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animation background

How to become an animation background designer?

Before you know about how to become an animation background designer, I think you should get some information about background designers, which can give you a better idea about this career. [review: Do you Know the Animation Background?]

1. Do you know what a background designer does?

First you need to know, what is the task of a background designer? They design the environment or the top scenery where the animation takes place. When the storyboard is determined, they create detailed backgrounds for each scene from it by using the storyboard panel as a base and inspiration.

If you have an impression, you will know that sometimes the same background is used for multiple animation scenes. Therefore, they need to list all the backgrounds that need to be designed for the animation.

They take into account factors such as color, texture, and lighting to create designs that meet the animation style.Background designers also pay attention to the way objects in the foreground and background of a scene interact with each other. And they make sure that everything is aligned correctly and doesn’t create distractions.

animation background

When the backgrounds are initially completed, these designs are presented to the director. Background designers will handle any feedback they get to better create a background that satisfies the director. If the designs are approved, they will be further refined in line and color, which are typically done by the layout artists.

In the animation industry, an animation background designer is usually hired as a staff member of an animation studio rather than a freelancer.

Background designers may hold multiple roles. This is largely based on the size of the company.

In smaller studios, they may take on the positions of layout artist and background designer.

In larger studios, these positions will be assigned to various people.

2. What is the place of background design in the animation process?

The animation is made according to the production process. So if you want to become a background designer, you must know this workflow. Various ideas contribute to the final animation at different stages. The background design is created based on a storyboard.

The animation workflow starts with an idea, which then develops into a script.

During this stage, the storyboard artist will draw the panels to draw the animated scenes. That’ s the role of the background designers. They draw the backgrounds, while the character designers create the characters. Once these elements are finished, the layout artist decides how they will be placed in the animated background.

3. How to become an animation background designer?

A background designer can be an entry-level role. Obviously, you will first need to have a fair amount of basic knowledge as well as drawing experience. Or, in a larger animation studio, this can be a more advanced role. At this point, you can start as a background painter and work your way up to becoming a background designer.

Background designers usually have a degree in graphic arts, fine arts, illustration or a related discipline, but this is not absolutely necessary. The most important thing is that you can demonstrate very strong drawing skills.

If you are not a graduate of a related discipline, that’s okay, you can start studying now. Learn the skills needed for background design and various other related knowledge.

The most important point is your love for animation. This will be able to support you to become an animation background designer.

Wingfox has a new course on animation background design: [Workshop Fundraising] Animation Background Concept Design in Blender.

Cullen Cole, the lead background designer at Powerhouse Animation, will teach you how to design animation backgrounds.

You can learn how to design animation backgrounds from the industry leaders.

Viridian Forest by Cullen Cole

Pokemon was probably one of the most influential things in my life that led to me doing art! I forgot to save the non color sketch but the color one is here.

Here you can learn the whole process of creating backgrounds in animation settings. We’ll go through a concept design phase that focuses on switching back and forth between sketching and 3D modeling. We use Blender to go further into modeling, lighting and rendering. Find the composition in the model according to our script description. We will render out some images to be used in the final drawn background. Plus the benefit of adding simple characters and final image adjustments.

After this tutorial, you will know valuable knowledge about the animation industry and professional methods used to create background paintings.


  • You can get a great discount if you join our [Workshop Fundraising] pre-registration campaign now!
  • You can get $99 off $59 for pre-registration.
  • The first 20 people who pay the final payment will get $100 off.
  • If you pay the final payment, you will get a 180-day Wingfox Plus membership.

What are you hesitating for? Click the button below to join the course. Get ready for everything before you become the background designer of the future.

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