Skip to main contentSkip to footer

MEA-109 - Story Development and Storyboarding - Masha Vasilkovsky

Course:Story Development and Storyboarding
Professor:Masha Vasilkovsky
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Artwork by Amy Eagan

This class will familiarize Students with key principles of graphic storytelling: storyboarding. Through exploring various aspects of the art-form, students will gain an understanding of the visual language of storyboarding. Structuring, staging and composition of shots and sequences is essential to the visualization process to achieve clear communication between a film and its audience. Students will experiment with dramatic storytelling techniques. They will visually describe the story through cause and effect, and motivate their narrative using expressive acting as well as the intensity of composition and montage.

Course Description

As an outcome of the course students will be able to:

    -    Acquire an understanding of the visual language of storyboarding.

    -    Distinguish and apply fundamental principles of frame design, composition, choosing camera angles and montage, to prepare a storyboard for animated film production.

    -    Understand key principles in  graphic storytelling.

What to Expect in this Course

The class is based in Canvas, using Zoom platform for weekly meetings. Please make sure that your Zoom setup includes working a camera and microphone.

Every storyboarding assignment takes several weeks to progress into a finished product. Every week students receive new information and participate in critique of their assigned work. For the following week they are expected to respond to feedback and complete the next stage in the production of their storyboards. All the completed homework is uploaded to an appropriate assignment in Canvas. This process of developing and refining their work continues until the full completion of each assignment.

The class uses hands-on approach. Students work with analog methods of production, using paper and drawing materials for making initial artwork. Subsequently storyboard panels are photographed or scanned into a computer and processed using Photoshop or an equivalent software for image editing. A storyboard is then uploaded into a Google Slide presentation, and the link is posted into a corresponding Canvas assignment.





Types of Assessments

To pass the course students are expected to complete all the assignments, as well as apply critique given in class to perfecting their storyboards. Students demonstrate their comprehension of concepts presented in class, by submitting weekly progress in finalizing their storyboards for feedback. All the production stages and the finished work, provide the teacher with evaluation criteria to determine their level of understanding of the storyboarding process and the amount of effort invested into learning the subject.

Textbook Information

Students are not required to purchase a textbook, as all the relevant information will be delivered to them during the semester. Here is the bibliography for the course:

'Directing the Story,' by Francis Glebas

'Framed Ink,' by Marcos Mateu-Menstre

'The Storyboard Artist,' by Giuseppe Christiano

'Visual Story, Seeing the Structure of TV, Film and New Media,' by Bruce Block

 'Notan, The Dark-Light Principle of Design,' by Dorr Bothwells and Marlys Mayfield


Other Relevant Course Information

Student attendance will be documented each class meeting.

Attendance is crucial to student success in the class: if a student is absent, they are required to watch the recording for the class they missed.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 06/02/2021 Sub#: 152