Homework: Storyboard

Context

This set of storyboards told a story of how the Doctor uses the homing feature in his watch to find certain prearranged objects like the TARDIS. I focused on the 2D display that shows on the inside of the watch lid. The 2D display is mainly used while the Doctor is moving, rather than the 3D display, which is more informative but is difficult to use while walking around. A quick glance at the lid of the watch shows the Doctor whether or not he’s heading in the right direction.

Version 1 to Version 2

Version 1 was done just using paper and pencil. Version 2, I did primarily in Blender, and assembled the whole storyboard in PowerPoint. The paper sketches I did were very unsatisfying to me, mainly because of terrible handwriting and bad drawing.

One problem I had with Version 1 is that there was no context for the story. Why was the Doctor unconscious? Where was he? What were the connections between frames? Version 2 has twice as many frames, and tries to fill in a back story and conclusion without getting too mired in all the details.

Reflection on Storyboarding

Initially I had started out version 1 using StoryboardThat, but while its poses are adequate, I found that the characters were too limited for the Doctor Who story. The biggest problem was having to make custom graphics and then uploading them. If I’ve got to make the graphics anyway, why not just use the graphics tool that’s much more powerful, and skip the extra step?

Version 1 ended up being a simple pencil drawing. Despite the low expectations for artistic quality, I still have a mental baseline of what’s acceptable. It lies somewhere between drawings that are intelligible, and drawings that despite being rough, are stylish. Unfortunately, my own work seemed to not meet the intelligible requirement. My handwriting, in particular, is terrible. Fortunately, computers and their clear, stylish, and consistent text have allowed me to survive in this world.

Blender was still rather time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several websites dedicated to Doctor Who themed meshes with free downloads. I supplemented these with more general-purpose meshes from other websites. These free assets that I could simply copy and move around in various scenes made this whole approach feasible. Without them, far too much time would have been spent simply modeling characters. I only ended up making a mesh for the watch itself, which was not too difficult.

For future development, I think more interaction with the watch would be helpful, especially if I’m trying to work out what the watch does, and how it’s used.

Other Use

I think the sequential type of storyboarding, especially using a GUI could be useful at work. It seems almost like an extension of a wireframe or other paper prototype, but showing various states in sequence. It adds a time dimension to the whole prototype.

I’m wondering if somehow having the prototype in digital form, rather than paper form would help speed up the process. If a frame can simply be mostly copied over to a new frame with slight modifications, the process could be quite fast. On the other hand, we do have photocopiers at work.

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Homework: Storyboard

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