by Stefan Lindblad - CorelDRAW Master Program 2012
A storyboard is a series of images, usually with frames, that tells a story for a movie or TV production or other projects. For example, I use storyboards for multiple illustrations of children's books and for landscape projects in the early planning stage. Storyboards are also used in commercial advertising campaigns when the art director prefers to present a story with drawings before conveying it with photos.
Like comics, storyboards often have frames around the images, but they don't necessarily need to look like comics in style or form. A storyboard may consist of many pages with a single frame or multiple frames on one or more pages, usually in combination with explanations, arrows, and other directional information moving the story forward. Pages in storyboards are also known as ""panels.""
This example shows a succession of frames from the storyboard for the short movie Kilimanjaro, written and directed by Nima Yousefi.
Whether you use pen and paper and scan your drawings or draw from scratch by using graphics software and a pen tablet, time is usually of the essence when you create a storyboard. That is why I use Corel PHOTO-PAINT, which is perfect for the task.
In the following paragraphs, I will provide some pointers for storyboard creation and share with you how Corel PHOTO-PAINT can help you produce a storyboard.
Set up the image
If you are scanning a drawing for a storyboard (File > Acquire Image > Acquire), choose 300 dpi just in case you need a high-quality printout of the storyboard later.
To draw your illustration from scratch in Corel PHOTO-PAINT by using a pen tablet, first open the Create a New Imagedialog box (File > New), set the resolution to 300 dpi, choose the RGB color mode, and specify the size of the image. If you need to convert to the Grayscale color mode later, simply click Image > Convert to Grayscale.
Create a New Image dialog box
The image dimensions should allow for all storyboard elements: the illustration itself, the frame around the illustration, and white space for text directions and arrows that you may want to add later.
The frame around the image simulates a camera format such as movie, full screen, TV widescreen, or CinemaScope so it should match the size and the aspect ratio of the camera format. (The aspect ratio describes the relationship between the width and height of an image.) In my storyboards, I most often use the aspect ratios 4:3, 16:9, or 2.39:1, and I specify the measurements in pixels in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. For example, the frame size for the Widescreen HD (High Definition) camera format in pixels can be any one of the following combinations: 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 852 x 480, which all have the aspect ratio of 16:9. I prefer to set the image size to at least 1920 x 1080 pixels at 300 dpi for the correct aspect ratio, and then increase the image width and height to allow for white space, arrows, and text directions around the frame. Having set the appropriate aspect ratio, I can adjust the image size later in the process.
After setting up the image, make sure to save the settings as a preset by clicking the Add destination button next to the Preset destination list box. Later you can reuse this preset for all your storyboard illustrations. You will quickly appreciate the benefit of using custom presets when you need to create numerous (80 or so) illustrations for a storyboard.
Add the frame
Either draw the frame, or add a frame created with Corel PHOTO-PAINT or CorelDRAW. You can import the frame (File>Import) or copy and paste the frame for each new storyboard image you create in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Both methods are as easy as dragging and dropping a frame in your image.
Create and organize the illustration
Now, you can draw your illustration by using the drawing and painting tools in the program. Note that the ability to group objects in Corel PHOTO-PAINT is very useful for a project like this, especially when you need to group multiple objects to organize your content. In addition, grouped objects can be moved, edited, and transformed as a single entity, making it easier to edit your illustration. To group objects, select them in the Objects docker, and click the New Group button.
In this example, the objects used to create specific parts of the composition - the room, shades, and people - were organized in logically named groups.
Add arrows and directions
Arrows are often added to indicate camera movement, such as tilt, panning, and point of view (POV). In addition to arrows, you can add text below or around the image with any additional directions about setting up the shot such as close-up, long shot, mid shot, and so on. Knowing the terms used in filming will help you provide directions and explanatory text when you create storyboards for movies and TV productions.