Reel tips for 3D artists: Making the best storyboard portfolio

Part 3 of an 8-part series by animation studio, Bardel Entertainment

Last modification: 29 Nov, 2018
2 mins

Storyboard artists, curious what recruiters at leading animation studios look for when reviewing storyboard portfolios? The Canadian team at Bardel Entertainment, an animation services provider making series productions for Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, and Warner Brothers has got you covered.

In part 3 of this 8-part series, Emmy-winning Bardel shares nine things to keep in mind when telling your story with your storyboard portfolio.


1. Show us what you got

To work in storyboards, we need to see your storyboards. Tell us stories – all it takes is a pencil, paper, and your imagination.


2. Put your acting on the screen

Don’t worry about camera instructions and action descriptions – put your acting on the screen. If an action needs describing, it is a sign that you need to draw another panel.

Still from Rick and Morty courtesy of Maya studio, Bardel EntertainmentFrom Cartoon Network animated series, Rick and Morty.

3. Draw all elements in scene

The days of little red arrows indicating OUTs and character TB’s are long gone. Make the scenes come alive through acting performance, strong expressions, and convincing poses. Draw all elements in scene: BG, characters, and props.


4. Consider all techniques for clarity

Our storyboard artists are filmmakers – they use all techniques of film and visual storytelling to create a storyboard. Consider your use of camera, image composition, and staging for clarity.


5. Lay down grids

Lay down grids to help create a 3D space. We need to see how you’re designing the space and how your characters move within it.


6. Storyboard with style in mind

Storyboard for the style of show and consider the limitations of the technique – show us how you plan to make a 2D Harmony show interesting without storyboarding the impossible.

Made in Maya: Rayla from Netflix's The Dragon Prince courtesy of Bardel EntertainmentRayla from Netflix animated series, The Dragon Prince.

7. Sell depth

Use foreground, mid-ground, background, and far background to sell depth. A storyboard needs to have elements at different distances in order to display depth.


8. Describe mood, action, and emotional impact

Try to storyboard a short sequence that describes mood, action and emotional impact. Use lighting effects and subtle camera movements to enhance the experience.


9. Make a short animatic

Put your storyboard panels together as a short animatic. Show us two or three short different stories with different types of storytelling.

Contributing to "The Dragon Prince," "Teen Titans Go!," "Rick and Morty," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Bardel are always on the lookout for exceptional talent.





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  • 3ds Max
  • Maya
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