Storyboard and Animatic Research

Storyboard Research:

Storyboards are used to illustrate the shots and scenes that make up the final animation and/or film, allowing you to plan out what it will look like and how to create it. A storyboard is usually comprised of a rectangular frame called a panel, this shows the content of what the camera sees. Using storyboards, you can establish the camera angles and perspectives you will use early on, as well as the locations, props and effects needed for the different parts of the animation and/or film.
To show movement, the use of arrows is generally employed. These show the direction something is moving in, be it a character, door or camera. Arrows within the panel indicate movement within a scene, arrows outside of the panel are used to show camera movement.
It is better to over explain than to leave information in ambiguity. Notes are extremely useful, helping to create clarity and communicate the information more effectively. These notes can be outside the panel, usually below, or inside arrows.

Types of Shots:

Camera Angles:
Extreme Long Shot:
-Camera is positioned far away from the subject, good for establishing the environment and the character’s position within it, especially useful for new environments, areas and locations.
Long/Full Body Shot:
-Closer than the Extreme Long Shot, showing the entire character.
Medium Shot:
-Closer than the Long Shot, usually showing a character from the waist up or down. Medium Long Shots can be used to show the character from the knees up.
Close Up:
-Close-up shot of the subject that usually shows, although it is not limited to, the character’s head.
Extreme Close Up:
-An ever closer viewpoint, usually used to highlight a specific element. Often used to show the eye’s of a character.
Up Shot:
-Camera is tilted up, viewing the subject matter from below. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Down Shot:
-Camera is tilted down, viewing the subject matter from above. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Low Angle:
-Camera is positioned lower in relation to the subject, however it is still pointed towards the horizon line. (Can be combined with the previous shots)
Tilt (Dutch):
-The camera is tiled and held in an angle, usually used to create an unsettling and unstable feeling.
Pan Shots:
-Pans are when the camera moves within an environment, physically changing position. Usually used to show the movement of the subject matter or the changing of the audience’s point of view.
Horizontal Pan:
-Camera moves in a horizontal direction, parallel to the horizon line.
Vertical Pan:
-Camera moves vertically, usually tracking a character’s movements and adjusting accordingly.
Diagonal Pan:
-Camera moves diagonally, using both horizontal and vertical movement.
Non-Linear Pan:
-Camera follows the subject.
Camera Angles, Movements and Arrows:
-The manipulation of the camera, its viewpoint, and its direction.
Track/Dolly Shot:
-One arrow that narrows to suggest movement in or out of 3D space.
-Arrows in all four corners of the panel, going in or out, showing narrowing or widening of perspective. Drawing a panel within the panel shows how far the dolly goes.
-Often used to track/follow a character through a scene, usually keeping pace and creating a background that ‘pans’ behind them.
Zoom In/Out:
-Arrows in all four corners of the panel, going in or out, showing narrowing or widening of perspective. Drawing a panel within the panel shows how far the zoom goes.
Rotations:
-Similar to a tilt, the camera moves from one angle to another in a rocking or spinning movement. The angle could range from several degrees to a complete 360 degrees rotation.
Rack Focus:
-This is where one element is in focus with everything else being out of focus, then the focus changes to a different subject within the scene. Usually this in-camera movement is paired with others, such as a zoom.
Pan Right/Left:
-Pans to either the left or right are shown with arrows on the sides of the panel.
Tilt Up/Down:
-Tilts have arrows on the top or bottom of the panel.

Miscellaneous:

 Character Shots:
One Shot:
-One character
Two Shot:
-Two characters
Three Shot:
-Three characters
Crowd Shot:
-More than three characters
Over-the-Shoulder:
-Foreground character and background character. Camera looks over/past shoulder of foreground character. Foreground character = framing element.
Establishing Shot:
-Establishes scene and location.
Point of View (Subjective):
-Camera = character’s eyes
Objective:
-Characters are seemingly unaware of the camera, as though it is hidden in the environment. Most movies are filmed this way.
Voyeristic:
-Similar to the Object Shot, however it usually involves a more ‘hidden camera’ kind of feeling, with the content being something you normally would not be able to see.
Split Screen:
-Screen is divided into segments, showing the audience multiple scenes at once.

Types of Scenes:

 Active:
-Physical movement is occurring.
Passive:
-No intense physical movement.
Dialogue:
-Character/s are talking.
Montage:
-A series/sequence of events/scenes that are related, highlighting important shots.
Silhouettes:
-Silhouetted scenes, usually used to invoke a creepy and/or unsettling mood/atmosphere.

Cuts and Transitions:

 Cuts:
Cut:
-Changing from one scene to another in order to advance the story and establish a different perspective.
Cutting in Action:
-Moving from shot to shot as the subject is in motion.
Cut Away:
-Cut to an insert shot of something, and then back again.
Cross Cut:
-Cutting back and forth between locations and scenes.
Jump Cut:
-Cuts between and inside the same shot, used to show the passing of time, especially in montages. They can be used to add urgency to a scene, adding a frantic nature and/or…
-Cuts from one shot, to a similar shot, by either matching the action and/or composition. These are usually used as scene transition, as they are often ‘jumpy’. They can also be verbal/auditory, with the continuation of sentences/music/sounds being part of the transition.
Transitions:
Fade In/Fade Out:
-Dissolving to or from black.
Dissolve:
-Blending one shot into another, usually used in montages and the communication of the passage of time.
Smash Cut:
-Abrupt transitions, making use of contrast in mood, tone and visuals etc.
Iris:
-Dark circle closing in or expanding from an area in a shot/scene.
Wipe:
-One scene ‘wipes’ off across the scene, revealing another one ‘below’ it. This can also happen with the second screen going over the first, ‘wiping’ across it and ‘hiding’ the previous scene.
Invisible Cut:
-Cuts that are hidden in blackness/darkness, the movement of an object within/crossing/leaving the scene/frame or camera motion/movement (whitpans).
L-Cut:
-Audio based transition, with the audio from the current shot carrying over to the next shot.
J-Cut:
-This is when the audio from the next scene starts before it visually appears, this technique is good for revealing a new element within the scene.
Cross Dissolve:
-One image/scene is gradually replaced by another, with the fading taking place over a number of frames with a percentage tied to each increment/frame.
Ripple Dissolve:
-Same as Cross Dissolve, however there is an effect/filter applied to make the image look distorted.
Fade-to-Black:
-Screen fades to or from black.

Animatic Research:

Animatics are essentially animated storyboards, matching your storyboard with the timing, basic audio and pacing of the animation. Animatics are effective for pre-visualisation, taking storyboards a step further. They allow you to bridge the gap between storyboards and the final animation, letting you plan out the final animation more effectively.

References

Accad.osu.edu. (2017). storyboards. [online] Available at: https://accad.osu.edu/womenandtech/Storyboard%20Resource/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Albright, J. (2012). How to Make a Storyboard – Storyboard Lingo & Techniques. [online] Videomaker.com. Available at: https://www.videomaker.com/article/f2/15415-how-to-make-a-storyboard-storyboard-lingo-techniques [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Berkeley Advanced Media Institute. (2016). Storyboarding. [online] Available at: https://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/starttofinish-storyboarding/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Creative Bloq. (2005). Create an Animatic. [online] Available at: http://www.creativebloq.com/after-effects/create-animatic-3059884 [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Storyboard. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storyboard [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Tracking shot. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_shot [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
Jazza (2013). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRgii-2Fbx4 [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
Jednet.co.uk. (2017). Kingston College School of Art & Design. [online] Available at: http://jednet.co.uk/k/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Koning, W. (2013). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ9p11r8x6c [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
Lafferty, K. (2013). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS__BxU0qOo [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Lemay, B. (2017). Storyboarding Basics by Brian Lemay. [online] Brianlemay.com. Available at: http://www.brianlemay.com/Pages/animationschool/storyboarding/storyboarding%20basics.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Lemay, B. (2017). Suggested Animation Type Books. [online] Brianlemay.com. Available at: http://www.brianlemay.com/Pages/animationschool/storyboarding/Shotselection.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
RocketJump Film School (2016). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQsvhq28sOI [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Schaaik, E. (2015). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5FqyhLGTH4 [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
Storyboard That. (2017). Camera Shots | Action Cues | Establishing Shot Storyboards. [online] Available at: http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/f/camera-shots [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Toon Boom Animation. (2017). Animatic. [online] Available at: https://www.toonboom.com/resources/video-tutorials/chapter/animatic [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].
Zamora, M. (2012). Types of Shots and Storyboard. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/ManuelMorales17/types-of-shorts-and-storyboard [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

2D Animation, Snow White and Techniques Research

The animation process used in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the use of cel animation. This form of animation makes use of sequential hand drawn frames, usually done on a stack of paper. This allows the animator to flip the pages back and forth, checking the sequence of movements in a way similar to that of a flip book. To aid with this process, of which is time consuming, key frames, storyboards, and final designs are usually established before the main body of animating work is commenced. Once the animation is mostly complete, the drawings will be traced, with ink, onto plastic cells (transparent sheets), painted and then compiled together over the background art to create the final animation.
(image)
In regards to the animation techniques used in the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, traditional cel animation was employed. Seeing as this film was the pioneer for this technique and process when it came to feature films, the large scale production was pioneering in the field. Once the story, storyboards and conceptual art had been completed, dialogue is recorded and then the animators set to work creating thousands of drawings, using pencils and traditional flip-book techniques for the sequential nature of the animation. Usually, the more experienced animators will create the main ‘key-frames’, while others will draw the in-between frames to complete the scenes and movements. After the bulk of the animating work was completed, the drawings were handed off to other employees to trace, using ink and transparent sheets of plastic to recreate the drawings. Painting came next, with every single frame (cel sheet) being painted and coloured, with the paint being applied to the back of the sheets to preserve the inked line quality. Once this has been completed, the sheets were compiled over the backgrounds, painted using Tempera or Water Colour onto panels of glass, and photographed in sequence, effectively creating the animation.
(image)
During this entire process, the animators and various other members of the studio would test their animations and seek feedback, personally viewing as well as presenting rough animations and sequences to their peers. To accompany the animation, sound effects and musical scores were creating. As they did not have sophisticated music production software back in those days, all of the sounds and music had to be manually created and recorded, allowing them to have a more authentic and real sound quality to them.
(image)
Not only did Disney Studios create the first full-length animated feature film, but it was a pioneer in large-scale cel animation, the use of Technicolour and multi-plane camera use.
(image/s)

References

Backlots. (2012). Disney Production Process and Innovations in Animation Technique in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937). [online] Available at: https://backlots.net/2012/11/28/disney-production-process-and-innovations-in-animation-technique-in-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs-1937/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Boone, A. (1938). The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). [online] Modern Mechanix. Available at: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/the-making-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Colman, D. (2011). How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made: 1939 Documentary Gives an Inside Look. [online] Open Culture. Available at: http://www.openculture.com/2011/04/how_walt_disney_cartoons_are_made_.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Walt Disney Animation Studios. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Animation_Studios [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Just Disney. (2017). Walt Disney Studios Animation – Just Disney. [online] Available at: http://www.justdisney.com/animation/animation.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
McQuade, K. (2013). The Many Stages Of Pixar Development As Told By Reddit. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/disney-pixar_n_4056840.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Simon, B. (2002). The One That Started It All… The Making Of Snow White – Animated Views. [online] Animatedviews.com. Available at: http://animatedviews.com/2002/the-one-that-started-it-all-the-making-of-snow-white/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Animation Timeline and History Research

-Thaumatrope (1824)
-Phenakistoscope (1831)
-Zoetrope (1834)
-Flip Book (1868)
-Theatre Optique by Charles-Emile Reynaud (1892)
-The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897)
-Humorous Phases of Funny Faces by J. Stuart Blackton (1906)
-Katsudo Shashin (1907)
-Fantasmagori (1908)
-The Cameraman’s Revenge (1911)
-Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)
-Cel Animation (1914)
-Rotoscoping (1915)
-El Apostle (1917)
-Felix the Cat (1920)
-Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
-Steamboat Willie by Disney Studios (1928)
-Flower and Trees [Technicolour] by Disney Studios (1932)
-Three Little Pigs by Disney Studios (1933)
-Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Disney Studios (1937)
-The Huckleberry Hound Show by Hanna-Barbera (1958) on Colour Television [Introduced in 1951]
-The Flintstones by Hanna-Barbera and Zerography Technique (1960)
-Watership Down using Dolby sound (1978)
-3D animated feature films using CGI [Rock and Rule] and Stereoscopic techniques [Abra Cadabra], Animated TV Series using Stereo Sound (1983)
-The Simpsons [Longest running American animated program] (1987)
-Who Framed Roger Rabbit, first feature film where live-action and cartoon animation, for the entire film, shared screen space (1988)
-Beauty and the Beast is the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (1991)
-Toy Story [First entirely CGI animated feature film] (1995)
-Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [Motion-capture animation] (2001)
-Wizards and Giants [First flash animated film] (2003)
-Cel-shaded animation Appleseed Steamboy (2004)
-Coraline [Stop motion character using rapid prototyping to aid animation] (2009)
-Big Hero 6 (2014)
-Moana (2016)

References

Anon, (2015). [online] Available at: https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/quick-history-animation/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Animation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animation [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). History of animation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_animation [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

History-of-animation.webflow.io. (2017). history of animation. [online] Available at: http://history-of-animation.webflow.io/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Jednet.co.uk. (2017). Kingston College School of Art & Design. [online] Available at: http://jednet.co.uk/k/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Softschools.com. (2017). History of Animation Timeline. [online] Available at: http://www.softschools.com/timelines/history_of_animation_timeline/251/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Animation Techniques Research

Traditional/Classical/Cel/Hand-Drawn Animation:

Cel Animation Reference
-About:
This form of animation makes use of sequential hand drawn frames, usually done on a stack of paper. This allows the animator to flip the pages back and forth, checking the sequence of movements in a way similar to that of a flip book. To aid with this process, of which is time consuming, key frames, storyboards, and final designs are usually established before the main body of animating work is commenced. Once the animation is mostly complete, the drawings will be traced onto plastic cells (transparent sheets), painted and then compiled together over the background to create the final animation.
-Software:
Adobe Photoshop
TVPaint
Toon Boom
Anime Studio

Vector Animation:

-About:
Vector animation entails shapes, created using digital software, being manipulated, rigged and moved. Usually, one would create several ‘assets’ that are interchangeable, layered and with several variations. This allows the animator to move the elements ‘through’ 3D space while using 2D vectors. Commonly, plugins, scripts and rigs are used for for efficiency, allowing the animator to rig a character with bone and join structures, allowing him/her to manipulate the nodes, of which then influence the parent-child relationship of the other, attached, nodes.
-Software:
Adobe Flash
Adobe After Effects
Anime Studio

Stop Motion:

DSC04195.JPG
-About:
Usually, stop motion is created through the taking of a series of photographs. Clay, plasticine and wire are common materials for models that are used in stop motion animation, manipulated and moved each time before taking another image. The amount of photos you have per movement influences your frame rate. The sequence of photographs, when played as though they are a slideshow, give the impression of video, motion and animation. Stop motion allows the animator to experience a more tactile and physical form of animation, manually manipulating the clay and creating armatures by packing that clay over wire frames.
-Software:
Dragonframe
iStopMotion

CGI/Computer/3D Animation:

 -About:
3D animation makes use of a series of software packages, allowing users to model, rig and then animate their creations. Once a 3D model has been created, a rig (similar to an armature) can be created and then manipulated. The motions, since you are working inside 3D software, can be manipulated using X,Y and Z axis, allowing you to move the model through space. Once the animation is complete, the models textured, the lighting and physics established, the overall animation is rendered and has post-production effects and edits applied to it.
-Software:
Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Softimage
Autodesk 3DS Max
Cinema 4D
Blender

Abstract Animation:

-About:
The main goal of abstract animation is to communicate emotion through the use of motion, colour, light, music, rhythm and composition. Usually, these types of animations lack story, but are instead visual and sound experiences intended for the interpretation of each individual viewer.

Motion Graphics:

-About:
Motion graphics, or animated type/font, is used widely in animation, film, TV, video and websites, especially during the title sequences of films. Although this form of animation may seem rather unique and different from the others, it is created in a similar way to vector animation, using software such as Adobe Flash and After Effects.
-Software:
Adobe After Effects
Cinema 4D

Flip Book:

-About:
Flip book animation is similar to traditional animation in the sense that it makes use of a series of sequential drawings on paper, drawn in a way that allows the viewer to flip the sheets back and forth, seeing the illusion of movement as the pages are hidden and revealed. Each page is a frame of animation, the more pages per movement, the higher the frame rate.

Zoetrope:

-About:
For this form of animation, a series of images are drawn on a drum that is then rotated, as it turns in a circular direction the viewer experiences the illusion of movement.
Animation Moodboard:
Animation Moodboard.jpg

References

Bloop Animation. (2017). The 5 Types of Animation – A Beginner’s Guide. [online] Available at: https://www.bloopanimation.com/types-of-animation/[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Abstract animation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_animation[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Animation techniques. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Animation_techniques[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Cel. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cel[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Celluloid. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celluloid[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Traditional animation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_animation[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Virtual cinematography. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_cinematography[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Filmeducation.org. (2017). Film Education | Events | Primary animation | Animation techniques. [online] Available at: http://www.filmeducation.org/resources/primary/teaching_with_film/primary_animation/animation_techniques/[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Studies, (2008). Animation Techniques. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/longroadmedia/animation-techniques-presentation[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Webneel.com. (2017). 20 Different Types of Animation Techniques and Styles. [online] Available at: http://webneel.com/different-types-of-animation-styles[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Hope Research

-Meaning of Hope:
Hope revolves around the concept and state of mind referred to optimism or being optimistic. Both hope and optimism are related to how a person perceives and expects outcomes to unfold, usually expecting a positive outcome. Also tied in with hope is forgiveness and positivity, as well as a host of positive emotions. Opposing Hope are several emotions and states of being, such as hopelessness, fear and despair. All of these states of mind and emotions are heavily influenced by past experiences, chemicals in the brain, health, colour, perception, language, culture and various social factors. A major factor in hope, optimism and despair would be environmental, with family and social environments becoming a prevalent cause of despair and depression, especially among youths and teens.
Hope and optimism are integrally tied in together, with optimism being the precursor. Those who are not optimistic, whether it be by choice or various factors beyond their control, usually do not experience or empathise with hope or those experiencing hope. However, one does not need to be optimistic to experience hope, as even pessimists can experience it, however rarely. Although optimism does lead towards a more frequently hopeful nature, hope usually has more solidity than that of general optimism. Adding to that would be the pairing of motivation and self-discipline, which are important to the continued drive one needs to accomplish their goals. It can be argued whether or not motivation and self-discipline are equally important, on one hand motivation acts as a sort of inspirational boost that usually requires some external influence to trigger, self-discipline, however, is usually internal and relies upon the willpower and determination of the individual, arguably a better long-term strategy and path.
-Hope and Colour:
Colours regarding Hope:
Aqua and Olive Green: healing, protection and peace
Light Blue: health and tranquillity
White: goodness, purity and safety
Light Yellow: intellect, freshness and joy
Dark Blue: knowledge and power
Colours regarding Despair:
Dark Red: rage, malice and wrath
Dark Green: ambition, greed and jealousy
Yellow Green: sickness, cowardice, discord and jealousy
Black: death and evil
Dark Purple: gloom, sadness and frustration
Dark Orange: deceit and distrust
-Hope in Storytelling:
Hope is an integral part of storytelling, something which helps to drive the main character/s forward. The events that happen to that character usually shape them and their personality, the way they perceive the world and their hope. Many times in storytelling, the main character will have their hope or faith tested, whether it be in a concept or cause, and their reactions are what build them as a believable and relatable being. In such cases, various other characters usually have a role to play when it comes to the influence these events have on the character, with some preaching discouragement, while others may attempt to lift up the character. The struggle of mindset, perception and vulnerability is something that helps make characters more real, grounding them in reality and making them more relatable. The weaknesses, failings and struggles of the character allow us to empathise with them, an important part of creating a believable story. On many occasions, the viewers witness the growth of the character, seeing the highs and lows of their struggle and their more human aspects, something people don’t usually openly display. This look into the characters inner workings and perception of the world around them, relating to emotions such as hope and despair, helps create a tangible emotional connection between a fictional character and the audience, whom feel as though they are connected on an individual level.
The completion of tasks, especially ones previously viewed as impossible, helps build upon the feeling of hope and reigniting it if it was lost. When it comes to despair, one may perceive the world in a pessimistic or negative way, whether by choice or circumstance. If the character is able to conquer these states of despair and hopelessness, usually spurred on by a catalyst such as an event or person, they usually do so by completing a goal or task that they previously viewed as impossible. This creates a state where the character’s mindset changes, their perceptions of the world and their abilities evolve, and they become happier, optimistic and more content with their lives and situations.
Without hope in stories, the characters would fall into despair and never leave, however the contrast between hope and despair is integral to creating a believable journey and cast. To fully appreciate the strength of the character and their ability to maintain hope, you must also be aware of the odds stacked against them, their moments of despair, and the environments and situations they are thrust into.
Overall, the combination of catalysts, willpower and completion of goals leads to and contributes to the mental health of an individual, causing their mindset to shift into a more positive and optimistic viewpoint as their perceptions of the world and their abilities change.
-Hope in art, design, literature and/or film etc.:
When it comes to the use of hope in literature and entertainment, Star Wars is a shining example. Not only did they communicate a sense of hope successfully through the story, but they did so as well through colour, design and composition, making use of visuals to enhance key story points and further the narrative. The combination of visual and story-based elements is essential for communicating the direction of a film and the themes within. Added in with those factors would be the use of music, which in Star Wars is used effectively to display the emotions and moods within the various scenes.
An essential point in the first movie is when Luke is in a moment of quite contemplation, the twin suns of Tatooine in the distance before him. The emotional orchestral track, combined with the sombre, new dawn visuals, inspires a rising sense of hope. The viewer gets the sense that the character, Luke, is realising that there is more out that, that he can achieve something great. This builds on that sense of hope, the trust in something non-tangible. The trust that there is a possibility, no matter how slim or allusive, that you are able to achieve your goals and progress in life. People’s hopes are essentially goals, usually non-tangible and seemingly distant. Even though that may be the case, the hopes of Luke and his friends are fulfilled by the end, while the nefarious goals of their enemies are thwarted by the action of others placing their faith into the Force, something intangible, like that of hope.
Throughout the movies, this theme of hope is tested again and again, with setbacks being overcome through the use of willpower and the help of friends and mentors. The themes of mentor ship, friendship and selflessness are intrinsically woven in with that of hope. This is clearly displayed through the actions of Luke, as well as that of his companions. The hopes of these characters do change throughout the course of the movies, with Luke aiming to become a better man than his father, to restore peace and vanquish the Empire. Even though he does lapse into periods of darkness and rage, he is pulled out through realisations and the help of others. Instead of executing his father and leaving him to die, he helps him remove his helmet as he believes there is hope yet for him, he may be able to atone for what he has done. That moment is one of forgiveness and connection, a moment of bonding and understanding.
The message shown throughout is that of hope, faith and belief. One should trust that there is goodness in the world, and that there is hope for even those who have fallen into periods of darkness and despair. All you need to do is pull yourself out, through the use of willpower and the support of others.
-Hope in Body and Shape Language:
When it comes to emotions, shapes serve as a powerful tool of communication. The orientation of the shape, the shape itself, as well as the relative size and proportions, combines with the context that it resides in to display an emotion, or emotions, that the viewer may connect with. When it comes to shapes, there is a spectrum of emotional readability and understanding. The clarity of the communication may range from abstract to complex, from a simple circle to a complex arrangement of angular shadow shapes that build up a villainous character’s face. To organise the types of shapes used, one may arrange them into three categories; Geometric, Organic and Abstract. When organising these shapes, one must be aware of the negative space being used and created, as this can form a multitude of shapes that could compliment, harmonise or contrast with the positive.
Geometric shapes are the more conventional, such as circles, squares, diamonds and triangles. These shapes, being so commonly used, recognisable and easily made into patterns, communicate structure and organisation, as well as order through their usually symmetrical nature. However, when their orientation is off-balance and are influenced contextually by other shapes, they may display fearful and submissive characteristics and emotions. One such example may be this; an off-balance triangle, made of a de-saturated blue, points to the right at an acute angle, while a large square, comprised of bright, saturated red, tips towards it, off-balance by an, even more, acute angle. The smaller triangle slopes away from the larger shape, appearing as though it is cringing and retracting from the presence of the square.This situation would communicate instability and danger, the triangle appearing fearful before the much larger shape, threatening to topple.
Organic shapes stray away from the structure and order of the Geometric, moving more towards uneven edges and curves. Organic shapes are usually found in nature, non-conforming and free-flowing. The easy-going nature and soft edge quality usually conveys comfort and tranquillity. Depending on the arrangement of the curves in the edges, they shapes could display energetic qualities, the example of a roller coaster may be used to illustrate this; there are both areas of slow, calm climbs that are offset by sudden drops, something that is both visually and physically tangible when it comes to the actual roller coaster, however, this needs to be communicated through visuals alone using shape language.
Abstract shapes are more of a combination of geometric and organic shapes, creating something unique and stylised. Usually, abstract shapes are used as icons and symbols, with typography being an excellent example of abstract shapes being used for communication.
The quality of shapes, their colour, and their orientation, influences the way we perceive them. A sharp, red and angular triangle will communicate more aggression than a soft edged, light blue circle. The reason we perceive shapes in this way connects back to evolution and threat processing. Threat detection, and the processing behind it, is deeply ingrained in all of us and is constructed in a way that it requires minimal stimulation to trigger a response. Sharp, angular and aggressive shapes hint at predators and danger, triggering a fight or flight response. On the other hand, soft, curved and rounded shapes and features communicate affection and bonding, this is believed to come from the shape of a baby’s face and their rounded features.
Angles are incredibly important when it comes to shape language and design, and can influence the visual response that the shapes illicit from the viewer. Shapes with sharp declines communicate negative emotions, while upwardly curved edges would garner a more positive reaction.
Colour and shape go hand-in-hand, allowing designers to communicate emotion and information effectively, tapping into the human perception of the world. To communicate hope, one should recruit the help of both shape and colour in order to effectively display the intended emotion. The combination of rounded shapes, such as the circle, with peaceful and hopeful colours such as white and light blue, communicates hopeful characteristics. This is especially prevalent when put into context, with proportions and scale applied to it within that context. A white circle, with a hint of light blue or aqua, rising above a field of dark triangles will simultaneously display hope, danger and tension, especially if the background verges on a desaturated red, or perhaps a sickly yellow-green. An important part of this composition, and what it communicates, would be the proportional scale between the dangerous and hopeful elements, the visual weight of each influencing the predominant emotion. Even if the triangles are smaller than the circle, the amount and density of them may garner them more visual weight. Achieving the desired emotional response in an image requires a fine balance of that weight, something that is influenced by size, colour, shape and arrangement, as well as various other factors.
When it comes to animation, shapes are used extensively in order to communicate the desired meaning effectively and efficiently. Character designs are heavily influenced by shape language, design and psychology. The use of geometric and organic shapes not only makes animating easier, but also helps to easily display the personality of a character. A friendly character may be comprised of a series of repeating circles and organic shapes, while a villain may be built up of triangles, sharp and angular, housed within an overall triangular envelope. These designs are further enhanced by colour, helping to solidify the emotional response that the shapes communicate.
When it comes to body language, the expression of hope can be tied to that of confidence and the transition from reclusive body language to that state. Confidence, when communicated through body language, usually manifests itself as a combination of gestures and movements. Several ways in which confidence and likeability is shown, is through smiling, a good balance of eye contact, calm movements, stillness, arms gently held in front or behind you, standing tall and straight and having your head held high. To communicate hope, a person may be in a shy, fearful position, that then transitions into one of hope. To show this, the person may look up from a hunched position, gazing upwards with open eyes. They may begin to stand, straightening their backs and assuming a confident, strong stance. The action of gazing upwards, combined with the overall postural transition, helps to communicate a sense of hope and path to success.
The use of clothing adds the perception of hope, as well as the lack thereof. Characters in movies and animation usually have clothing that reflects their personality and position in the overall story, as well as their own. In Star Wars, clothing is used to visually represent the position of the characters in the story, as well as their personalities. Luke, especially in A New Hope, are white. This ties in perfectly with the themes of hope that run throughout the franchise, with the title of the movie clearly stating the inclusion of hope as an important theme. With white being a colour that is usually perceived as representing goodness, purity and safety, it can clearly communicate hope more so than most other colours, as the characteristics of this colour are closely linked to that of hope itself. To contrast this, Darth Vader is clad in all black, with hints of red from his control panel and lightsaber communicating anger, violence and chaos. This combination of colours pushes forth the narrative of death, chaos and evil that this character represents. A middle ground between these two polar opposites would be Han Solos attire, with the combination of both black and white being prevalent in his design. This combination of black and white is directly influenced by his attitude, personality and his motives throughout the movies, tying in with his fluctuating allegiance and compassion. The Jedi, who throughout the films are known to favour nature and the humanity of people, are usually seen wearing monk-like robes that feature warm, earthy tones.
Visual References and Representations of Hope and Despair:

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