How to Draw Storyboards

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Storyboards are visual maps of the story you will be telling with a comic book, video or movie. Each frame should advance the story, using a sketch of the basic action and only a few words. Storyboards for comics are usually very detailed.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper

Develop Your Story

  • Begin by asking yourself whom the story is about, what will happen to your characters, how and when the action will unfold and why the story is being told.

  • Select the main characters for your story. You should have a protagonist (the hero) and an antagonist (the villain).

  • Write a brief script. Before you can draw out the action, you will need to know what each character will say. This is especially important for storyboarding comics because you need to leave room in each frame for dialogue bubbles.

Create Model Sheets for Major Characters

  • Use action figures or other 3-D models to get ideas for character design.

  • Draw a full-length picture of your protagonist. On the same page, sketch out the character from various angles. Include a few different facial expressions as well.

  • Make a model sheet for each major character. Once you begin to draw your comic, you can refer back to your model sheets to keep the character consistent throughout.

Draw Your Storyboards

  • Draw a frame on your first piece of paper. The frame size and shape can vary, depending on how much action must take place in the frame.

  • Determine the positions the characters in the frame will take. Remember to leave room in the frame for the dialogue that accompanies the action.

  • Write a brief description of the plot point you are illustrating in the scene. These notes will help you keep your place in the narrative as you move forward.

  • Keep your drawings simple at this stage. Storyboards are only a mid-process guide to help you as you develop your story. The final version of your comic will be drawn separately.

  • Create one frame for each segment of action or plot point in your script.

  • Review the entire storyboard of frames once you finish. Ask yourself whether this storyboard would explain your story to someone else.

Tips & Warnings

  • Storyboards are time-lines, so draw your storyboards in chronological order.
  • If you are storyboarding a movie or video, try tacking each frame onto a corkboard, making it easy to rearrange the frames as needed.

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