How to Draw the Scene, or, To Draw or Not to Draw
If you have a scene that can be rendered, some of that rendering is based on the storyboard. You know how aggravating it is for a character to get to the end of the world, and the player knows it is the end of the world because the game stops scrolling? There are rivers that you cannot cross, or big rocks that you cannot climb, or artillery that you cannot go under - you just can't go there. Somehow you've reached the end of the game screen or the videogame because the developers decided there are some things that you just cannot explore. The storyboard may actually define places that do not exist. This is by design. If the character cannot go there, it does not need to be rendered.
Some game engines allow the developer to define paths where characters can and cannot walk. It is not worth while to render unwalkable areas as though they could be walked. Based on the storyboard design, there are things that look like 3-D spaces, but they are actually 2-D spaces that are exempt from 3-D rendering.
Using the storyboard sketch as a basis, the development team determines:
- What should be rendered versus what should not be rendered
- What can be hand-drawn by animators versus what must be computer animated by the same people
- What can be drawn as computer animation versus what can be generated while the computers are running undisturbed
Some items that can be handed off to rendering are actions like spinning the ball, or changing the shadows. If the camera lighting only has this large an arc, then you can compute by reflection how big the shadows are going to be. This is the length of the shadow, which is one or both of the radii of the ellipse. You can use a different equation to compute the position of the shadow with respect to the light source. These and similar actions are the stuff that can be rendered overnight without people watching to make sure nothing goes wrong in the rendering process.