So you’re a working or aspiring storyboard artist and you need to create a storyboard demo reel to show off your brilliant work. Creating a demo storyboard reel is similar to creating any other type of reel, it’s a matter of intention and precision in what you include. In this article, we’ll dive into how to create a storyboard demo reel to help you land the work you desire. 

Storyboard Artist Portfolio Tutorial

Choose your storyboarding software

First thing’s first — you will need to choose your storyboarding software. Because you will already be using storyboard panels and frames from previously created work, using a digital software will make uploading and organizing your favorite shots easier.

There are some great free online storyboarding apps to choose from. Throughout this tutorial we'll be using StudioBinder’s free storyboarding app.

StudioBinder Storyboard artist portfolio tool  •  Subscribe on YouTube

As you can see, storyboaring in StudioBinder is as easy as uploading stills into the software and customizing each to best serve how you will be presenting your favorite storyboard artwork.

Since your storyboard demo reel will be an edited motion picture, using a storyboard software will help organize your reel before bringing everything into an editing software. 

Storyboard Artist Portfolio Examples

Revisit your work

To determine what you will upload into the storyboarding app, it's time to revisit your body of work. Start with the storyboard artwork that immediately comes to mind that you believe sets you apart from other artists.

This may be work that demonstrates a specific illustrative style, your ability to capture cinematic motion in your illustrations, etc.

Here is a great storyboard demo example to give you an idea of what a finished storyboard demo reel looks like. 

Storyboard artist portfolio examples  •  OlsenCreation 2019

When looking back at your work, pull artwork that reflects what you want to create in the future. Take all of the storyboard artwork that you wish to include in your storyboard demo reel and organize them for our next step. 

Creating a Storyboard Artist Portfolio

Edit your storyboard demo reel

Once you’ve combed through your work and have downloaded and organized the storyboard artwork and clips that you want to include in your storyboard demo reel, it's time to edit. First, choose an editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Final Cut Pro, or DaVinci Resolve.

While your storyboard artwork may exist in panels, it’s important to edit them into a motion picture to create your demo reel. This is what translates your artwork to potential films, making it easier for potential employers to envision how it is to collaborate and work with you. 

This can almost be seen as an animatic that is used in animated films. Here is another storyboard demo example that shows the value of editing individual panels together. 

Storyboard artist portfolio examples  •  The Fisherman

When editing, it is important to think about the flow of your reel. Think of it similarly to a movie trailer which, when done well, has great pacing that creates an arc. This will have viewers watch the entire demo reel until the very end to see all of your great work. 

Up Next

How to display a storyboard

It's possible that your prospective employer doesn't want an actual reel but an in-person presentation instead. In that case, let's review some of the ways to present and display your storyboard — from the literal story boards of old to the more modern presentation tools. 

Up Next: Storyboard presentation →
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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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