Friday, June 8, 2012

Directing The Eye of The Audience

DIRECTING THE EYE OF THE AUDIENCE is a very important aspect of animation. In brief, if something is moving (and other things are not), the eye is going to focus on what is moving. It probably all goes back to having to watch for predators and prey when we were hunting (and hunted) creatures. In other words "if it moves, it's worth paying attention to, because I can either eat it or be eaten by it".

Animators use this constantly. So if you watch this clip a few times, you'll see what we mean. In the background, first Fitness Class Zombie moves, and growls, while looking in (and down) at Living Corpse Zombie. Next, Living Corpse Zombie moves, and reacts, and then- BOTH zombies look towards Springtime Zombie in the foreground. With this, the audience is not only having its eye directed by what is moving, it is having its eye directed by the eyes of the zombies! What are they looking at?

With that, the foreground zombie comes to life, and lifts up the Mad Lab logo, and has his acting moment.

So the end result is a movement of the audience's eye from screen left (in the background) to screen right in the foreground! Like reading a book (if you come from a country that reads from left to right, that is). And that controlled movement across the frame (and in depth) is fun and dynamic to watch.

Cause at a basic level, the pleasure of watching animation is the pleasure of simply watching things move! It's up to the animation team to cater to that pleasure, and manage (direct) the eye of the audience- within the shot, as well as across shots (through editing).



  1. The shift in the camera's focus is yet another factor directing your eye.

    This clip is very funny by the way, especially considering how simple it is.

  2. Yes! Focus shift, absolutely. Thanks, we whipped this one out pretty fast, to showcase a new set we'd made, all our zombies, and to be a little advert for the SPACE Channel piece. I just remembered- I have a cool time-lapse of this animation being made that I haven't posted. Off to do that! :)