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Ethan’s Blog

StoryBoards Vs Animation on Agent Bird

This blog post is from the Agent Bird Archives, originally written in October 2017

As Animation begins to come to a close on Agent Bird,  I would like to share some comparisons in a "then vs now" kind of post. 

Agent Bird began as a school assignment in the winter of 2015, we had to create a 2 minute story and create an animatic in a few weeks time. My projects until this point had been slow with subtle acting, for this round I wanted to do something with some action

I boarded the original animatic in Toon Boom Storyboard, if you havn't tried it I highly recommend it. In these gifs, you'll see the clean animation that I've shared before, and then the "Original storyboard" grey scale animation. Also, bird character model varies widely in the animatic, golly that was bad.


Originally, I wanted to follow the board as closely as possible to limit the decision making that comes with new changes, but as we kept working we kept finding the timing and spacing from the board didn't work well on 2's and 3's. 

Above you can see the Cat loading his gun. While the composition is nearly identical, the animation is spaced out much better than the board.

The infamous 180 turn shot started much more rough than it should have. As I came upon this shot for the actual film, I realized how little I had thought it out in the board stage. 


You'll notice in the storyboard that the BG just disappears and washes into a nice grey, while this side step worked well for the storyboard and allowed me to continue to focus on the character acting, it caused hiccups in final animation. Timing for this shot also went through some major changes in this shot as well. When boarding I had focused on key frames . I distintcly remember being unable to decide if I wanted this shot to go into slow motion or not. In the end I'm glad I just made it run in normal time. 

A professor of mine always said "Planning is like 75% of animation", and it really showed here.


The last comparison I have is this gun tossing shot. Much like the 180 turn shot, this shot went through some major timing and spacing overhauls, it's great to be able to see how much a difference a couple years makes. 

This shot didn't require much change in terms of composition. I ended up using my 3D reference model to adjust the overall perspective, but these changes lead to a more believable space. 

I still really like storyboarding, and I can't wait to get back into it on new stories, but this comparison was fun to look at. What do you think of my old boards? Pretty bad eh?