Storyboarding: Traditional or Digital?



A Storyboard is a way to visualize a series of sequential art of a  story and character of movies, television, and games. It serves to communicate the visual story to the crew. This way everyone can understand how the story and scenes will be portrayed. It can be preferred as  a “blueprint for media”. Today storyboarding can be done with the traditional pencil and paper or digitally.

A fancy example of traditional storyboarding

Some game storyboards even have scripting. treeoflife

An example of digital storyboarding with Storyboard Quick


Let’s compare the two!

Pencil and Paper Storyboarding 


– inexpensive, you just need a pencil and a paper

– customizable

– instant hard copy


– You have to keep up with a billion papers!

– You have to keep a pencil sharpener with you

– Digital copy needs to be made…(now I’m thinking why not just go digital?)

– hard to edit, eraser smudges everywhere! (what if they change the character from a man to a small boy AFTER the whole story was drawn out?)

– possible inconsistencies in the drawings ( you have to redraw the characters multiple times, I know one person would be missing an eyebrow or something in one scene)

Digital Storyboarding


– software can provide with colors, props, backgrounds, characters, etc.

– exact replicas, all characters will look exactly the same!

– easy to edit

– customizable, you can bring in your own drawings from photoshop into a program like Storyboard Quick

– you can even add sounds to give the rest of the production team a better feel of what the film, animation, game, etc. should feel like


– expensive

– technology, what if your computer malfunctions and you loose all of your work?! You have to also think about how much space

Both can be time consuming!

I am not a drawer and I am lazy so I would go digital! What would you choose as your beginning layout? What pros and cons did you think of?

In a game, a designer has to take a LARGE step further with storyboarding because of user interactivity. All of those “ifs and else’s” are important to acknowledge in this phase as well.  image002

If you are interested in storyboarding, here is a website that lists tons of storyboarding resources! There are even links to teach you how to draw on paper and on the computer.

 Next week I will cover the importance of game design documents and do a quick overview of the production phase!!

5 thoughts on “Storyboarding: Traditional or Digital?

  1. Jill Whalen

    I think Digital Storyboarding would definitely be the one for me. The only thing I would like about Paper storyboarding is that I could draw my characters so much faster than with a computer program. I just researched StoryBoard Quick and it seems pretty easy to use, but it is a but pricy- $250.

  2. Thanks for the Storyboard Quick, link. I use story-boarding for my still photography. I am starting a series on mythical goddesses. I will photograph different models with different sets over a 30-45 day period. I have to keep those sets and models organized so I know which model I want to used with a specific set. I have relied on freehand drawings and specifics are needed. I will be testing that software!

    Keep clicking.


  3. Digital for sure! For me paper is more of brainstorming and coming up with characters and storyline but this tool Storyboard Quick looks sooo helpful! “Make storyboards even if you can’t draw!”

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