Staging- animated an environment before a character

This task was to animated a environment of our choosing to help develop our understanding of the staging principle of animation. Designing the background we used Background, Middle ground and Foreground to have multiple layers that would show different components to the environment, making it look more three dimensional than flat. I have animated the middle ground and foreground to have various objects in the scene move for when the character interacts with them. For instance I have animated the sign, fence, cactus, rocks and puddle to help make a plan of where the character will go along the path.

Below is a screenshot of the guide layer and the other three layers to show how I planned the timing and movement of the character. As you can see I have written some frame numbers of the key points in the animation. However throughout the production of the animation, these changed as the timing seemed to quick for the character to move naturally, meaning I had to change the key frame numbers appropriately. However I used my previous Mack the sack jump animation as reference to help get some of the timing and key poses to make the animation look more natural and interactive with the environment.


The video below has both Mack the sack and the environment animated, with the character interacting with the already animated environment. I have tried to get the character in time with the environment, but I feel that some of the key poses do not look quite right on the scene. But if I get some feedback from my peers I will be able to gain some different opinions on what looks good and what doesn’t. Overall I think the animation has come out nicely, as Mack the sack seems to move quite naturally and the environment moves accordingly. But I think some of the timing on the environment is a little off in some places.

I have also added a camera to the scene because when Mack the sack jumps around the scene, he goes off camera making it difficult for the audience to clearly see all the movement, therefore I added a basic camera movement just to help show all the movement from the character in the scene.


  • Animation principle-Staging
  • Narrative led locations
  • Every frame a painting (pause at anytime and see composition)
  • Story through colour
  • Background
  • Midground
  • Foreground

Rules when drawing a environment

  • No Symmetry (ever)
  • Perspective
  • Rhythem
  • Middle ground z axis -0.5 F
  • Foreground- z axis -0.5 F
  • These two make the image move forward to create a 3d feel to the environment using the three different layers.

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