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How to Make Storyboards Easily

10/01/202210/01/2022
CreativityCreativity
9 min read9 min read
Written by Cinema8
@Cinema8

How to Make Storyboards Easily

Do you have difficulty explaining your creative vision to clients when you have an amazing video idea? Do you worry that your shots and angles won't be captured exactly how you imagine them? Well, there is surely a solution to your concerns.  

Storyboard Your Video!

The script is often called the heart of a movie, but the storyboard is just as important to the production. A storyboard is used by artists during the early stages of film production for outlining the narrative structure and to show ideas. This storyboard consists of images or sketches that depict the shot sequences in a movie, highlighting the main storyline and the action sequences. Storyboards are an integral part of the previsualization process, as they help put a face on the film and make it less abstract.

Read our blog on 16 Most Effective Pre-Production Steps to Create a Successful Video Content to come up with engaging videos. 

Before getting into the intricacies of how to create a storyboard easily, let's start with a more fundamental question: What a storyboard actually is!

What is a Storyboard?

Several thumbnail images are included in a storyboard, which describes how your video will unfold. For each picture, there are explanatory notes that help the reader understand the storyboard easily. You can create a storyboard using storyboarding software or by hand drawing it.

Each square consists of an image that depicts one single shot. Every square must include the following information: 

  •     Who is there or what is happening in that scene  
  •     Describe what is being said or conveyed
  •     Any graphic or text that will be appearing on the screen  

A good storyboard helps you visualize the entire video being played in your head when you read it.  

Steps to Make Storyboards Easily

One good thing about storyboards is that they don’t require much artistry or video knowledge to create a storyboard. Here are the seven easy steps you can follow to guide you through the process of developing a storyboard that meets your needs.

1. Identify Your Goals

Ensure that you have taken the time to think about what you expect from the video before you begin. When you know what the project's goals are, you can make the right decisions. Thorough preparation is necessary to succeed in any endeavor, and you should take this approach when you decide to embark on this journey.

Make sure you consider who you are trying to reach (target audience) and what you hope to convey. The language and tone you choose for the video will be influenced by these key aspects. Make sure your words can clearly define the story. Be as precise as you can, and leave no room for doubt.

Taking the target audience into account, decide what time frame will be most effective for the video. Additionally, your video's nature and the content will also depend on the channel where you publish it. Getting all these things in order will put you in a good position, and creating the storyboard will be much easier.

2. Do a Brainstorming Session for New Ideas

Get some friends or colleagues to give your video ideas a second look. You have to find a way to integrate all your thoughts into one engaging story. Note everything down that comes into your mind and determine what will be included in the video. Making this decision will have a major influence on how to create a storyboard.

During this process, make storyboards to help you visualize your ideas. Make sure you know the order in which your story takes place, so you’re better able to plot out your storyboard. At this point, you will have to specify the following things:

  •     The main characters
  •     The location and setting  
  •     Theme  
  •     The interaction between characters and props

Once you reach this point, making a storyboard will be much easier and straightforward.

3. Plan a Timeline for the Story

Consider how the story will flow, and create a timeline that will serve as your guide. During this process of creating a storyboard, you will have to identify the following things:

  •    The starting point of the video/story
  •     Critical transitions
  •     End of your video/story

Make sure the timeline is seamless by filling in all the gaps. During the process, be sure to simplify the story without compromising its tension.

4. Get Started with Sketching

In most storyboards, you will find boxes as part of the layout. If you don't want to construct your own boxes, free storyboard templates can be a good alternative. Select the format you prefer before beginning to draw your storyboard. Make sure that the boxes you create on the paper do not completely fill up the page since you will need to add additional notes.

Consider one scene at a time, just as you would in an animation book. It isn't necessary to include fancy art in storyboards. If you use storyboard software or basic drawing, you can get started right away. It is much easier to draw by hand than using a computer, and it allows you to communicate your message in a much more practical way.

If you don't like the drawings you're doing, you can always try sticking figures. At this point, do not let your desire to be perfect get in the way.

5. Add Additional Notes

With brief notes under each box describing what is happening in each frame. Add any information that would be helpful when producing the film or video. Your script should serve as the basis for these notes. This part can include details such as: 

  •     Camera angles
  •     Texts-on-screen
  •     Special effects  

When creating the storyboard, don’t miss out on any valuable changes that might be useful for the story. If new ideas don't alter your flow, you should always be open to them.

6. Consider Getting a Second Opinion

You should ask a colleague or friend to examine your entire storyboard and to provide honest feedback. The feedback will allow you to determine whether or not your board communicates well. Furthermore, you will be able to discover possible mistakes and areas for improvement.

As you reexamine your story from a different point of view, the revision step may prove crucial. Before you enter the production stage, you need to keep any mistakes under control with the right feedback.

7. Revise Your Storyboard

Evaluate the feedback and suggestions you receive from your colleagues and alter the story accordingly. You are not forced to adopt every idea they share with you. Only implement the ideas that make sense to you. A storyboard will help you understand what will be happening during the production.

Storyboards help you communicate your ideas in a better way to potential clients or to the team you’re working with. Storyboards, which provide an overall idea of the project, are great for resolving any differences which may have arisen during brainstorming. Teamwork is another great option for creating a storyboard.

Storyboards: Why are They Important?

You already know how your project works if you're working with a script. Our goal is to transpose those new ideas and flow them from words into visual images. You must include enough information on each picture of your storyboard so that even someone not familiar with the script will be able to understand what it is about. But at the same time, it shouldn't be too cluttered with information as this would prevent the pertinent details from being seen.

A script is a text-based document, whereas a storyboard is a visual representation of your video. Making one is time-consuming, but it has numerous advantages.

  •     You can visualize ideas, and your video can be planned more efficiently with storyboards.
  •     The video can be viewed clearly.
  •     You'll be able to edit the final product with more ease.
  •     With storyboards, you reduce the possibility of making mistakes.
  •     You can easily show ideas to colleagues or clients.
  •     Having a good storyboard can be immensely helpful for the direction of big action scenes.

What Information to Add to Your Storyboard

When you’re drawing a storyboard, be sure to take into account the details which you intend to utilize. To show ideas effectively, add only the relevant and useful information, so you don’t waste much time and energy. 

A good storyboard consists of images that are enough to represent the entire story in a sensible way. Make sure to visualize ideas and significant scenes in the video with well-characterized thumbnails. There is a better chance of your audience understanding the story if you clearly define your settings, characters, and props on every image.

As you draw the pictures, don't forget to consider the transitions and camera position. Writing additional notes will help if you think there is a need to clarify specific or important details. However, remember that you need to maintain the flow of your story throughout.  

Important Elements of a Storyboard

There are five major components of each shot in a storyboard:  

  1.     Subject
  2.     Camera movement
  3.     Camera shot
  4.     Background  
  5.     Setting  

Among the elements of a shot are the subject, the center of attention, as well as the background and foreground of the shot. Have a look below if you’re a beginner and don’t know about the common terms used in a storyboard: 

    Shot: A shot is titled with the scene number (#) and the shot number (#), for instance, Shot 1.4. There are many different types of shots, including close-ups, POVs, dolly shots, wide shots, and full shots.  

    Panel: An aspect ratio of the shot is conveyed by a panel. Aspect ratios that are most commonly used include 2.39:1, 16:9, and IMAX.

    Sequence: A sequence consists of several shots. The shots in a sequence represent a scene of the video/film. There is a Title for every sequence.

    Description: Film directors or storyboard artists can add further details to scenes and also the instructions to the camera operator for how to capture the shots.  

    Arrows: Arrows in the storyboard indicate the direction in which the camera should move (in, out, pan, etc.).

There is a place below each panel for artists to add any additional instructions or details. 

Readout our blog on 25 Effective Tips to Create the Most Engaging Instructional Videos for more information on interactive videos. 

Best Storyboard Programs and Templates

It is worth it to invest a modest amount in screenwriting software. By using these tools, you can format your script automatically without having to worry about margins, page breaks, spacing, and other time-consuming tasks in word processing. In addition, these programs include a variety of other features for easily creating storyboards, schedules, shot lists, and budgets.

These are the four top storyboarding programs,  Below are the top four storyboarding programs, priced from the cheapest to the most expensive:

  •     Celtx
  •     Fade In
  •     Movie Magic Screenwriter
  •     Final Draft

Free Storyboarding Programs

It’s perfectly fine if you want to avoid the bells and whistles and use a free storyboarding program having the basic formatting features. For that, you can create your storyboard easily using Photoshop. 

You can use Photoshop for drawing storyboards if you’re already comfortable with the program. Several free templates for storyboards are also available to be uploaded on Photoshop, making it a convenient tool for creating storyboards.  

Useful Tips to Create Storyboards Easily

So, now you understand how to make storyboards easily. Do not be too meticulous with your storyboards; instead, have some fun with them. You should draw sloppily if you're feeling inspired and you want to write down your thoughts on paper. Let your imagination run wild with storyboards since they're a great tool for letting creativity flow.

The following tips will help you with storyboarding:

   - The aspect ratio of rectangles should match the video (16:9).

   - To make it easier to discuss, give each rectangle a number.

   - Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the typical video shot types.

   - Take a 3D perspective. Make objects and subjects in the background a bit smaller to give them a sense of distance.

    - Play around with narrative and sequencing by dividing and recombining your storyboards.

    - Create a master shot list based on the completed storyboard. You will then avoid overlooking anything during the production process.

    - The storyboard should be simple enough that anyone can understand it. Additionally, make sure everyone has a chance to see the final product!

Bottomline

By following these steps, drawing storyboards will be easier for you for the next video project. Make sure you give some time and attention to the whole process in order to achieve the best results. Storyboards help you stay on track during production and give you a clear overview of the video project. They serve as the best way to visualize ideas and show ideas to your potential clients.