From storyboards to renders: our design process

From storyboards to renders: our design process

Sam Daitzman

Initial Research

After watching a number of movie clips relating to food waste and the massive problems revolving around the food industry as a whole, we decided to focus on recycling. We quickly discovered that most of it doesn't actaully get re-purposed like were told, but ends up in landfills all over the world. After researching the issue and making calls to local recycling centers, we found that many water bottle companies may be lying to us by saying they are eco-friendly.

We decided to make an animated PSA video to show people the truth. We created a storyboard to organize our ideas. We based the style on a video created by BP, featuring a minimal design style with no outlines or unneeded effects.


We picked a clean palette of bright colors that looked well together, and then used Adobe Illustrator to create graphics of all the objects in our storyboard. For many of the objects, we used a pre-existing image like a car or barrel and traced it, then removed the original and adjusted it. Once we had every object we needed, we began to use another program called After Effects, which is used for animation.


After learning the basics of After Effects we had to transfer all the images we created from Illustrator to After Effects and animate them. We exported them as images in a separate folder, organized by the order we expected to use them. We went over every scene and decided what we wanted to animate and what looked better as a static object. Each scene was created as a separate composition, and once they were finished we began adjusting the details.


At several points in the animating process, we strayed from our original storyboard. We decided clear text in a consistent font and position would be more clear than a person speaking, and that our original facts were too wordy for the average person. We simplified these facts and adjusted the details of each scene until the style was consistent.


Once all the scenes looked great separately, we began to combine them. We created a final composition and imported all the others, then adjusted them to create smooth transitions. Using simple shapes without outlines allowed us to animate a shape or background from one scene into some other graphic in the next one, creating a more cohesive appearance. We then chose a song, Daydream by Tycho, for its smooth melody which fit well with our theme, and rendered for the first time.


Our first few renders had minor issues, so we adjusted accordingly. We switched from a general location to specific coordinates for our text, and adjusted its size for easier reading. After several more revisions, we added credits to thank our coaches, and ended the video playfully with a drop of water.