The Maya team has a short animation in the works called Hyperspace Madness and we asked Matthew Chan, one of the project artists, to try Draco, our tool for sketch based animation and effects, to see what he thought of it for storyboarding and animatics. Hyperspace Madness started as a project to demonstrate games workflows. As that was successful, the team decided to make a short intro movie for the game to demonstrate film workflows.
Normally a storyboard is created and used to sequence the shots in a film. When that is done, the storyboard is put into a short film with some basic sound to get a feel for the pacing. You can see the Hyperspace Madness animatic below.
In the first few seconds of the animatic you can see the hero moving through the scene with lasers and explosions behind him. Each of these images needs to be drawn one at a time. Where Draco was found to be really helpful was that fewer drawings needed to be created and was was created was a more accurate representation of the story intention as you can see in a few drawings below.
Beyond saving the artist time and helping to tell the story, this resulted in less data to manage. Matthew said the Draco was intuitive and uncomplicated and he really liked the gesture based options for easily moving the different picture elements.
We're still working on Draco and will keep you updated on the progress. In case you missed the picture from Autodesk University, here it is again.