[...]and the feeling of sincerity was lost.
These two points - correct scaling and firmly planting the character's
feet in accordance with the background perspective - should be especially
stressed by the layout man in his discussions with the animator.
Keeping a workable background, regardless of any elaborate quality
it may have, is one of the most important factors in animation.
Portions and spaces in the background must be kept clear to allow
for action working on the background, such action to stand out and
not be lost or weakened by distracting detail. This is sometimes
rather difficult to do. The animators may spoil the composition
at times because they want to move something in a manner not allowed
for by the background. I think, however, if the animator and layout
man discussed their problem and adjusted their ideas, they could
probably arrange the scene so that whatever hampered the animation
could be placed to as good advantage elsewhere in the background.
Props are another factor that sometimes hinder or limit animation.
The prop may be too close to a character that has only limited space
in which to work, The animator hesitates to move a prop, but by
keeping animation in one spot he loses freedom. This is another
point that could be discussed by animator and layout man, and such
adjustments made as would result in greater freedom of action and
character, and more harmony throughout.
Regarding shadows: As a general rule I think shadows add to the
depth of a scene and give contact with the ground. I think they
can be overdone. Their use should be determined to a large extent
by the atmosphere or mood of the scene. If a strong light comes
in from one side of a scene, one would naturally expect to show
a shadow on the ground.
Mood and atmosphere: These play a great part in our backgrounds.
Instilling into our backgrounds whatever mood dominates the character,
and then trying to bring out that mood more effectively in the backgrounds,
is a worthwhile objective. For example, in
JUDGEMENT DAY, while Pluto
was on trial down in the caves - the backgrounds themselves presented
enough dramatic possibilities to outshine the animation, I thought.
The backgrounds were well conceived and executed, and the mood was
in accordance with the demands of the story.
In the first part of that picture, there were several things
in the background that annoyed me. The color of some of the props
was not subdued enough and interfered with the action - (example:
Pluto against the brown davenport.) That is another point that must
be considered in planning props. We should avoid having a character
working on one side of a scene, with something behind him painted
so strong in color that the entire scene loses all sense of perspective.
Under such circumstances, the audience keeps seeing the prop while
trying to watch the animation. It is very important to keep things
subdued where important action is to stand out. [...]