Storyboarding software comes in many shapes and sizes, and caters to varying abilities. If you’re more comfortable drawing stick figures, you likely won’t need the same features as a professional storyboard artist.
When looking at different storyboard software options, consider whether you’ll use the features you’re paying for. For example, Toon Boom Storyboard Pro or Frameforge offer very different features compared to Storyboard That. Maybe you could start with a free storyboard template, then consider storyboard software at a later date. Sometimes, less is more.
Will you be making storyboards with other people? If so, you might want to stay clear of Mac, Windows, or iPad storyboarding software. Instead, look for an online storyboard creator which will allow you to collaborate with other people in real-time. Making changes is much easier when you can all access the same storyboard.
Storyboarding is just one part of the pre-production process. If you’re involved in animation or video production, you’ll likely make an animatic after your storyboard is completed. In that case, you’ll want to find storyboard software which integrates with the other tools in your workflow. Adobe’s After Effects is a popular choice of animation software, and caters to everything from complex transition effects to character animation.
Your storyboard will need images. There are two options; draw them yourself, or look for storyboard software with an image library. If a sophisticated drawing tool is a high priority, you should consider specialist image editing software. Adobe’s Photoshop is the gold standard for many, but new tools like Procreate for iPad offer a great image editing experience too (sadly procreate isn’t available for Android users yet). But, be warned! Software like Photoshop isn’t set up to deal with storyboarding out of the box. Simple tasks like re-arranging frames can quickly become tedious.
As a rule, storyboard software falls into two camps when it comes to price. One-time purchase desktop software for Mac & Windows, or online storyboard software, paid for with a subscription (there are also some open source options available). Traditionally, storyboard artists tend to use desktop software, although this has changed in recent years.
There are many flavors of storyboard software out there. Whether you’re a professional storyboard artist or just starting out, doing your research will help you find the best options for you.