Transitioning Storyboards from Paper to Digital Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Benefits of transitioning to digital storyboards
  2. How to choose a digital storyboarding tool
  3. How to digitize your existing paper storyboards
  4. How to create new storyboards digitally
  5. How to share and collaborate on digital storyboards
  6. How to manage and organize your digital storyboards
  7. How to troubleshoot common digital storyboarding issues
  8. How to optimize your digital storyboarding workflow
  9. How to continuously improve your digital storyboarding skills

Imagine you're an artist who's just finished sketching out a brilliant storyboard on paper. It's a masterpiece. But then, reality hits. You need to share it with your team, make edits, and keep it organized. Suddenly, transfering that storyboard from paper to digital seems like an excellent idea. In this guide, we'll walk you through this transition, making it as smooth as a well-drawn line.

Benefits of transitioning to digital storyboards

Let's start with the "why". Why should you consider moving your storyboards into the digital realm? Here're some benefits that might make you nod along:

  • Easier edits: With digital storyboarding, you can say goodbye to eraser dust. Making changes is as simple as a few clicks or swipes. No more starting over when you decide to change a scene or character.
  • Better sharing: Sharing a digital storyboard is as simple as sending an email or a link. No more taking pictures of your paper storyboard or, worse, sending it by mail. Plus, you can present it in high resolution, so no detail goes unnoticed.
  • Less clutter: Digital storyboards take up zero physical space. You can have hundreds or even thousands of them and they won't take up more room than a small icon on your screen.
  • Improved organization: Tagging and sorting digital storyboards is a breeze. Want to find a storyboard you created six months ago? Just search for it. No more rummaging through stacks of paper.
  • Greater longevity: Paper can tear, get lost, or even decompose over time. Digital files, on the other hand, can last forever if stored and backed up properly.

There you have it. If these benefits have got you excited about transfering your storyboard from paper to digital, stay tuned. In the following sections, we'll cover how to choose a digital storyboarding tool, how to digitize your existing paper storyboards, and much more.

How to choose a digital storyboarding tool

Alright, so you're ready to make the leap and transfer your storyboards from paper to digital. The first step? Finding the right tool. But with so many options out there, how do you choose? Here are some things to consider:

  • Ease of use: The tool should be intuitive and easy to navigate. You don't want to spend more time figuring out the software than creating your storyboards, right?
  • Features: What do you need from a digital storyboarding tool? Some offer a wide range of drawing tools, others focus on collaboration features. Let your work style guide your decision.
  • Cost: There are free tools available, but they may not offer all the features you need. Paid options, on the other hand, can be expensive. Balance your budget with your needs to find the right fit.
  • Compatibility: The tool should be compatible with your device. Whether you're using a tablet, a computer, or even your phone, there should be no hiccups in your digital storytelling journey.
  • Customer support: Look for a tool with good customer support. You never know when you might run into a technical glitch and need some help.

Remember, choosing the right tool can make your transition from paper to digital storyboarding smooth and enjoyable. So, take your time, try out a few options, and pick the one that feels like an extension of your creative self.

How to digitize your existing paper storyboards

Now that you have your digital storyboard tool in place, it's time to start the actual process of transferring your paper storyboards to digital. This might seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of patience and the right steps, you'll be able to do it effectively and efficiently. Here's how:

  1. Scan your paper storyboards: You can use a scanner or even a good quality camera to digitize your paper storyboards. Make sure the images are clear and in high resolution. This is your starting point in the journey of transferring storyboards from paper to digital.
  2. Import the scanned images into your tool: Once you have your images ready, import them into your digital storyboard tool. Most tools offer an easy drag-and-drop function for this.
  3. Trace or redraw: Depending on the tool you chose, you can either trace over your scanned images or redraw them using the tool's features. This can be a bit time-consuming, but it's also a great way to get familiar with your new tool.
  4. Organize your frames: Once your images are in digital format, organize them into frames or sequences. This will help you keep track of your story progression.
  5. Save and back up your work: The last thing you want is to lose all your hard work because of a technical glitch. Make sure to regularly save and back up your digital storyboard.

Transferring your storyboard from paper to digital is not just about digitization, it's also about enhancing your work with the digital tools at your disposal. Take this opportunity to experiment and find new ways to bring your stories to life.

How to create new storyboards digitally

Creating a new storyboard digitally from scratch is a different game altogether. But don't worry, it's a fun game to play! Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Start with a blank canvas: Open your digital storyboard tool and start with a blank canvas. This is where your story begins. It's a fresh start, so think of it as a new opportunity to create something amazing.
  2. Sketch your first frame: Using your tool's drawing features, sketch your first frame. This could be a simple stick figure or a detailed drawing. Remember, it's your story and you're the artist.
  3. Add more frames: Now that you have your first frame, it's time to add more. You can duplicate the first frame and make changes, or start each frame from scratch. It's up to you. But remember, your frames should follow a logical sequence.
  4. Add text and dialogue: If your storyboard includes dialogue or text, add it using the text feature of your tool. Make sure the text is easy to read and complements your images.
  5. Use color and effects: Now comes the fun part! Use color and effects to bring your storyboard to life. This is where your storyboard starts to look and feel like a real story.
  6. Review and refine: Once you've added all your frames and text, review your storyboard. Make sure the story flows well and is easy to follow. Refine any areas that need improvement.

There you have it! You've just created a new storyboard digitally. It might take some time and practice to get used to it, but once you do, you'll wonder how you ever worked with paper storyboards. Remember, the key to creating a great storyboard is to let your creativity flow. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things. Happy storyboarding!

How to share and collaborate on digital storyboards

Now that you've created your digital storyboard, the next step is to share it with your team and collaborate on it. This is where the real magic of digital storyboards comes into play. Let's dive into the process:

  1. Save and Export: Once you're satisfied with your storyboard, save it. Most digital storyboard tools offer various export options. Choose the one that suits your needs and export your storyboard.
  2. Share the storyboard: After exporting, you can share your storyboard with your team. This could be through email, a shared cloud storage, or a project management tool. The goal is to make your storyboard accessible to everyone who needs to see it.
  3. Invite feedback: Once your storyboard is shared, invite your team to provide feedback. They can point out any gaps, suggest improvements, or even add to your storyboard. This collaborative effort can enrich your storyboard and make it even better.
  4. Make edits: Based on the feedback, make the necessary edits to your storyboard. This is where the collaborative nature of digital storyboards shines. You can make changes in real-time and everyone can see the updates as they happen.
  5. Finalize the storyboard: After all the edits and improvements, finalize your storyboard. This is your final product, ready to guide your project to success.

Sharing and collaborating on digital storyboards is a breeze compared to doing the same with paper storyboards. It not only streamlines the process but also enhances the quality of your storyboard through collaborative efforts. So go ahead, share your storyboard, collaborate, and watch your ideas come to life!

How to manage and organize your digital storyboards

Once you've started creating and sharing digital storyboards, it's important to keep them organized. Remember, a well-managed storyboard system can save you time and headaches down the line. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Folder System: Use folders to keep your digital storyboards sorted. You can create folders based on projects, clients, or any other category that works for you. This way, you can quickly locate any storyboard when you need it.
  2. Naming Conventions: Be consistent with how you name your storyboards. This could be based on the project name, date, or any other identifier that makes sense to you. A good naming system makes it easy to search for specific storyboards.
  3. Use Tags: Most digital storyboard tools have a tagging feature. Use it to tag your storyboards based on certain criteria. For example, you can tag all storyboards related to a specific client or project. Tags are a powerful organizational tool that can make your life easier.
  4. Archiving: Don't delete old storyboards. Instead, archive them. You never know when you might need to refer back to an old storyboard. Plus, it's always interesting to look back and see how your ideas have evolved over time.
  5. Regular Cleanup: Although you're archiving your old storyboards, it's still a good idea to do regular cleanups. This can involve removing duplicate storyboards, updating tags, and generally keeping your storyboard system neat and tidy.

Remember, managing and organizing your digital storyboards isn’t just about keeping things neat. It’s about making your work process smoother and more efficient. So take a moment, set up a system that works for you, and keep your digital storyboard space tidy!

How to troubleshoot common digital storyboarding issues

Even with the best digital tools and organization systems, you're likely to run into some common issues when transferring your storyboard from paper to digital. Fear not, though; most of these issues have simple solutions. Let's take a look at some common problems and their fixes:

  1. Software Glitches: Sometimes, your digital storyboard tool might act up. It might freeze or slow down. If this happens, try restarting the software or your device. If the problem persists, reach out to the software's support team for help.
  2. Lost Data: Losing your work is a nightmare, isn't it? To avoid this, always save your work regularly. Most storyboard tools have an auto-save feature. Make sure it's turned on. Also, consider backing up your work to an external hard drive or cloud storage.
  3. Difficulty Sharing: Having trouble sharing your digital storyboards with others? Check your internet connection. If it's not that, ensure you're using the correct sharing settings in your storyboarding tool. If all else fails, try exporting your storyboard to a universally accepted format like PDF and sharing that instead.
  4. Layout Problems: If you're having trouble arranging your storyboards in a certain way, check your software's user guide or tutorial videos. Most of the time, the solution is just a few clicks away.

Remember, the key to troubleshooting is patience and persistence. And don't forget, every problem you solve is a lesson learned in your journey of transferring your storyboard from paper to digital!

How to optimize your digital storyboarding workflow

Now that you've mastered troubleshooting, let's turn our attention to optimizing your digital storyboard workflow. This will help you work faster, smarter, and more efficiently. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Use Templates: Most digital storyboarding tools offer a variety of templates. These can save you a lot of time and effort. Choose a template that fits your project's needs and modify it to suit your style.
  2. Organize Your Assets: Keep your images, videos, and other assets well-organized. Use folders and tags to sort everything neatly. This way, you'll spend less time searching for things and more time creating.
  3. Use Shortcuts: Shortcuts can speed up your workflow significantly. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for your software and use them regularly. You'll be surprised at how much time this can save!
  4. Batch Tasks: Try to group similar tasks together. For instance, if you need to draw multiple characters, do them all at once. This reduces the time spent switching between tasks and helps you stay focused.

Optimizing your workflow is an ongoing process. As you continue to transfer your storyboard from paper to digital, you'll find new ways to improve your efficiency. So, keep experimenting and keep learning!

How to continuously improve your digital storyboarding skills

Like any other skill, digital storyboarding requires practice and patience. The more you use it, the better you become. Here are some tips for improving your skills when you're transferring storyboards from paper to digital:

  1. Learn New Techniques: The digital world is always evolving, and so are the techniques used in digital storyboarding. Make it a habit to learn new techniques regularly. This could be as simple as watching online tutorials or attending webinars and workshops.
  2. Practice Regularly: Practice makes perfect. The more you storyboard digitally, the better you'll get at it. Try setting aside a little time each day to practice your skills, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  3. Seek Feedback: It's always helpful to get a second pair of eyes on your work. Ask colleagues or mentors for feedback on your digital storyboards. They might spot areas for improvement that you've overlooked.
  4. Experiment: Don't be afraid to try new things. Experiment with different tools, styles, and techniques. You might discover a new way of doing things that suits you better.

Remember, the goal isn't to become perfect overnight, but to keep improving bit by bit. As long as you're making progress, you're on the right track!

If you're looking to take your storyboarding skills to the next level and transition from paper to digital, we highly recommend checking 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!