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34. The Invisible Actor

Half-Day, Tuesday, 2 August, 1:45 - 5:30 pm
Room 515A
Level: Beginning

An examination of the role of staging and composition in computer-animated films. Using examples from "Madagascar," the course explores the core elements of composition and how they are used to create a visual style.


None. A basic understanding of the terminology and principles of computer graphics and 3D animation is helpful, but not required.

Intended Audience

Animators, artists, and other attendees who are interested in the artistic aspects of visual storytelling.


Ewan Johnson
Denise Minter
DreamWorks Animation


1:45 Introduction
1:50 Basic Elements of Composition
- The Frame
- Points
- Line
- Shape
- Value
- Color
- Texture
- Pattern
- Contrast
- Depth Cues
- Space
- Intrinsic Elements of 3d
2:35 Putting the Pieces Together
- Creating context - Building the Complete Picture
- Working Across Shots
- Types of Treatments
- Staging and Camera as a Character in the Film
3:15 Break
3:45 Approaching a Scene - Marty is Gone
4:15 The Camera Arc of Madagascar
5:05 Character Driven Camera
5:25 Wrap-up & Questions & Answers

Johnson and Minter