How to Add Scenes and Panels

The basic structure of a storyboard consists of scenes, each of which are composed of one or several panels. A panel is a drawing that represents an action in the script. Panels and scenes in a storyboard are ordered in chronological order, from left to right.

An animation project typically requires creating a new scene every time the layout needs to be changed. This means for example that you need to create a new scene in your storyboard each time a change in camera angle requires to use a different drawing or rendition of the background, as well as each time the script takes the action to a different setting.

You can create the basic structure of your storyboard by adding a scene for each scene your script requires, then adding a panel for each action in each scene that needs to be visually represented.

NOTE

In live action terminology, this definition of a scene is actually referred to as a shot. A scene in live action is actually a sequence of shots occurring in the same setting.

If you are working on a storyboard intended for a live action movie, you can make Storyboard Pro use live action terminology by selecting the Live Action terminology style option in the General tab of the Preferences dialog. For readability, this guide will mainly use animation terminology.

Creating Scenes

A new project will contain one scene, with a single panel in it. Creating a new scene will always automatically create it with one panel inside it.

Each scene is assigned a number. When you create a scene at the end of your project, Storyboard Pro automatically assigns it the number that comes right after the number of the last scene. If you try to insert a scene between two existing scenes, you will be prompted to indicate how this new scene should be named, and if scenes after the new scene should be re-numbered.

Creating Panels

A panel is used to visually represent an action in a scene.. You should add as many panels to a scene as necessary to explicitly describe each action in that scene.

Creating Sequences

A sequence is a way of grouping scenes together. Using them is optional, but they can help organize your storyboard. For example, you can use sequences to group scenes that are part of the same setting together.

When you start building a storyboard, by default, your scenes will not be part of any sequence. To use sequences in your project, you can take one of the two following approaches:

  • After you have created all the scenes that should be part of your first sequence, simply use the New Sequence command to create your next scene. All the scenes that are already in your project will be grouped together in the first sequence of your project, and a new scene, which will kick off the second sequence, will be added at the end of your project.
  • From that point on, you can use the New Sequence command whenever you have to create a scene that should start off another sequence.

  • After you have created all the scenes required for your project, you can split your storyboard into sequences by selecting scenes that should be part of the same sequence, grouping them together in a new sequence, and repeating the process until every scene is in the appropriate sequence.
NOTE In live action terminology, a sequence is referred to as a scene, whereas what is referred to as scenes in animation terminology is instead referred to as shots.

Reordering Panels

You can reorder panels by clicking on the drag and drop handle in the top left corner of the panel, then dragging the panel between the two panels where you want it to be moved. A red line will appear between two panels near your mouse cursor to indicate where the panel will be moved.

TIP

If you want to move several panels together, you can select them together, then click and drag the drag and drop handle of any panel in the selection. To select several panels in the Thumbnails view, do one of the following:

  • Draw a rectangle in the Thumbnails view around all the panels you want to select.
  • While holding Shift, click on the first panel you want to add to your selection, then on the last panel you want to add to your selection. Every panel in-between will also be selected.
  • While holding Ctrl (Windows) or ⌘ (macOS), click on each panel that you want to add to your selection.

If you move a panel to the space between two scenes, you have the option of attaching the panel to the scene before or after this space, or to drop it into its own new scene. Where the scene will end up depends on how close to either scene you drop it. The red line that appears between the two scenes will indicate whether it will be attached to the scene before or after the space where the panel is being dropped, or moved to its own new scene.