Storyboarding Without a Pencil

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Storytelling skills don’t always go hand in hand with drawing skills. For those who need a quick solution to storyboard design, Toon Boom Storyboard makes it possible to import pictures and use templates to illustrate your project.

Here are some neat tips and tricks on how to quickly and easily design an efficient storyboard with the help of pictures and templates.

Using pictures for Locations and Background:

First, establish the main locations where the action will take place in your movie or project and then make a list of the best ones. Once you’ve planned your backgrounds, there are many ways you can get your pictures:

  • Search the internet: If you need to get your backgrounds quickly, you can search the internet. Many easy-to-use picture browsing services are available, like Google, Yahoo and others. It’s remarkable to see the variety of pictures you can find this way.
  • Take pictures: If you need many different angles from the same location and you are willing to go on site, you can take pictures with a digital camera. This way has proven useful in a live action project as you can take pictures of the actual location. Doing that, you can plan in advance and resolve many logistical problems you could encounter when the time comes to shoot your project
  • Search in books and magazines: Interior designs books and magazines are also a great source of pictures for locations. You simply have to scan the selected pictures directly from them to make them available digitally.

Once you get your stock of pictures ready, follow these easy steps to import them in your project and use them as backgrounds for your panels.

  • To import images as shots:
    1. In the top menu, select Storyboard > Import Images as Shots.
    2. In the Browsing window, select one or as many images as you want.
    3. Click Open.
      Every image you’ve selected will then be imported, creating a new Shot and Panel for each one of them. Using the Import an Image as Shots command can prove efficient and time saving when you start your storyboard project from scratch.
      If you’ve already started your storyboard project and you wish to import your pictures as backgrounds in already existing panels, you will use the Import Images as Layers command.
  • To import an image as a layer:
    1. Select a panel
    2. In the top menu, select Layer > Import Images as Layers.
    3. In the Browsing window, select the picture you want to use as a background for this panel.
    4. Click Open
      The selected image will then be imported as a layer in the selected panel.
      Another efficient way to import your images into Toon Boom Storyboard is to import them via the Template Library. Doing so lets you easily reuse your images as often as you want by simply dragging them from the Library to the selected panel in the Drawing view.
  • To import a folder as a library using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro:
    1. In your operation system, gather all your images into a folder appropriately named after its content.
    2. In Toon Boom Storyboard Pre, right-click (Windows) or [Ctrl]+[Click] (Mac OS X) in the Library tab of the Tool Properties and select Open Library.
    3. In the Browser window, select your image folder.
    4. The folder containing your images will appear in the Library.
  • To import files in the library using Toon Boom Storyboard:
    1. In the Library tab of the Tool Properties, right-click (Windows) or [Ctrl]+[Click] (Mac OS X) on a folder and select New folder.
    2. Right-click (Windows) or [Ctrl]+[Click] (Mac OS X) on your folder and select Rename Folder to name your new folder appropriately after its content.
    3. Right-click (Windows) or [Ctrl]+[Click] (Mac OS X) on your folder and select Import Files
    4. Your image files will be imported as templates in your new folder.
  • To view templates as thumbnails:
    1. In the Library tab of the Tool Properties, right-click (Windows) or [Ctrl]+[Click] (Mac OS X) in the bottom window and select View > Thumbnails.
      Once your background images are imported, you can easily Resize, Rotate and Position it as you want by using the Select tool.

You can also use pictures to illustrate characters and props in your storyboard. By searching within Fashion, Cars, Toys and any other specialized topics, you can find a great deal of material. Once you’ve imported your image, use the Cutter tool to easily isolate the character or prop needed.

Using Toon Boom Templates:

Once your backgrounds are all set, you can start positioning the characters, props and actions taking place in each shot and panel. To do this, use Toon Boom Storyboard Templates. It is a quick and easy way that demands no specific drawing skills.

A variety of characters, action and props templates are already available to you within Toon Boom Storyboard default library. In addition to this, new template packs are and will be available to you for download regularly at low cost. Just install the pack and you are good to go.

Using the templates is easy!

To use Toon Boom Storyboard templates simply drag a template from the Library tab in the Tool Properties to the selected panel in the Drawing view.

Once you’ve imported a template into your panel, you can easily Resize, Rotate and Position it as you want by using the Select Tool.

Keeping these Tips and Tricks in mind, makes storytelling so easy!