I have now received a review copy of Frasier MacLean's Setting the Scene: The Art & Evolution of Animation Layout. This book is a pure delight: it is huge, it is filled with great layouts and backgrounds from all the major studios (including many never-seen-before documents) and the text is well written and extremely detailed. If you are an animation student or if you simply have a very strong interest in how layouts are created this book is clearly for you. I am extremely glad to own it and would have bought it with immense pleasure. The many interviews which Fraser conducted to write it also provide a wealth of primary information of the utmost interest.
My only reservation about this "must-have" book, however, is that it comes short regarding the historical perspective. Not that it does cover history of layouts in many ways, but due to its focus on the technique itself, the book fails to explore the contribution of key artists like Charles Philippi, or Don Griffith, which is a shame since at least one great interview with Griffith (by Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz) exists detailing the art of layout at Disney.
Again, this is nit-picking. Overall the job done by Fraser is top-notch and many of us need this book on our shelves.