Layout and Perspective 101

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About Course

Layout and Perspective made simple

Layout and Perspective 101 is a beginning-level online course that will help you to learn to draw amazing backgrounds and layouts for animated projects. This course is a credit course and a requirement for our 3-year degree program. It can also be taken with one of the 101 drawing classes. Perspective can be daunting for the intro student, so we recommend a simple drawing book for reference.

Layout and Perspective, what is it exactly?

Layout design for animation is the process of conceptualizing environments based on the story of the animated film, and adapting it to the stylistic choices of the film. The primary role of the layout artist is to design the stage on which the animation of the character or special effects takes place. Perspective helps you create a solid stage. Layout and Perspective will get you up and running! Even if you do not like backgrounds, you wil find a new appreciation for scenery.

In traditional animation background drawing, a background layout is the line drawing of the background for a scene. It is not the finished background painted and colored that you see on the screen. In other words, it is just a drawing without color.

You should start looking at animated movies and noticing the hard and beautiful work of backgrounds. For instance, Disney is known for having lush backgrounds but a cartoon network show will have very simple designs. Just because something is simple does not make it easy, you should try to design your background to highlight your focus. The focus of a BG is usually a character.

Some of the topics covered in this course are:


  • 1 point perspective
  • 2 point perspective
  • 3 point perspective
  • Designing Environmental Backgrounds
  • Fictional Environments
  • Spooky backgrounds
  • Technical layouts
  • design and composition
  • leading lines and focus


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What Will You Learn?

  • Design layouts and backgrounds for animated films
  • Learn about perspective and depth in your drawings
  • Get credit towards your degree

Course Content

Introduction to Layout
In this session, we will explore what layout is and research some great layout artists.

  • Intro to layout
  • Introduction to layout session 1

1 point perspective for layout
In this session, you will learn about one-point perspective

2 point perspective
In this session, you will learn to draw from 2 point perspective.

3 point perspective
In this session, you will learn to draw from 3 point perspective.

Desert Scene
This week you will be designing a layout for a desert scene.

Forest Layout
In this session, you will design a forest layout from the story "Little Red Ridinghood"

In this session, you will design the layout for a Spooky Cemetery.

This week you will design a swamp

Pirates cove
Design a pirates cove

Space ship
Design the layout for the interior of a spaceship.

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