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Exercise 39. Framing

It is not just drawing a pose or a gesture dynamically that maximizes the impact of an image or its animation. Framing, i.e., just how you place your pose, gesture, or animation within the screen frame to ensure its maximum effect, is very important too. What helps is breaking up the screen format into thirds. In other words, if you place your main foreground object or character upon one of the vertical third line positions, you’ll find that, aesthetically, the shot is far more pleasing and impactful on the eye. It will more naturally draw the audience’s eye to it if you do so. Similarly, the same can apply to your background landscape material. If you place your environment’s horizon line on the upper or lower third division line, then it will give a far more dramatic effect to everything. For example, placing the horizon line on the lower third division line will tend to give the foreground object more height, or a sense of looking up on things. Alternatively, placing the horizon line on the upper third line will conversely make the foreground subject feel somewhat smaller and as if we are looking down on it. This can give a strong psychological message to the audience if we consciously work with it. So for this exercise, draw thumbnail sketches of some of your favorite paintings, photographs, or images that conform to the third rule. Fill the next blank page with your thumbnail sketches, providing yourself with a valuable archive of framing approaches that inspire you. (Take no more than 2 minutes to complete each thumbnail.)