DM203 Storyboard and Concept Fall 2016

Stephan Leeper

4 Credits



Storyboard and Concept Design principles are central to the art form and industry of animation. Many of these processes cross over into comics, graphic novels, game design and even live-action filmmaking.  In this class we will focus mainly on exploring story content and the principles of visual storytelling through the lens of an animation camera. By the end of the semester each student will have a sketchbook full of story ideas, character designs and a functional story reel.  You will also have at least one fully developed "Pitch" that could easily serve as the basis for a short animated film, story app, or even a graphic novel. 



•        Students will be exposed to a variety of films, stories, and visual storytelling techniques

•        Students will communicate weekly story assignments using the language and techniques known as “the Pitch”.

•        Students will learn to strengthen their storytelling through pacing, composition, staging and cinematography.

•        Students will end with a variety of original story ideas and a single finished Pitch, all possible subjects for future Projects.


Class Critiques:

Students will be given the opportunity to pitch their work on a rotating basis.  Please come to class fully prepared to pitch your work and ready to give fellow students the benefit of your full attention.  Please be attentive, respectful, and constructive as you participate in discussions of your fellow student's work.



Once class begins students will not be allowed to post work until the rest of the classes work has been reviewed. As class time is a premium all assignments are required to be in the @DROP BOX, properly named and numbered for presentation before class begins.  


Assignment Revisions and Late Policy:

Assignments revisions are strongly encourage.  Any assignment can be revised post critique and resubmitted.  Course credit will be assigned to the latest revision.  Late projects can be pitched to the class as time permits but may not receive the full portion of their value. 


Grades: 1200pts

Critiques and project notes will be given on a regular basis.  Grades will be given half way through the semester and then at the end.  If you have concerns about your progress feel free to ask.


Reading/Reading Guides (5)


Story Exploration Assignments  (5 out of 6)


Mid-Semester Pitch


Final Pitch Bible


Final Story Reel



Required Text:

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

ISBN-10: 0060780940


Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre 

ISBN-10: 1933492953


Further Reading: (Available in the DMA Media Library)

Paper Dreams by John Canemaker

Story Disney Archive Series

The Visual Story by Bruce Block

Setting the Scene; the Art and Evolution of Animation Layout by Fraser MaClean


Supplies: Small Sketch Book; Soft lead pencils and Cintiq Pen