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The 5 Best Storyboarding Software Tools for 2023

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Storyboarding is more than just scribbles and sketches; it represents the creative process for 3D artists and designers. It serves as the visual blueprint for projects, allowing professionals to plan, visualise, and communicate their ideas effectively.

In 2023, the demand for powerful and user-friendly storyboarding software tools is at an all-time high. 3D artists and designers always seek efficient solutions to streamline their workflows. If you’re one of them, this article is for you. We’ve compiled five of the best storyboarding software tools. 

Let’s jump right in!

 

Best Storyboarding Software in 2023

 

1. Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro excels in both 2D and 3D animation integration. If you’re a 3D artist wanting to incorporate animation or motion graphics into your storyboards, this software is the way to go. Toon Boom offers precise camera control, allowing you to plan camera movements and angles with precision.

It also provides frame-by-frame drawing capabilities for detailed and intricate storyboards. Don’t worry about collaboration because Toon Boom Storyboard Pro includes comprehensive features for team members to work together efficiently.

Key Features:

  • The tool caters to both 2D and 3D artists, making it adaptable to various project requirements.
  • Industry professionals favour it for its advanced features and capabilities.
  • The precise camera controls and frame-by-frame drawing make it ideal for 3D artists who require detailed storyboarding.

Cost:

Unfortunately, pricing information is available only upon request. This lack of transparency can be a downside for users on a tight budget, as they might not know if the storyboarding software fits within their financial constraints without reaching out to the company directly.

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro
Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

2. FrameForge

Next up, we’ve got FrameForge. This storyboarding software is designed to provide a realistic 3D environment where you can pre-visualise shots and plan camera movements. It excels at planning complex camera movements, which is crucial for 3D designers. What’s more, the software allows you to export animatics for more comprehensive storyboarding.

Key Features:

Cost: 

The starting price of FrameForge is $199.95. It might be considered high for some users, particularly those on a tight budget. While the software offers advanced features, cost-conscious individuals might need to weigh the benefits against the expense.

FrameForge
FrameForge

3. Celtx

If you need more than just storyboarding, try Celtx. In addition to being storyboarding software, Celtx offers a comprehensive suite for pre-production, including scriptwriting and other collaboration tools. This tool is highly flexible since it’s available on the web and across various operating systems and devices. Also, Celtx’s collaboration tools make it ideal for team-based 3D projects.

Key Features:

  • The all-in-one suite caters to various pre-production needs, streamlining the creative process.
  • Celtx’s web-based platform and cross-platform availability ensure accessibility from anywhere.
  • Collaboration features for team members to work efficiently.

Cost:

Celtx offers a variety of pricing tiers, including free trials. Its subscription-based model starts at $7.50 per month. While this cost is relatively affordable for many users, the monthly subscription fees can accumulate over time. You should consider the long-term budget when opting for Celtx.

Celtx
Celtx

4. Procreate

If you’re an iPad user, you might be familiar with this one. Procreate is a highly regarded digital painting application renowned for its professional-grade capabilities. While it’s primarily known for digital art creation, it can also be adapted as storyboarding software for 3D artists and designers. 

It offers a rich library of customizable brushes and tools, allowing for creative and artistic storyboard creation. Procreate also excels at layering and blending so you can create complex scenes and compositions. Want to export your work? No worries; Procreate offers many export options, including PSD, to facilitate easy integration with other design software.

Key Features:

  • Artists love Procreate for its artistic freedom and versatility.
  • The extensive library of brushes allows for detailed and expressive storyboards.
  • Procreate supports high-resolution canvases, ensuring the quality of your visualisations.

Cost: 

Procreate offers a one-time purchase pricing model at $9.99, which is a one-time expense for lifelong access to the software. This is a highly competitive and budget-friendly pricing structure compared to many subscription-based alternatives.

However, Procreate is exclusively available on iPad OS, which means it’s not accessible to users on other platforms, such as Windows or macOS. While Procreate excels in digital art creation, note that it’s not specialised for traditional storyboarding. You might need to adapt your workflow and techniques to align Procreate with specific storyboard requirements.

Procreate
Procreate

5. Storyboarder

Want to save some extra money? Storyboarder got your back! Storyboarder is a notable open-source storyboarding software tool. Its open-source nature and user-friendly interface make it an accessible choice for any artist and designer.

A distinctive feature of Storyboarder is its seamless integration with 3D modelling software. This allows users to import and incorporate 3D assets directly into their storyboards. This feature is particularly valuable for 3D artists who wish to visualise how their 3D assets fit into their narrative sequences.

Storyboarder is designed with a straightforward and user-friendly interface. It prioritises simplicity, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced artists. You can quickly adapt to the software and start creating animation storyboards without a steep learning curve.

Key Features:

  • The software allows for the import and customization of 3D assets.
  • Simple to use for beginners.

Cost:

As an open-source tool, Storyboarder is entirely free of charge, an attractive option for users with budget constraints. However, Storyboarder may offer fewer advanced features than premium, paid storyboard tools. If you seek more sophisticated and specialised functionality for storyboarding, you might find Storyboarder lacking in certain areas.

Storyboarder
Storyboarder

Takeaway

There, you have the nitty-gritty of each storyboarding software tool for 3D artists and designers in 2023. These tools offer precision, versatility, and collaboration capabilities, helping 3D professionals bring their creative visions to life efficiently. 

 

When choosing the best storyboard software for 3D projects, consider factors such as 3D integration, collaboration features, and budget resources. 

 

By harnessing the power of these top-tier storyboarding tools, you can enhance your workflows as 3D artists and designers and create stunning visual narratives with precision and ease.

 

Note: This is a guest post.

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).

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