Sunday, 18 October 2009

Library Research

I was recommended by my father to find a book which talks about a variety of aspects associated with filmmaking. The book is called Working Cinema Learning from the Masters by Roy Paul Madsen. 

I went to my local Library in Croydon and managed to find this very book. The most important details I wanted to record were what was written about Lighting and Layout/ Composition.

Lighting according to Vilmos Zsigmond:

"The cinematographer is responsible for lighting the set ... he or she "paints" with illumination to create mood. The most astonishing range of interpretations is possible through the manipulation of light intensities, colours, textures, and patterns of light and dark. One actor actor or actress, posing without expression, may be given a dozen identities, a hundred personalities, a thousand shades of emotional meaning through evocative plays of light and shadow. One cannot exaggerate the importance of lighting in creating emotional qualities..."

" ratio - the proportionate amount of light falling on the subject from the primary source as compared to the amount from the secondary source - affects the mood of the scene and interpretation of the subject."

"Tonality, the overall proportion of light to dark in a scene, is important in creating mood and atmosphere and interpreting the subject to the viewer. Emotional connotations are created according to whether the scene is illuminated in low-key or high-key. Low -key means that more than half the image is area is devoted to darks and halftone values. Low-key tonality creates an aura of of ominous foreboding, of implied menace, of imagined fears of the night."
"High-key tonality means when more than half of the image is  committed to light and bright values. High-key tonality most often implies cheerfulness and gaiety."

Composition according to Vilmos Zsigmond:

"If a scene is poorly composed, the viewer's gaze may wander all over an establishing shot before it finds the director's intent."

"The arrangement of shapes ... is an attempt to create the illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. Design ... has has certain elements in common with painting: the arrangement of lines, forms, values, textures, and colours for aesthetically pleasing effect."

"The thrust of a major shape or line brings the audience's attention to the subject in dramatic focus."

"Perspective lines and composition of subjects in depth send the gaze of the spectator  to the subject in dramatic focus."

All the above points made focus on filmmaking, nonetheless these observations I believe are  just as important for environment design in games or film.

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