I have an idea for a new animated short film, so of course, one of the first things I think about is creating the storyboard. To storyboard my Floyd the Android shorts I used a very old version of Storyboard Pro. I was feeling it was time to update my software, but Storyboard Pro is now much more expensive than the old educational version I was using.
As luck would have it, my Facebook friend John Nicholas Pozega, of PozegaToons, posted a link to a new, FREE, storyboarding software. It’s called Storyboarder, and it comes from the production company Wonder Unit.
You will find the link to download the Storyboarder software here.
Storyboarder is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. I was able to download, install and open it in a couple of minutes. When you create a new project, it gives you the choice to open a script to work with or start a blank board. I selected a blank board, and it offers 6 of the most common aspect ratios to work from and one joke.
It has a very simple interface that I was able to work with pretty quickly.
It has helpful pop up tool tips, and a selection of grids that can be toggled on and off. For fun, it makes a scratchy pencil sound when you draw.
You can import drawn images. Apparently, you can use your phone camera to take a picture of an entire page of frames, import the image, and it will automatically split them up into individual images.
What seems to be the most powerful tool is its integration with Photoshop. You can send images to Photoshop, edit them, and when you save it, it goes back into Storyboarder. That puts a lot of power from Photoshop into Storyboarder.
You can time out your board images by frames or milliseconds. Finished boards can be exported to .pdf or animated .gifs. You can also send it to Final Cut Pro or Premiere through a series of .png images and a .xml for those applications to assemble them. There is no audio in Storyboarder, so you would need one of those programs to add it.
There are quite a few other features as well. Visit the download page linked above to learn more.
What I can’t find is much about layers. There are “clear layer” options, but other than that, no mention of it. And other than the tool tips, I haven’t found much documentation to look at yet. I did find some minor bugs, but I am definitely going to get out my Cintiq and give it a more serious try as soon as I can.
Give it a try!