Author Archives: Zbigniew Bzymek



Noun. a preliminary version of a movie, live-action scene or animation, produced by shooting successive sections of a storyboard and adding a soundtrack.

Source: wiktionary

  1. Why animatics developed
    1. To show complex movement and sfx
    2. Test viability (budget and space/time constraints)
    3. Gives distance to the filmmakers involved
  2. uses of animatics
    1. Timing (rhythm) – things that are hard to time
    2. Special effects/ transitions
    3. Audio (choosing music/ voice)
    4. Camera movements
    5. Distance
  3. Who uses animatics?
    1. Director
    2. Actors especially working with animated characters or objects
    3. Sound booth – VO actors
  4. Types of animatics.
    1. Hand-drawn animatics (hand drawn storyboards)
    2. Pencil tests (motion of characters or objects)
    3. Motion preview (inspiration media that deals with motion)


Noun. A rough videotaped version of a scene that uses actors or production staff in blocking the action, actor placement, timing and camera angles.

Source: Exploring Storyboarding, Wendy Tumminello (chapter 12)

Bluescreen/ greenscreen – an area of the picture with a designated color to “key” out. There are two types of keying : chroma and luma.

Exploring Adobe Premiere.

  1. How to import jpgs
  2. How to create pans and zooms
  3. How to make and import temporary/ rough VO

3D animatics

  1. Low cost 3D model (proxy model) instead of stand-ins allow filmmakers to experiment with camera positions.


  1. Length (rt= running time)
  2. mood/pacing
  3. rhythm/ changes in pace

Frame Rates

  1. Film vs. TV
  2. NTSC vs. PAL
  3. Calculating frames for animation
  4. Fast and slow motion

Timing for expressive results

  1. Consider the following rules:
    1. Sad shots have soft and slow motions
    2. Energized sequences have fast action/ movements and more cuts
    3. Anxious shots have fast motions but with long pauses

Good exploration – part style guide/ part storyboard

This is a good looking experiment I found on the web of exploring color and style. This doesn’t really function as a working technical document – but it’s a great exploration of color and angle… and even character(?) I don’t want you guys to get too surreal at this point – but always try to ways to get your storyboards looking attractive – that will bring your whole crew onboard and will make you want to share your boards.

Suspense Storyboard style guide

For the next storyboard (suspense), it’s time to add ink and – if you want – color.  You can add color to your arrows so that your camera and actor movements stand out in your storyboard. You can also color code your arrows – one color for camera and another for actor movement. As always I expect.

  1. a title at the top of your storyboard.
  2. don’t use a storyboard template
  3. number each frame at top left
  4. make sure your frames are inked and fit a specific aspect ratio that you’ve chosen to best relate your story
  5. ink your final
  6. make your description clear, short and legible
  7. use 3D arrows
  8. make sure your compositions have depth – use perspective and shading

Story Terminology

Here are some of the terms we started using when exploring ELEMENTS OF A STORY. (source:


An imaginary person that inhabits a literary work. Literary characters may be major or minor, static (unchanging) or dynamic (capable of change).


The turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. The climax represents the point of greatest tension in the work.


An intensification of the conflict in a story or play. Complication builds up, accumulates, and develops the primary or central conflict in a literary work.


A struggle between opposing forces in a story or play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The conflict may occur within a character as well as between characters.


The resolution of the plot of a literary work.


The conversation of characters in a literary work. In fiction, dialogue is typically enclosed within quotation marks. In plays, characters’ speech is preceded by their names.


The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided.

Falling action

In the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its denouement or resolution.


An imagined story, whether in prose, poetry, or drama. Ibsen’s Nora is fictional, a “make-believe” character in a play, as are Hamlet and Othello. Characters like Robert Browning’s Duke and Duchess from his poem “My Last Duchess” are fictional as well, though they may be based on actual historical individuals. And, of course, characters in stories and novels are fictional, though they, too, may be based, in some way, on real people. The important thing to remember is that writers embellish and embroider and alter actual life when they use real life as the basis for their work. They fictionalize facts, and deviate from real-life situations as they “make things up.”


A collection of events that tells a story, which may be true or not, placed in a particular order and recounted through either telling or writing.


The voice and implied speaker of a fictional work, to be distinguished from the actual living author. See also Point of view.

In literature and film, an unreliable narrator is a literary device in which the credibility of the narrator is seriously compromised. This unreliability can be due to psychological instability, a powerful bias, a lack of knowledge, or even a deliberate attempt to deceive the reader or audience. Unreliable narrators are usually first-person narrators, but third-person narrators can also be unreliable.


The unified structure of incidents in a literary work. See Conflict, Climax, Denouement, and Flashback. [Abrams]

Point of view

The angle of vision from which a story is narrated. See Narrator. A work’s point of view can be: first person, in which the narrator is a character or an observer, respectively; objective, in which the narrator knows or appears to know no more than the reader; omniscient, in which the narrator knows everything about the characters; and limited omniscient, which allows the narrator to know some things about the characters but not everything.


The main character of a literary work–Hamlet and Othello in the plays named after them, Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Paul in Lawrence’s “Rocking-Horse Winner.”


The sorting out or unraveling of a plot at the end of a play, novel, or story. See Plot.