Storyboarding So Far - The Neverending Story

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This was my first real storyboarding attempt, made the summer after graduation. I was still working on it when I went to CTN for the first time that fall and I received the reeeally useful feedback that I was over-rendering and putting in too much detail. You'll see that I stopped with the backgrounds half-way through.
Looking back, I think there are some issues with screen direction, the action at the end is a bit unclear, and many of the camera angles could be more interesting.
I'm also considering adding a final line of dialogue, something simple that indicates the Hen thinks of the fox as a surrogate child. My thinking wasn't very clear on that story point. 
I had also gotten feedback that I should specialize in 3D texturing and look development, so I put off drawing for a couple years in order to study Maya and Zbrush. I loved learning to model, sculpt, texture, and rig. But eventually I started to miss digital painting and so I stopped again in order to work on some illustrations for a local art show.
After the show, I felt pretty lost. I'm interested in such a diversity of fields that I had no idea what to specialize in in order to get a studio job. So I began doing more observational sketching and gesture drawing and I realized that I'd been avoiding story boarding because it was what I wanted to do most, and I was afraid to fail at it. I decided to really commit to boarding this year and to go back to CTN to network and hopefully find a studio job.

"The Neverending Story" was one of my favorite childhood books. I happened to reread it this year and was struck by how much it deserves an animated remake. I haven't tried to block out the whole story, but I've immersed myself in it and picked scenes to board throughout. 
I want to board the (probably 3 minute) sequence of Atreyu and his talking horse searching for a cure for the Childlike Empress and a way to stop the Nothing from consuming their world, up through the horse's death in the Swamp of Sadness. The above sequence with the snakes was kind of a test of what they might encounter along the way, but it got way out of hand.
I wanted to convey that the snakes were aligning themselves to mimic the design on Atreyu's amulet and that he doesn't understand, but I don't think that comes across. Anyway, this was another instance where I really struggled with over-rendering, but I couldn't decide how important it was to convey the sense of light and shadow, and the light and dark patterns of the snakes.

(In case the video won't play: opens in a new window)
 In this last sequence, Falkor the luckdragon has been separated from Atreyu in a storm near the end of their quest. As he searches for Atreyu, he is called by the amulet and encounters the Nothing (which I've been rendering as the static you "see" when you're deprived of visual information). This is another overblown scene - in the context of the overall story, it should be a lot shorter and more direct like they handled it in the liveaction film. But I wanted to experiment with the action. 
I'm 3/4 through a new Neverending Story sequence that is more character-focused. While I want to keep working on this story, this might be the last one before I have to move on to something else. I get the feeling that I need more variety. Anyway, thank you for following along! Any thoughts are welcome.
Posted in The Showcase on July 27 at 02:25 AM

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