Sorry, it's been too long. But I am back again, and time to share some knowledge.
If you haven't seen Dreamwork's Trollhunters, available exclusively on Netflix then you are missing out.
Seriously. Missing. Out.
It's a beautiful masterpiece that I can't wait to divulge into deeper in more than one way. But currently there is only one thing I want to look at.
The Lighting behind Trollhunters.
Trollhunters is made in a very cinimatic way, meaning that you can tell that it's made by a director who is a filmmaker, not an animator. And it's true, Del Toro is the mastermind behind it and he very much comes from a live action, 'real film' background. He brings us movies like Hellboy and Pacific Rim.
Just look at this shot from Pacific Rim:
With a movie full of weird monsters and giant robots, it's easy to get lost in what the hell is happening. But he has an excellent use of silhouette and color. The warmth of the sunlight is countered by the bright neon blue breaking into an otherwise black sky.
Notice, and we'll see this a LOT in Trollhunters:
The Guy Doesn't Fear Black Colors.
Seriously, look at the areas of the screen that go to black! Boy if there was one thing I learned, or 'unlearned' from doing animation is to avoid blacks. That's not the case! Get it out of your head as I get it out of mine, Blacks/darks are imperative to good storytelling.
Embrace the screen hitting blacks. But do it with purpose.
As those of you who know me in real life are aware, I am a huge fan of Miraculous. It's great, it's cheezy, it's adorkable and more or less it's just a fun time.
Love it. Hug it.
HOWEVER, for all the beautiful textures Miraculous has, and boy does it, It. Has. Terrible. Lighting.
Look at this:
I mean, it's totally adorable.
However, look at how boring that lighting is. I mean. Really. And every shot is like this.
But, look at this shot:
And I made sure to get one that's outside in broad daylight, because the time of day of both of the shots I am showing you is virtually THE SAME.
Which one has more interest? Which one draws your eyes in?
Trollhunters frames the shot, it tells you where to look. The BLACK of the top of the screen, and yet look at Jim's head. You can still see his hair being rim lit off of the dark background, even tho he has black hair!
The beautiful frame job of the lighting, even if you black and white this puppy and take all of the colors out:
Your eye is pulled to the center of the frame. There's a good mixture of tones, like a well balanced painting. Your eyes are pulled down to the rocks at the base of the screen where Jim is looking. That's where the amulet is. That's why they want you to look there.
And it's not just that scene, it's every scene.
Look at this shot below. It's a classic indoor shot, however, look at how much interest they added by having the light stream in the windows, and the bounced lighting from the hallway on Jim's face.
When his mom rolls over in bed, boy do we notice because that's where the light is telling us to look! We see Jim's face & his mom's face.
That's what's important.
Heck, look at how dark they let the side of Jim's face get!! The top right corner is LITTERALLY BLACK. HIS SHIRT IS ALMOST BLACK.
Lighting. Lighting. Lighting.
Tell the story with it. Let me know where to look. And they rim light his right shoulder to pop him off from the dark background.
A very simple shot. It's just his head as the amulet is calling to him.
Can't make that too great, right?
I'm just going to let you look at the lighting of this one. Notice the direction and the ambient lighting and pick out the things you notice about it yourself.
Last one, and then I'll jump off.
You might be asking yourself, but what about night shots huh? What do you do then huh? How do you do this then?
Glad you asked!
BOOM. Notice the colors used here: we have the warms of the sunset and the bitter cools of the shadows. And then we have this blue eerie glow showing us directly where to look.
Even the house is warm lit!! Ah! Love it!
"You know that thing I was trying to show you, this is it." - Jim to Claire ep 12
Full blown night shots? No problem! Where's the light source? The house. It gives a warm glow that bleeds onto Jim's face. The deep blues of the night encircle him but at no moment do we loose him to the background, due to the expertly placed rim lighting pulling Jim's hair again from the background.
The shot composition alone of this shot is amazing, but alas, I will touch on that later. Just enjoy the shots I attached below and use your own deduction to see how amazing these simple shots are done with elegance, using the techniques I told you previously.
Don't worry, You'll be getting a lot more of me soon. I'll be breaking down stuff as I learn more for my current project.
Oh. Don't you know? I'm working on "Krono Keeper" now!! Hence why I haven't been posting much.
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