The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating Beatboards for Pre-Production, a detailed guided to storyboarding techniques for project pitches.
The workshop, recorded by Riot Games storyboard artist Rembert Montald, comprises over three and a half hours of Photoshop-based training.
So what is a beatboard, and how does it differ from a regular storyboard?
Storyboard artists working in VFX, feature animation and game development are often called upon to pitch a project before pre-production can even begin.
In the workshop, Montald explores how to create the beatboards used in such pitches: concise series of images illustrating the key points in the story, or ‘story beats’.
The Gnomon Workshop describes beatboards as “concept art before the concept art”: a tool used by concept designers, storyboard artists and animators to interpret a script and develop a pich.
If the pitch is greenlit, the beatboard forms the basis of the production storyboard.
A complete guide to the workflow and thought processes of a professional beatboard artist
During the workshop, Montald shares his workflow for creating beatboards, working primarily in Photoshop. The training focuses heavily on drawing, taking initial thumbnail sketches through to fully rendered images.
Montald begins by discussing how to review an initial script – and how to overcome the anxiety of having to start work before any actual designs are available.
He then walks through the process of creating 11 different storybeats, demonstrating his artistic techniques and discussing his thought processes for each one.
As well as revealing what it takes to create a beatboard that has the potential to get a project greenlit, the videos set out effective techniques for sketching complex scenes, “from hero shots to … skyscrapers”.
About the artist
Rembert Montald is a concept and storyboard artist at League of Legends developer Riot Games.
Raised in Belgium, he has lived and worked all over the world, including Croatia, German and Portugal, working on a range of projects, including storyboards for animated movies, and even theme parks.
Pricing and availability
Creating Beatboards for Pre-Production is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.
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