Thursday, July 30, 2009

Leading the audience's eye

For those of you who are working on a short or who are working on a sequence, make sure that when you go from shot to shot that the composition of your characters works over the cut. You don't want to confuse the audience. By that I mean the following:

Looking at the Toy Story 3 teaser you can see how thought out the placement of the characters is over the cut. One of the shots is this one:

The soldier is talking to Woody. Looking up, so we expect Woody to be around here in the next shot:

... at least roughly. It would be really weird for Woody to be on the far right, so that the audience has to look around until they find him:

(altered picture)

... unless there is an important reason for that (still a bit jarring though).

In the trailer the next shot has Woody here:

And how acurate and well placed is he? Well, let's put both shots together:

Look at that!

And stuff like that is even present in crazy frantic sequences like the car chase in Bourne Supremacy. Last year I saw a presentation about that and it's really cool to see once you know where to look and what to look out for.


Images Copyright Disney / Pixar. All Rights Reserved


Alonso said...

Kevin Koch has a series of posts on this sort of thing on his blog

Yavuz said...

thank you very much for this tip. i will make a shortfilm an this is very useful.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Sweet tip Alonso, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Are you saying this kind of 'cheating' in placement of characters is a good or bad thing?

Jean-Denis Haas said...

I don't see where the "cheat" is. But either way, yes, it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Well, the placement of Woody looks much nearer to the green soldier toy than he does in the far out shot. Thats all I meant or maybe I just missed your point!

frank said...

Hey Jean Denis. Nice post. My first years are about to link some animation sequences together, so I'll point them over here.

As Alonso (Hi Alonso) points out there is complementary info at Kevin Koch's blog and Kyle Balda covered the same subject in a master class I attended this year.

So you certainly are on target with this excellent post and topic. Thanks!

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Thanks Frank!