Learn how to storyboard for Film, TV, and Video Games in this 6-week workshop
Storyboarding is the Best Way to Share Your Vision
Storyboarding artists are sought-after artists in the film, TV, commercial, and animation industries. If you want to learn how to create professional storyboards you need to start learning from the masters.
In our workshop you’ll learn how to analyze a story to create strong storyboards that communicate visually. You will gain a solid foundation of the fundamentals of storyboarding, such as pacing, beats, camera angles, and timing. Once you finish this course you will be able to break down any story so it can be told visually by an animator, cinematographer, or commercial director.
Pixar’s long-standing motto is, “Story is king.” A great story resonates with an audience, no matter what medium it’s told through. From comic books to TV to feature films, there are so many stories left to tell.
Now it’s time to tell yours.
Pro Storyboard Artists Mentor You to Be Successful
Our workshop allows you to learn, practice, and get 1:1 feedback and reviews from our mentors who work as professional storyboard artists. You will have the chance to learn from them in live conversations as they share insights about what studios are working on and what qualities they look for in a storyboard artist. Our mentors will work directly with you to grow and improve your skills.
Story and Development Artist
The Astonish Factory
Mike Kunkel is first and foremost a cartoonist! Writing and drawing cartoons is something he's wanted to do since he was a kid and now, with over 20 years of experience in the animation industry, Mike has done just that by working on numerous TV and film projects as a director, story and development artist, character designer, screenwriter, and animator.
Mike has worked for studios such as Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Sony Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios.
As a published writer and artist, Mike was nominated three times for the prestigious Eisner Awards and four times for the Ignatz Awards. He's the creator of the two-time Eisner award-winning comic book series, "Herobear and the Kid," and as a designer in TV, he won the Annie Award for Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production.
*All times are in Pacific Time. For all Monday classes, due to the New Year's Holiday, the first Q&A will be rescheduled to later in the week.
Sold Out? Sign Up for Our Waiting List
Sign up for our waiting list and we'll notify you when more seats are available or when the next registration opens.
Examples of Mike Kunkel’s Work
1-on-1 Feedback from a Studio Pro
During this 6-week workshop, you’ll have live Q&As with your mentor each week in addition to receiving an assignment designed to build your skills. Plus, your mentor will review and critique each of your assignments and provide you with a video of their feedback so you can improve your work.
Learn from an award-winning industry veteran
With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Mike Kunkel will guide you through the essentials of storytelling and storyboarding. His tailored curriculum will help you understand the workflow and thought process of a professional story artist. A multiple Eisner award-winning cartoonist and an Annie award-winning character designer, Mike will teach you what it takes to be a storyboard artist.
Storyboarding Student Gallery
What You’ll Learn in Storyboarding Fundamentals
Learn the Basic Ideas and Structure of a Storyboard
Storyboarding is an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to quickly share your vision and to quickly iterate ideas. In this first session, we’ll go over the basics of storyboarding, including structure and common terms, as well as visual storytelling through live demonstrations and examples.
Understanding Story Beats & Timing
Storyboarding is all about identifying the main beats that provide the core structure of the story. In this session, we’ll learn all about beat boards and what role they play in storyboarding to help tell a complete story.
Incorporating Thumbnails Into Your Storyboarding Process
When drafting a visual story, you want to clearly and simply communicate your ideas in as few drawings as possible. Thumbnails are about to become your best friend! They may seem simple, but we’ll look at the huge impact they have on storytelling and see how to incorporate them into your process.
Laughter is Food for the Soul: Portraying Humor
Humor can be a powerful storytelling tool, but it’s easy to miss the mark with your audience if your punchline is off. In this session, we’ll analyze what makes a good gag and the importance of timing and delivery. We’ll also compare the differences between story-driven humor and random jokes, and see how best to apply them.
Be a Visual Storyteller
In the previous sessions, we’ve focused on building up our storyboarding toolset. Armed with these tools, we’re now ready to get into the core of storytelling. We’ll learn to phrase our scenes and sequences, and dive into how to use the camera to set up a moment and bring stronger emotional impact to a scene.
Story is Life
When we tell a story, we are observing life. In this final session, we’ll discuss how to build on our skills and grow our abilities to tell stronger visual stories. By taking a look at life and the stories around us, we’ll gain a broader library and knowledge of natural storytelling. We’ll also do a drawing exercise/live demonstration to connect with a core storytelling aspect in all of us.
Course Requirements for Storyboarding Fundamentals
LIVE Q&As | Weekly 1-Hour Q&As
ASSIGNMENTS | 5 Animation Exercises
- An image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop CC ($20/month) or GIMP (Free).
- Students are also required to use a simple video editing tool like Videopad Home Edition or equivalent in order to prepare and upload submissions for review.
HARDWARE |Meet Minimum Requirements
AGE | 18 Years or Older
LANGUAGE | Taught in English
Skills You Need Before You Start
Storyboarding Fundamentals is open to artists of all experience levels, but basic drawing skills are required. The lessons and feedback will be tailored to fit you. The workshop is not graded so that you feel comfortable learning the concepts at your own pace.
What You’ll Learn
This 6-week workshop will help you understand foundational techniques for staging, clarity, emotion and other fundamental principles of visual storytelling. You’ll start by studying film and TV examples, breaking down what works and why. After storyboarding weekly, situational moments, you will ultimately take a simple short story and board it to completion.
Once you’ve completed our workshop, you’ll be able to confidently progress on your storyboarding journey because you’ll have mastered these key skills:
- Foundation in visual storytelling with an emphasis on the language, terminology, and visual structure of storyboarding
- Understanding of techniques and the impact that camera setup, staging, clarity of pose, and emotional undertone have on your story
- Craft and sculpt every single pose on screen, to ensure the narrative intent reads clearly
- Ability to critique real film examples to see how the pros storyboard successfully
- Confidence to break down a simple short story and create a board set
FAQ for Storyboarding
What is a storyboard?
A storyboard is a series of illustrations that represent the narrative of a movie or a single sequence. They can be very detailed featuring descriptive text and arrows to help the user imagine movements or very basic (often referred to as thumbnail storyboard) featuring just rough sketches.
What is the purpose of a storyboard?
Storyboards are used by artists to create the first visualization of the project. With a storyboard you can get your entire team on the same page so that everyone has a clear understanding of what they are working on and how it should look. Storyboards are also often used to pitch ideas to clients.
What does a storyboard artist do?
A storyboard artist creates the first visual representation of the story. These artists must think about camera angles, character movement and direction, and the overall narrative while bringing the story to life in a clear way.
What Storyboarding Students are Saying
If you’re interested in storyboarding, we think you’ll love these courses!