Andy Gaskill

Was an animator, art director and storyboard artist and worked on films such as The Lion King (1994) Hercules (1997) and Treasure Planet (2002).

His storyboards for Elton John’s song impressed the movie’s directors so much he was asked to be the art director.


What I love about the backgrounds for the Lion king is how realistic they are. I also admire the warm colours of the image above which creates a mood for the film, as well as backgrounds being used to show the grand scale of the scenes.


On the above link you can see Andy Gaskill talking about their inspirations for the art direction and how they came to the final outcome.


Maryanne Thomas

Background painter, designer and art director for Lilo and Stitch 2

What I like about this art direction is the use of watercolour painted backgrounds instead of using a traditional technique, and also the simplicity of a lot of the backgrounds.


Bryan Konietzko

Art directior, writer and producer for Avatar : The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

Although both shows are set in the same universe, and the backgrounds for each follow the same planning of showing the epic, grand backgrounds of the universe. However, they are set years apart, and show the progression of the development in the world and how this has an effect on both old and new characters.

He was influenced by other epic “legends and lore” properties such as LOTR, but wanted to approach it differently. He also had a love of Japanese animation, Hong Kong action and Kung Fu cinema, yoga and Eastern philosophies with led to the initial inspiration for Avatar.


Daniel St Pierre

Art director for Tarzan.

While working on it he and his team developed a patented process called deep canvas that allowed them to animate 3D backgrounds before animating the characters, enhancing the depth of the background.

I like the inspiration from realistic forests and jungles which can be seen in the background art. It is also used to show the scale of the jungle in relation to the characters. I also enjoy the way that light filters through the leaves to the jungle floor, casting shadows in certain areas and lightening others.


Daniel Lopez Munoz

Art director for Up and Veggietales

He participated in the character design and designed lighting in several sequences of the film including “married life” montage.

I especially like the change in lighting between these two images which can signify the change of time and descent towards the end of her life, also shown through the movement of her character. The art direction is used effectively to portray the mood and atmosphere of the animation.

He was devoted to Japanese animation since childhood and was inspired by films by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki.

Kathy Altieri

Art director on The Prince of Egypt

A lot of the backgrounds make interesting use of scale and are also visually stunning. The use of colour and light in the top image also shows the harshness of both the sun and what the slaves are exposed to in their work. The bottom image has a nice contrast in the shadows of the whale being backlit, and the torches in the foreground. It also shows the contrast in scale.

Notes from each Art director and notes taken in class



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