If you hire an animator or an animation studio to create a video, they will need to have a storyboard with your script in order to know what details to produce in your animation. Often times, animators and studios can help you take your idea or your script and turn it into a storyboard – but if you want to take on that part of creating an animated video, this article will explain how you can create a storyboard for an animated video, even if you have no artistic abilities.
But first, what is a storyboard? A storyboard is a document that includes text and visuals to explain two things:
1). What art do the designers need to create?
2). How should the animators make the custom designed art move around?
Each page of a storyboard has four parts and you should include all of them when you make the storyboard for your animated video:
4). Asset List
When you first start making the storyboard for your animated video, begin by taking each sentence from your script and put one sentence on each page of your storyboard. It’s possible that when you create your storyboard, you may find that it makes sense to break up a sentence over multiple slides because there’s a lot of motion and design information to explain to the animators. Alternatively if a sentence needs multiple slides to explain all the motion design, have the full sentence on each page and highlight the active part of the sentence by making that part of the sentence bold.
Each slide of your storyboard should contain a mockup of the scene that is going to be designed for each sentence of the script. Your sketch or mockup doesn’t have to look professional – it just has to be adequate enough to communicate your idea. It’s our job to take your ideas and turn it into something real. Stick figure sketches are perfectly fine – a simple sketch on paper goes a long way – just take a photo of it and include it on the appropriate page of your storyboard.
Too timid to try sketching out your ideas? Use freely available images and icons online to create a rough mockup of the scene you want us to design.
This is the most important part of creating a storyboard – use simple language to clearly explain what sort of motion design you want to happen during this part of the script. The more you can break down your ideas, the easier it will be for the animators to understand what they are going to animate. Simple language with bullet points is the best way to sequentially document the order of operations that needs to happen in a scene.
If you want an action to happen at a specific moment during the voiceover, it helps to say something like, “when the voiceover says, ‘____,’ do this _______.”
4). Asset list
In the bottom right corner of the storyboard, include a list of all the assets that are needed for that scene. This includes elements like the background/scene design (examples: blue bedroom, snowy mountain scene, busy shopping mall), characters (examples: old fireman in uniform with a white beard, a zebra with white and blue stripes), objects in the scene (examples: digital alarm clock, an orange android phone), stock footage (photos, videos), and sound effects (example: cash register noise).
5). Extra notes (Screenshots & Examples)
While you create your storyboard, you may find that it’s helpful to include additional information to explain the ideas in your storyboard. Feel free to insert additional slides that include extra descriptive or visual information for the animators and designers to reference when creating your video. For example – maybe there are a few different styles of desks that you would like to see in a scene – you could include one in the mockup in a slide for your storyboard, and then on the slide after that, include 3 photos of other styles of desks the designers could use as a visual reference for the scene. Or, perhaps you want a character to walk a specific way in a scene and you found a YouTube video of a guy that perfectly demonstrates the type of motion you want to see conveyed in your animation – including a link to the video for the animators to watch will be very helpful for them.
We have a storyboard template that you can use to create your storyboard in PowerPoint, Pages, or Slides. Click here to download our free storyboard templates and get our quick storyboard DIY guide too.
Want Help Creating Your Storyboard?
Creating a storyboard is a fun creative process that turns your words into a visual story. That being said, we know it can be a challenging creative exercise and it’s not for everyone – so if you want someone to create the storyboard for your animated video, click here to schedule a call with our production team and let us know you’re looking for someone to help create the storyboard for your custom animated video.