analysis 1

4 12 2009

this is the first of a series of new posts where I try to analyse animation backgrounds by their composition elements. it is in a way going backwards to the point where the layout artist started to plan the scene all the way to the selection of the right colors. here now the first example broken down into these steps. I chose one of my favorite pan background from disney’s BAMBI. the BG is a recreation using screen captures from the DVD release. the original BG does not exist anymore.

recreated background


values – distribution of darks/lights

dynamics/basic composition

basic primary colors

visible framing + composition

© disney enterprises, inc




5 responses

4 12 2009
Ignacio Ochoa

Magnificent analysis!! It is a habitual step in the creation of a Background to define the basic primary colors? Or it is only part of your analysis?

Thanks by educating us, Hans.

from hans –
when you define the basic colors for every single sequence you have to decide in what color-range you gonna place your colors. that is the moment when you limit your colors into a basic direction, like blues for night/greys for sad moments/fresh-colorful or aggressive-contrasty.

4 12 2009
Ignacio Ochoa

It called my attention, how in the analysis of the basic primary colors, there is a lot yellow and blue (consequently green too), and only a few touches of red. But then I recalled that on that image there is a character too. In this case I suppose that is Bambi (he has a color close to the red) and thus the image is complemented magnificently. I am in the certain thing?

Sorry by bothering.

Thanks again.

from hans –
yes, you are right. and the character reads perfect in front of these different colors. besides that the colors are muted in the final BG and the character in front is a bit more colorful.

4 12 2009
Zero Mojo

Your approach reminds me a little of backwards curriculum design…figuring the goal, product or skill set you want the student to achieve/acquire, and build the lesson plan from that. Didn’t Roger Ebert do a shot-by-shot analysis of Citizen Kane? Hans, have you ever done a shot-by-shot of an animated feature?

from hans –
not yet. but soon – as soon as the school in singapore is up and running.

4 12 2009
Kurt Huggins

I love this site and all the artist you’ve introduced me too, but I especially love all the trouble you go through to recreate these backgrounds.
Now, I could be wrong, but it seems like a rule of thumb with animation backgrounds to move from a light area, through a dark area to another light area. Is that true?

from hans –
it depends on your action. but, to make it more interesting, yes – that’s a way to do it.

17 12 2009

These studies are great! I love learning about staging and the importance of strong composition. Thanks for posting the breakdown!

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