Whether you use video for training, sales, or demo purposes, storyboarding can alleviate the time-consuming nature of video preparation, while also increasing your video’s overall quality and decreasing production errors.
If you’re looking for a tool to take your video production process to the next level in 2018, take a look at our list of the best storyboarding software out there — no matter your budget.
Storyboarder is open source and free, making it one of your best options if you’re working with a smaller budget. The program has a clean interface with all the necessary tools at your disposal, so it’s easy to quickly draw shapes and characters. You can also write dialogue, and enter timing information and shot type.
Storyboarder works collaboratively with Photoshop, which means you can edit your board in Photoshop for more precision, and it will automatically update in Storyboarder. This software lets you export to Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, PDF, or Animated GIF.
Image courtesy of Storyboarder.
Adrian Thompson made animated videos for seven years, and “came to despise how tedious it was to edit a basic storyboard template.” His frustration led him to create Plot, a free and fast storyboard creator with impressive users such as WeightWatchers, Vistaprint, and Workday.
Each feature aims to make your process as quick and efficient as possible. You can add and delete scenes without copying and pasting text, incorporate images from anywhere on the web to visualize scenes faster, and collaborate with coworkers from within the software. Plot is a solid option if your team often works under tight deadlines and needs a software to create storyboards quickly.
Price: Free, or Premium for $7.50/month
Image courtesy of Plot.
With impressive users including HBO, Netflix, and BBC, Frameforge is the real deal, but your team can still benefit even if you don’t have animation, drawing, or highly technical computer skills.
Frameforge offers core and pro versions of their product, and the pro option allows you to plan where you’ll place dollies and cranes (down to the inch). The software lets you import a script from any scriptwriting program. Plus, the storyboards include movement arrows, framing notations, angle of view, focal length, and more, so everyone on your video team, from preparation to production, is on the same page. It works on any mobile device, and the export functions make it possible to download the final product as a Powerpoint presentation. Frameforge is a good option for teams that aim to create more full-fledged and lengthy videos for entertainment purposes.
Price: $299.95 for Frameforge 4 Core Full, $599 for Frameforge 4 Pro Full
Image courtesy of Frameforge.
Studiobinder lets you customize every aspect of your visualization, and offers tools to filter columns, adjust the order of your scenes, upload images, change aspect ratios, color code shots, add notes, and more. Studiobinder also makes collaboration easy, with project management features to assign tasks and add comments. Plus, if you want to preview your project from within the platform to show your team, there’s a nifty presentation mode. It touts impressive clients including BuzzFeed, ESPN, and CBS Interactive. This option is good for teams who need to collaborate on various stages of the video production process, and prefer customizable tools.
Price: Free, or $49/month for Professional
Image courtesy of Studiobinder.
You’ll have flashbacks to The Sims when you first test out Moviestorm, which takes you step-by-step through the process of creating 3D characters, directing a scene, framing your shots, adding and deleting in-scene objects, recording the movie, and adding music and sounds. Moviestorm’s product is an effective all-in-one solution, and is helpful whether you’re creating a company commercial, training video, or corporate presentation. You can try it free for 14 days. This is a good option if your team wants to visualize and even pitch the full video start-to-finish in accurate detail, or create a full-fledged product from within the app itself.
Price: $225 for Moviestorm Max
Image courtesy of Moviestorm.
6. Storyboard Fountain (for Mac)
If you’re not necessarily interested in the fancier movie-making options in the list, Storyboard Fountain is a simple, user-friendly interface for quickly drawing stick figures and incorporating text for scene details. The marker, pencil, and pen tools respond to Wacom sensors. When you’re happy with your storyboard, you can record audio and board timing, so you can playback the video to pitch your idea. Best of all, it’s open source and free, making it a fantastic option for teams working with a smaller budget.
PowerProduction Software offers a variety of tools for storyboarding, varying from simple to more robust and all-inclusive. StoryBoard Quick, for instance, offers a library of artwork for characters, props, and locations, and allows you to design and share your ideas easily. StoryBoard Artist, on the other hand, offers a full-featured timeline, frame transitions, and 3D characters, and is more appropriate for animated video presentations. PowerProduction Software also provides iPhone and Android app versions of their products, so you can visualize and create from anywhere. These products are used by big-names including Disney, Universal, and 20th Century Fox, so if you choose this software, you’re in good company. If your team is interested in creating lengthy, high-quality, and even animated videos, this could be a good option.
Price: $129.99/year for StoryBoard Quick, or $269.99/year for StoryBoard Artist 7
Image courtesy of PowerProduction Software.
Creating a storyboard doesn’t have to stress you out, and Canva makes it especially easy, with a library of templates to choose from, one million stock images (or the option to upload your own), and grids and frames to organize your scenes. You can choose font type, color, and include headers and subheaders. If you’re working with someone else on script or design, you can grant access for collaboration, and when you’re finished, share the design with your team through email or as a PDF file. If your team needs a simple and easy software for simpler projects or to get your feet wet with the process of storyboarding, this is a good option.
Image courtesy of Canva.
Boords offers an all-in-one pre-production storyboarding software, with drag-and-drop tools and flexible frames. It also offers a unique Animatic Tool, and when you’re ready to share your animatic, you can share it online for feedback or export to Boords’ After Effects plugin. Plus, you can share your storyboard with coworkers or clients and let them comment within the platform. With a free trial and incredibly low prices after that, there’s no reason not to try it if you’re interested in using storyboarding for animatics or simpler projects.
Price: Free Trial, then $19/month for Plus version or $24/month for Team version
Image courtesy of Boords.