How to Create an Explainer Video Storyboard

Explainer video production storyboard hints and tips

Storyboards are the basis for most explainer videos. They are used as the blueprint for the production and allow you to be able to visualise the end product before the animation process begins. This is usually the starting point for most explainer videos, and pretty much any video production.

Not only does a storyboard help you (the client) visualise the end product but it also lets the entire production team see how your video should look and sound.

Why do I need a storyboard?

A storyboard will make sure that the animation process or filming process is organised

It helps everyone involved in the production visualise your value proposition

Storyboards are a great way to see if the story flows and help you spot any potential problems

They allow you to experiment with different storylines

A storyboard will save you valuable production time

How are storyboards created?

Back in the day, storyboards were all hand drawn by illustrators. Today, storyboards vary in their levels of sophistication. They can still be created by specialist storyboard artists, however increasingly they are created digitally. There are various packages that can be used to help you.

Saying this, if you are looking to create an explainer video or, indeed any video production, then any storyboard can be useful. You don’t need to be an artist and even ‘stickmen’ can provide a useful guide for filming or animation.

Here’s a sample of a ‘standard’ storyboard template:

Storyboard template design

Standard storyboard template

Here’s a good example of a ‘simple’ storyboard:

Basic Storyboard

Example of basic video storyboard

Here’s a more sophisticated storyboard

Explainer Video Storyboard

Sophisticated storyboard for an explainer video

Help with storyboarding – top tips.

1. The first thing to do with a storyboard is make sure that you number all your shots. This helps to avoid confusion and provides an easy to follow flow. If you need to further explain shots then use a sub system of numbering, for example 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d etc.

2. Clearly identify all of your locations. This then allows you to quickly organise the filming so that you’re maximising the film crew time in each location.

3. There are a number of simple acronyms that video production companies use to identify the different shot sizes. These are useful in helping your team visualise the type of shots to use.

Here are some of the most common that are used:

ECU – Extreme close up

BCU – Big close up

CU – Close up

MCU – Medium close up

Wide – Wide shot

LS – Long shot

GV – General view

4. Another great thing about a storyboard is that you can indicate motion. Use lines to indicate speed or arrows to show a direction of travel. It’s also good practise to include notes about the motion in the text area of the storyboard.

5. The explainer video storyboard will be used by the whole film crew and in particular the cameraman and lighting director. So you should try to include instruction on the camera angles required as well as how you want the lighting to look.

6. To help in the post-production process you should include information on any video effects, graphics as well as sound effects.

If you’re looking to commission any sort of video production then we’d love to help you. We work with lots of clients like you to create engaging and effective videos.

Speak to your friendly experts today on 01527 910050.