Jeff Call

Story artist, Blue Sky Studios


Narrative and Visual Storytelling

This course will study the structural elements underlying animated entertainment, traditional and experimental narratives. Story structures will be analyzed to discover what content can be conveyed within 30 seconds, a few minutes or longer in art and entertainment. We will focus on the key elements of storytelling, including the development of concepts, such as the central dramatic question, inciting incident, idiosyncratic characters and spaces, conflicts and needs, mounting tension, reversals and resolution. Visual language will be addressed by gaining a familiarity with camera shots, movements, angles and placement. Through short assignments, students will develop original scripts, concept sketches, storyboards and animatics. The basics of previsualization will be covered. An examination of key works in the field is included.

Digital Storyboarding

The role of the art department, particularly in feature films, has expanded from being a front-end process to being actively involved throughout the production. This course will focus on honing the craft of visual development through creating concept art, storyboards, animatic production and previsualization. Using digital imaging and video, students will apply their creativity to the latest techniques in digital storyboarding. These techniques will be explored through short assignments and group critique. Screenings of key works that range from feature films and independent productions to commercials will provide a forum for discussion.  Prerequisite: Narrative and Visual Storytelling.


  • BFA, Brigham Young University


  • Student project prize, SIGGRAPH; First place, College Television Awards