7 Tips on How to Create Storyboards Faster

Mariia Kushniruk
Mariia Kushniruk
Content Writer
3 min reading·

Storyboarding depends directly on speed. The main task of a storyboarder consists of creating a story quickly, sketching it out, drafting it to understand its flow. MakeStoryboard is a tool to support a video designer or any artist whose job is to show the idea quickly. So, speed is of the essence.

How to create storyboards faster

But how do you develop storyboards?

Here are a couple of tips for those who have trouble creating storyboards. Imagine you are a creator or an artist, and you need to draw frames by hand. What can you do to draw  faster?

1. Don't make proper sketches. Draw thumbnails.

A storyboard is a quick story, a rough sketch. It’s similar to a preparation before a full-fledged shooting plan. So, you don't have to draw out every scene thoroughly. There’s no need to spend time on perfect lines, shadows, and outlines. You need to sketch the character out, its movement, shooting angle, and probably some facial expressions to accompany the line. Well then – simplify.

2. Use the emotionality rule when choosing a camera angle

What does it mean? Imagine you have a character in front of you. The closer you are to him, the more intimate the shooting becomes. The farther away, the less emotion you feel for the character. There’s more emotion if the character is right in front of the camera and looking directly at it. There’s less emotion if the character is turned to the side or stands with his back to you. Here you go, a simple rule that never fails.

3. Learning how to plan and shoot more. Spend more time shooting than sketching

Even if you're not directly involved in the process of shooting itself and only have the task of drawing the story, you should still have a simple basic understanding of the video designing  process. To put it in a nutshell, you have to know the basic concepts. And you can only know that by shooting, shooting, and shooting some content. Get out there and try to capture your surroundings. Alternate between long and short shots. Shoot the subjects separately. Later try to put it all together in a simple program like Quik, which does all the work for you, and compose the video to make the story look complete.

You may ask, why does an artist need to shoot? But you can learn from the video sequences how to place your characters at their best.

4. Follow the rules for quick drawing:

  • Draw with your whole arm, not the hand. If you only use your fingers, they'll get tired, and you'll give up quickly. Apply a little more force.
  • Draw simple lines, not multiple strokes. You'll have to clean up the strokes anyway, and you'll spend almost as much time doing it as you did drawing it. 
  • Use shapes. You can quickly create a character out of shapes. Circle, square, and triangle - and there you have a face. All you have to do is add a line to it, and the frame is ready in 10 seconds.
  • Don't waste time turning the sheet or screen. Keep it in the same position. Turn your pencil, pen, or digital pen as needed.

5. Learn to create stories and characters close to reality

We all read comic books, watch manga and anime, and there’s a thing about the drawn characters: we create assumptions here. But in real life, customers are not looking for manga. They need stories about entirely real people. Here's a tip: find photos of men and women in different projections on photo stocks. Learn how to outline them to understand how ordinary people move.

6. One frame = no more than 5 minutes

Permanently engraving this rule into your brain is critical. Anything longer than 5 minutes is no longer a quick sketch, which is rarely necessary for the first stages of storyboarding.

7. Practice!

You can't develop speed without practice. It's okay if, at first, you spend more time on frames, drawing and generally break all the rules above. But the more practice, the faster the speed. Try to devote at least 30 minutes a day to storyboarding and simple sketching, and you'll see how quickly you can develop this skill.

If you have any personal tips on how to quickly and easily draw sketches for storyboards in general, share them with our team on contact us page.


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