2023 |Two Weeks left for Fall Registration. Enroll Today!

Background and Layout for Animation

Background and Layout for Animation

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

Designing from story to screen

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.
Registration Now Open
Only 5 seats left
Registration Period
Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
Course Start
Oct 04, 2023

Course Format


Skills Level



8 weeks




Live (pending enrollment)

Lecture Type

Due each week
Perspective, Dynamic Sketching 2; OR good drawing foundation & strong knowledge of perspective
Photoshop and tablet

The more you know, the better.

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.
Adapting to different styles
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.

Concept Artist Generalist
LECTURES BY Jonathan Hoekstra
Course Start: Oct 04, 2023
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.

Instructor's Gallery

Concept Art
Concept Art
Concept Art


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.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Jul 19, 2023 - Oct 09, 2023
COURSE BEGINS on Oct 04, 2023
Background and Layout for Animation

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


[This course] really gave me an insight to what the artist industry is actually looking for and taught me many techniques I’ll be able to use to further my craft.


Incredibly helpful practice. Gave lots of tools, rules and tips for how to think about and approach composition. The lectures and feedback were jam packed with super valuable information. I improved a ton, had multiple “ah-ha” moments, and will continue to work with what I learned to go further.


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We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review/course recommendations!

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