Sunday, 3 April 2011


This week we had our first layout assignment.  I have heard the term before in different fields and have always considered it really being planning.  In a sense, it is, but its so much more.  The layout stage is the point where you get to decide the look of a shot in a film, setting up where the characters will be interacting and what the background will look like.

As a layout artist, you will take the drawings from the storyboard team and basically refine them and improve them, while keeping the story clear and using the energy presented in the layout.

For this exercise we were to make layouts for a deleted scene from The Emperor's New Groove.  After being put into groups we split the work between us.  These are the shots I got:

Our key responsibilities now were to make sure each one of our scenes 'hooked up' with one another when need be.  That basically means that if the character Pacha is standing in a field in one shot, and the next shot he hasn't switched locations, you have to make sure that he is still in a field.  Communication amongst the team was key for this.

As a layout artist I am allowed to take liberties with the original storyboards if I feel they can be improved.  In this case, the first three panels are strung together, but the fourth one is separate.  I decided to string them all together and in doing so changing the flow of the scene, like so:

This was a drastic change, but it worked out for the better I think.

The last two panels I had are directly after the previous ones, so they had to hook up.  It was just a close up of Pacha, so it went relatively quickly, and I just made sure the side of the mountain was in the background so the scenes matched.

It was a very difficult week, but quite enlightening.  I'm not sure whether I would enjoy to be a layout artist professionally, but I certainly admire the work and see its importance.

Next week is Animation Jam!  Should be fun.

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