Composition Background for 2D Animation Stories




In this episode of Composition for Animation Background, we break down of the elements of Animation composition and framing — how they work together to create depth, meaning, and aesthetics in cinematography.


In designing a film or animation, we need something called a storyboard which is usually done by a storyboard artist or can be done by the director himself. Before making a storyboard usually we make something called a Thumbnail. A thumbnail is a quick sketch without having to add details.

Elements important in thumbnails:

  • Varietyanglesshot

  • Goodcompositions

  • Interestingstaging

This will save time because we usually will scribble, and redraw the story idea many times. Once the story line idea is clear, making the storyboard will become smoother and faster.

The Rule of Thirds.

This is one of the most important techniques to master. We only need to divide the frame into six parts three horizontal and three vertical. Then all we need to do is place the subject at one of the interconnected points.

In this line division we can also determine which part the story will focus on.

Point element.

This element is used to attract the eye's attention first in the animation that is created. With almost 90% wide and clear space we can use this technique to direct the audience to a certain point or object.

Leading Lines

Lines or Lines are the basic building blocks of composition. Vertical lines can show height and strength. Horizontal lines can show distance and calm. The lines used are useful for directing our eyes directly to the subject of the frame .


Framing which is usually used is like a triangle/circle/square. This will provide a smaller area of focus in an image. Framing can evoke comfort all depending on the form in which it is placed and the context of the scene in the animation.

Balance and Symmetry

Simply put, the components must be balanced. Starting from the right and left or top and bottom. Balance helps keep the image regular and stable.

Of these five elements, of course all of these elemental compositions can be combined.



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