Storyboard artists are the indispensable puzzle makers that weave together a story narrative in independent, visual frames that help animators and film-makers understand the essential plot and action sequence in their project. They work in feature film, cartoon, web animation, computer gaming, educational, corporate training, and marketing industries to help bring story concepts into a sensible, organized composition.
Disney animators are credited with originating the storyboard concept as early as 1933 to help animators understand the plot line for a forthcoming cartoon. Using comic books as a model, Disney storyboard artists helped the director present the plot line to animators. The process was used successfully in feature films shortly thereafter, particularly in laying out the stunning action sequences in Gone with the Wind.
Storyboard artists work from the script, illustrating action scene-by-scene in rough 2D sketches and thumbnails. Today's storyboard artists may even be called on to create detailed 3D storyboards using digital puppets animated by storyboarding software. Directors will use the storyboards in showing animators, cinematographers, or film editors the camera angles to be used in each sequence.
Storyboards have proven so successful in the organization of film and video that they are now incorporated by business and educational enterprises as a means of organizing production or learning scenarios. Corporate and political speech writers often have storyboard artists orchestrate the narrative sweep of a presentation. Storyboards are also commonly used in the planning of television commercials, for animations used in broadband advertising, and in detailing a manufacturing process or medical procedure.