A storyboard (SB) is a custom-made animated background that accompanies a beatmap, often for decorative and sometimes for gameplay purposes. A storyboard can be comprised of just about anything, but usually they consist of visual effects designed to make a map more aesthetically pleasing and distinctive to users. Storyboards are inspired from the animated backgrounds found in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan. Like their inspiration, storyboards are able to adjust to the player's performance in the game and display different things depending on how well the player is doing.
Storyboards are stored in beatmap folders as either standalone
.osb files or extensions to the
[Events] section of a
.osu file. Because of this, it's possible to create different storyboards for difficulties within a beatmap.
Main article: Storyboard scripting
Storyboarding is the process of making a storyboard, where the person behind the process is called a storyboarder. Storyboarding is often very difficult, and requires considerable time and expertise in standard animation and graphic creation. osu! offers a built-in editor inside of the beatmap editor to aid the creation of storyboards, although most avid storyboarders opt to program via storyboard scripting directly. Many creators choose to write programs in full-featured programming languages to generate storyboard scripts, because complex visual effects can require a great amount of storyboard code to produce.