12 Principles of Animation - Staging


Staging in Animation

The purpose of staging is to deliver ideas to your audience. Do the most important objects and actions stand out in a scene? Does the scene deliver your message and evoke emotional responses? Staging is about arranging actions and composing the scenes. In the following section, we will introduce the wide shot, medium shot, and a close shot. These are the three most common and basic types of staging.

What is a Wide Shot

In a wide shot, the audience can see the surroundings and context around the characters. Wide shot is useful to summarize the background of the story, but it's not suitable to show individual characters' expressions.

Image source: Sword Art Online, Reki Kawahara, A-1 Pictures IMDB

What is a Medium Shot

A medium shot shows a character's facial expression, some physical action, and a little of the background. A medium shot includes a lot of information and it's widely used.

Image source: Steven Universe, Rebecca Sugar, Cartoon Network (IMDB)


What is a Close Shot

A close-up fills the frame with a character's head. A close shot emphasizes the expression and emotion of a character.

Image source: Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli (IMDB)


Which Shot Should I Use?

Each type of shot has its limitations and strengths. Imagine that you are shooting a film; picture a scene of your animation with different types of shots. Try to arrange the objects and characters in different positions to decide which composition best evokes the desired feeling and communicates your idea.

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