Staging & Blocking

In a previous post we had a great explanation of clear staging in Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas’ book, The Illusion of Life:

“Staging” is the most general of the principles because it covers so many areas and goes back so far in the theatre. Its meaning, however, is very precise: it is the presentation of any idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear. An action is staged so that it is understood, a personality so that it is recognizable, an expression so that it can be seen, a mood so that it will affect the audience. Each is communicating to the fullest extent with the viewers when it is properly staged.

At his blog Temple of the Seven Golden Camels, Mark Kennedy explains blocking:

The term “blocking” means the same thing whether you’re talking about film or theater. Basically, the term refers to how the characters move through the scene and how they interact with their environment, including props, furniture and whatever else can be helpful in telling the story.
When blocking is used well–especially in conjunction with good staging (and by staging I mean the placement of the camera)–it can make the difference between a series of events that are merely shown to the audience, or a powerful story that unfolds in an emotional and dramatic fashion.

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Animation Exercises by Artist Sasha Mutch

Artist Sasha Mutch conducts exercises in Animation based on the article here. These short pieces of animation serve as skill building exercises and allow her to explore a variety of ways to approach a given animation prompt. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: just as an athlete trains and exercises in preparation for a competition, an artists spends time in their sketchbook to prepare for larger projects. It’s all about pencil miles.

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LeSean Thomas’ Cannon Busters

Artist LeSean Thomas has had quite a career so far. He served as Co-Director and Supervising Character Designer on The Boondocks, worked as storyboard/production artist on The Legend of Kora, and was a Creative Producer and Supervising Director on Black Dynamite: The Animated Series. Most recently, Thomas has successfully funded his own animated series through Kickstarter: Cannon Busters.

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From Paper to Play: How They Made Lumino City

A classic point-and-click style adventure/puzzle game made by London based State of Play Games was created using some rather unique techniques when compared with typical video game development: The environments in the game were physically hand crafted by artists using paper, cardboard, and glue. This approach gives the game the look of a stop-motion animated movie; in fact, many of the production photos (above, and below the fold) could easily be mistaken for a film set.

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