Chapter 1: Story Writing
Chapter 2: Script Writing
Chapter 1: What is Animation
– Types of Animation
Chapter 2: Principals of Animation
Chapter 1: What is Storyboarding
Before we understand
how to write a story for any Animation film/video, lets us first understand the
basic structure of a story.
Story structure is about story and plot. It contains the
content of a story and the form used to tell the story. Story refers to the
dramatic action as it might be described in chronological order. Plot refers to
how the story is told. Story is about trying to determine the key conflicts,
main characters, setting and events. Plot is about how, and at what stages, the
key conflicts are set up and resolved. Whenever we begin with a new story we must
define the foundation first so we need to follow 2 basic steps while writing a
Fiction or Non fiction
The first step involves the choice the
story. There are 2 choices
: Fiction story is
derived from imagination in other words, not based strictly on history or fact.
A work of fiction is created in the creative imagination of
its author. The author invents the story on his own and makes up the
characters, the plot or storyline, the dialogue and sometimes even the setting.
A fictional work does not claim to tell a true story. Instead, it immerses us
in experiences that we may never have in real life, introduces us to types of
people we may never otherwise meet and takes us to places we may never visit in
any other way. Fiction can inspire us,
intrigue us, scare us and engage us in new ideas.
References:Mr.India(1987) ,Ra One(2011) ,Koi Mil Gaya(2003),Krish(2006)
Non fiction- Non
fiction stories are true stories based on actual people and events. Non fiction
stories include documentaries, biographies and stories based on history, politics,
travel, education or any real world subject matter.
aware of the rights involved in making a movie; fictional stories grant you
unrestricted access to the material because you are creating it. Non fictional
stories may require you to secure the rights to an idea. Make sure you have
permission to write about the subject matter you are writing.
References: Jodhaa akbar (2008), Gandhi (1982), Lagaan: Once Upon a
India (2001), Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
A genre is a category or type of story. Genres
typically have their own style and story structure, and although there are
several primary categories, movies can be a mixture of two or three different
Some common genres include:
When choosing the genre for an
independent film, be aware of the costs and the difficulties of shooting
certain genres like science fiction or westerns, for which the cost of sets, costumes
and props may be prohibitive.
can be told in many different formats, each designed for a different purpose. The
main formats include:
Animation is the process of designing, drawing, making layouts and
photographic sequences which are integrated in the multimedia and gaming
In other words, Animation is the simulation
of movement created by displaying a series of pictures,
Cartoons on television is one example of animation.
Animation is the illusion
of movement created by showing a series of still pictures in rapid
succession. In the world of computers, graphic software like Flash,
After Effects, MAYA etc. are
create this effect.
Commercials: Commercials are designed to advertise a product or services. Television commercials incorporate a wide range of styles, techniques, and animation narratives into 10, 15, 30 or 60 second time lengths. Commercials are a great way for filmmakers to showcase their style of storytelling and production capabilities and are among the most lucrative forms of production. 3. Documentaries- A documentary is a broad term to describe a non-fiction video production that in some way “documents” or captures reality. Documentaries are intended to study a subject, occurrence, theme or belief in an attempt to either explore the subject or arrive at a conclusion about the subject. Documentaries can either take on an investigative approach in which the filmmaker tries to answer a question or research a subject and allow the story to unfold during the production. Documentaries can in some instances be inexpensive but time consuming to produce. 4. Feature films- The term feature film came into use to refer to the film presented in a cinema theatre. A feature film is a film (also called a movie, motion picture or just film) with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program. The majority of feature films are between 70 and 210 minutes long. The popular Bollywood films like the ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’ are an example of the Feature Films. Industrial /corporate videos- Industrial/corporate video productions are typically meant for marketing of businesses. Music videos- These highly stylized promotional videos for music artist are a great way for a filmmaker to explore his creativity using any medium, any style of narrative or performance and artistic editing. 5.Short films- Ideally under 20 minutes, short films are a good way of learning the process of making a movie showcasing your talents and generating interest from investors for future projects.HOW TO WRITE A STORY:
have been told a certain way throughout history. It is a language both the
storyteller and audiences agree upon.
stories begin by establishing the characters and setting in which the story
will take place, then the problem or conflict appears. The drama of the story
begins when the main character has to figure out how to cope with or solve the
problem. These three components are considered the basic story structure; each
can be divided into three distinct parts, called acts.
1 is the first 30 minutes of the 120 (2 hour) film. The audience is introduced
to the main characters, where the story takes place, what the story is about
and what are the main issues.
Act 2 is the next movement in the story,
running an hour, from 30 to 90 minutes and begins from when the conflict is
most important part of the second act is called the ‘turning point’, which
occurs at the middle of the story.
3 is the last quarter of the story, running from 90-120 minutes, wherein the
conflict becomes the most difficult for the character and he is forced to use
his skills, wit and ability to resolve or escape from the problem with the
maximum possible risk.
third act ends with the conclusion of the story when the character resolves the
Q.1 what is story and how to write a story?
Q.2 What is the difference between fiction
& non fictional story?
Q.3 what is genre? And name any 3 genre you
like the most?
Q.4 what is meant by story format?
Once we have written the story the next
step is to convert this story into a script that can be used to create an
animation/feature film, television production or a video game. A script is a
detailed story written in a format that is easy to execute during the
production of the film. A script divides the story into scenes and contains
such details as the description of the scene, whether it is daytime or night
when the scene is taking place, whether it taking place indoors or outdoors,
how many characters are there in the scene, what are they doing in the scene,
the dialogues between the characters and so on. The script also describes the
emotional impact of the scene; whether the characters in the scene are happy or
angry or sad…So we can say that a script is a film or a television production
written on paper with all the relevant details.
The process of writing a script is known as script
writing, also known as screenplay writing and the one who writes a script is
known as the Script writer. A
Scriptwriter works with the Director of the film/television production while
developing the script.
To summarize, Script writing is the art and
craft of writing the story in a format that makes it easy to shoot it.
HOW TO WRITE A SCRIPT
begin to write a script, let’s have a look at a few guidelines –
Divide your Story into Scenes: Broadly
speaking, a Scene is any action taking place in a single location; if the
location changes, the scene changes. For example, in our story there are two
characters (characters refer to the Actors), Ravi and Smita and they are
sitting in a room talking about their school home work- this in our script is
referred to as one Scene. Now, in our story the two characters go out in the
garden to play- this in our script will be referred to as Scene 2, because the
location has been changed from inside of a room to outdoors in a garden.
Know your audience: Keep
in mind your target audience, so that you know the level of language to be
used, the complexity to be developed, etc. Is the audience composed of youngsters,
adults or a mixed age group, does it comprise a general or specialized
audience, etc. This will determine your language, the references used, the
regional humour etc.
Know your medium: Before you start writing your script, it is
important to know the medium through which the script is going to be presented
– whether it is being written for television or for gaming, or as an animation or
a live action film. In this module, we shall focus on writing the script for an
animation film, so let’s take a look at the basic difference between a live
action script and an animation film script.
animation script, the action is described in far more detail. You’ve
heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, the process is
reversed for animation scriptwriters. In animation thousands of words are used to
describe a scene/picture. So that means clearly describing action sequences, visual
gags, facial expressions, props and locations. That’s in addition to writing
the dialogue and indicating any special sound effects and music the scene
action film writing, details like the camera angles and shots are left to the
director. But in an animated script, you have more freedom to suggest
dramatic or cartoony visuals. Say a phone rings. You might call for a
SLOW ZOOM or SMASH CUT to it. Maybe the receiver JIGGLES as the phone
RINGS. Or a loud ring might JOLT the receiver RIGHT OFF THE HOOK.
Maybe to get someone’s attention, it might BONK him/her repeatedly over
the head. Note that animation writers often CAPITALIZE camera moves and
important images, sound effects and music cues, and use lots of
exclamation marks to show the level of excitement the final product is going to
A GIANT FLYING ROBOT zooms across
the sky! It EXPLODES! KA-BOOOOOM!!! DRAMATIC STING.
Write like you speak: This will make it easier for the target
audience to relate to the script. Also, it makes the script more vibrant and
interactive, since it appears conversational.
Remove the extra elements: Extra elements like
unnecessary detailing, going out of the story line, etc. should be removed, as
they detract from the main flow of the script. This also endangers the main
elements of the script; they might get lost in all the extra things introduced.
Keep the script precise and concise. Flowery language should be avoided; it
should be kept direct as far as possible, unless the script demands otherwise.
Active voice, implemented in a clear and brief manner should be preferred.
Consistency: The characters’ language, mannerisms, body
language should be consistent, unless the script requires otherwise.
Add Humour to the story/script: Humour is an essential part of any animation film. Be innovative
with the story, use your imagination to create funny characters and humorous
situations, think out of the box. In animation, we are given the freedom to
play around with unrealistic characters and situations, make use of this
freedom to come up with your strange and funny story line.
Keep sentences short and witty: Witty dialogues between the
characters help in creating humour in the given scene. Best is to keep the dialogues short but
witty and remove superfluous words and repetitions and break sentences into parts
Effective use of silence: It is essential to put in
silence between dialogue, so as to give listeners time to process the verbal
content and to watch what’s on the screen. Brief pauses can be put into your
script by indicating where the dialogue should stop for a moment. Silence or
pauses also give you time to accommodate a transition to a new line of thought.
Elements of a Script
A script consists of 3 main elements:
At the beginning of each scene we must declare the
location. We do this in the following format:
(a) interior (INT.) or exterior(EXT.)? (b) a description of the location (c) is it day time of night time?
INT. St. Xavier’s School Campus –
Location description (also known as Scene headings)
are left aligned in the script. The Scene Heading tells the reader of the
script where the scene takes place. Are we indoors (INT.) or outdoors (EXT.)? Next we need
to name the location, where the action takes place: school campus, living room,
etc. Lastly it includes the time of day – night, day, dusk, dawn… all the information
needed to “set the scene”. Here are a few more examples of Scene Headings:
INT. Bedroom – morning
EXT. Beach – sunset
INT. Office – night – continuous action
EXT. Highway – dawn
the place to describe the action that precedes or follows the dialogue. It is
written without indention below the description of the location. Action
describes what the characters are doing, what all is
INT. St. Xavier’s School Campus –
RAVI and SMITA enter the school campus with
two kittens in their arms
When any character speaks, his or her name
appears on the line preceding the dialogue. In screenplays, the name appears in
a location approximately in the centre of the line.
Indented to the center of the page, the name of the character would be written
letters and the lines of dialogue would be under it, indented
INT. St. Xavier’s School Campus –
RAVI and SMITA enter the school campus with two
kittens in their arms
Are we late?
No, we are not, but
we are with the kittens!
Directions for the Dialogue should be in parentheses and
placed before the desired line. Parentheses are the additional directions give in
INT. St. Xavier’s School Campus Day
RAVI and SMITA enter the school campus with a
kitten in their arms
Are we late?
(Looking at the
No, we are not, but
we are with the kittens!
Besides these, let’s also take a look at a few
more points that make up a Script Format:
Extensions are technical notes placed
directly to the right of the Character name that denotes HOW the character’s
voice is heard. For example, V.O. means ‘voiceover’.
It means the change of the scene where the
action seems to blur and refocus into another scene, and is generally used to
denote a passage of time. Commonly used transitions are FADE-IN, FADE-OUT,
A shot is whatever the camera sees. For
example, a wide shot would mean that we see every character that appears in the
scene, all at once. (refer to the chapter on)
Q1. What is meant
by Script Writing?
Q2.What are the
basic elements of a Script?
Q3.How to write a
Script? What is the format Scripts are written in?
Q4. Explain any
three guidelines necessary to write a Script?
Q5. Write a short
story and convert it into a Script?
What is Animation?
Animation is a way of
making a movie from many
still images. The images are
put together one after another, and then played at a fast speed to give
the illusion of movement.
Animation is a
relatively new art form, and though the concept of moving images has been a
theme throughout ancient civilizations, it was not until late into the 19th
century that experimental animation truly began. Today, the industry of
animation is booming, making up a huge commercial enterprise. However, among
individual artists, it remains a sacred and unique form of art.
A person who
makes animations is called an animator.
Types of Animation
What is 2D
2D animation is the process of generating in a
two-dimensional artistic space. 2D animation focuses on creating storyboards,
characters, and backgrounds in two-dimensional environments. Usually thought of
as traditional animation, the figures can move up and down, left, and right.
The 2D animation uses vector graphics and bitmap to
create and edit the animated images and is created using the computers and
software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash and After Effects.
3D Animation is the process of generating
three-dimensional moving images in the digital environment. It is a type of
animation that uses computer generated images to create animated scenes.
Manipulation of 3D models or objects is carried out within the 3D software for
exporting image sequences giving them the illusion of movement and animation.
However, this is entirely based on the technique used for manipulating the
objects. There is a difference between 3D and 2D animation.
The procedure of generating 3D is sequentially
categorized into three main sections, and these are modeling, layout and
animation and rendering. There are several software’s available for 3d animation
like Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Max etc.
the phase that describes the procedure of generating 3D objects within a
Layout and Animation phase
describes that the process followed for animating and positioning the objects
within a certain scene.
the result or output of completed computer graphics. The process of production
is completed with the careful combination of the sections mentioned above and
also some other sub-sections.
Difference between 3D and 2D
2D Animation means two dimensional movies.
3d Animation means 3 dimensional movies.
2D Animation is a flat animation and comprises of only X axis and Y
axis. X and Y refer horizontal and vertical (X and Y) dimensions
3D animation comprises of X axis, Y axis and Z axis. X, Y and Z
refer to height, width and depth respectively.
2D animation EVERYTHING is drawn
3D objects, once modeled, can be treated almost as a physical object.
Most of the work would be done in 3d application tools
“Moving the camera” in 2D means drawing everything from another angle.
“Moving the camera” in 3D is simply dragging it to another position to
see if you like it better.
After Effects, Adobe Flash Professional, Motion, ToopBoom, and Anime Studio
are some of commonly used software used to create 2D animation.
3Ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, ZBrush, and Blender are some of
commonly used software used to create 3D animation.
The Jungle Book
Q1. what is meant by animation?
Q2. what is 2D Animation?
Q3. What is 3D animation?
Q4. Name any three differences between 2D
and 3D Animation?
Q5. Name any two 3D applications/softwares?