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Animation Layout and Background – Storyboard Tips

In this extract from Ask AMB Episode 15 I was asked about designing backgrounds for animation. Animation backgrounds are so much more than pretty paintings they are careful compositions designed to lead the viewer’s eye to focus on the action of the character animation within the scene. They are also designed to fit the aspect ratio of the desired frame format.

In the video I use my storyboard as an example to illustrate that this is where the root of background layout begins as everything is roughed out in the storyboard as a blueprint for the animation.The angles have to be taken into consideration as well as any potential camera moves. Another important factor is character placement within the shot and whether they move or change position.

Although this is storyboard it is essentially the earliest form of lay out as again before the animator can begin animating, he must first have layout drawings to refer to. On an expensive projects layouts can be made to build upon a storyboard but often on low budget animation the board is utilised as layout in 2d projects. CGI have a version of layout known as previs and they need to follow this regardless of budget as other technical aspects need to be taken into account as well.

animation layout can be posing characters for the animator as well however this video is primarily focused on background layout. There is also a question regarding editing and flow in a storyboard and it is also covered.

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