Efficient and Powerful Storyboarding Wins

"I'm drawing and creating everything right inside Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. The drawing tools are amazing!" — Larry Rains, Animator and Illustrator

Efficient and Powerful Storyboarding Wins

How long have you been in this profession?

I've been very blessed and have been making a living in the animation industry for over a decade.

What are your most important accomplishments?

That's actually kind of tough. Over the years I have got to work alongside some very talented people in the industry. If I picked just one thing I've done just myself, I guess it would be taking a chance and leaving a good full-time job at a studio, to start my own business a year ago. It was a huge step for me, but I'm happy to say I landed on both feet with Big Kahuna Media. (http://www.bigkahunamedia.com)

What kind of projects do you create storyboards for?

I create storyboards for everything from live action to 2D and 3D Animation. I've even done storyboards for games and multimedia projects in the past.

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History with Storyboard Pro

A few years back I was introduced to Toon Boom Storyboard by Joseph Dempsey, co-owner of Dempsey Film Group, the studio I worked for at that time. He had picked up a demo of Storyboard from you guys at NAB in Vegas and asked me to give it a try and see if we could use it. I enjoyed the software from day one and saw the great benefits in using it. That's why it was an easy decision for me to pick up a copy of Storyboard Pro for my own business.

I've used Toon Boom Storyboard Pro to help me produce some storyboards for national television spots like 1-800-GoldKit, E-Diets.Com and most recently this year for J.G. Wentworth.

Do you create your storyboards using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro only?

No. Sometimes it depends on the project, for example some live action boards I've used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro in the past and then assembled them in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is always used in final assembly.

Why did you choose to combine these products?

It really has more to do with my mood and what seems to be looking the best at the time to get the right end result.

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Please describe your workflow

When working on a set of shooting boards directly inside Toon Boom Storyboard Pro I usually start with copying the script directly into the project. After that I go thru script and do a rough breakdown on a layer for each panel. After I lay down my rough breakdowns I go back through them, shuffling and rearranging them to get the right flow. Sometimes I'll even delete and create new panels on the fly if needed. Once that's done I go back through them and create another new layer and clean-up and create the final art with the copy and any additional notes. If a storyboard project requires an animatic after that I'll go back through the panels and set the timing and the duration of the shots. Then everything is exported into Final Cut or a series of PSD's depending on the client.

What are your favorite features in Toon Boom Storyboard:

The software is very flexible, this is one of the many reasons I like using it. Being able to produce a set of storyboards for a client or make last minute changes without using multiple apps has been a big timesaver for me. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro helps you work more efficiently. I was originally producing storyboards on my Wacom Cintiq using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and then assembling them in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, but now that I've gotten more comfortable with the app, I'm drawing and creating everything right inside Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. The drawing tools are amazing!

Another great thing I like about Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is the seamless integration with some of your other products. Right now I'm using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro along with Animate Pro to produce some animation for a Florida exhibit on water conservation. Having the ability to create an animatic from your storyboards on the fly and to start timing out shots is huge and helps you see holes in your animation project before you hand it off to a client. And, if that wasn't enough, having the ability to move the same camera work out of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro directly into Animate Pro is Unbelievable! Great job Toon Boom! You guys Rock!

What Toon Boom Storyboard features allow you to distinguish your storyboards and animatics?

Being able to customize your export options out of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is great and keeps everything looking real professional. For example, adding a company logo to a PDF or inserting a time code in an animatic.

Did you experience any productivity gains in using Toon Boom Storyboard?

Yes, I'm probably 3 or 4 times faster now. I use to dread making last minute changes for clients on projects. Now I just smile and say "Sure no problem!" LOL

Are you more efficient today compared to your production toolset used previously?

Oh yeah! In the past I had to use 3 different Apps to do what I do in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro now.

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Is it possible to get the same results with other software?

Not that I'm aware of and I've been doing this for a long time. ; )

How do you feel about Toon Boom Storyboard Pro?

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is an amazing piece of software. It saves me time and allows me to be more creative.

About Larry Rains

Larry Rains is an award winning Animator and Illustrator that has worked on everything from movies to National Syndicated Television spots. Here's a small list of a few clients he's worked with in the past few years... 20th Century Fox, J.G. Wentworth, SunCom, Chloraseptic, Terminx, Dillard's, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ranger Boats, etc.