What's wrong with this picture? Yes, those are storyboards on my desk, but guess what? Not a Cintiq Tablet in sight. Now, don't think I'm anti-Cintiq or anything like that. I have a Cintiq Tablet and I've done my fair share of storyboarding on the amazing device. However, we've chosen to storyboard this project on paper. That's correct. Pencil and paper. Talk about Old School.
I probably wouldn't be wrong to guess that every studio in the animation industry has switched over to using the Cintiq. It's an effective device to be sure and I guess one could give any number of reasons why storyboard artists should be working this way. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. However, after doing a number of storyboards on the Cintiq Tablet I couldn't help but be a little curious how it would feel to return to pencil and paper. I gotta admit it feels pretty darn good. In many ways it felt as though I had been projected back to the nineteen sixties when all storyboards were sketched on paper. I love the feel of the pencil and the texture of the paper. Yes, that even includes the special "drag" you get when the tip of the graphite hits the surface of the paper.
Yes I know how much faster one can work on the Cintiq. I know about the advantage of layers, cut and paste, color and all the other bells and whistles. None of those dandy extras are available when you're working on paper. You simply sketch the ideas on paper and be sure they work. In a strange way you're making a committment to the work you're doing. There's nothing there to save you or to distract the viewer. The storyboard simply has to do its job. The board has to work.
Of course, there's one other overlooked little extra you gain while working on paper. That is, the storyboard is an original piece. It's not a print out or a digital copy it's the real deal. So much of the work being done today simply exists as one's and zero's in a computer. Pull the plug or crash the server and all the original work simply vanishes. Poof! It's gone. Of course, they say such a thing could never happen with all the back ups and back up of back ups. All I know is we still have original art that was created back in the forties and the material looks great. I can't help wonder what we'll have fifty years from now - or if we'll have anything at all?
Whatever. We now live and work in a digital age and that's not gonna change anytime soon. In the meantime, I'm storyboarding with pencil and paper and for this old animation veteran it doesn't seem half bad.