When you create an animation video, production planning is extremely important. One of the indispensable stages of planning an animation video is creating a storyboard.

What is Storyboard?

Simply put, storyboards are drawing boards that contain the story you want to tell. It helps you see how smoothly the overall story be conveyed across all the frames.


Source: Google Photo

Storyboards are made up of square frames with illustrations or images representing each shot. Accompanying it are notes of what happened and what was said in the scene. To put it simple, think of storyboard as a comic book version of the script.

Why do you need Storyboard?

Creating a storyboard may sound like a “small” step in animation video creation process, but it’s actually incredibly important. Why? Let’s find out the reasons why storyboard matters to success of conveying the message the way you want.

Storyboard is the best way to share ideas

Visuals will make it a lot easier for you to share and explain your ideas about the animation videos to others.
Have you ever trying to explain something to others, but they just don’t understand what you want to say? Interpretation is easier when you have a storyboard. You can show people exactly how your animation video will look. And this helps people understand each other better.

Storyboard helps to make production much easier

When you’re creating an animation video, you can create a production plan, including all the visuals and the script in each scene. This is really helpful when you’re making animation videos, it ensures you won’t forget any key visual and helps you combine visual and script.

Storyboard help to save time

Storyboards not only help you explain your ideas to the team, but also help the creative process go more smoothly. While it may take some time to put the storyboard together, it will save you time in future versions.

How to Create a Storyboard


Step 1: Create a Timeline for the storyboard

You need to determine how long the animation video is. There are promotional videos up to 10 minutes long, but there are also ads that are only 5-6 seconds long. Whether the animation video is long or short, you still need to create a clear timeline for the animation video, when will the problem occur, when will the solution or the product appear…

Step 2: Write the script and identify the key scenes in storyboard

You need to highlight scenes that are the highlight of your animation video. It could be the salient feature of the product, a sore point that viewers can identify with.

Step 3: Select the right tool for your storyboard

Currently there are many storyboarding tools for you to choose from. You can print templates available on Google or use software to do. For example: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop Sketch. Don’t forget to set the storyboard with thumbnails the same size as your animation video (4:3 or 16:9)

Step 4: Sketch the image for your storyboard

Depending on your drawing skills, you can create complete characters and backgrounds to illustrate. You can also collage images so that each animation looks the most intuitive.
However, you don’t need to draw all the props or even color them. Just provide enough visual detail for people to see what’s going on, what characters are in the scene, and what the overall frame will look like. The script and notes will help you fill in the rest of the details.

Step 5: Add the script to the storyboard

Underneath each picture, write the part of the scenario that appears in the scene and make a note of what is happening.
Your storyboard should look like a comic book, so your readers (colleagues, clients, etc.) can understand exactly what’s going to happen in your animation video.
You can also make notes about camera angles and movements, transitions between shots, and other details that will come in handy during production or post-production.

Tips when creating Storyboard

storyboard 2

Source: Google Photo

Here are a few tips that can help you with your animation video scenes:

Show off, don’t say anything

Use your storyboard like litmus paper to see if the story you tell is really easy to imagine.

Ensure logic and coherence

You are creating a story, so not only the content but also the animation video image should be consistent from start to finish.

Choose a topic

If you want to create an animation video infographic, add related charts and graphs. If you want to hit a customer’s pain points, bring a character and lead that person on a journey, customers will easily empathize with your story.

Break the script into small parts and take note of the important information

• How should this scene be set up and what is the background for it?
• Does the character appear on the screen? If yes, how does that character act?
• What props will be used in the setting? Are they appropriate for the backdrop context and the builder you use.
• Do text appear on the screen? What are their sizes, colors, and positions?
• What is the message you want to convey


Storyboard may seem like a ‘frustrating’ thing, but it is an indispensable part of the animation video production process, it helps visualize your ideas and speed up the video production process.


Animost – Vietnam 3D Animation Studio

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Consolidated by Animost in collaboration with Branding Simple

Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/
  6. Blogspot: http://stevelincolnmovieblog.blogspot.com/2018/12/
  7. Denofgeek: https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/disneys-snow-white-the-risk-that-changed-filmmaking-forever/