Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality | CG Master Academy

2021 | Spring Registration - Only 1 Week Left!

Registration for our Spring Term closes in 1 week. Enroll Now!

Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality

An 8-week course on how to develop an idea into a story using timeless techniques

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Develop your story idea into a world of its own

Everyone has IDEAS; now learn how to take that idea/sketch/napkin drawing and build it into a STORY with relatable characters, solid structure, and themes using timeless, but simple techniques inspired by everything from ancient myths to contemporary film, books, comics and animation. Students will develop their own ideas, characters and stories using written premises, outlines, treatments, fictional biographies and character histories, becoming the absolute authorities on their invented worlds – with an eye toward preparing each student’s creative development work for real-life application in their media of choice; film, TV, animation, comics, etc.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   None
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   None

Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Intro to story: What is it? Why do we love it? How do we make it? | Selection and creative thinking process techniques; how to effectively select what to spend your time on: from doodle to passion project
An Introduction to Building Strong, Relatable Characters | Lecture and Scene Analysis on Powerful Character Introductions and First Impressions | Using contemporary and classic film and TV | Flexing and Applying Your Critical Eye to Introducing Characters
Writing What You know | Heroes and Villains | Cliche vs Archetype | Caricature vs Character | One dimensional vs multi-dimensional | Writing Character bios (becoming experts on your char) | Defining Char needs, wants, behavior | Character contrast and supporting cast
Building your story: from stick man to final render | Story vs. plot / what vs. how: what happens and how to show it | Image systems and motif; the seduction of pretty pictures | Serialized vs. episodic
Classical and contemporary models for story | Three-act structure and other lies | A, B, and C plots | Deciding what works best for you
Deciding which story to tell; the Star Wars model | Building your story, then writing it: note cards, outlining, sculpting; writing inside out vs. outside in; just like drawing | Weaving character and story: how to build theme; where to find it and when; controlling ideas and keeping it simple
The elevator pitch: how to take your creative research and pare it down to bare essentials | Workshopping with peers: collecting constructive criticism
Now what? Planning for next steps: intro to TV, feature, and comic strips; writing novels/prose | Pitching/selling vs. controlling your I.P.

Unleash your creative potential

Joshua Pruett is a Primetime Emmy and Annie Award Nominated Writer, Author and Storyboard Artist best known for his work on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, PHINEAS AND FERB, and Disney XD's MILO MURPHY'S LAW. His original, debut middle grade book series SHIPWRECKERS will launch in 2019 from DISNEY/HYPERION. Writer, on upcoming Netflix animated series "The Last Kids on Earth." Joshua has over a decade of experience inflicting laughter on others as Storyboard Artist, Writer and Creative Consultant for Disney TV, DreamWorks Feature Animation, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks TV, Awesomeness TV, Sprout/NBC Universal, Disney China/Beijing, Zombie Bake Shop, Netflix and Paramount Feature Animation. Most recently, he developed THE HAUNTED MANSION for Disney TV with his friend and writing partner, Scott Peterson. His first novel, THE JUNGLE BOOK: THE STRENGTH OF THE WOLF IS THE PACK, with Scott Peterson, adapted the 2016 live action feature film into a novel for young readers. He is also the author of the short story horror anthology THE MISERY COMPANY, currently available on


April 18th!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




April 18th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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