Storyboards? What are they good for?
Ages ago, Storyboards were large boards where they put sketches on, a kind of large comic strip of a movie. The screenplay or sequences of an (animated) film were placed sequentially, resulting in a comic-like previsualization. A great help for making movies and the like. Today Storyboards are used for nearly everything, but made on a PC, of course. And because professional usage "requires" professional prices, you can easily shell out 800 bucks and more for Storyboard software.
For hobby animators storyboards are indispensible, too. And if you ever have made an Excel sheet (how to animate which element, how long is the sequence, how many frames to render ...) and added a test render per line, you made a storyboard, no matter how you called it.
For my needs, until today, a simple table in Word with three colums (test image, time and comments) did the job. But for comics this isn't flexible enough, I needed (better said: wanted) real storyboard software. And I found five freeware- and low-cost programs.
Right now, I can't provide you with more than a simple list. After testing them (and making the decision what fits my needs) I will write a review and recommed some.
- Liquid Story Binder, 50 $
this is software for novel writers, but offers a storyboard feature
- PAP - Plastic Animation Paper, available in three different versions, one of them free of charge
a cool tool for drawing rough sketches with your Wacom. It has a slideshow feature and saves your drawings as a numbered sequence. Unfortunately, for creating the storyboard itself, you will need a second app (or the 700 Euro Pro version) to make what you initially wanted.
- Storyboard Pro, it's called "Pro", but it's freeware
not bad, has a very handy autoresizing for test renders, but drag&drop doesn't work how it should.
- Directors Boards, freeware
Mac-software for Windows, very limited in its features. Not the strongest program in this bunch.
- Celtx, freeware
a multimedia-PreViz-PrePro Jack-of-all-trades, looks damn complicated, but likely will be my first choice in the end.
If you know of other free / affordable software for storyboarding, don't hesitate to drop me a line!