If you work in animation you’ll know how time-consuming the storyboarding process is. No-one seems to know this better – or at least passionately enough to make a difference – than Tom Judd and James Chambers from London animation studio Animade.
After some complaining over a burger and deliberating (which we’re sure many other animators have done) they decided to do something about it.
As the foundation to execute the beginnings of a beautiful idea, storyboarding is a step in the creative process that cannot be overlooked. But that doesn’t mean it has to be laborious.
A year later co-founder and director James and the digital team at Animade launched Boords – a web-based storyboarding tool designed to help animators ad, remove, reorder and replace content to make a storyboard.
Export your drawing and planning sketches in PDF format to Boords, or via a private link, and it's all kept confidential. Talk directly to the greater team behind Boords if you need any help through an intercom feature.
Animade has made a series of GIFs to take you through how the process works.
Using the Boords Team account, you can have as many users as you want to collaborate on the storyboard.
Easily drag and drop your image files into the Boords template.
If you have the Pro or Team version, use the in-build drawing tool if you prefer to work directly in Boords.
Navigate through the notes field to add labels, directional notes and sound to your storyboards.
Drag and drop to reorder your storyboard.
Share your storyboard as a link to clients or teammates with access from any device.
Share your storyboard as a PDF.
Anyone who’s interested in using Boords can get their hands on it. The team originally built the platform for animators and filmmakers, but have later discovered a whole range of industries interested in it, such as advertisers, UX designers, teachers and writers.
"For us, 2017 is all about continuing to make this the best and most flexible storyboarding tool out there, listening to the incredible people who populate the creative landscape," says Tom.
But don’t think that Boords is limited to a solo experience. Creative teams can use Boords collaboratively so clients, producers and other team members can all be involved. Add as many people as you like to your team if you opt for a Team account.
Pricing and versions
To use Boords in its most basic form it's free, but you can choose a Pro or Team account which also lets you sketch directly into the frames with an in-app drawing tool - a handy feature when you’re starting an idea from scratch.
You can start a free trial by signing up here, or choose the basic account for free. This lets you have one project with two storyboards, PDF and websharing and one PDF template.
The Pro version is available for US$10 (around £8.20) per month which gives you the freedom of unlimited projects and storyboards with a range of other benefits, and using Team will cost $40 (£33) per month.
Boords is a product of Animade – founded by childhood friends Tom and James. Animade creates animations (who knew) and digital experiences – so they say it made sense to merge the two for this unique project.