Background and Layout for Animation | CG Master Academy

2021 | Winter Registration now Open!

Registration for our 2021 Winter Term is now open!

Background and Layout for Animation

An 8-week course where students will learn the principals and production skills of an animation background designer

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Designing from story to screen

In this courses students will cover: composition, prop design, designing a focal point and building layouts around it, style exploration, layout construction, and design principles. By the end of the course students will have a strong grasp of the job of a Layout Artist/Background Designer. They will be able to use film theory to design any composition and complete the layout.

Students will learn what it means to be a background/layout artist on a production, and what is required of an artist in that role. They will learn how to adapt to different design styles and different productions (this versatility is required of artists working in the industry). They will learn how to design layouts using a storyboard as a guide as well as how to move the camera in the scene (reverse shots and tilts). In this course students will complete: thumbnails, prop designs, and 4-6 layouts.



Course Format:   Live
Lecture Type:   Live
Feedback:   Live (pending enrollment)
Duration:   8 Weeks
Assignment:   Due each week
Q&A:   Live
Materials:   Photoshop and tablet
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Perspective, Dynamic Sketching 2; OR good drawing foundation & strong knowledge of perspective

Background and Layout for Animation WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Thumbnails - Composition Bootcamp
Wedging, Plant spheres, Leaf creation, Boxes, Barrels etc.
Designing a Main Focal point | BMS and BvS(how to populate Layouts fast) | Build a Layout around a Focal point.
Blow up Chosen Thumbnail 1 - Exterior Layout
Finalizing Layout(s)
Blow up Chosen thumbnail 2 - Interior
Finalizing Layout(s) | Assembling Portfolio

Prepare to meet your master.

Jon Hoekstra is a Matte Painter, Concept Artist, and Visual Development Artist who has worked for companies such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros, eclipse, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He has previously taught at Art Center College of Design, from which he received his BA in Illustration - Entertainment Arts in 2013.


January 23rd!

Winter TERM Registration

Oct 26, 2020 - Feb 1, 2021




January 23rd!

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.

Speak to an advisor

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Show us your skills

Not sure if you have the skills, or are you proving you do? Show us.

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