I've made a layout drawing of the baby sitting in his highchair. The goal here is to design a composition that allows the action/animation to read clearly and is staged so that the gags and acting are the focus. I've allowed space for a spoon to enter from the left, this also gives the baby room to lean forward and bite food from the spoon.
Because I am doing this project alone I needn't clean-up my layout. I am also working quite small. This layout is drawn at a 4 field, roughly 3"x4". (more about fields in a later post)
The choice of working smaller was made for a few reasons. First, it's a good size for me to draw and not fuss too much over details. Secondly, when animated, I want the hand-drawn line to be part of the life of the animation. Another reason for the small drawing is a technical one, it takes less time to scan a small drawing.
I began by roughing out the drawing in blue, as you can see, and after looking at it for a moment I noticed that I had made the field too tight, not enough space around the baby. As a matter of fact I had cut his cute little feet off. The back of the chair was also uncomfortably close the right edge of the frame. When I tightened up the drawing in black, I widened out a bit and it felt much better.
I'm pretty happy with this layout. It meets the needs I have for composition and clarity. Now I can begin animating. Since I'll be doing some tests and experiments I'll keep the scene short, about 5 seconds. This will be long enough to give me enough information to make some choices that will, hopefully, give me the look I'm after. And it will be short enough to get it done quickly.