. Jesse,

    I’m currently enrolled at Academy of Art University. They’re located in San Francisco, and they have both on the ground, and online courses. I am completing my degree 100% online. You should check them out 🙂

  28. Hi Sherm,

    First off, I just want to thank you for your existing series. I picked it up from you at CTNX last year and it has been the best, most thorough source I’ve found yet. I’m really excited to hear that you are making more!!!

    I would love to hear you talk more about your rough process. Your thumbnailing videos are great, but I would like to learn more about how to edit the first pass, spot improvements that can be made and the kinds of changes you might expect to get from a director.

    I’m struggling to make my rough sketches presentable, keep up my speed and tell the story all at once. Advice for new storyboard artists about what to expect from a typical production how to prepare yourself to keep up would be invaluable.

    Thanks so much, Sherm. You’re awesome!

  29. Hi Sherm,
    You did mentioned the most common timeframe for TV storyboards is 5 weeks for an 11-minute show. That’s typically 500-600 panels.

    If I do it by using the story board software – not hand draw (I use Story Board Quick and considering to buy your 10 DVDs of SB secrets), you think the speed can be improve dramatically?

    Thanks for your advise

  30. I’ve never used Storyboard Quick, but if you’re using software instead of drawing each panel, I imagine you could go MUCH faster than 5 weeks. Is it animation or live action?

  31. It is Animation (with motion capture). I am not specialize in storyboard, but I am willing to learn much detail from you, it seems storyboard will save my production time by eliminating a lot of rework.

    You have any advise how to speed up my learning curve in storyboard (I am more familiar with storyboard software with zero skill on hand draw).

  32. Yes, storyboarding your animation will save a lot of time…it’s always best to plan things out in advance so that you don’t spend time animating a scene that doesn’t work. The best way to speed up your learning curve is to copy the compositions and staging from shows that you like, and then apply those ideas wherever they appropriate. And get started right away…the thing that kills most projects is that most people never get started!

  33. I have been following this blog for a while.
    Even though I am not old enough to be a storyboarding , none the less try to buy the course, I have be studying up on this.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge Sherm!
    It’s really inspiring .

  34. Hi Jenique — Thank you for the kind words!

    You’re never too young to be drawing storyboards…eveyrbody gets better with practice, and the younger you start, the better you’ll get 🙂

  35. It’s really kind of you to put together all of these tutorials! I especially enjoy the ones involving spongebob! I would love to know what supplies you use for storyboarding. I am curious!

    Thanks for everything, Sherm!

  36. Hi Jeremy — I’m glad you’re enjoying the tutorials! When I draw on paper, I use a simple Eberhart-Faber felt marker for roughs, Tombow 3B pencil, kneaded eraser on legal-sized plain paper. For the last few years, I have been drawing all my boards digitally in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, but I still draw thumbnails and roughs with marker or pencil.

  37. I’ve been looking at storyboard for TV shows and I noticed H.U comes up in the notes alot what does does H.U mean ?

  38. HI Stacey — HU or H/U means “Hook up” which means that you need to make sure that the character’s pose and position match the same action/position he/she had in the previous scene. When you cut from one angle to another on the same character, you need to make sure that there is continuity or else it will “jump.”

  39. Hey sherm, what does slugging mean?

    and what does BG S/A mean?

    I’ve been looking at storyboards for tv and just wondered what they meant 🙂

  40. Hi Anna — “slugging” means the rough timing for the panel; not the detailed timing you’ll see in exposure sheets, but just an indication that the panel will last a certain amount of time (like 3 seconds, or 12 frames, etc). BG S/A means that the background is the Same As it was in previous shot or previous panel. You may find more info about terms like this on this post: Thanks for the question!

  41. What’s BG in storyboarding?

  42. Hi Mukul…BG is short for “background”

  43. Hi, I know this thread is old and there’s a chance you wont see it, but I was wondering what M/A means? since I found you by you knowing what H/U is i thought you might know.

  44. Hi Robin — I don’t know if I’ve seen M/A before — do you have an example? If I see it on a storyboard it might ring a bell with me.