3D Animation Layout – A Quick Animation Guide

3d animation layout
Learn about 3D animation layout and how much it is helpful in 3D animation production.

In animation, the trickiest type is 3D animation. It has the same pre-production phase as 2D animation, but things change a lot when it comes to production.

After understanding the pre-production stage in 3D animation, it’s time to take the learning to the next level. We will see what happens after the brainstorming and designing and how the teams execute the plan.

P.S: Interested in learning about 3D animation comprehensively? Give a read to our guide on the 3D animation pipeline.

In this article, we will focus on the most important phase of the production stage, the animation layout, which is related to the animatic. The process of 3D animation layout should get started when the final model’s proxy geometric is about to get ready.

In order to make the 3D animation fast and smooth, and as animation layout is a bit long process, animators begin with it in the pre-production stage and continue it till the post-production.

Let’s Begin!

What is the 3D Animation Layout?

We know very well that the 3D animation layout is quite similar to the animatic. In other words, 3D animation layout is primarily a 3D variant of animatics along with proxy models in low res.

The proxy models are created for the better representation of the final 3D model with correct dimensions (shape & size) and demonstration of the model. In addition, the proxy models, along with character movements, play an essential role in starting the animation layout.

Animation layout helps the layout artist to decide what should be displayed on the screen according to the provided storyboard and instruction.

In short, animation layout is a process where the environment has been conceptualized based on the story (script & storyboard).

Here is a 3D animation layout video from the show All Hail King Julien. This will help you understand the concept of the animation layout easily. Take a look.

The Need for 3D Animation Layout

In 3D animation, at first, the animation layout seems a little basic, but it is the most important component of the 3D animation pipeline.

We all know that copying that 2D animatic in terms of character scale, movements, distance, and perspective is relatively easy than 3D layout. That is why this step is used to prevent character duplication.

Apart from the above, here are some points that make 3D animation layout essential for the animation:

  • The composition of each shot in action can be adjusted & tailored through a 3D layout.
  • 3D layout develops as soon as the 3D animation moves to the next step.
  • The voice-over or music can be placed in the animation.
  • The development process at the 3D layout will continue until it becomes the guiding element to the whole 3D animation.
  • Camera movements that are hard to adjust and portray in 2D animatics or storyboards can be easily adjusted in a 3D animation layout.
  • As soon as the 3D animation layout is started, other components begin along with it. The layout artist will start adding the minor & major details to the environments.

The Role of 3D Animation Layout Artist in An Animation House

In computer-aided animation, the job of 3D animation layout artist is the same as the cinematographer in a live-action project.

The team develops several animation scenes for the director and editing team to understand where to put what character.

The creation of an animation storyboard is the first step the layout team begins with. They create it with the collaboration of the project director. Next, the material that has been prepared in the pre-production phase, layout artists begin developing scenes in a 3D environment with them and use proxy models to make the development smooth.

The layout artist first animates a character and adds motion to it, which will become the reference point for further fine character animation. The animation that is done in this phase is usually temporary, but the camera movements made by the layout designers will be used throughout the project.

The Responsibility of 3D Animation Layout Artist in an Animation House

The position of a 3D animation layout artist is quite important in a 3D animation studio. Therefore, those artists are preferred who have a deep understanding of various points like cinematography, lighting, acting, blocking, animation, and more.

Along with the above, the artist should be creative and imagine the project at the level of success. The tasks that are referred to a 3D animation layout artist depend upon the requirements of the project and production phase, but the core responsibilities of a layout artist are the following:

  • Convert the storyboards and animatics into the 3D animation layout point by point.
  • Create proxy models and assets.
  • Compose shots in 3D environments.
  • Blocking and staging.
  • Fixing and altering the camera position in the scenes.
  • Take care of visual & technical elements in the project throughout the production.
  • To define the action and movements of the character, the layout artist places the character in key poses.

The Editor’s Choice

3D animation is not as easy as we explain in our articles, but it is easy for those who work with it on a daily basis – the animation companies.

Animation studios around the world create thousands of animation projects daily, which makes them experts at this skill set. However, animation requires patience and practice, and all those who work at animation companies are the best in their jobs.

On the internet, there are various animation companies that claim to be experts in animation are actually self-proclaimed businesses that create hype but do nothing. They charge a good amount from you and provide you nothing but loss.

Here are the 3D animation company that are the best in the business and ready to serve you according to your requirements & demands.

But if you want your project done by a company that understands your business goal as theirs and is ready to reshape your marketing strategy, BuzzFlick is the right option for you.

BuzzFlick is an award-winning video animation agency located in NYC and has created numerous 2D & 3D animation projects in collaboration with renowned companies.

It has the best and most skilled teams of animation, direction, scriptwriting, editing, production, and managers who put their 200% in the project to help you achieve your goals.

The team at BuzzFlick is an expert at explainer videos, 2D & 3D animation, 3D modeling, whiteboard animation, motion graphics, educational videos, training videos, marketing videos, brand videos, promotional videos, video ads, animated commercials, corporate videos, medical videos, logo animation, video editing, video marketing strategy, and post-production services.

You can faithfully trust BuzzFlick with your project, money, and time; we will provide animation beyond your imagination.

BuzzFlick’s sales representatives are available 24/7 at your service and are ready to discuss your project. Feel free to contact us.

The Wrap Up

Once the pre-production is over, the next step is the production, and this phase starts with a 3D animation layout, which basically is a 3D form of animatics.

3D animation layout is said to be a primitive version of the product of the 3D animation production. It helps the animators and the rest of the team to stay on track throughout the pipeline.

This step actually guides the animator to the 3D modeling, where the artist creates the complete 3D animated character.

Hopefully, you now have a clear overview of the 3D animation layout and its usefulness in 3D animation production.

For more questions, contact BuzzFlick anytime your want!

Happy Animation!

Sophiea Ank

Sophiea Ank is an animator, but her passion for reading and writing made her Content Head at BuzzFlick. She loves to educate people through her blogs about technologies, animation, videography, and games. In her free time, she watches "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and reads Paulo Coelho.

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