Posts from the ‘storyboard’ category

One month on…

It’s been one month since I graduated as a Masters in Animation, with Honors!!!! ūüėÄ

Yes, I forgot to blow my own trumpet and fell asleep almost immediately after graduating! I then got sick, recovered and then proceeded to go¬†on holiday for a week. But I’m back and here is the proof, I did it, I really did get my Masters and below is the diploma with ‘Passed with honors’ written on it. BiG cheeseee grin. I’m a nerd!



I have also decided to show of my graduation film to you all. I put 6 months worth of time and effort in to it, and don’t want¬†to hide it from the world¬†any longer¬†ūüėČ So here it is ‘The Boogie Man’ made by yours truly. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 17.27.06

So what now? Well i have been very fortunate to have rolled straight passed the black hole that is usually awaiting most graduates. (Although I never really stopped working as a freelancer in the passed year). In the week after the big day I had a nice illustration project to make a cartoon for a chiropractor magazine, which was a great way to kick start my new career.

The text says: Just to be certain I will make an x-ray, but I believe it’s a dislocated shoulder.



Not only that though I have already had animation projects coming in, on which I have all ready started working. Yey!

I have been asked to animate for Sesam Street NL again, Yippeee! I love these projects because of the creative freedom and the fun of working with Big Bird. The poem I will be animating is about a slug who needs a new coat. I shall take you through the whole process. But before I get in to animating slugs, I have to finish another animation I am currently making for Wienerberger, building solutions.

Yes, I am making an animation for a brick company! But why I hear you say. Well all kinds of companies have something to sell or explain, and Wienerberger just so happens to want to tell the world about how sustainable their company is.

And untill now it has been the most brilliant collaboration. Their story is very interesting (I now have huge respect for bricks) and my clients are all lovely to work with.

My first meeting with them started with a guided tour through their ‘Brick Museum’! Yes they have a museum. I then found out about what they were hoping for me to do for them. Create an animated short about their companies process and it’s sustainability throughout. An ‘Explanimation’ of no more than 2 minutes for use on the internet.

This lead to a second meeting with an agreement on my quotation and then the fun started. I was given pages and pages of information and links to videos and a DVD about Wienerberger, which all had to be broken down into a compacted script… All in Dutch! My Dutch is pretty good, but to avoid messing up I hired in the brilliant and talented¬†Isabelle Kniestedt who spent a couple of hours with me on a terras in the sun writing the perfect script. We were both amazed at how quickly it went. And with the second read through I managed to get all the information down from a 4 minute read to 2!

This I then translated to a storyboard which will eventually become the animation. This has all gone amazingly smoothly and I am now finishing up with the style sheets and character design:

Process-Wienerberger People Style steet-01

I shall be working In after effects and the elements and puppets to be animated are a mixture of bitmap and vector images made in photoshop.

And in the mean time a voice actor is being arranged… So watch this space.

For the first month after graduation it’s been a brilliant start ūüėÄ



The Making Of: Boarding & Characters

While burning the midnight oil and working like a nut case I finally met my deadline. Woo hoo! Files are sent off and all I have to do now is prepare a Pitch and up-date you guys on what all this oil has been spent on.

It’s been busy but I’m happy with the result and looking forward to the next phase of animating.

But what have I been doing? Well a lot of the time was spent on writing, yes more writing! I rewrote the rhyme which will narrate the animation so as to cut the length by half and in turn the amount I will have to animate. But this also meant that the synopsis had to be adjusted and characters had to be dropped. Barry the Tooth Fairy had to go! The title also has to change due to these changes and now going by¬†‘A need for a Boogieman’¬†but this can still be adjusted.

This seems like a ridiculous amount of rewrites but it’s quite normal, especially because it is the foundations to the animation. If I were to rewrite it half way through animating I would have a problem. Now I know that it’s not to long and the plot works.

So what’s it about? Check the log-line:

* Nice is In and Bad is Out and the Boogieman is forced in to a career change and a conflict with the Fairy God Mother, while trying his hand at being the Tooth Fairy*

The next step was to finally get drawing. Yippiee! It feels like a long time since I put pen to paper, so it felt like being let out to play. I needed to give this story shape and characters and thats when the boarding and character design could start.

All in all I think I have drawn around 150 frames for a minute and a half of narration. It sounds like a lot, but in comparisons to how many will be drawn for the animation, this is nothing… Keep typing sam and don’t think about it… :s

Below is the moving storyboard so that you can have a sneaky peak at what I’m up to and have a listen to the narration. For the narration I recorded my own voice, but for the actual animation I think I will go in search of a nice deep male voice. If you know any please let me know. Check out how posh I sound! haha!

I made the moving storyboard by combining hand drawn images, photoshop and adobe Premier. It gives you a good idea of what the animation will be like, the timing and how the narration will be used.

Next up were the Characters. With a bit of sketching and making the storyboard I had a good idea of what the characters would look like. Keeping in mind that the characters will eventually be animated, so I made sure that their figures were simple and the detail kept to a minimum.

s-Characterss-Boogieman-Character boards-Boy- Character boards-Fairy God Mother-Character board

And then there came the style frame. What will the animation look like? Below is an example of how the animation should eventually look. I chose to take a shot where the Boogieman is getting ready for his first night on the job as the Tooth Fairy.

s-Style frame

Now that the foundations are in place I guess the next step is animating. But not before the Pitch. Yes this is an assignment for my MA but I will have to pitch my plans and win over the jury before I get the go ahead. I think I’ll be ok, although I believe they may ask me if I think I can make the whole thing on my own… It’s going to be a lot of work!

But I have had a look at different animation softwares and think that If I work in combination with cutout animation and bone techniques found in Toon Boom, Anime Pro and Duik in after effects I should come a long way.

So wish me luck! And I shall keep you posted on what I do next.

The making of: Storyboarding Tips & Tricks

So it’s time to start boarding and to give my Bogart Richard a space to play in.

I have been very privileged in the last couple of years to have a number of workshops and master classes, with some of the most talented and well know (to the industry) storyboard artists and animators.

I took and an 8 week class with Kris Pearn (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ). Had a master class with Igor Kovalyov (The Rugrats Movie ) and most recently had a workshop with Hisko Hulsing (Junkyard).

So I should have enough tips and tricks to work with!

One of the best tips I was given was from Igor Kovalyov: If you want to write a story from scratch and don’t know where to begin, take just six random words and create a scenario. And the ideas that come there after are so random and unexpected, that writing becomes exciting.

I ended up boarding a story with him about a house of unruly children who get up to all sorts of mischief. These are the words I had to work with: Antlers, Fire, Snow, A kiss, A saw, A roof top.

KIDs section of storyboard


The next best tip I was given was from both Kris Pearn and Hisko Hulsing about the line of action.

The line of action was to created to ensure that the viewer doesn’t get confused while getting to know the characters on the screen. This simple rule makes sure that the¬†characters stay on their side of the screen, thus allowing the viewer to remember who they are.¬†If you go over this line of action confusion can distract the viewer from the plot and cause them to loose interest in the film.



The next best tip was about camera shots. Below are a number of shots illustrated by the hand of Kris Pearn, all created to make an action more interesting to watch and to tell the story in the best way possible:

Hollywood:medium wide shot wide shot Establishing shot High angle down shot Low angle up shot Insert shot extreme close up over shoulder close up inside close up medium shot

The making of: Breaking down the script

Finally I can start drawing!

Although I love the creative side of writing and the conjuring of a story and characters out of nothing, I have been looking forward to now bringing it to life with images.

Richard my protagonist is starting to find a form and his environment is growing around him. And although I have been sketching while writing, it is now really nice to focus on the images.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have had to direct my focus at the rhyming couplet narration. Very necessary because this will direct the actions in the animation. But this has also disabled me from writing a scenario. So I have opted to writing the scenario while drawing the storyboard. Not the usual approach but I find the visualising and drawing stimulates ideas, prompts actions that could occur in the animation and how the scenario will unfold.

But for the pitch not only the synopsis will be expected but both scenario and storyboard will also be necessary.

Below is a scan of how Richard is now taking shape and how I have started to break down the Script (Rhyming couplet) for the storyboard.




break down


Next up is the Moving storyboard, Which I have started to make in photoshop. I find sketching on to paper much more enjoyable than drawing straight in to the computer, but both have their pros and cons. I then use the animation tool in Photoshop to make simple movements to illustrate the actions in the story. At the same time I can make a still storyboard (by saving frames as jpegs) that I will eventually be able to print of.

The advantage of the moving storyboard though is that a lot will be explained for those present at the pitch. I will be able to time the storyboard to the length of the film and add the narrated couplet under it, and possibly some sound effects and music… But I will have to see how far I get in a week and a half ūüėČ It’s a lot of work to do.

Below are a few moving frames from the storyboard, this will give you an idea of how the animation fills in the gaps that the narration leaves out:

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I’m still here,I haven’t deserted my bolg! But man it’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

Not only is my assessment creeping up but school has added extra workshops to follow (brilliant but makes life very busy) And work goes on as usual.

Check out what I’ve been up to for my clients:

These images were made for a educational publisher and will be see in class rooms across the Netherlands:


2HV, figuur 04-01-01

eigentijds 6.4 BB


I also got my first Whiteboard animation project! Yippeeee!

Working with Professor Loep again I will be making an intro animation to the website. Below is part of the storyboard I made for her:

02-WBA_storyboard-Professor Loep 01-WBA_storyboard-Professor Loep


Keep watching though because I have the latest on my ‘making of’ project coming up.

Till then!




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