Posted in Writing

Animated Storytelling Chapters 4 & 5

Chapter 4

Color “can express emotion, clarify motivation, and even dictate the entire meaning of a piece” (Blazer 55).

Color Vocab

  • Hue – the common color name in the spectrum like red, blue, green, blue-green, and so on.
  • Saturation – the intensity of a color.
  • Value – the relative lightness or darkness of a color – basically how much light the color is exposed to determines its value.

“A color script is a sequential visual outline of how you intend to use color in your animated film” (Blazer 58). To create a color script there are a few steps to take:

  1. Map out your key moments.
  2. Take a step way back and try to define what color your entire story would be if it could only be one color.
  3. Once you’ve chosen that color, create a pre-color script (PCS).
    1. It’s the storyboard represented as series of single colors.

Once the hue, saturation, and value of the key moments of the story are identified, fill the rest of the scenes with solid colors in the same way that you chose your key moments.

Here are a few tips when choosing colors:

  1. Limit your Palette
    1. If you use too much color in the video the viewer will get distracted by unimportant objects that are colorful.
  2. Support (don’t upstage) your subject
    1. Don’t add too many colors in your backgrounds or on your props.
    2. Form an open area around your subject, known as white space
  3. Select one thematic and one accent color
    1. The thematic color will be a dominant color that will unify the entire piece
    2. The accent color should complement the dominant color and not overpower it.
      1. Look at a color wheel in order to see which colors are complementary
    3. Use saturation mindfully
      1. Saturated colors are very energetic and could steal the spotlight if you use them in the wrong place.
    4. Use surprise color for punctuation
      1. A “surprise” color is one that differs very greatly from the overall palette that it jars the eyes.
      2. Use it at key moments in your story to surprise the viewer.
    5. Design for movement
      1. Make sure the colors on your backgrounds don’t compete with the colors of the moving subjects
    6. Make your own rules
      1. Don’t feel constricted to the rules, make up your rules, but if you do, be consistent with them

Chapter 5

Let loose and have fun with your art. Create weird and bad art. What I mean by this is forget about carefully choosing your colors, make a mess. You may end up using some of these “bad ideas” in your projects. These “bad ideas” could turn into your experimental work. If you have fun doing them, continue to do them. Make the work you want to be hired to do. You can be successful doing one thing, but if you don’t enjoy it as much as another thing, that doesn’t mean to forget it all together. For example, I love writing film scripts, but I’m currently working on scripts for specific videos. Yes, they’re in the same ballpark, but I can still put both on my website and I can be hired to write or work on a film script or video script.

The more personal projects you do, the more creativity flows through you. One of your personal projects could turn into a book or movie, you just have to keep working on them. They’re fun to you, so it shouldn’t really be considered work.

Once you’ve experimented with weird art and your personal projects, go back to your storyboards for your video. Look over each box and see if any of your ideas can work with them. If they can, great! If not, no harm was done. One thing to keep in mind though is you should include transitions into your experimentations, and utilize them. Don’t just experiment with them and toss them aside. A perfect transition can add a whole new dimension to your video. Lastly, experiment with your movements. Everyone knows how people walk, which means people could get bored from seeing it. Experiment with different ways a person could move. Are they floating around or doing the worm on the ground to move. Don’t get trapped because your character is a human, and “they have to walk like a human”. Think outside the box.

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