How to create a storyboard tutorial in Adobe Photoshop

How to create a storyboard tutorial in Adobe Photoshop

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 in adobe photoshop tutorial by Beth Ross

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.

learn to create a storyboard in Adobe Photoshop by Beth Ross

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 make a photo collage in photoshop by Beth Ross

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:

inserting pictures into a storyboard in adobe photoshop by Beth Ross


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

creating a photo collage

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

how to make a photo collage

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 insert photos into a storyboard

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 insert multiple images into a storyboard in adobe photoshop

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

creating a photo collage in adobe photoshop

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”.

changing elements of a storyboard in adobe photoshop

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!

adding colors to a photo collage in adobe photoshop

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.

adding text to a storyboard in adobe photoshop

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!

get a beautiful storyboard in adobe photoshop

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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64 Comments

  1. Ginger Feb 01 2011 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Great storyboard and adorable little guy!! Thanks!

  2. Felicia Feb 01 2011 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Awesome! Thanks so much Beth for this. I have recently ventured into using templates a little and was curious how to make my own for exactly what I needed.

  3. Julie Anders Feb 01 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Thanks Beth 🙂

  4. Mindy Feb 01 2011 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Great tutorial and adorable images, but my question is how do you get the rounded corners on your squares?

  5. Jamie Feb 01 2011 at 10:29 am - Reply

    I love the tutorial, but I was unsure how you made your black squares have the rounded edges?

  6. adela montgomery Feb 01 2011 at 10:29 am - Reply

    OH thank you! i cant wait to go home and do this!

  7. Anna Feb 01 2011 at 10:29 am - Reply

    To avoid a distorted picture: hold down SHIFT as you drag your corners when you are Edit Transform (control + T). 🙂

  8. Drae Feb 01 2011 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thanks so much! Can't wait to try this out. I am also wondering about the rounded corners…

    • Kathryn Feb 01 2011 at 10:42 am - Reply

      Beth will drop by later to answer the rounded corners question.:)

  9. Abby P Feb 01 2011 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Great instructions on how to make a story board — and super easy. Now here's where I'm stumped (and it's always the little things that make life difficult): how do you get your guide lines to show-up? I've got CS2 and CS4 and I can't, for the life of me, get them to appear using the "view" tab…

  10. Tavia Feb 01 2011 at 10:56 am - Reply

    I have always wanted to learn how to do this. Thank you so much!! Can't wait to take a look 🙂

  11. Jaime Tocco Feb 01 2011 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you sooo much for this tutorial! I have been always wanting to make my own, but haven't ever looked into it. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  12. Beth Ross Feb 01 2011 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the sweet comments you guys!!! <3

    To make the rounded corners I use the rounded rectangle tool in PS. I duplicate my layer and then make my selection. Press Shift+Ctrl+I to invert the selection and you will see just the four corners selected. Now you just press delete and it will delete the corners. You have to delete the background layer for the rounded corners to show up. Hope that helps. 🙂

    Abby, I have only ever used CS2 & CS4 just like you and I don't know why the view tab doesn't work for you. If you can't get it to work you could always make your own guides. Make a new black picture whatever size you want and then make a new white picture .25" smaller on all four sides. Past the smaller picture on top of the bigger picture. The black border will be your guides and you will want to keep everything inside the black border. I hope that makes sense.

  13. Ashley Feb 01 2011 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    you are always coming up with the best tutorials. thank you for your kind heart and always taking the time to share!!!!!

  14. Rashelle Feb 01 2011 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!!! I've been wondering how to do this myself and this is just great!!!!! Thank you so much for all of the time you put on this!

  15. Janneke Feb 01 2011 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to teach this. It sounds easy enough I can't wait to try it out. And thanks for sharing your template!

  16. Vicki Feb 01 2011 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Great tutorial Beth, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  17. Amy L. Feb 02 2011 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Thank you! I can't wait to play with this!

  18. Traci Landry Feb 02 2011 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Love it! I am going to try it out tonight 😉

  19. Krisanne Feb 02 2011 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Great tutorial, Beth. Thank you!

  20. Jennifer Feb 02 2011 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Can these be printed?

    • Kandice Apr 27 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      I was wondering the same thing. I have seen some on what looks like thin foam board, but my lab does not do them???

  21. Beverly Feb 02 2011 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    not only great instructions, BUT the PS template as well!? Thank you!

  22. Anna Feb 03 2011 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Thanks for this! Great tutorial and cute template!

  23. Sim Feb 05 2011 at 11:11 am - Reply

    I am working through this great tutorial right now. I have made the rounded corners and placed them into my story board. However when I create the clipping mask the photo is not showing the rounded corners – it's as if the space for the picture is still perfectly square. What am I doing wrong? Is it something I'm doing when creating the rounded corners? Ugh hopes this makes sense.

    • Kathryn Feb 05 2011 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Hi there! If you look through the comments, Beth has explained how she makes the rounded corners – it might help answer your question!:)

  24. Sim Feb 05 2011 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks Kathryn, I was following her instructions already but just figured out what I was doing wrong. Phew!

  25. karen Feb 08 2011 at 6:39 am - Reply

    cute! and I love the colors! perfect for valentines day!

  26. stacey Feb 14 2011 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much! I always wondered how to use the templates! I used this for a valentine's day photo collage for my mom!

  27. Heather Feb 20 2011 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Sorry to sound like an idiot. I can't even figure out how to copy and paste. I am making the second box and copying it but when I try to paste it on the template it isn't showing up. Uggh!

  28. Roline Mar 04 2011 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Will this template work in PSE6? Just like Heather I also can't figure out how to copy and paste the pictures onto the template.

  29. Beth Ross Mar 04 2011 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Jennifer, yes it can be printed. You need to change the resolution to 300 before you add your pictures if you are planning on printing the storyboard.

    Sara & Roline, I have PSE9 and it has clipping masks and the rounded rectangle tool. I am not sure about PSE6 & PSE7 though.

    Heather & Roline, Ctrl+A to select what you want to copy. Ctrl+C to copy. Ctrl+V to paste. If it isn't showing up it could be that it is hidden under another layer. You need to drag your picture on top of the layer where the box is you want the picture to show up in. Then create your clipping mask.

  30. StephanieB Mar 10 2011 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Thank You so much. I love this!

  31. KWRPhotos Mar 13 2011 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to create this tutorial. What a fun "gift"!

  32. Lindsay Mar 15 2011 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Hi – I'm unfortunately getting stuck early on – working in ps5. The background content only has white, transparent, and background color as options – no black? How do you make the image black? Thanks!!

  33. Physicschick Mar 19 2011 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Thank you soo much for posting this. I'm using PSE8, and it worked perfectly! I've not really understood how clipping masks work until now, so I'm very excited! Thanks!!!

  34. Jena Mar 23 2011 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Thanks, Beth for a great tutorial! I've been contemplating making my own storyboards/templates for months, thanks for giving me a boost.

  35. Malerie Walker Apr 15 2011 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    i love this! i am so happy to have learned how to do it! i can't believe how expensive the templates for storyboards are!!

    and so excited to finally know how to make rounded corners and shapes!! YAY! 🙂

    i was having the same problem as a couple of other people. i don't have the choice of black for a background content. i have CS5 — i too only have white, transparent and background color. help?

  36. Beth Ross Apr 16 2011 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Lindsay & Malerie, just pick white and when the new picture you created opens go to Edit> Fill and select "Color" from the drop down menu and then a box will pop up for you to choose whatever color you want.

  37. Angela Apr 22 2011 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Thank you so much, I have always wanted to know how this was done…Im stuck at making the rounded corners…I use the "rounded rectangle tool" and when I hit "shift+command+I (I have a mac) it doesnt do anything? I am in CS5 am I doing something wrong? I have a black rounded cornered square, with the white corners showing…but in the layers table it shows a white square with black outline.

  38. Enid Alvarez Aug 18 2011 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Thanks .I created a greadest images

  39. Andrea Starr Sep 22 2011 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Just what I needed, when I needed it!

  40. Shelley Moon Dec 23 2011 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I just made one for my client.

  41. laura Jan 04 2012 at 9:25 am - Reply

    …hmmm. Not finding the explanation on rounded corners to be all that intuitive. You create your shape as a new file, drag it over onto the template, then what? If I duplicate the layer at that point and press control/shift/I – it doesn't do anything… 🙁

  42. Lindsay Jan 21 2012 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Laura, I have the same problem with the rounded corners!

  43. sonya Jan 21 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Sweet! I have been intimidated to do my own…but I guess if I sit and do it, I can't go wrong!! 🙂 thanks soooo much for this tutorial. Think I will take a day and practice learning this technique.

  44. Meghan Monroe May 01 2012 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Great blog,Cheers for posting

  45. Lisa Jun 05 2012 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Great stuff! Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to use your template and create some of my own. :o)

  46. amanda p. Jun 06 2012 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    GREAT tutorial! Very clear instructions and easy to follow. Thanks for posting and thanks for sharing the template too.

  47. Fe Jun 10 2012 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this FAB tutorial! I have been having so much fun creating my own storyboard.

  48. Georgeanna Bonifacio Jun 22 2012 at 10:16 am - Reply

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  49. Dwain Sasahara Aug 05 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    this is an amazing video

  50. Tiff Oct 10 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Awesome! Seems simple! Thank you!!

  51. Angie Nov 03 2012 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    You made that so simple! Thanks!

  52. Lawety Wroclaw Feb 21 2013 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Hi my loved one! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to look more posts like this.

  53. Gerda Cross Apr 04 2013 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Thanks, I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve also been looking but didn’t realize it was soo easy to make.

  54. Elinore Rumore Apr 18 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this subject. I really like all the points you have made.

  55. Courtney May 26 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    These are some of the most concise instructions I have found thus far on the Internet. Thank you!

  56. Kell Aug 10 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’m just getting my blog up and running and needed a new way to display my project photos. Your directions were very helpful and I made my first template and collage with in minutes! Thanks again!

  57. isaiah Oct 30 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    hey this looks awesome. unfortunately when i tried to download it says the file is no longer available. is there another download link. thanks!!

  58. LadyPhotoBug Aug 25 2016 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    I am loving this web site. I’ve now seen 2 different blogs : one on collage template and this one and I am SOOOO happy.

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