8 Essential Tools for Creating a Professional Storyboard
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Drawing Pads
  2. Sketch Pencils
  3. Erasers
  4. Rulers and Straight Edges
  5. Fine Line Markers
  6. Colored Pencils
  7. Graphic Tablets
  8. Storyboarding Software

Creating a captivating storyboard is like baking a cake. You need the right ingredients in the right amounts. In the same way, you need the right tools to create a storyboard that fully captures your vision. These tools will not only make your work easier but also bring out the richness and depth of your concepts. Let's dive into the toolbox and explore the eight essential tools you'll need to craft a professional storyboard.

Drawing Pads

Think of a drawing pad as the canvas on which you'll paint your storyboard. It's where all your ideas take shape. Now, you might wonder: "Why not just use regular paper?" Well, drawing pads are designed to make your sketching experience more comfortable and efficient. They typically have thicker, smoother sheets than regular paper, providing a better surface for drawing.

  • Size matters: Drawing pads come in various sizes. A larger pad gives you ample space to detail your scenes, while a smaller one is portable and handy for quick sketches.
  • Quality counts: A good quality drawing pad can greatly enhance your drawing experience. It can withstand repeated erasures and doesn't easily tear or smudge. Brands like Strathmore and Canson offer durable options.
  • Grid or no grid: Some drawing pads come with pre-printed grids. These can be useful if you need to maintain strict proportions or want to keep your sketches organized. However, if you prefer freedom in sketching, go for the gridless ones.

Remember, the right drawing pad is the first of your tools to create a storyboard. It's the base layer, the foundation of your storyboard cake. So, choose wisely and make it count!

Sketch Pencils

Next up on our list of tools to create a storyboard are sketch pencils. If a drawing pad is the canvas, then sketch pencils are the brushes that bring your storyboard to life. They allow you to depict the finer details of your scenes, characters, and props. But not all pencils are created equal, and the right one can make a world of difference.

  • Type of Pencil: For storyboarding, you don't need a vast set of pencils. A simple 2B or HB pencil is perfect for rough sketches, while a 4B or 6B pencil is excellent for adding depth and shadow. Remember, the 'B' stands for 'Black', and the higher the number, the darker the shade.
  • Quality Matters: A good quality pencil leads to smoother lines and better shades. Brands like Derwent, Faber-Castell, and Staedtler are known for their superior quality sketch pencils.
  • Comfort is Key: Picking a comfortable pencil is crucial. A pencil that feels right in your hand can make the sketching process more enjoyable and less tiring.

It's no exaggeration to say that your choice of sketch pencil is a game-changer in the quest to create a storyboard. It's the tool that lets you translate your ideas into visuals. So, make sure to pick the one that best suits your style and needs.


Let's move on to the next item in our collection of tools to create a storyboard: erasers. Yes, you read that right. Even though we might not like to admit it, errors are a part of the creative process. And that's where erasers come in handy. But, much like sketch pencils, not all erasers are made the same.

  • Type of Eraser: The most common types are rubber erasers and kneaded erasers. Rubber erasers are great for removing large areas of graphite, while kneaded erasers can lift off light graphite marks and are perfect for fine-tuning your work.
  • Quality Counts: A good eraser will remove pencil marks without leaving smudges or damaging your paper. Brands like Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, and Pentel are known for quality erasers.
  • Size and Shape: Erasers come in various sizes and shapes. Some are narrow and rectangular, ideal for removing details. Others are larger, perfect for erasing bigger areas. Choose the one that fits your needs best.

So, even though an eraser might seem like a humble addition to your toolbox, it's a powerful ally when you're crafting your storyboard. After all, every great artist knows that sometimes, you have to erase a few lines to create a masterpiece.

Rulers and Straight Edges

When crafting your storyboard, there's nothing like a straight line to bring order to your creative chaos. That's when rulers and straight edges become your best friends in your set of tools to create a storyboard. But, how to choose the right one?

  • Material Matters: Plastic rulers are light and inexpensive, but they can warp over time. Metal rulers, on the other hand, are durable and can also serve as a cutting edge. Wooden rulers have a classic appeal and are suitable for most tasks, but can be less accurate due to wear and tear.
  • Length and Flexibility: The length of your ruler should match your needs. A shorter ruler is handy for small, detailed work, while a longer one is perfect for making larger, straight lines. Some rulers are also flexible, allowing you to create curves.
  • Extra Features: Some rulers come with additional features like a non-slip base or clear markings for measurements. These can be a real time-saver when you're deep into your storyboard creation.

So, whether you're drawing a straight road leading to a mysterious city or dividing your storyboard into neat panels, rulers and straight edges are indispensable tools. Remember, even in the world of creativity, a straight line can speak volumes!

Fine Line Markers

Let's talk about another brilliant tool to have in your storyboard creation kit — fine line markers. With them, you can turn a simple sketch into a detailed and captivating scene.

There's a certain magic in the sleek lines that fine line markers can produce. They can add a level of precision and sophistication to your storyboard that's hard to achieve with other tools. But what should you look for when choosing your markers?

  • Variety of Tip Sizes: From delicate details to bold outlines, the size of the marker tip can make a huge difference. Having a variety of sizes at hand allows you to seamlessly switch between different levels of detail.
  • Quality of Ink: The ink should be smooth and quick-drying to avoid smudging. Some markers also offer water-resistant and fade-resistant inks, ensuring your storyboard stays vibrant over time.
  • Comfort: A comfortable grip can make all the difference during those long hours of storyboarding. Look for markers with ergonomic designs to keep your hand relaxed and your lines steady.

Remember, a storyboard is all about visual communication. With fine line markers, you can put your ideas on paper with precision and clarity. So next time you sit down with your tools to create a storyboard, make sure a set of these magic wands is within reach!

Colored Pencils

Creating a storyboard isn't just about sketching scenes — it's about bringing your vision to life. And what better way to do that than with colored pencils? They can add depth, emotion, and realism to your storyboard, turning it into a visual feast.

Think about it. With colored pencils, you can designate characters with specific hues, set the mood with color schemes, and highlight important elements. They are, without a doubt, one of the most versatile tools to create a storyboard.

  • Range of Colors: Having a good range of colors is like having an extensive vocabulary — it allows you to express yourself better. The more colors you have, the more nuanced your storyboard can be.
  • Quality of Pigment: High-quality colored pencils have rich, vibrant pigments that can make your storyboard pop. They also blend well, allowing you to create a wide array of shades and effects.
  • Ease of Use: Good colored pencils glide smoothly on paper and don't require frequent sharpening. This makes the storyboarding process more enjoyable and efficient.

So, the next time you're gearing up to create a storyboard, don't forget to add colored pencils to your toolkit. They might just be the secret ingredient to make your storyboard stand out!

Graphic Tablets

Let's talk about another valuable tool in the storyboard creation process - the graphic tablet. Think of it as your digital canvas, where hand-drawn sketches meet modern technology.

Graphic tablets are a game-changer in the world of storyboarding. They streamline the process, making it easier, faster, and more efficient. But how, you ask? Let's break it down:

  • Digital Drawing: With a graphic tablet, you can draw directly onto a digital platform. This means you can easily erase, resize, move or edit your sketches without creating any mess. It's like having a magic wand that can correct any mistakes in an instant.
  • Software Compatibility: Graphic tablets are compatible with various storyboarding software. This allows you to directly import your sketches and incorporate them into your storyboard. It's like having your drawing pad and software in one place, making your workflow smoother.
  • Customizable Features: Most graphic tablets come with customizable buttons. These can be programmed to perform specific tasks, such as zooming in and out, changing brushes, or undoing actions. It's like having a personal assistant that can help speed up your work.

If you're serious about creating professional storyboards, a graphic tablet is a tool you wouldn't want to miss out on. It's the perfect blend of traditional drawing and digital convenience, making it a must-have for every storyboard artist.

Storyboarding Software

Now, let's move onto the final tool on our list — storyboarding software. You're probably wondering why we need software when we have all the other tools. Well, let me explain.

Storyboarding software is like the director of a movie. It brings all the separate elements together and transforms them into a cohesive, visual story. This software is designed specifically to help you create, edit, and share your storyboards with ease.

  • Organize Your Ideas: Storyboarding software allows you to arrange your scenes and ideas in a logical sequence. This means you can easily move scenes around until you find the perfect flow for your story. Think of it as a puzzle where you can keep shifting the pieces until the picture looks just right.
  • Visual Effects: The software also comes with features to add visual effects to your storyboard. Want to show a character running fast? Add motion blur. Need to show a scene at night? Adjust the lighting. It's like having a toolbox full of special effects at your disposal.
  • Sharing and Collaboration: The best part about storyboard software is that you can easily share your work with others. Whether you're working with a team or seeking feedback from clients, this software makes collaboration a breeze. It's like having a meeting room where everyone can see and discuss your storyboard.

So, there you have it. The last, but certainly not least, of the essential tools to create a storyboard. With storyboarding software, you're not just creating a storyboard, you're directing a visual narrative. And who knows, you might just create the next blockbuster story!

If you found the "8 Essential Tools for Creating a Professional Storyboard" blog post useful and want to take your visual storytelling skills even further, be sure to check out our 'Daisie Original Animation Course' with none another than Alex Jenkins who will you take you through his complete animation process. Dive in and take your animation skills to the next level!