Layout and Composition for Animation  book cover
1st Edition

Layout and Composition for Animation

ISBN 9780240814414
Published July 7, 2010 by Routledge
216 Pages 275 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

This essential, hands-on guide is filled with examples of what a composition should look like and example of poorly designed layouts. Spot potential problems before they cost time and money, and adapt creative solutions for your own projects with this invaluable resource for beginner and intermediate artists.  With Beauty and the Beast examples and Simpson character layouts, readers will learn how to develop character layout and background layout as well as strengthen composition  styles with a creative toolset of trick shot examples and inspirational case studies. A companion website will include further technique based tools, finalized layout and composition examples and tutorials for further artistic skill development.

Table of Contents



It's All About Storytelling: Pre-Drawing

Choosing the Correct Tools to tell the story: Viewing Process, Mood, Color, Timing, Movement/Action, Time of Day, Atmosphere.

Putting it down on Paper: Horizon and Vanishing Points, Character Placement, Placement of Objects in Space

Extreme Perspective Solutions: Multiple Horizons, Multiple Vanishing Points

Placement of Characters in a Composition: Path of Action, Placement of Characters in a Composition, Composing a Scene.

Camera: Camera Moves, Bi-Back, Multi-plane, Multi-level

Changing Perspective in a Scene: Curved Pans, Perspective Tricks

Lighting: Shadows, Reflections

Digital Layout and Composition: 2D and 3D

Frequently Used Terms and Definitions

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Ed is a renowned Layout Artist and Character Layout Artist who has spent over thirty years in film and animation. He has worked at Disney Studios and Disney TV. He has worked on some of the great Disney classics including "The Fox and the Hound", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", and the "Huntchback of Notre Dame" and "Mulan." In addition to working with Disney, Ed has worked on the "Curious George" and The Simpsons. Ed is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of television Arts and Sciences, Creative Talent Network.


Ed Ghertner is a highly regarded master craftsman in the animation industry. This book is packed with ideas that cover the art of visual story telling. It would be a helpful tool for any animator, layout artist or filmmaker. Mark Kirkland -- Three-time Emmy Award-winning Director of The Simpsons