I just found a great tool for any animators and budding film directors out there. It’s called Storyboarder by Wonderunit, and its free.
Wonderunit are committed to creating software that they would want to use themselves, without any of the bloat and shenanigans of big-player apps. As they are involved in making films themselves they knew exactly what they were looking for in a storyboarding app, and not finding a commercial candidate they decided to build their own. What they have come up with is a lovely gem of usability and simplicity, with some surprisingly powerful options tucked away in the interface.
Storyboarder streamlines the drawing and arranging of storyboards, allowing them to be exported as as animated GIFs, as Premier or Final Cut scenes or even as pre-comped frames in a PDF for printing. You can quickly export a frame out of the app into Photoshop to complete your drawing in there before bringing it back into Storyboarder. You have 6 basic tools for drawing and erasing – all you need really – and the first tool draws on its own special ‘light’ layer (like a guide) which you can delete easily when you are done. You can preview your animation right in the app (specifying hold times for each frame if required), and even get generated reference images to draw over by typing a shot description into a search box…
A nice grey screenshot of Storyboarder
The team behind Storyboarder have created a gem and its well worth checking out. They are adding features and updating the software on a regular basis, because as is fairly obvious, they really believe in their product. You can get a hint of their maverick style when you get the tooltip for the undo button – check Storyboarder out and you’ll see what I mean.