Here's a brief rundown of the preproduction process that I use in creating my animated shorts. Let me first say I've skipped talking about the research and brainstorming part. I may do a little about that in a later post. But after that part is done I write a script. This is page one of a two page script. It's a short about how a planet in our solar system was actually named Herschel for awhile. The highlights are there to help in the voice recording process. The handwritten notes and numbering are for the thumbnails and storyboards.
From there I start thinking more about layout and animation by doing some rough thumbnails of the short or scene - if it is part of a longer animation. I begin with pages of these small frames and start drawing the thumbnails. If something is wrong I don't usually start with a new page, I just mark through the thumbnail I don't like and move on - as you can see with my very first thumbnail. The short two-page script for this one took five and a half pages of thumbnails to layout the whole thing.
Next I do rough storyboards. They are aobut 4 inches high by 7 inches wide. While the drawings for the storyboards are more detailed than the thumbnails they are still not what I'll use for the animatic. The numbers in the storyboards correspond to the ones in the thumbnails and on the script.
I hope to have the animatic up within a couple of days or so. We are finishing up the rough soundtrack. The drawings are done mostly in Adobe Flash and will be even more detailed than these storyboards.