Friday, 17 December 2021

MA Story and Previs Returns on 22 Sept 2022

"Moon Rockz" directed by Molly Babington
Our Master's Degree course in Previsualisation and Storyboarding is now recruiting for 22 September 2022.

This new degree, first launched in September 2019, is the first-ever master's degree in Previsualisation & Storyboarding, and is taught by industry veteran Iliana Franklin. 

Developed in consultation with industry, and formally validated by the University of Kent, this degree is a unique opportunity to learn industry-level skills and also earn an internationally recognised academic qualification.

Our MA students have created award-winning films such as "Moon Rockz", which recently won "Best Sci-Fi" at the Flicks Film Fest, and "Street Ratz", which won Best Trailer at the Vesuvius Film Festival, and Best Trailer at the CFIFF.

Previsualisation is one of the fastest-growing areas of digital film-making, with companies like The Third Floor (our industry mentor) expanding rapidly to help clients achieve their vision as early as possible in the film-making process.  Previsualition and storyboard artists share a common goal - to pre-imagine the story, and bring it to life before the expensive business of animation or principal photography begins.

Our course teaches both disciplines, allowing students to focus on two career pathways: using traditional drawings skills (storyboards), or digital skills (previs).  Storyboard artists and previs artists both have to solve many of the same problems, including shot flow, cinematography, narrative rhythm, and continuity.  Both work closely with the director and editor to bring the story to life.

Iliana Franklin teaches at Escape Studios
Storyboarding is an important part of the story-telling process and one that is currently an area of skills shortage.

Skills shortage
Industry has long been telling us that they cannot find enough skilled storyboard artists to satisfy the huge growth in animation and vfx production in the UK in recent years.

Storyboarding is a basic skill that every film-maker should have; being able to express a sequence of shots visually is one of the key skills in narrative storytelling.
We have a number new software packages recently installed at Escape Studios.
  • Toonboom Storyboard Pro, arguably now the industry leader for storyboarding
  • Panel Forge, hybrid software that blends 3d modeling resources with drawing tools. Panel Forge is essentially a stripped-down version of Maya, pioneered by Blue Zoo and Jellyfish animation, that greatly speeds up the storyboarding process. 
  • Storyboarder. This free software is open-source and a welcome addition to the board artist's toolkit.
Previsualisation will be mainly taught using using Autodesk Maya. As a student, you can get your free copy of Maya from their Education site.

Wacom Cintiq - industry standard kit
We have some great new kit for the course - full-scale Wacom Cintiq tablets so that all our students have access to industry-level hardware.

Who this course is for
This course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of storyboarding and presvisualisation.  We teach all our students from scratch (though some knowledge of Maya will be helpful), and our goal is to make you job-ready by the end of the course. As befits a masters' degree, you will also engage with the theory and practice of the medium at masters' level.

Where and When
Storyboarding and Previs will taught both online and in class at our Central London Campus at 190 High Holborn, WC1. The course starts in September 2022.

Iliana Franklin teaching at Escape Studios
The lead tutor is Iliana Franklin, an experienced animation artist whose credits include Framestore's The Tale of Despereaux.  Iliana is a veteran storyboard artist and also runs her own production company Mediaframe.  You can see more about Iliana's work at her online portfolio.

Course content
Module 1 - Introduction to Storyboarding
  • The foundations and theories of writing, creativity and storyboarding
  • Different storyboarding techniques and their application 
  • Cinematography, 3D layout and the use of cameras 
  • Design and character in storyboarding
  • The video production pipeline from concept to script to final output
Module 2  - Advanced Storyboarding
  • Mime and pantomime
  • Storyboards, storytelling
  • Editing techniques
  • Camera, continuity and cutting
Module 3 - Previsualisation
  • Creating and animating basic 3D assets
  • 3D cinematography
  • Character and creature performance 
  • Previsualisation editing techniques
  • Sound design
Module 4 - Studio Project
For this module students will work in small teams to an industry brief.  This group project will allow students to use the tools and techniques learned to create industry-standard work. This project helps to prepare students for the world of industry by working in teams.

Module 5 - Production Project
For this final project students will work independently and develop their own project. Students will refine and produce a substantial storyboard/previsualisation project that will showcase their best work.

Success Stories
To see some of our Escape Studios animation success stories, follow this link. We're proud of our track record of helping our students break into industry.

Student Work
To see some of the excellent work done by students at Escape Studios, check out our YouTube Channel. You can also see our latest animation demo reel below:

Where can you sign up for the MA?
Follow this link to the official site.
You can also read about the course at

To see a short film that explains more about previsualisation, watch the video below:

Evening class in Storyboarding
And, if you don't have the time to commit to a full MA, we also run evening classes in storyboarding. The next class, taught by the very talented Chess Adams, starts in 3 February 2022.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2022, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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