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This New Storyboarding Software Is Both Free And Open Source

A new piece of software – both free and open source – wants to upend the market for digital storyboarding applications. Meet Storyboarder.

Storyboarder is intended to be a fast and simple tool, with six drawing tools and easy-to-rearrange panels. The app is also integrated with external software, allowing for the ability to do roughs in Storyboarder, and with the click of one button, refine the artwork in Photoshop.

Storyboarder software.

Other capabilities including an option to import storyboards drawn on paper by taking a photo of the panels with your phone, and the Shot Generator, which allows the user to type a description in the sidebar and instantly get properly positioned 3D models, over which details can be added.

Boards can be exported to Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, PDF, and animated GIF formats.

Wonder Unit, the small design studio that developed Storyboarder, explains on their website why they made it free:

Wonder Unit’s primary objective is to develop great stories and produce movies. For the past few years, we’ve been developing software tools for internal use. The development and use of processes and technology is incredibly important for creativity. Because we are just one studio, we feel that it would be a waste for only us to benefit from these tools. Creativity shouldn’t be a competitive sport. We believe a rising boat should lift all tides – or at least try to. If we share our tools and processes, ideally, the creative ecosystem will benefit. There is no competitive advantage to keeping tools and tech private – at least for us.

Storyboarder is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and can be downloaded HERE.

If you have used Storyboarder already, feedback in the comments would be welcome on how it compares to industry-standard Toon Boom Storyboard Pro as well as online tools like Boords.

  • Craven Lovelace

    I haven’t used Toon Boom’s product, but I can tell you Storyboarder has worked much better for me than Boords did, and without the spammy marketing efforts attached. There are a few rough edges (which I expected, since it’s still a beta product), but there are also a few kind of genius touches which have made it a pleasure to work with so far. There’s also a fairly active Facebook page where people have been sharing work and tips.

  • Josh Evans

    This looks fantastic, I’ll be checking it out as soon as I get home from work.
    Thanks so much!

  • Kev Craven

    The email isn’t arriving. Checked junk and everything!

    • Daniel Ruiz

      Me too! Did they run out of free copies? :(

      • gavku

        weird I got it no probs

      • Kev Craven

        I think it’s google – it must not get past their spam filter. I put in my outlook address and it worked fine!

    • Benjamin Otero Junior

      google :github storyboarder, you could probably get it then.

  • UsaMiKo

    This is great! Really it is! I am always excited to see software like this because it makes creating these things a little more manageable. I just wish somebody would do this with a 2D animation software !

    You see things like Pencil2D and Opentoonz come out but with serious bugs, and then you see things like Animation Paper 5.0 planned out with affordable pricing and great interfaces only for it to never get off the ground (I’ve been waiting almost three years for that to come out and I’m starting to lose hope). I guess in this day and age 2D animation really is pretty niche compared to 3D (someone make a 2D application like Blender outside of Grease Pencil!), but it’s still a bit sad to see so few options.

    • Open 2D

      It’s not fully animation software, but Krita is pretty good for digital line tests! (the sound function kind of sucks though)

  • Troy

    So I read why the program is free which laters goes on saying F you to Toonboom Storyboard Pro (and apparently to sony on the side). Still expanding more tools that have a reasonable price is always welcomed for those who are unable to work with programs that are the standard or other reasons that prevented them.

  • Amatuer Storyboard Artist

    Cool! I’m working on a new storyboard animatic right now, I’ll give this a try.

  • RadioG

    Wonder unit really hit it out of the park with this amazing tool for everybody to use and enjoy.

  • Strong Enough

    finally. always wondered why someone didn’t just make a simple storyboard software like a Pencil for 2D animation

  • Villads Spangsberg
    • ランダム アニメーター

      Interesting indeed. Always read the small print ;)

    • Uchiha Dare Nial


      I wonder if this is intentionally done by the web designer

  • sylvain

    I gave it a try and it’s great. There are a few missing functions and tools but it’s still beta and the developers seem super reactive and want to hear feedback from users. I’ve heard they are working on an Ipad pro version and I think this is what is going to make the real difference with any other apps. I’m certainly waiting for that! The only thing that is putting me off for the moment is that there are some bugs, and it’s a bit early to know if it’s going to be still available/really improved on the long run. I don’t want to do a whole project on it and discover one day that the app doesn’t work anymore, has been discontinued or became monetized. The philosophy and ethic behind it is great but at the same time the founder goes on a rant about Sony and insulting some people in particular, so it leaves you wondering about what he could be doing, just sounds a bit temperamental. So I’ve stuck to my usual tool for now, keeping an eye on it for the time being. But the Ipad version will really be a winner.

  • helenavk

    Finally! I’ll give it a try.
    Anyone knows a decent app to storyboard in an ipad? (not procreate or drawing apps) Been using pencil by FifityThree but I always have to tweak the pdf (as I exports 1 frame per page)..

    • sylvain

      For the moment there is none. It’s too bad as the ipad would be perfect for storyboarding. This will be the first one when they release the IOS version.

    • Buzzster

      Use Astropad to connect with your Mac an work on any platform that your mac supports – like the fantastic Storyboarder

  • Gonna look into it. I use TB Storyboard Pro 5.5. Was super skeptical about the upgrade, sure, got a little discount from v1, but the price was steep (and I think prohibitive to many – took me ages to pull the trigger). Anyways, enjoying TBSP a lot, but dayeem, it’s too pricey. In fact all Toon Boom’s perpetual licenses are too pricey. If anything it’ll be good to have some decent competition to hopefully make prices more competitive.

  • I really dig the message and hope this software will live up to it with future updates and community support. I’m in !