Storyboards are organizational tools that help videographers, editors, animators, producers and directors create a rough visual representation of a final movie or video project. The storyboarding process is widely used in professional projects, but is often overlooked in more amateur productions. Here’s a look at how you can start to incorporate the storyboard process into your next project work flow:

Why should I bother with a storyboard?

It may seem like using a storyboard will just be a waste of time, but in all actuality it will probably save you a few hours worth of time in the long run. Storyboarding forces you to think through all of the logistics of your project. Not only can you determine the flow of the plot, but you can also determine what camera angels you will use, what graphics you might need and where you might need sound effects.

The storyboard process is also a great opportunity to collaborate with other people. Take the time to sit down with all the members of your team and toss ideas around. This is the perfect point in the process to arrange and rearrange the flow of your video to come up with the ultimate project.

Overall, having a storyboard will help you stay organized when you shoot and edit. By providing everyone on your team with a detailed visualization of the final product, you can be assured that your time shooting and editing will be efficient and well organized.

How do I go about using a storyboard?

There are lots of different ways to storyboard. Here’s a few popular methods:

Storyboard Templates 

You can find some easy to use storyboard template worksheets online that will help you organize your thoughts. They typically have a box for you to draw a rough picture of what the shot will look like and a few lines to include descriptions, dialogue or production notes. You can download one for free here!

Sticky Notes

Using sticky notes to create a story board makes it really easy to reorganize ideas as you go along. Use the sticky notes to draw your rough pictures of the shot, and place them on a dry erase board or chalk board. Write the shot description, dialogue or production notes underneath. Then, as you are working you can easily remove or rearrange scenes by just moving the sticky note and erasing your notes.

Animation Storyboards 

Animation storyboards are almost a whole other animal since a typical animation studio will have an entire team devoted just to creating storyboards. Artists make rough sketches of scenes, not only to perfect which shots and angles they will use, but also to develop the looks of each characters. These sketches are then either put together on a cork board or presentation wall, or digitized to create a rough slide show to present to producers and other animators.

Digital Storyboards 

If you want to save paper, you can create your storyboard entirely on the computer. Just import a storyboard template (or create one yourself) in a program like Paint or Photoshop. Then use a drawing tool or just your mouse to create the pictures in each box. This technique is great because it saves the environment and makes the storyboard really easy to share amongst a group of people.

Give storyboarding a shot! Print out this free storyboard worksheet to get you started!

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