The hero of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” is trapped in a wheelchair, and we’re trapped, too–trapped inside his point of view, inside his lack of freedom and his limited options. When he passes his long days and nights by shamelessly maintaining a secret watch on his neighbors, we share his obsession. It’s wrong, we know, to spy on others, but after all, aren’t we always voyeurs when we go to the movies? Here’s a film about a man who does on the screen what we do in the audience–look through a lens at the private lives of strangers.
The film is–what else?–a coming-of-age story centered on a young girl named Chihiro, who’s really bummed out about moving to a new city where she won’t be able to be with her old friends. Her mother and father, who mean well but still shrug off her depression, are ready to move into their new home when a wrong turn on the road leads them to a mysterious, abandoned theme park. Or so they think. It turns out that the family has stumbled upon a passage to the spirit world, with Chihiro’s parents transformed into livestock after unknowingly consuming the food of the spirits without permission. Frightened and utterly alone, the only way for Chihiro to survive in this strange new world is to toil and work herself raw in a bathhouse run by a wicked sorceress.
We’ve spent the last few weeks very much focused on creating character designs. Character design is, for many people, the most compelling element of our visual development project. However, crafting a visible world for your characters to inhabit can greatly enhance the work you’ve done so far by giving your character designs context and greater authenticity.
Thomas Eccles is a freelance illustrator based out of Melbourne, Australia.
Looking at some excellent artwork by Eccles I soon realized that he makes frequent use of implied backgrounds by using an illustration concept known as a vignette.
Check out the full post to learn more about vignettes and implied backgrounds.
As we recover from our Winter break it would seem to be a good time to provide an overview of what we have planned in Cartooning & Animation for the Spring semester. Keep in mind, those of you that still need to finish or shoot your animation project will have plenty of time in January and February to work on that during sketch journal time.
However, the bulk of class project time will now be given over to new work. Check below the fold for more on that.