Syllabus FA 2016

New York City College of Technology

The City University of New York

Department of Communication Design

COMD 3523 – D236/ D237 – Storyboard Concepts

Zbigniew Bzymek (Fall semester 2016)

Course Description

The storyboard is the visual version of the script. It consists of a number of panels that show the visual action of a sequence in a logical narrative. The storyboard is used as a tool for production or to assist in the selling of ideas to clients.  The emphasis in this class

is on story, idea and development. Students will design and present storyboards for topics including commercials, film and television titles and video presentations.

3 cl hrs, 3 cr


ADV 2400 level courses or equivalent or department permission.

Required Reading: Exploring Storyboarding Wendy Tumminello Thompson/Delmar Learning ISBN-10:  1-4018-2715-2

ISBN-13: 978-1-4018-2715-1

Attendance (College) and Lateness (Department) Policies:

A class roster roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. Only two absences may beallowed. After two absences, a student may be withdrawn because of unsatisfactory attendance (code WU). Students arriving after the roll is taken will be marked “late.” Students may be notified at the earliest opportunity in class after they have been absent or late. After being absent two times or equivalent (2 lateness = 1 absence), a student may

be asked to withdraw from the class (code W before the College drop deadline) or may be withdrawn from the class (code WU).

Academic Integrity Standards

You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by the NYC College of Technology Student Handbook, “Student Rights & Responsibilities,” section “Academic Integrity Standards.” Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism is unacceptable. “Cheating” is misrepresenting another student’s efforts/work as your own. “Plagiarism” is the representation of another person’s work, words or concepts as your own.

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.


90% = Course projects/assignments

Project 1 (Day in the park storyboard) 20%

Project 2 (Suspense storyboard) 20%

Project 3 Part 1 (Advertising storyboard) 30%

Project 3 Part 2 (production boards and animatic) 10%

Quiz 10%

10% = Class preparation/participation/attendance

How I score assignments:

1. Overall technical fluency (how well your storyboard communicates in film language. It’s use of conventions/ rules.)

2. Economy/ precision / detail (concision – do you have unnecessary shots or key frames? Do you have the right types of shots? Are they labeled correctly?)

3. Visual organization (is your storyboard attractive and easy to read? Are your frames legible? Are you using arrows appropriately?)

4. Translation (does your storyboard reflect your written story?)

5. Consistent design (Does your storyboard maintain the same look throughout? Is your numbering consistent? Do you distinguish between shots and key frames?)

6. Editing (Would your shots cut together nicely?/ effective use of jump cuts and montage/ is there continuity?)

Class Outline:

08.30.2016 Week 1: Visual Storytelling & Storyboards

How visual stories are told. Elements of a story. Explore industries that use storyboards. Review course syllabus. Examples of the difference between “showing” and “telling” discussed. Historical development of the storyboard. Where storyboards fit in the visual storytelling process.

Assignment: Research companies that use storyboard artists. What type of storyboards do these companies create? What is the role of the storyboard artist? Create an ePortfolio. Post your answers on your ePortfolio. Create your first storyboard based on a dream – draw three frames. Bring the storyboard to class on Sept. 6th.

09.06.2016 Week 2: Fundamentals of the Shot

The difference between scenes and shots. How to visualize a scene in terms of framing, angles and movement. How to illustrate camera and character movement using directional arrows.

Project I: Storyboard a Day in the Park

Assignment: Take the scene basics presented in class and develop characters and location visually, using references if necessary. Make a list of the type of shots you intend to use to make the scene dynamic. Post your work on your ePortfolio by Sept. 12th. Create one character sketch and thumbnails and post those as well.

09.13.2016 Week 3: From Script to final Storyboard

The function of the shooting script, shot list, and overhead diagram. Camera and character movement. Psychological impact of camera angles, framing, and movement. Define the storyboard approach from thumbnails to roughs to final storyboards. Assignment: Receive feedback on your shotlist and thumbnails. Based on comments create roughs. Post your work on your ePortfolio by Sept. 19th.

09.20.2016 Week 4: Composition

How the elements of design affect shot arrangement. Expressing mood and intent of a story line with two-dimensional images. Applying the rule of thirds to storyboard panels. Assignment: Adjust roughs for composition. Final storyboards due by Sept. 27. Script for Project II due on ePortfolio by Sept. 27th.

09.27.2016 Week 5: Perspective

Presentation: Final Project I: Day in the Park Storyboard

Review one-point, two-point, and three-point perspective. Define horizon line, picture plane, and vanishing point. Describe bird’s-eye, worm’s-eye, high-angle, and low angle views.

Project II: Mystery & Suspense Storyboard Through the use of exciting camera angles

and mood lighting, create an exciting/suspenseful scene.

Assignment: Create a shot list from the script and start thumbnails. Post your work on your ePortfolio by October 17th.

10.14.2016 Week 6: Lighting

Difference between high-key and low-key lighting. How light changes the mood of a composition. How light direction affects composition. The meaning of color and how it affects mood.

Assignment: Review thumbnails for storyboards in class. Collect research and reference

materials. Start on roughs. Upload to ePortfolio by

October 24th.

10.18.2016 Week 7: Continuity

Basic rules of continuity. How shots are combined to create meaning. Explore non- continuous shots such as the montage and jump cut.

Assignment: Review roughs storyboards. Start Final Storyboards and upload to

ePortfolio paste link in Assignment page by November 1st.

10.25.2016 Week 8: Drawing the Human Form

Presentation: Final Project II: Mystery & Suspense Storyboard

Drawing the human figure without a model. Proportion and line of action in figure drawing. Rendering the figure in perspective. Drawing the figure in motion.

Assignment: Find a project or service you can passionately sell with original visuals and

story in 30 seconds. Post your work on your ePortfolio by November 8th. (Uniqueness better than major


11.01.2016 Week 9: Commercials

Describe the advertising campaign process. Difference between presentation and production storyboards. Process of rendering storyboards from pencil sketches to presentation storyboards.

Project III: Television Commercial storyboard

This project will be in two parts:

1. Create a set of full-color presentation boards for client pitch

2. Create a set of B&W production boards for Director

In class: Review concepts for Television Commercial storyboard

Assignment: Research product and create a 30-second commercial script. Post script as well as product benefits, target audience variables and ad tone by November 15th.

11.08.2016 Week 10: Animation & Live Action

Difference between live action and animation storyboards. Relationship between storytelling and story art. Process of creating storyboards for television animation. Assignment: Begin layouts for Presentation boards. Collect research and reference materials. Upload thumbnails to ePortfolio and post link, due by November 22nd.

11.15.2016 Week 11: New Media

Explore storyboards for multimedia. Development of storyboard sequences for

illustrating navigation options and graphic look. Elements of the game design document

for storyboarding. Using the storyboard as a guide, to help lay out “scenes” in a manageable order.

Assignment: Implement changes and further refinement to Presentation boards, upload

B&W roughs to ePortfolio by November 29th.

11.22.2016. Week 12: Animatics

Explore kinetic experience of animatics. Animatics in the studio and its usage during on- site shoots. How to time a story for pacing, dialogue, and special effects shots. Assignment: Final Presentation boards in full color and full size. Upload to ePortfolio by December 6th.

11.29.2016. Week 13: Pitching

Presentation: Final Presentation Boards for Project III: television commercial. Assignment: Continue development of the Production board. Upload rough production boards by December 13th to ePortfolio and paste link.

12.05.2016. Week 14: Final Quiz based on lectures.

Project III: Review rough production storyboards.

Assignment: Upload final production boards to ePortfolio by December 20th and paste link.

12.13.2016. Week 15: The Business of Storyboarding

Finding work, creating a resume & portfolio, delivering work and invoicing.

Final Presentation of television commercial production boards.


Exploring Storyboarding Wendy Tumminello Thompson/Delmar Learning ISBN-10:  1-4018-2715-2

ISBN-13: 978-1-4018-2715-1

Storyboards/ Motion in Art

Mark Simon

Focal Press

ISBN-10:  0-0240-80805-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-0240-80805-5

From Word to Image-2nd edition: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process

Marcie Begleiter

Michael Wiese Productions ISBN-10: 193290767X ISBN-13: 978-1932907674

Storyboard Design Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques

Giuseppe Cristiano

Barron’s Educational Series

ISBN-10: 0764137328


The Art of the Storyboard

John Hart

Focal Press

ISBN-10: 0-240-80960-1

ISBN-12: 978-0-240-80960-3

Prepare to Board! Nancy Beiman Focal Press

ISBN-10: 0-240-80820-7

ISBN-13: 978-0-240-80820-8