What is a storyboard?
A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence.
Whether you want to shoot a major Hollywood film or creating a 3 minute animated infographic. Most if not all professionals use storyboards for planning and reference in order to speed up the process when filming or animating a sequence. In this tutorial I’ll talk you through an easy to use process for creating storyboards and even provide you with a FREE template to produce your own storyboards for future projects.
Step 1 – Working from a script
Before you start your storyboard you’re going to need something to work from. You can just start drawing right away but it will be much more efficient if you have a plan. Generally for a storyboarding for a motion project I may receive a breif for the client, a script to work from and also an audio file. In a similar fashion if you were working on a movie you’d have your script first and work on storyboards for your shoot days to plot out the order in which you film and how shots will be set up.
Step 2 – Reference your script and describe ACTION
When working with the FREE template provided or any storyboard you’ll want to break your script down into useable information so you can frame your shots quicker. In the template you will see it says “video quote” in black and ACTION in red and bold. You should quote the script for reference as to where this shot takes place and under action list any direction for shots, movement or animation.
Step 3 – Drawing and creating panels.
Your artwork doesn’t have to be perfect to draw a storyboard, some people simply use stick figures drawn out quickly that give the idea of the shit needed. I use an illustrated style that is simple but effect for framing my shots. I’ve provided an Illustrator file in the download zip that comes with a custom brush for illustrator. If you are using a graphics tablet you can use this pressure brush to draw sketches just like mine for your storyboards. The template is also cut to size so that when you save or export a pdf or jpeg and drag it in, it should fit perfectly into the spaces provided for your artwork frames. Then you can work from them digitally by exporting a PDF or simply print out your storyboard template to draw on or ready to work from with your digital sketches.
I hope this little walk through helps you on your way to making your first storyboards to work from, below is a download button for the zip file. This contains an Indesign CC template with cover and layed out storyboard pages. I’ve also included an Illustrator CC file with custom brush that is the perfect shape to draw out your panels. If you have any questions feel free to post them below.