I'm wondering if there is any common "storyboarding" approach for motion graphics videos, that are rather "design-based" instead of being a story.

For example - I'd like to create animation for a techno tune, that will contain a lot of abstract / graphic design effects and not really tell any story. Is it common approach to create a storyboard for something like that? How to correctly "plan" such content?

  • 1
    Not that I've ever made anything like that, but I feel like storyboarding abstract animation seems a little pointless. You going to like pencil in squiggly lines for 100 storyboard panels? Honestly, I don't know... I could be wrong....
    – Joonas
    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:34
  • WOW - I just did a prelim storyboard for a motion graphics piece... but in my case there is a conceptual narrative at play: a specific set of ideas to communicate; it almost sounds like what you need to do is rough comps of your most critical keyframes (maxima, medicus and minima of specific growths/effects, transitions between, endpoints and stopping points) and skip the overall storyboarding. In my workflow, storyboarding is explicitly a way to evolve a narrative in visual form, and get early client buy-in; I'm having trouble imagining your use-case at all. Mar 22, 2019 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


Two things.

  1. Motion graphics also can be about telling a story. It might not be about a hero's journey, but a glowing logo. But it is an "instant" story. A path from an empty canvas to a logo that constructs itself.

There are many schemes for conceptualizing a "story" one I often use is

a) Introduction

b) Development

c) Climax

d) Conclusion

Yes, it lacks "conflict" and resolution, but motion graphics can potentially have all these 4 basic elements.

The introduction can be a blank canvas, with a rapidly approaching something. That starts constructing into something (Development) and turns into your 3D logo (Climax) and the text "presents" can be the conclusion.

Here are some screen captures from Paramount pictures (c) intro (used for educational purposes) Where you can see the 4 stages, in a fairly simple fashion.

enter image description here

  1. But that being said, a "story" board is for planning visual products, not just to develop a story.

Camera movements, camera angles, framing, elements necessary on the shots. So in that field, a storyboard is the same as planning an action sequence on a movie.

If your "motion graphics" is a simple one, your storyboard can be a simple drawing on a napkin.


I was watching an old interview with Alfred Hitchcock and was asked if he ever improvised on the set, and he said in short "Certainly not, I would prefer to improvise in the office" "A lot of people suffer from a difficulty in visualizing something".


A Storyboard is an aid in visualizing stuff.

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