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Prepare to Board! Creating Story and Characters for Animation Features and Shorts by Nancy Beiman

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9

Location, Location, Location: Art Direction and Storytelling

The art director sets the film’s period, location, prop and character design, and color style. Production design develops at the same time as the characters and storyboards.

The setting is an important storytelling element. Setting and props can influence a character’s actions or support a story point.

A film’s style should aid and support the story. Design styles should not be used because they are popular or because some other artist worked that way. Overdesigned characters with a lot of pencil mileage take a long time to draw and are difficult to animate. Well-designed characters suggest complex shapes instead of illustrating them literally. You don’t need to draw every hair on ...

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