Which to study first, Storyboard or animation?

Hello everyone,

I am so caught between studying Harmony 15 or Storyboard Pro 5.5 first.

Many years ago, I made a short traditional animation on 16 mm.

I have studied TVPaint and dabbled in old Adobe Flash https://speedtest.vet/ https://vidmate.bid/

I usually just section squares onto paper to storyboard, draw my plot and wallah-sherbam, it’s done!

And, of course, I want to get going on two short animations that are yelling, "get going!

We want to be shown to the world, hurry up!"

It’s almost like what comes first the chicken or the egg!

A logical part of me, says, "Storyboard Pro 5.5 will make it all faster, but then I still need to learn Harmony…

And, at 67 years old, who knows how much more time I really have on this Earth…

I guess, my real question is, couldn’t I just make my animation from my hand-drawn storyboard squares ?

The way I always have.

I thought that this is one question that I have never seen posted here on this forum.

And, I think that most people would say that, “you have to do what feels best for you.” True.

But, I am curious to see what others think.

What has worked for you, which way is faster, easier? What do you normally do?

Thank you for reading this!!!

My attempt at representing a voice of pragmatism:

What path will get you going on that project today?

If you learn Harmony you can start animating.

You already storyboard using your sketches.

You might be able to storyboard a project in a few days or weeks while it would take months to years before you would be proficient enough to surpass that with new software.

If you learn Storyboard you will still have to learn Harmony.

Use what skills you have now.

Use what you know now.

There are big shots still using index cards tacked to the wall to storyboard books, TV shows and films.

I agree. Use the skills you have now. If you have made storyboards before on paper then nothing stops you from continuing to storyboard on paper , which you can scan and load as an image sequence into any software with a timeline to make an animatic. (TVPaint, Adobe Animate , Storyboard Pro, would all do the job) Storyboard Pro is a great software for high-end production in a television or feature film production pipeline where there are multiple artists involved (often working remotely), but don’t let your lack of knowledge of using Storyboard Pro stop you from starting on your next project, especially if it’s only you working on the film by yourself. It’s not really the software that makes the project better. It’s the skills of the person using the software. Someone who knows how to draw well and understands how to present their ideas clearly through sequential drawings can make a brilliant storyboard on Post-It Notes.

In terms of “what to study first: Storyboard or Animation?” I think in today’s animation industry it amounts to the same thing. The same skill sets are needed. Good animators often work as storyboard artists. Storyboard artists need to understand the principles of animation. On many productions today (especially television productions) storyboard artists are essentially doing Key Pose Animation . The storyboard artist’s poses on their storyboard panels will often be used by the animators as key poses for the animation. It didn’t used to be a requirement for storyboard artists to draw characters strictly “on-model” or to make multiple poses for ever shot, but nowadays it often is the case that the boards are required to have poses that are drawn on-model and many shots are practically key-posed , just short of being actual rough animation.