Friday, September 4, 2015

Jungle Book Layout/Background

This has always been fascinating to me: The relationship between Disney layouts and final backgrounds. It is interesting to see what the background painter changed from working with the layout. For example, the layout above from The Jungle Book suggests a dark, cloudy sky, a storm might be approaching. The BG shows sunlight, mid day.
Comparing the two, I would say that I prefer the dark foreground level of vines and branches in the layout. The highlights in the final painting compromise the depth of field.
I wonder how much Disney's layout and background artists used to argue over color, contrast, light etc. 


  1. The layout drawing looks more like the opening shot of the village - with that foliage obscuring the path. Perhaps the BG artist was just given a copy of the opening layout with added instructions to brighten the scene and leave the path clear?

    1. I mean the layout for the opening scene of the film.

  2. The final is definitely beautiful, but the lightness of every layer kind of washes everything out, and there's less highlight / focus on the village than if they had surrounded it by dark foreground and dark sky.

    I prefer the darker version too.

    It definitely seems like they were leaning toward darker surroundings in the early stages though, as also intimated by a shot you posted last year of the same scene:
    (Seen in this post: ).

  3. nobody in layout or in the BG dept ever had their own choice, and there were no discussions about different possible color and mood versions. everything was ordered from above, director to art director, art director to head of BG, head of BG to BG painter. and the layout artists had no influence when it came to color, nor could the BG painters discuss the layout linework. film-making is not a democrratic system, if it was, then films would look like created by hundreds of individuals in hundreds of different looks.

  4. The final design serves the action batter and leads your eye back to where it needs to be the darker layout does the opposite in my opinion , leading you around the figure and not back towards it. Thanks fer sharing and comparing!