As promised – how to create your own Storyboard template

Finally as promised, here are the instructions for creating your own Storyboard template. Once you know how to do it you’ll be able to make any design you please and use it time and again to make lots of great Storyboards.

Of course you can crop pictures, drag them on to a blank jpg, crop another, drag it on, fuss about lining things up and get angry at Photoshop because it just doesn’t look right. That is the hard way! Let’s make it easier………..

1. Decide what size you want for the final product, and how many images you want to include. It helps to do a quick sketch on paper before you start if you’re as useless at visualizing things as I am. For more complex storyboards it helps to work out the exact dimensions of each image, though this can be done later on. For this exercise I am going to create a 10″ x 20″ storyboard (my favourite format) containing two images, one landscape and one portrait. Here’s my sketch (good isn’t it?).

2. Create a new blank canvas at the required finished print size using File New. In this example I choose size 10″ x 20″, and a dpi of 300. I always choose white background for the template, as it’s easy enough to change the colour later for an individual storyboard.

3. Now you have your blank canvas we need to put some Guides on there to help us with the layout. Firstly turn on your rulers by pressing Ctrl-R. If your storyboard dimensions are in inches, make sure you right-click the ruler and choose inches to make your calculations a bit easier.

4. View New Guide will bring up a dialog box asking you to choose horizontal or vertical, and specify a position. Let’s start with the left side of the left image. Select vertical and 1″. You’ll see that this places a little blue line across your blank canvas on the left hand side. The exact inches measurement at this point doesn’t matter as you can drag the guide once it is on the page. Once that one is done put another at the other end of the canvas, so at 19″. You’ll need another two guides in the middle to separate your images, perhaps at around the 8″ mark (with a small gap in between them). I did mine at 8″ and 8.2″.

5. Next you will need to set some horizontal guides. Follow the same steps as for the vertical guides, placing one near the top, and one near the bottom. The intersecting guides will leave you with rectangles where your images are going to be.

6. You can now drag the guides around a bit until the layout looks pleasing. I’d even suggest saving this as a basic template so you can skip steps 1-5 next time you want to do something similar but with slightly different sized images. Saves placing the guides again as it’s a tedious process.

7. Now select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and using your guides select the spot where you want the first image to go. Right click – Layer via Copy. Now using the magic wand click somewhere in the middle of this spot to select it again. Edit – Fill, choosing black as your fill colour. You now have a solid black block where the first image will go.

8. Select the background layer.

9. Repeat step 8 for the second image spot.

10. Finally, I am going to include a text marker on the bottom right corner. Make sure you choose the background later again to do this. Choose text in the size and font you want, type “text here” and align it to the image above so it looks right.

11. You now have a template with four layers. Background, text, Image 1 and Image 2 that looks like this:

12. Save as an unflattened PSD file.

13. Now dig out my earlier instructions on how to use it! Please don’t try to crop images to the right size, drag images on to it, or any variation thereof! You should be able to paste images into the black placeholders to they magically appear behind the white space without the need for any cropping. And here is the result….

14. Note that in my finished product I’ve flipped the whole thing horizontally to change the position of the images.

Now enjoy, and let me know how you go!



Filed under Photography, Photoshop

22 responses to “As promised – how to create your own Storyboard template

  1. Thanks for that, very useful 🙂

  2. Amy

    Where can I print storyboards? Any suggestions?

  3. Fantastic! Thanks for the instructions. I have been making them a much more complicated way…

  4. Thanks for the awesome tutotial. You have the easiest one I have found by far. Thanks for taking the time to out this online for us.


  5. Thanks so much! I have been looking all over on how to create my own, I don’t believe in buying things like this when I know if I just knew how, I could create them on my own. And now I know how. Thanks again this was great and so easy to follow too!

  6. Thank you. I have so much trouble making these.

  7. Denishia

    Hello..i have tried to get this to work but for some reason can not figure it out..i am new to photoshop..I fill like i have most of it correct but i can not seem to get the pictures to paste in correctly..and i’m not so sure i did each block far as getting them to be black..i could not get it to work the way you had it..or maybe i just don’t there anything you can do to help..

  8. Melissa B

    Thank you!!! I have been looking for a tutorial on this for quite a while, now, and only found this post today!! Guess I just wasn’t looking in the right places. Anyway, thanks a ton…my “design” life just got more fun! 🙂

  9. Thank you so much for your free help! That means the world to me.

  10. Gena

    hi there, I’m trying to create a storyboard in photoshop cs3, and when I get to the #4 – view/new guide…I cannot select “New guide”.it’s there, but in light font, so it cannot be selected. This is my first time attempting this, and my first version onf photoshop, so I am very inexperienced and unknowledgeable of the program. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  11. Samantha

    Hello, this was a great tutorial. I made one, yay! Now, can you direct me in the direction to “how to use” ? LoL. Thanks!

  12. I just wanted to say thanks for the great tutorial. I was in a real pinch with a client and needed to put one together quickly. It really helped me out.
    Love the pictures from your trip!

  13. Oh WOW thanks soo very much for that 🙂 🙂 🙂 Off to create! 🙂

  14. dawn

    I am getting stuck at new guide. Can anyone help me?

  15. Nice, this one will help a lot with my blog. Thanks so much for this wonderful share!

  16. Meg

    Hey can anyone please tell me how to get the pictures to show over the top?? For some reason they hide underneath the black boxes and i cant get them over the top instead??

  17. shellie

    i dont have photoshop. is there something i can buy/download that just does story boards or collages? some sort of easy template?

  18. thank you so much!!! this has been the easiest tutorial to follow on storyboard making – i am so excited to create my own!!!

  19. Thanks so much for that! As someone else said, this was one of the easiest tutorials I found and was really useful in making my own collage template. I provided a link back to you on my blog, if you are interested you can check out my post here:

  20. Natalie Smith Photography

    Hi I have it right up till using the marquee. It wont drag to the size I want it to. Any suggestions anyone. Thankyou 🙂

  21. Natalie Smith Photography

    Oh I figured it out GREAT. This was so good to learn. 🙂

  22. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!

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