Meet Judah Dobin, our first #buildwithforge featured user. Judah is an illustrator and storyboard artist in Los Angeles, CA., who has developed storyboards for some of the entertainment and tech industries’ biggest names. From Taylor Swift and Samsung, to Toyota and Target, he's worked across all mediums. Judah is also an aspiring comic book creator who uses Forge to brainstorm and sketch out concepts before taking them to his desktop for the finishing touches.

Created with Photoshop & Wacom Tablet

Created with Photoshop & Wacom Tablet

Originally from New York, Judah studied drawing and painting at the Art Students League of New York. At only 16 he got an opportunity to intern at Marvel after a family friend introduced him to the program. “Back then Marvel had 30 or so editors that worked on multiple titles,” Judah says of the experience. “We would take the ink drawings to copy and fit onto 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper for a colorist to mark all the colors for production individually--totally analog.”

“Digital really exploded the ability to create effects; it all became so realistic and expressive. Now almost everything is digital,” says Judah. Desktop tools like Wacom tablets and Photoshop have changed the workflow and capabilities of illustrators, while the introduction of the iPad and productivity apps designed for the creative industry continue to make better tools accessible for digital artists.

Following a career as a character designer at Animation Collective, a former animated cartoon studio in New York Judah began working as a freelance artist illustrating everything from children’s educational websites to character. Eventually, after relocation to L.A.,  a friend introduced him to storyboarding “Honestly, when I first started doing storyboards it was just another source of income for me,” Judah admits. But once he began working and started to refine his process for character development and visual storytelling his interest really grew.

“Storyboards are about visualizing stories and selling ideas. Whether it’s a movie, TV commercial, music video or cartoon series, my job is to bring the writer or director’s vision to life,” explains Judah. The work of the storyboard artist also allows writers and directors to explore their concepts and changes without the full cost of production to ensure everything works before the camera starts rolling. “Once clients see their concept visualized it either confirms their vision or inspires changes." says Judah.

Typically Judah produces 4-5 sets of storyboards a week for his clients. The iterative nature and fast pace of his process has made Forge a great tool for exploring ideas and helping them take shape. Judah's process generally starts with a simple sketch that develops into a more detailed and expressive image that brings the characters and scenes to life. Eventually these sketches are organized in different sequences to examine their ability to visually express the concept or vision for his clients.

“As a storyboard artist I’m constantly concerned with efficiency in my workflow,” Judah explains. “There are lots of frames to illustrate in a script and they often go through many changes before being approved by the client. I find the Wall feature of the Forge app to be super useful! It allows me to see everything at once and I can even change the sequence of frames which is a real bonus for storyboards. The interface is also very straightforward and intuitive. I don’t think you need to be a professional artist to get a lot of usage out of this app.”

Being a storyboard artist also provides Judah with opportunities to work on projects that inspire him. Recently he had an opportunity to do some illustrations for a social media campaign for The Boxtrolls. “One evening, an e-mail request came from my agent looking for anyone interested in working on some illustrations for The Boxtrolls. I immediately started developing sketches and by 4 a.m. that night I completed and submitted drawings to secure the project. I really enjoyed the movie and wanted to be a part of it in some way, so i just stayed up all night building sketches to submit. It was a labor of love.” 

Boxtrolls storyboard created with Photoshop & Wacom Tablet

Judah is one of many creators using Forge to build their ideas. Our users inspire us everyday to keep striving to make Forge the best app possible for brainstorming and building your ideas. We’re always excited to see what everyone is building with Forge, and we want to see more! If you have work you'd like to share or a story to tell, hit us up at contact@buildwithforge.com or share what you’re building on social with the hashtag #BuildWithForge.

Check out more storyboards from Judah at www.judahdobin.com

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