iBIBLE Production Part 4: Storyboards and Animatics

Over the last three weeks of iBIBLE "Behind the Scenes," we have explored the two earliest pieces of the preproduction process: research (including both historical and archaeological findings) and assembling the script. Today, we explore the next step in the process which includes all of the pieces that go into creating the storyboard and animatic.

To facilitate recognition, Lot is shown in burgundy in the iBIBLE animatic

An animatic is completed when two key items are brought together: the storyboard, which is comprised of basic illustrated shot guides, and the audio file, which includes casting vocal talent, mixing, and audio sweetening.

In order to establish a unified vision and be as accurate as possible to what Scripture says, we incorporate all the details uncovered during the research phase of production, and provide as many notes as possible to the illustration team.

The first step in creating an animatic is to take the script and to break it into shot guides. These shot guides determine what each image should depict. Below is the shot guide for a portion of the sentence above about Rachel’s difficult delivery:

chart

Once the shot guide has been prepared for the entire script of an episode, the information is then handed over to the art director who creates rough sketches and puts them into a sequence. This is where we set the original mood, and determine not only the sequence, but the emotion, perspective, and camera movement for each shot. This is called a storyboard.

Concurrently, the dialogue is sent to the narrator to record, and a cast is selected for the chapter-specific roles. In order to find the right voice match, a description is created of each character including the name of the character, their age, what emotions they will need to portray, and sample lines from the script for them to record. Once potential cast members return their audio samples, they are reviewed and artists are selected. This process is called casting.

Red arrows show movement in the animatics

Once the voice actors are selected, recording begins. This usually occurs remotely, depending on the location of the artist. iBIBLE voice talent can be located anywhere in the world. Over the past 18 months, with COVID restrictions and studios being closed, the voice acting community has had some unique challenges. We work together with the artists to find solutions that allow them to keep recording during these challenging times.

Audio files are then combined with the storyboard, completing the animatic for an entire iBIBLE episode.

As you review the animatic below, you will see many interesting elements. First, the illustrations give a general sense of what the image will be. Next, you will notice arrows that indicate movement that the characters will make across the scene. Colors also provide a quick reference to know when recurring characters are present. Notes are also sometimes present to describe specifics.

See animatic here: https://youtu.be/FzJwrxlw6a4

Both visuals and the text of the script require review and revisions. The Producer and the Executive Producer determine what elements need to be adjusted, emphasized, and help finalize the vision for each episode of iBIBLE.

Once both the script and visuals are approved, the animatic goes to audio sweetening. Effects are added to the voices, background sounds are added to each scene, including things like footsteps, and the other sounds of the character’s surroundings. These noises help create the environment of the scene. Is at night? Is it windy? Does this take place in a country or the city? Flocks, weapons, movement of cloth, the pouring of water—all of these things are put into the project, then mixed in and balanced.

The figure depicted in brown is Abram, and yellow is used for God

Then the file goes to scoring; the composer looks at the scene as a whole, and determines the mood, and other key elements that can be conveyed through music. We are blessed to work with an amazing composer, as anyone who has seen iBIBLE will confirm. From here, the pre-production package is complete! Next, it goes to the artists where the art of iBIBLE comes to life in beautiful detail.

Thank you for partnering with us as we bring the world’s first complete animated narrative Bible to the whole world. Because of your faithful prayers and generous contributions, we will be able to share iBIBLE for FREE—free to license, free to translate, free to distribute—to the ends of the earth.

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