how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template

by Beth Ross

Every photographer needs storyboard templates and you don’t need to spend a fortune on them.  They are so easy (and fun!) to make.  Do you want to learn how?  Well then, let’s get started!!

I am going to start off with a plain white 20×20 picture, but you can make it any size you want. To do this in Photoshop go to File> New (Ctrl+N) and then change the width and height. You will need to change the resolution to 300 for printing or 72 if you are just going to use it for a blog storyboard. Change the “Background Contents” to white. If you are making a template to print, you will want to add quarter inch guides so nothing gets cut off in printing. Here is what mine looks like so far.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now I am going to create shapes for where my pictures are going to go. The possibilities are ENDLESS here. You can add as many or as few pictures as you want. You can make them whatever dimensions you chose. If it will fit in the 20×20 square, go for it. I go to File> New again and go through the same steps. This time I made my square 6×6 and changed the background contents to black. Now I copy and paste it onto my template. This is what my template looks like now.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

For this template I want nine square pictures spaced evenly across the template. I just duplicate my layer (Ctrl+J) eight times and move them around until I get them where I want them. This is what I have now:

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Here comes the fun part, adding your pictures! I have wanted to make a storyboard of my adorable baby boy for his room. So, here I go. This is the first picture I am going to use:

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo


I copy and paste it onto my template now. You can see the crib rails there in the background.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

I want this to be my middle picture, so I am going to drag this layer above my middle black square.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now I need my picture to fit perfectly in that black square and not cover anything else up. How do I do that? With a clipping mask! To do this I will right click on my picture layer and select “Create Clipping Mask”.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now my picture fits perfectly in the little square where I want it, but I can’t see the whole picture. What I need to do now is transform the picture so it fits. I go to Edit> Transform (Ctrl+T) and drag the corners of the picture to make it smaller so it fits in the square like this. Make sure that your width & height are the exact same size so your picture doesn’t get distorted.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now I am going to go through the exact same steps to add all my other pictures. Here is what I have now.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

I want to change the color of the two squares that are left. I select the top middle layer and then add a new blank layer above it (Shift+Ctrl+N). I am going to check the box that says “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask”.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now I am going to go to Edit> Fill and change the color. I use the dropper tool on his crib to select the purplish tone of the dark wood. I click “Okay” and like magic my new color appears in the perfect little square!

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now I am going to add some text to the purple squares. I select the type tool and type with white text on the purple boxes. I use the “Custom Shape Tool” on a new layer to create the heart.

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

You can also use clipping masks with text. Find a cool texture or digital paper in your stash and then copy & paste it onto your template. Drag the layer above your text layer, then right click and select “Create Clipping Mask”. I am using a red paper with white polka dots that I got from Photo Card Boutique. I am just going to change the heart and not the text, but you can do whatever you want. I transformed the paper really small so the polka dots showed up better. And VOILA, the final template!

how to create a storyboard tutorial and a FREE template photo

Now, go forth and be creative!!!!!

You can download the template I made for this tutorial here.

Angie at Photo Card Boutique gave me permission to share the heart I mad with her red polka dot paper.  You can download it here.

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