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The artist selects, isolates, andmanipulates elementsfor visual coherence.If all parts are working together,the whole seems to be more than thesum of its parts.This is called the gestalt .
What is the cognitive gestalt of seeing? – Our visual process is influenced by characteristics of the perceived objects, such as: • Contrast (of value/dark to light) • Intensity (color/expressiveness of line, etc.) • Figure-ground separation (apparent depth/dimension) • Proximity/Grouping (Clustering) • Size. • Motion. • Repetition (similarity) or novelty (difference). • Closure
Some image-makers convey intentwithout using all traditional principles of design.Some intentionally violate the principles ofharmony to create a sense of discord..
One way artists help viewers see a design as a unifiedwhole is to balance it visually.In addition to position and size, visual weight is affected by factors such as color, value, and degree of detail. In general, areas that are light in value, brightly colored, or highly detailed draw the viewer’s attention more than areas that are dark, dull, or less complex; they therefore carry visual intensity and create a “focal point.”
Sometimes artists intentionally unbalance a design to create a disorienting effect. Preferences for symmetry or asymmetry in art change with the times. Also, much artistic balancing is done intuitively rather than intellectually.
We respond easily to designs that mirrorthe repetitive growth patterns of nature.Sometimes the understructure of a work of artis planned to repeat a certain shapesubtly.Artists do this subconsciously or intuitively, but to those interested in analyzing awork of art, these devices becomeevident.
Paradoxically, a 2nd way of suggestingunity is to vary elements, as slightvariations repeating a central themeor strong contrasts- a very rough-textured area contrasted with a verysmooth-textured area, a very dark areacontrasted with a very light area, convex shapes fitted into concave.Opposites seem to complete each other.
Repetition of similar or varyingelements in a design tends to set upa visual rhythm.
Planes of the Frame• Foreground• Midground• Background
Focal point: area where the viewer’seye is compellingly drawn.Techniques for drawing attention:~ Placing a figure near the center~ Placing a figure off by itself~ Creating contrast around the figure
Composition• Isolated figures have more dominance than those in clusters.• Asymmetrical composition tends to be more intriguing.• Diagonals suggest movement and action• Perpendicular lines suggest stasis, control
A final principle to consider inorganizing a shot is economy:eliminating elements that might distractattention from the essence of what thedirector needs to communicate. VS.
Mood… Black & White and monochromatic colors can lend a dreamy, thoughtful or reflective state.Transparent layering also romance or dreamlike contemplation.
Suggesting Movement…• Movement in the 2D plane is implied by eye path• Activity attracts and holds attention.
Rule of Thirds• a principle of composition suggesting that the picture frame should be visually divided into thirds rather than halves. (The frame is divided into 9 squares —where lines intersect, the image has precedence.)
Mise en Scenetotal arrangement of sets, objects, and people in a shot or scene, including props, costumes, actorsThe frame: borders of the “canvas” (like the frame of apainting).Framing: composing the objects and people within theimageThe subject: the person or object most distinctlyframed in a shot
Formalism vs. Realism• Open Form: window on the world; random composition in the frame; candid effect; suggests freedom of choice in the filmic world• Closed Form: planned and elaborate composition; formalistic and expressive; suggests entrapment in the filmic world
Composition• Top-heavy composition: makes us uneasy• Bottom-heavy composition: is more expected and commonplace
Framing the Subject• Headroom: space between the top of a subject’s head and the upper edge of the camera frame• Noseroom or look space: Space between the subject and the side of the camera frame toward which she is looking• Leadroom: Space between the subject and the side of the camera frame toward which she is moving
Proxemic Patterns• Intimate• Personal• Social• Public
Good art direction pays attention to: lighting, color, texture, pattern, juxtaposition, and movement.
Other Elements of Effective Design• focal point – Where is the eye drawn? Where is the visual emphasis placed?• negative space – Is there a “breath” of inaction for the eye that punctuates or compliments the positive space?• sophistication- Is the design contemporary, trendy, elegant, polished, classic?• visual intrigue – Does it surprise? Do we see something we haven’t seen before?• entertainment – Do the images tell a story? Does the composition portray energy and drama?• suspense – Does the image hook the audience with what it conceals and promises to reveal?• theme – Does it draw on metaphors, myths, and analogies to the familiar?
More Design Basics6 Rules of Focal Emphasis:•Objects in the upper left quadrant of a frame have focal prominence.•Large objects get noticed.•Bright objects are more visible than dark on screen.•Bright colors are more predominant than dull ones.•White space next to the focal draws the eye to the object.•Unusual shapes, camera angles, and diagonal lines get noticed.
Contrast Contrasting values provide definition,tension, and dynamism.
Color Impact & Mood • Red: Action, aggression, danger • Yellow: Demands attention; high readability • Green: Symbol of health & prosperity • Blue: Tranquility, stability • Black: Sophistication • Orange: Evokes “edibility” • Purple: Risk-taking