Create visual references

Business Sectors (Suites): Animation
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 01 Mar 2017


This Standard is about your ability to produce the visual reference (model sheets, drawings and prototypes) that will be required by the animation team. This will involve translating the agreed designs for the production to produce: • character poses and turnarounds • environmental backgrounds that match the layouts provided • prop turnarounds, for moves identified from any actions in the storyboard You will need to assemble the relevant information from the production designs, storyboard, and directors brief to create sufficient visual reference material to demonstrate for the animators the shot composition, action and, if appropriate, the way 2D layouts should translate into 3D animation. This standard is for you if you create visual references.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. determine the creative, technical and production parameters that

    will affect your work by analysing the brief, script, storyboard or


    1. translate initial character designs into appropriate poses and

    turnarounds, showing all required positions, angles and views,

    with particular regard to continuity and size relationships

    1. create environmental backgrounds with appropriate perspective

    and lighting that match existing designs

    1. identify and record in appropriate places the props that are

    required in the storyboard and/or in any action

    1. produce libraries of all the necessary visual reference, including

    any appropriate turnarounds

    1. produce visual reference material that establishes the required

    mood, meaning and effect within the confines of the required style

    1. produce accurate visual references that provide the necessary

    information for use by the animation team, supported by

    explanatory notes when required

    1. deliver visual reference material in the format required for the


    1. review material with relevant people, offering suggestions to

    assist others with the production

    1. respond to feedback about the material you create in a positive

    way, making refinements as needed

    1. remain flexible and adaptable to new directions, creative

    requirements and developments in design at all times

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the aims, objectives and narrative of the production and its overall

    conceptual vision

    1. the design style and colour theme to be used in the production

    2. technical parameters, including the animation technique and

    medium that are being used and the appropriate field-guide for

    the intended output format and aspect ratio

    1. the software skills required

    2. the importance of shot composition and how characters and

    background interact

    1. production parameters, including the design and animation


    1. how the work you produce will be used in the animation

    2. the format for producing visual references for the production, such

    as model sheets for characters showing key poses and


    1. the illustration techniques and drawing skills that are needed for

    any artwork being produced

    1. the principles of anatomical drawing and perspective

    2. the effects of camera positions, angles, lens types and lighting in

    relation to characters, props and environments

    1. film literacy

    2. why it is important to record changes and agree that they are

    correct with the relevant people

    1. how to maintain back-up files of previous versions in case

    directors back-tracks on decisions


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Mar 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Animation Professionals

SOC Code



Visual; References; Produce; Model sheets; Drawings; Prototypes; Animation; Tam; Designs; Character; Poses; Turnarounds; Environment; Backgrounds; Layouts; Storyboard; Production designer; Director; Brief; Shot composition; Action; 2d; 3d