Storyboarding

A storyboard is a visual aid that makes it easier for you to explain and share the vision for your movie, short film or any other video production. Most people are not great at interpreting a vision that’s being laid out and others aren’t good at laying out the vision in the first place. When you have a storyboard, you can ensure everyone is seeing shot for shot how the vision will be executed.

When you storyboard your movie, you’re setting up a visual plan for production that will touch on a majority (if not all) of the shots you plan on shooting. These shots will coincide with the screenplay and help your team have the same vision for what needs to be done. Although it’s just a starting point, or in some cases used for suggestions and experimentation, it will ensure you won’t forget any scenes.

Below are a few examples of what storyboards look like for the studio release of Skull Island aka King Kong.

How Do You Create Storyboards?

You don’t have to be an artist to create storyboards. They can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them. While drawing your own boxes and squares with stick figures is the most rudimentary way of getting it done, you can also use any of the printable templates on Google.

Download Storyboard TemplatesDownload Storyboard Templates

  • From there you just want to make sure you think of each of the boxes as the video frame in your movie. You can either use photos digitally to place inside the squares or print the template out and draw by hand, just make sure to leave enough space for your notes.
  • Underneath each of the boxes with your sketches you jot in short details of what’s intended for each scene. These aren’t intended to be very long and drawn out, just enough for everyone to understand the entire flow of the production.

Best Software For Storyboarding

If you don’t want to manually draw out your storyboard, there are a ton of software applications and mobile apps you can use both free and for a cost. Check out some of the choices below we’ve put together.

Storyboarder

Storyboarder makes it easy to visualize a story as fast you can draw stick figures. The purpose is to be able to quickly draw things so you can see if they work — without having to spend too much time on it. Not only can you refine the artwork in Photoshop, but their app is integrated with external software giving you even more flexibility. You can even export your boards to formats like Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, PDF and animated gifs.

Storyboarder is available for Mac, PC and Linux currently.

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Shot Designer

This is a free app directors and DP’s can use to create camera diagrams and animate characters in order to pre-visualize scenes. You can share your work and also sync across multiple devices. With the pro version they have even more features, but check this out first and see if it’s your thing.

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ShotPro

Kiss the traditional way of drawing goodbye with stick figures and shapes, because this app uses 3D visualization. This pre-visualization app allows filmmakers and storyboard artists to build cool 3D sets along with animated characters. There are a ton of things you can do with this app so it’s worth checking out!

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FrameForge

This one has been around for years so the price point is a bit higher than the others we’ve listed, but it may have what you’re looking for if the others don’t. They offer a lot of different bundles, each with increasing complexity and price points. All levels include optically accurate virtual cameras. This software can be as complex as you want it to allowing for design, choosing equipment specs for dollies, lighting choices, sun positioning…you name it.

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Studio Binder

This software is an online solution that will give you the robustness for most of your needs. Just upload your images and boom — you’ve got a storyboard. You can customize the layouts, shot lists and more. The cost is somewhere around the $20 per month ballpark so if you find that you don’t need it anymore then you can just stop paying.

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