In this fast-paced world of visual storytelling, you will need storyboarding to plan and organize your ideas. Whether you’re a filmmaker, animator, or graphic designer, having the right tools for storyboarding can significantly enhance your creative process. Below, you will find 15 top-notch software and apps, both free and paid, that cater to various needs and budgets. Each one includes benefits and cons, but also the pricing. Let’s dive into the list of the top storyboarding apps, software, and templates.
If you’re working on a small budget and looking for a free storyboarding tool, Storyboarder by Wonderunit is here for you. This open-source app offers a minimal interface without unnecessary clutter. With Storyboarder, you get all the necessary tools for drawing characters and visualizing scenes. It allows you to enter dialogue, shot type, and timing data, ensuring a seamless narrative flow. You can also convert your storyboard into a PDF or GIF file or export it to other tools like Final Cut and Premiere Pro. Storyboarder also integrates with Photoshop, allowing you to edit visuals directly in the app.
Editing a basic storyboard template should not be challenging, and that’s where Plot comes in. This impressive tool is packed with features to make the storyboarding process quick and easy. With Plot, you can fetch images from the web to create visual outlines instantly. It allows you to add and delete scenes without moving the text, making it highly user-friendly. Collaboration is also a breeze, as you can share your storyboard with unlimited colleagues and teammates, enabling seamless editing, reviewing, and commenting. Plot is also mobile ready – you can easily use it on your iPad, for example.
Pricing: 14-day free trial, then pricing varies (from $9.99)
3. Storyboard Pro
If you’re not a drawing expert or don’t want to waste time sketching, Storyboard Pro by Atomic Learning is the right app for you. This all-in-one storyboard solution involves scripting, drawing, animating, audio, and camera controls. With Storyboard Pro, you have access to sensitive, flexible, and fully functional tools to develop high-quality storyboards. Noteworthy features include pitch shifter audio effects, advanced color management, and effect control view. Just note that this one is freeware (no support from the developer). The interface may look a little dated, but it should do the work for you.
For creative individuals looking for an easy and intuitive app, StudioBinder may be the tool of choice. This online storyboard software offers a hassle-free experience (better to say “all-in-one experience”). With StudioBinder, you can upload an image and kick-start your storyboarding project in minutes. It allows you to customize every aspect of visualization, including layouts, scene order, column filters, image uploads, shot list details, and aspect ratios. Collaboration is made easy, enabling project management by assigning tasks and adding comments. You can try the tool for free, but there is no Free plan
Pricing: From $29/month.
If you’re searching for a storyboarding app for complex projects or animations, PanelForge is a smart choice. This all-in-one storyboarding software offers ease-of-use features such as drag-and-drop tools and flexible frames. With PanelForge, you can streamline your storyboarding needs and maneuver complex visualization tools with ease. It supports integration with Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, which allows smooth importing and exporting of files. Printing, emailing, and sharing your storyboards are also made easy with PanelForge.
Pricing: From $10/month (Indie plan)
Boords is a cloud-based software that helps you organize your visual ideas and bring out the best in you. This tool not only helps you create storyboards quickly but also enables collaboration by collecting client feedback. With Boords, you can add images to storyboard cards and include quick notes to describe each step of your creative project. The tool allows you to customize action, sound, lighting, and camera details without any difficulty. Boords is user-friendly and does not require any learning curve, making it accessible to all. Sharing storyboards with others and gathering feedback is also made easy with Boords. You can export your storyboards as static and video files. Free trial is available.
Pricing: From $49/month
MakeStoryboard is a user-friendly tool for quick storyboarding. In addition to importing camera shots, it allows you to draw stick figures using its built-in drawing tool and add text as scene details. With MakeStoryboard, you have total control over permissions to edit and comment on the storyboard. The tool also offers the option to add additional text fields that suit your project. You can save the storyboard in PDF format and print it for distribution. For confidential online access, you can create and share private links with stakeholders, thus ensuring maximum security for your creative projects.
Pricing: Free 7-day trial, from $14/month.
Storyboarding doesn’t require you to be a skilled artist, and StoryboardThat is a perfect example of that. This storyboarding app allows you to create storyboards without manually drawing anything. With hundreds of backgrounds and characters to choose from, you can start making storyboards right away. StoryboardThat enables powerful visual communication through digital storytelling. You can customize layouts, scenes, and characters by simply dragging and dropping items. After creating a storyboard, you can download it in various formats such as HD image, PDF, GIF, and even optimized images for social media. While the free version has some limitations, upgrading to the paid versions unlocks unlimited features.
Pricing: Free with limited access. From $10/month.
ShotPro is a professional storyboarding app designed for filmmakers and animators. This powerful tool provides a wide range of features to bring your storyboard ideas to life. ShotPro offers a vast library of pre-made elements, including characters, props, and backgrounds, making it a time-saving solution for visualizing your story. You can create shot lists, add camera movements, and experiment with different angles. With ShotPro’s intuitive interface, you can easily navigate through scenes and make adjustments as needed. It also allows you to import images, videos, and audio to enhance your storyboarding experience.
Pricing: From $10/month.
FrameForge is a professional-grade storyboarding software that offers advanced features for filmmakers and cinematographers. With FrameForge, you can create detailed 3D storyboards and pre-visualize your shots with precision. The software provides a vast library of virtual sets, props, and characters, allowing you to create realistic and immersive storyboards. It also offers camera controls, lens simulations, and lighting effects to enhance your storytelling process. FrameForge’s comprehensive tools and realistic visualization capabilities make it a preferred choice for professionals in the film industry.
Pricing: Free trial available, then from $8.99/month.
11. PowerProduction Software
PowerProduction Software offers a range of storyboarding software tailored to different needs and budgets. Their flagship product, StoryBoard Artist, is a professional-grade solution for creating detailed storyboards. With its extensive library of pre-made assets and powerful editing tools, StoryBoard Artist enables you to visualize your story with precision. PowerProduction Software also offers StoryBoard Quick, a more streamlined and budget-friendly option for quick and simple storyboarding. Both software options provide a user-friendly interface and robust features, making them valuable tools for filmmakers and visual storytellers.
Pricing: Free trial available, then pricing varies
12. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro
Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is a professional software designed for animators and storyboard artists. With its powerful features, you can create detailed storyboards and animatics with ease. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro offers a wide range of tools for drawing, adding dialogue, and creating dynamic camera movements. It also provides integration with other animation software, allowing for seamless workflow integration. Whether you’re working on 2D or 3D animations, Toon Boom Storyboard Pro is a comprehensive solution for bringing your ideas to life.
Pricing: Free trial available, then from $99.95/month.
Celtx is a versatile pre-production software that includes storyboarding features among its many tools. With Celtx, you can create storyboards, write scripts, and collaborate with team members seamlessly. The software offers a user-friendly interface and a range of customization options to suit your creative needs. Celtx also provides cloud-based storage, allowing you to access your projects from anywhere. Whether you’re working on a film, TV show, or theater production, Celtx is a comprehensive solution for planning and organizing your creative projects.
Pricing: Free with paid upgrade options
14. Synfig Studio
Synfig Studio is a free and open-source animation software that also offers storyboarding capabilities. With Synfig Studio, you can create detailed storyboards and animate your scenes with precision. The software provides a range of tools for drawing, rigging, and animating characters. It also supports timeline-based animation, allowing for smooth and seamless movement. Synfig Studio’s open-source nature makes it a popular choice among animators and visual storytellers who prefer a flexible and customizable solution.
15. Canva Storyboarding Templates
Canva is not just a powerful online editor. It has thousands of creative templates. Storyboarding templates are part of the mix. You can use the tool for all your creative designs including storyboards. Take a look at their templates here.
Pricing: Free with limited features. From $10/month.
In conclusion, these 15 free and paid tools for storyboarding are not the same. They cater to a wide range of needs and budgets. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, there’s a storyboard tool that can enhance your creative process. From open-source apps like Storyboarder and Synfig Studio to professional-grade software like Storyboard Pro and FrameForge, each tool offers unique features and benefits. So, choose the one that best suits your needs and start visualizing your ideas with ease and precision.