A background artist is involved in the process of animation. He is the one who establishes the style, colour and mood of scene, as characterised by the writer, artistic director, or client in the story. The work of artists is very creative and this creativity can be seen in motion pictures, television, video games and other forms of media.
In animation, the line drawing of the background for a scene is a background layout. It is not the finished background painted in color but just a sketch.
Background layouts are drawn from storyboards which define the action and perspective in the scene. The difference between a storyboard artist and a background artist is that a storyboard artist draws backgrounds in a rough, simplified style, but on the other hand background layout artists take them to the next level by defining the detail and perspective. The line work is just a part of the finished background.
A background designer has to visualize new locations when they are called for in a script and has to consider the action of the characters as well as the mood of the scene. These design drawings are given to the storyboard artists to show them what a place looks like. A lot of creativity is involved into making places that are made believable to the people in the world of the characters.
Backgrounds must support the narrative of the story, most importantly. Designers take into account things like the personal style of characters or the imaginary neighborhoods. Artists draw places that have history, like showing what has happened previously in a location, even if it never happened they design it to make it look like some event happened in that particular place. The artists can also show the history of a place long before the characters even existed.
A background designer has to do two things:
to design backgrounds for new scenery, and
to draw/paint those backgrounds for the final animation.
Some studios hire background artists who entirely paint the final backgrounds. And sometimes background painters also fill the role of a designer where they create new locations with some help from the art director. All background painters & designers follow a unique style based on the animation.
Each cartoon has its own unique style and the background designer needs to create places that can be real and that mixes into the cartoon’s artistic style.
There isn’t much of a difference between jobs for background painters, background artists, and background designers.
Background Artist Job
Many background artists use traditional methods such as painting or drawing to create backgrounds.
Artists may use digital media such as Adobe Photoshop to produce desired backgrounds for the story.
A background artist needs details and in order to do that he communicates with the artistic director, director, editor or writers from time to time in order to establish idea of what the desired background should be like.
They may involve painting primarily background keys or the establishing shot for more definition.