Dispersion drying is an essential step in an enormous number of research and industry fields, including self-assembly, membrane fabrication, printing, battery electrode fabrication, painting, and large-scale solar cell fabrication. The drying process of dispersion directly influences the structure and properties of the resulting dried film. Thus, it is important to investigate the underlying physics of dispersion drying and the effects of different drying parameters. This article reviews modeling studies of coating drying processes, along with corresponding experimental observations. We have divided drying processes into two conceptual stages. In the first drying stage, liquid evaporation, particle sedimentation, and Brownian motion compete and affect the particle distribution during drying and thus in the final film structure. We have included a comprehensive discussion of the influences of drying parameters, such as evaporation rate, particle sizes, and temperature, on the above competition and the resulting film structure. A drying regime map describing where different drying phenomena dominate was formulated based on the literature. We also extended our discussion to the practical applications of battery slurry drying an essential step in conventional battery electrode manufacturing. In the second drying stage, the physics of porous drying and crack formation are reviewed. This review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of dispersion drying mechanisms and to provide guidance in the design of film products with favorable structures and properties for targeted practical applications.