studio 3

Week 2 Journal

What I did:

The project plan was completed as I had Jordan ensure she was happy with it, and then manufactured a Gantt chart with it.

In collaboration with Jordan, we made a pitch for our story, with various reference image analysis.

As this pitch summarised our visual influence and had all the links to our Pinterest boards, I used this as apart of a document for audio students that Jordan advertised us needing. I watched some animated short films and although I loved and looked at the animation, I analysed what I thought about the music, and wrote notes with time references. As well as giving a little synopsis of the story and what we wanted from the music.

I also did some image analysis in class that helped me reanalyse the images I had already chosen and deconstructed by myself.

I gathered some costume related images for the characters mainly for Elora, but some for Zac as well.

As well as just generally add to the rest of my Pinterest boards.

I began drawing some hair concepts for Elora, as the hair of the 1920’s is full of curls and a lot of short hair, so just some experimentation to get something I like.

I also started experimenting with the layout of the scene.

I also began editing my storyboards, so that they could be animated for the animatic of the short film project I’m working on. Just cleaning up some lines and filling in some things so that I can move them without seeing other body parts of scenery underneath.

I did a lot of research into composition, which you can find below.

What I learnt and resources:

Composition can be broken down into 3 important factors.
1. Focal element is “something you want the viewer is drawn to immediately.”
Badly composed images, if they don’t have one or have too many is often the problem.
“Natural focal elements:
  • High Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Camera focus
  • Motion
  • Faces or figures”
Focal element influencers (help guide the viewer to the focal element/ emphasis it
  • Guiding lines
  • Framing – natural through objects or artificial through camera or lighting effects
  • Geometric shapes
Guidelines- Paths, rivers and roads are a great and simple way of leading the eye to the focal point. Symmetry in images leads the viewer to look at the centre.
Repetition creates rhythm and acts as guide lines. It’s also visually appealing.


2. Structure: “the organisation of elements based on a rule.”

“Common structure examples:
  • Rule of thirds
  • Golden ratio
  • Pyramid
  • Symmetry
  • Full frame”
Rule of thirds- also allows you to show off the rest of the scene, shows the story. Doesn’t have to be exact.
Golden ratio- focus is at the beginning of spiral- the focal element. Then the image and framing follows the tail of the spiral,  not exact but as a rough guide. Leads the eye around the image.
Pyramid composition- used a lot for characters.
Symmetry- scene a lot in architecture. Power and calming feeling produced
Full frame- a single object


3. Balance– “ensuring the visual ‘weight’ of the image is balanced.”

If you have something big on one side you then should have something else smaller and further away (don’t mirror the first objects spot on the other).
“Visual weight includes:
  • Size
  • High Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Faces
  • Figures”
Through my research into composition and thinking about framing and silhouettes I thought about framing the focus of the shot, the shape of the framing should/could also match the silhouettes that are used to construct the environment.


Central framing draws attention to one point perspective central framing- Central framing shot combined with one point perspective. This leads the eye, creates a 3-dimensional feel.
The point of perspective means that there will be natural guidelines leading to the vanishing point and therefore will be a focal point as well.
 This video got irrelevant at the end, it repeated a lot of what I already knew from other resources, but then went too much into camera shots and things that just aren’t relevant to me.
Saturation- intensity or purity of the colour. Often responsible for ugly colour work.”
Value- brightness/darkness of the colour.”
Over-saturation makes images irritating if overused, it draws attention. Can be used in contrast to emphasis elements.
Expresses mood, bright/ high saturation-happy
Low saturation- sadness, bad/ low times
Use saturation and nutshell to create focal points.
Through his explanation, I now feel like I know their importance in a scene and how they can dramatically change the mood, although I still have much to learn.
Colour harmonies
Monochromatic- one colour, best for single subjects, creates a striking atmospheric effect.
Analogous- adjacent to the colour wheel, easy on the eyes as its seen in nature, peaceful, comfortable mood.
Triadic-“Equally distant on the wheel, hard to pull off, best for cartoon/surreal scenes.”
“Not just primary colours”
Complimentary-“Opposing colours on the wheel, very popular, naturally pleasing to the eye, use one predominantly.”
Split Complementary-“Similar to complimentary, but one extended. More creative freedom feels lively and joyous.”
Tetradic (double complementary)-“Two pairs of opposing colours, doesn’t matter what pairs. Best used for foreground/background, never use 25% of each, hard pleasing.”
Learning about the different types of colour harmonies also changed my perspective on the colour palette of both Jordan and I’s scenes.
I admire Aidan a lot, he is an extremely hard worker and is an amazing artist. I knew he had done some research into composition last trimester. So I went through and read his specialisation report to see what he learnt so that hopefully he could help me. Some of what he researched wasn’t what I needed but was fascinating none the less and I rad it anyway. He also watched the same video on composition that I did, which Jordan gave me the link too.
Composition is the art of placing objects in a pleasing way that leads the eye around the image to the focal point, to focus on what you want them to see.
Using straight lines with various thicknesses and random placement as structural guidelines seem like it would be interesting and useful to create unique angles and to look at things from a different perspective. See it being useful for creating environments, as where the straight lines intersect would be options for focus points. The lines acting as guidelines. Whereas curved lines have a more organic feel and could be used more for characters as it allows more for dynamic movement and framing things.
Using symbols looks interesting and could also allow for hidden meaning.
Centred composition works well for symmetrical compositions, particularly buildings.
foreground interest and depth: “foreground interest in a scene is a great way of adding a sense of depth to the scene.” Gives dimension to the scene.
Frame within the frame:
A structure within scene that doesn’t necessarily have to encompass the whole image as a frame, like “windows, arches or overhanging branches.”It also gives a sense of depth.
Diagonals and triangles
Both can add ‘dynamic tension’ to a scene, where horizontal and vertical lines evoke stability like a person standing on a level horizontal surface. Where as diagonal lines, like sloping surfaces aren’t stable, and if someone stood on this surface they would appear less stable. Diagonals and triangles appear less in typical everyday life.
Guiding lines can also form diagonals and triangles.

The rule of odds
By having an odd number of objects it prevents the brain from subconsciously grouping the objects. This causes us to continue to analyse the image.
Golden ratio also known as the golden ratio.
Lines of sight
When a person in the composition is looking at something, the viewer naturally looks where they are looking, this is a line of sight.
Remove unnecessary objects from the scene, they are only a distraction.
Note: simplify almost undermines some of the other rules, like framing and balance. I feel like if taken too far simplifying is a bit dangerous.
Active space
When the action is depicted in your scene it is important that there is space on either side of where the action occurs so that the composition isn’t unbalanced.
Notes: a lot of it was repeating what had been said before, but there were some new details added to composition elements that I had already heard of, as well as some new ones to consider. Not a lot of detail.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Using an angled line, it separates the work into 2 triangles, one to be comprised of mainly shadows and the other or light, each side should have a bit of the other for definition and balance.

Note: this could be done on a smaller basis within an image by using this on specific objects, like characters and feature pieces, maybe.
Straight lines , horizontal or vertical- peaceful
Slanted lines, different directions- restless, chaos
Notes: could use more slanted lines in building construction in jordans to depict the confusion of elora a bit
Some of this I didn’t find relevant and found a bit confusing, but it also repeated a bit about what I already knew.

Elements of composition
Unity: everything coming together in the composition in harmony, nothing appearing out of place.
Balance : objects placed evenly throughout the image. Symmetrical placement= calm, asymmetric=dynamic and interesting
Unbalanced= makes the viewer feel uneasy, this could possibly be exploited if the image/scene should make the viewer feel unsettled. But it could also just distract them from the story/ composition its self.
Movement: use leading lines to show movement/ the path of it.
Rhythm: “a piece of art can have a rhythm or underlying beat that leads your eye to view the artwork at a certain pace.” Deconstruct the image through looking for repeated colours and shapes (look at the objects and think of the primitive shapes they are made of).
Contrast: between shapes and/or lines-curved and straight, circle or square, light and dark, colours e.g. Blue vs red, textures and line type.
Pattern: “a regular repetition of lines, shapes, colours or values in a composition.
Proportion: relationship of objects and how they fit together based on “size and scale, whether big or small, nearby or distant.”
From the video:
Straight lines, make the image feel still, angled lines evoke movement more.
Curved lines, particularly ‘s’ shapes are more aesthetically pleasing.
Negative/empty space changes our perception of objects within the work, therefore placement is very important.
Small character, large space makes the character seem insignificant with the focus being on the scale of the landscape, this evokes the landscape being large.
Close up of characters, especially if they take up the entire frame means that the character is the artwork not a feature of it, and the characteristics of the character like eyes or markings become the “characters” of the composition.
Note: really helpful and descriptive resource.
“Contrast is the difference between  elements”
Contrast creates interest and therefore draws out attention.
High contrast= quick reaction, sudden interest.
Low contrast= slower reaction, toned down interest.
Theme is also something that can be contrasted and therefore create interest, like a bear vs a child, nature vs made etc
Materials Are also able to be contrasted.
For contrast to work, there needs to be balanced. If there are too many elements being contrasted it becomes and chaotic mess, and if there isn’t enough it’s uniform and no contrast.
The background can be chaotic if the focal point is different enough to stand out.
“Rhythm is a visual shortcut the brain takes.” Items that follow a rhythm aren’t looked at as individual pieces but looked at as a  pattern in a way. Like we don’t look at every fence post in a fence, but if one is broken or Missing it will capture our attention. “Rhythm makes us see something that wasn’t really drawn.” Everything object in the scene has a place, it follows an order, like a “cloud” of leaves on a tree branch, are all there cause they grow off the tree and “elements that are going the same direction are driven by the same power (be it wind or fear)”. If something is going against the natural flow of the image it stands out and makes us wonder about what is happening.
Assigning weight to the elements of the picture
3 main weight types in composition:
“Positive space is the actual drawing. Negative space is the area outside the drawing (its doesn’t need to be empty space- it can just be the sky). Focal points are the parts you want people to look at.”
Engaging composition needs the weight to be balanced.
“Where positive space outweighs negative space, negative space can become a focal point.”
Contrast can be used to balance out a composition as balance is “about achieving a proper amount of contrast.” Like a low contrast background so then the focal point added in with contrasting values.
When someone looks at an image they often imagine themselves there. So when constructing an image we need to consider where the viewer is lead to place themselves. This involves perception.
If something is close to us, it appears bigger. So if something we know the size of appears bigger we know it’s close to us, if it appears smaller it is further away from us, by changing the size of elements and therefore setting them in the foreground, midground or background gives the image depth.
The inclusion of a scale indicator like a human, animal or even a tree if done well brings the element of scale into your image.
Tip: Keeping the image fresh so you can see it for all its details, like someone for the first time so you can see where things need to be adjusted. To get that change in perspective, in digital art flip the art horizontally or with art on paper etc, rotate it or view it through a mirror.
Cropping the image
When the image doesn’t quite look right, it may be because of the frame size so you may need to crop the image and then realign the focal points.
Expand your knowledge 
There are no rules in art, so you can still break the rules or guidelines and still create something appealing.
This was an amazing resource and helped me fill in some more gaps in my knowledge, it was really helpful in explaining things and giving examples and helped me understand a lot of what I didn’t understand, although I’m still trying to get my head around rhythm.
Also had a brief look at this:


Toggl report:



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