Traditional Principles of Animation/Staging

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The concept behind Staging is that objects (still or animated) should be positioned in a way that they are quickly detected and are easily understood. A common mistake involves placing an object or action where it can't be noticed or in front of a more interesting object that divides the audience's attention. If your audience can't detect the action that you want them to notice, was your staging poor?

Think of this situation. Your scene involves two characters sitting at a table talking to each other. You want your audience to view their conversation by positioning your camera behind one of the characters, looking over their shoulder. Do you think the shot is staged well if part of the character's head partially blocks the face of the other character? Or, would it be better to move the camera a little more to the side so you see both characters clearly. Which of the two would represent better staging? Obviously, the second.

Try to visualize the primary objects in your scene as silhouettes. If an action occurs within the silhouette of an object, it is hard to detect. If you move the action to one side, where it's not masked by another object, it stands out much better. If you view your scene in silhouette and can't easily discern what's happening, consider using either a better viewing angle or possibly moving your scene objects so they can be more easily understood.


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