Best Free Storyboard Software

8 Best Storyboard Software in 2022 (Free & Paid)

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Storyboard software lets you plan out your camera shots before production. This helps you show your ideas to others and create a solid schedule. 

You don’t need to storyboard your film, but many filmmakers do so. This is because you can create a faster and more efficient set by drawing your shots in film pre-production. It’s also important for your crew to understand your ideas. 

Storyboard design is traditionally done with pen and paper. However, these days, programs and apps can do the job for you. This is particularly helpful for filmmakers who can’t draw or afford a storyboard artist. It is also typical to use storyboards for VFX shots and stunts. Because there is a higher chance that something will go wrong when filming. 

This article looks at the 8 best storyboard software for filmmakers, both free and paid. In addition, you will find the highest-rated storyboard app software for mobiles.  

Free Storyboard Software

1. Storyboarder

Storyboarder free storyboard software
Storyboarder Software

Price: FREE
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: Yes

Created by the Wonder Unit team, Storyboarder is a 100% free program that works on both Mac and Windows. It’s perfect for absolute beginners who have no budget. The platform is clean, simple, and easy to use, making it a great choice for those practising.

It comes with all the features you would expect from storyboard software. Including the ability to draw characters quickly, write dialogue, and shot information under each panel. Storyboarder works with Photoshop, which means you can edit between both programs.

In addition, it lets you make stop-frame animations that you can download as videos or Gifs. A great choice for the indie filmmaker or new artist that wants to practice storyboarding.

2. Shot Designer

Shot Designer app
Shot Designer Storyboard App

Price: FREE
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: Yes

The free download of Shot Designer allows you to use all the features on one screen at a time. It can also work as a storyboard app on Apple and Android mobile phones.

Unlike other free storyboard software, Shot Designer allows you to create camera diagrams, shot lists, and stop-frame animations. By doing this, you can fully camera block your scenes before production. This allows you to speed up the director’s creative process.

This is a great choice for filmmakers who want to storyboard, create shot lists, and block scenes. As such, it might also appeal as a tool for directors of photography.

3. Open Toonz

Open Toonz free storyboard software
Open Toonz Free Storyboard Software

Price: FREE
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: No

Based on software by Studio Ghibli, Open Toonz is a free and professional platform for 2D animation. It lets you create storyboards, story maps and animate stop-frame videos.

The additional tools allow you to imagine your story and how each scene connects. It even has a storyline flow chart so you can organise your production workflow. Another key feature is its GTS tool that allows you to scan in hand-drawn images.

This is the best free storyboard software for animation projects. Better still, there are no limits, so you can use Open Toonz for personal and commercial work.

4. Storyboard Animator

Storyboard Animator app
Storyboard Animator App

Price: FREE
Platform: iPad & iPhone
Mobile App: Yes

This is a free storyboard app only available on the iPad and iPhone. It aims to make storyboarding easy for filmmakers and animators on the go.

Because it’s an app, the drawing settings are simple and perfect for those with limited art skills. In addition, it features layers so you can create backgrounds and characters separately. Just make sure to turn your phone landscape to make the most of the settings.

This is the best free storyboard software if you have an iPhone and want to quickly draft storyboards animation ideas and make notes whilst travelling.

Paid Storyboard Software 

5. StudioBinder

Studiobinder
Studibinder Software/App

Price: $29/month
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: No

StudioBinder offers a range of tools for filmmakers, including shot lists and storyboard software. In addition, this pre-production deal comes with call sheets and shooting schedules. 

These tools work online together, letting you create an interactive pre-production workflow. Upload images directly into the software, colour code and make notes. When you are finished with the storyboard, you can create a shot list and production schedule.

For independent filmmakers with a low budget, StudioBinder might be the best overall option. It’s easy to use, and you pay for a clean and professional looking program. You can also upgrade for more production tools, such as script breakdowns

6. Boords

Boords
Boords Software

Price: $29/month
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: No

This online storyboard software let lets you work together with a team. It’s perfect for filmmakers working with clients such as on business projects. With Boords, your clients can create their own accounts and leave feedback.

It comes with typical storyboard features like drawing, animating, and script editing. The price begins with 3 users per month, but you can pay more for up to 50 users. The program is also easy to use, making it beginner and client-friendly.

This is an excellent choice for production companies that work as a team and send pitches and storyboards over for client feedback.

7. Shot Pro

Shot Pro
Shot Pro 3D Storyboard App

Price: $10/month
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: Yes

Shot Pro is a unique 3D storyboard app that is available on all operating systems and mobiles. It lets you build locations and scenes with sims that act out your script.

Features include lighting design, camera blocking, props, weather, characters and animals. Basically, it allows you to create your film on location and see how each scene cuts together. Perfect for a director of photography who wants to plan lighting sets ups.

Shot Pro ticks every box for filmmakers who want the complete storyboard planning experience however it might be too complicated for beginners.

8. Frame Forge

Frame Forge storyboard studio
Frame Forge Software

Price: $12.99/month
Platform: Mac & Windows
Mobile App: No

Frame Forge is a professional storyboard software used by studios like Netflix, the BBC, and HBO. It is a more high-end program for filmmakers who need detail.

Features include equipment specs, dollies, cranes, precise lighting, sun positions and reports. In addition, this software lets you import a script from any screenwriting program, create storyboards, shot lists and work with team members.

This is a great paid storyboard software if you are looking for a more professional studio friendly platform that does a bit of everything.

Wrapping Up – Best Storyboard Software  

As you can see, there are many storyboarding options out there for filmmakers. What one you choose will depend on your experience level and budget. 

It is also perfectly OK to stick to pen and paper. You don’t need to be a good drawer – stickmen will do! You can start today by downloading a free storyboard template

When your budget grows, you might find it easier to use a paid program or even hire a professional artist. Many film studios will use a mix of artists and storyboard software.

Either way, storyboarding is a big part of planning a successful film production. So, what storyboard software do you use? Get involved by posting a comment below.

Amy Clarke
Amy Clarke
I blog about Careers in the Film Industry. Former Script Supervisor.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the great app comparison. I use the Shot Designer app and can highly recommend it. There are many possibilities and it allows you to keep an overview on location and to visualize the individual shots for all actors.

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