Enhancing Storyboards with Photoshop

It doesn't matter if you draw using pen and paper or with a tablet, you can use Adobe Photoshop to enhance your storyboards and make them even better. You can prepare your storyboard for animation by adding thicker lines to avoid flicker when viewed, or you can add color and shading to make your storyboard ideas come to life. Here's a quick how to guide on how to enhance your storyboards with Photoshop.

What You Will Need

  • A computer with Photoshop installed
  • A scanned copy of your storyboard

(Tip - when scanning your toy boards, set the resolution for the scanned to about 200 to 300 PPI and create a grayscale file. This will make your storyboards easier to edit in Photoshop.)

Step 1: Create New Photoshop Document

Open Adobe Photoshop, and create a new document that is 8 x 4.5" in size. Choose 300 pixels per inch as the resolution setting. If you scanned your storyboard at 200 PPI, then select 200 pixels per inch is your resolution setting.

Step 2: Import Scanned Story Board

Browse to the storyboard file that you scanned. Double-click on the file to open it in Photoshop.

Step 3: Adjust Line Contrast Levels

Create a levels adjustment by pressing 'Command + L' keys simultaneously or by going to the menu bar and choosing Image > Adjustments > Levels. This will allow you to darken the lives of your storyboard. Use the black-and-white input slider to adjust the contrast level of the lines of your storyboard. Once you're satisfied with the contrast, click 'OK' to apply the adjustment.

Step 4: Create Enhanced Lines

Photoshop makes it easy to enhance the panels of your storyboard. You can use Photoshop's Photoshop's brush engine to enhance the lines in your drawing by enabling effects such as scattering, texture and even wet edges. These will make your lines appear more realistic and you can always experiment with other brush sets to get the enhanced effect you want. For instance, using the blurring option can help create animations seem more fluid with fewer frames.

Step 5: Add Color and Gradients to Your Storyboard

Adding color and gradients to your studied storyboards will help the viewer understand the look or design you want to capture during filming. When adding color to your storyboard, experiment with Photoshop's gradients. The Photoshop gradient tool will allow you to create gradual blends between two or more colors. In order to add color to your storyboard, create an empty layer and use the lasso or marquee tool to select the area you want to add color to. Then, click on the gradient tool and use the gradient editor to adjust the color of your drawing. You can repeat this process as many times for as many layers as you need.

Step 6: Add a Copy of Original Sketch to Clean Up Composite

Once you have finished cleaning up lines and adding color to your storyboard, you can improve the appearance of the final composite by adding a copy of the original sketch to the top of the newly created Photoshop drawing. You can do this by dragging another copy of the original drawing on top of the composite and dragging the new layer to the top of the list.

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