What is a Storyboard And How to Make One?

Komal Kokate
Komal Kokate

Co-Founder & CEO, MotionGility

What is a Storyboard (And How to Make One)

With the world being a global economy in the palm of our hands, businesses need to compete against each other to bring more sales and engage customers. Thus they started using Videos to achieve target Goals.


But, Great videos can’t be created out of thin air.


Given the number of details that a video contains, it is important to have access to not only tools that can make the process easier. but also an algorithm to make things easier. Let’s start with Story Boarding.


Using a storyboard is a great way to lay out your vision for the entire video right in front of you. Let’s take a close look at why storyboarding is one of the most essential steps you cannot afford to miss when you are planning to shoot a video.

What is a storyboard?

In simple terms, a storyboard is a visual roadmap of what the video will look like. A detailed storyboard consists of various sketches that describe each frame of the video so that you know what to expect even before you start shooting. You can think of a storyboard as an outline used for organizing ideas for a research paper. 


Apart from illustrations, a storyboard panel can also contain details on dialogues and camera work for a particular scene. Since the idea is to have a tool that allows you to visualize every shot of the video, adding as many details as possible helps refine the storyboard and make it comprehensive. Once completed, a storyboard resembles a comic strip.


Storyboarding is used for virtually all forms of the video creation process including filmmaking, motion graphics, and animations. The practice dates back to the 1930s when storyboards were used by Walt Disney Studios for the first time.


Using a storyboard allows the video production team to carry on their operations smoothly and take crucial decisions about the process without expending too many resources. 


Types Of Story Boards

There are various types of storyboards that you can use depending on the type of video you are creating. These include:


Traditional storyboards 


These storyboards contain pencil or ink-drawn story panels that are sequentially arranged as per the script.


Usually, the storyboard artist in consultation with the writer, producer, and director sketches each shot of the script. For ease of access, the panels can be either arranged on the wall or bound as a book. 

These storyboards are extremely popular in the television and motion pictures industry. Traditional storyboards are preferred over the other formats as they are extremely easy to edit. Here’s an example of a storyboard from Walt Disney Studios:

story board by disney



Animated Storyboards


Animated storyboard ideas are perfect for videos where you want to exercise more control over the flow of a scene and include details that are otherwise difficult to express through hand-drawn sketches alone.


These storyboards are particularly useful for explainer videos that are used by businesses across different industry verticals to showcase the utility of their products. An animated explainer video company can help draw up a storyboard for such videos and help you with the production process. 


The fundamentals of an animated storyboard are the same as a traditional one, except that the sketches can be combined into a video format with special effects. In addition, with an animated storyboard, you get to feel the story as close as possible to the outcome.


These storyboards also allow the creative team to provide as many inputs as possible right in the beginning so that there are minimal changes once the video is shot. 

Take inspiration from this animated storyboard for a short film titled Monster-Box:

Thumbnail Storyboards


Thumbnail storyboards are another storyboard example that involves tiny sketches, sometimes as big as a postage stamp. Take, for instance, this storyboard of the famous scene from the movie Psycho: An artist can simply storyboard an entire scene on a piece of paper as thumbnail storyboards don’t include too many details.


While that ensures a faster turnaround than animated or traditional ones, it also means that your script should be watertight with all details so that the storyboard is comprehensive. 


Top tips for creating a storyboard


If you fancy creating your storyboard, here are some nifty tips to get you started:


what is a storyboard and how to make one?


Know the goal of your video:


Setting goals for the final video can go a long way in ensuring a successful storyboard. So start by thinking about what you want to achieve from the video. For example, do you want to shoot an explainer video for pitching a new product you are launching or do you want to make a product demo video for an existing one? 


Go over the script and break it down:


Cut down your script into bite-sized bits before you start storyboarding. This will help you come up with a list of items you need to put on your storyboard. In case you are shooting an animated explainer video with a voice-over, this is a good opportunity to identify such parts of the script for adding details to your storyboard. 


Think about different ideas to get inspired:


You cannot create a full storyboard right off the bat without knowing what your video will contain. So spend some time experimenting with different ways to shoot your video and storyboard ideas before you finalize one. Take inspiration from available formats to give an extra boost to your creativity.


Start sketching:


Drawing out a scene is a crucial part of storyboarding. Even if you are not a skilled artist, go ahead and create a rough sketch of what the scene may look like. Make notes about the camera angles and lighting that you would need for a particular scene. You can always get an illustrator to improve the draft sketches before you finalize the storyboard.


storyboard explainer video


Ask For Feedback:


Once you have a basic framework ready, it is time to bounce it off to other team members. If your team easily understands your storyboard, the chances are that the audience will understand the video. Address the feedback and revise your storyboard accordingly before you commence production.


Final Words

While storyboards are important, storyboarding for explainer videos can be challenging and time-consuming, especially when you are keen on having an animated storyboard.


In cases like these, hiring an explainer video company is recommended. You’ll be surprised how fast the storyboard gets created and how easy the video-making process becomes. At Motiongility, there are video experts who can help you with just that! So get in touch with me if you are looking for someone to storyboard and create jaw-dropping Explainer Videos for your Business. 

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