The universe is alive and vibrant in an immense and complex flow of energy. This flow is ongoing and ever presence, even to matters appearing stagnate and motionless.
We are caught in this flow and experience its presence through points of reference- movement in relative to non-movement, organic life to inorganic, time, space, birth, death in relative to Earth, moon and planets going round the sun, on and on to the Milky Way and beyond…
And because of this root reason, I think that’s why we’re naturally drawn to motion, be it animated film, music, dance, photography or painting…
To generate compelling works, I feel one must be in touch with this root energy.
A piece of art is alive when it embodied a flow of movement, even when the intent is to express static.
It’s good to acknowledge the conditions of the working space then compose and arrange all elements in relation to each other with regards to the given spatial dimensions. (In film, we’re stuck to the working boundary of a chosen aspect ratio.)
When the contours of various elements run parallel to width and height of working space, they feel locked and steady, generating senses of stability. While this aspect doesn’t generate movement, the contrasting large and small sizes of elements do.
When elements are place onto working space, they cut the background into various sizes of negative spaces. These variations of negative sizes vibrate and enticing the eye to travel from one negative space to another, in turn generating movement flow of left, right, up and down.
This left, right, up and down is further enhanced when an element tilts and angles away from being parallel to the working space.
Movement is also achieved by the flow of contour continuations, where connections to boundaries of elements and their directional flow are made.
Shapes and grouping of shapes also exert an invisible gravitational pull, keeping them locked to each other in space in a balanced relation.
To sum up, a solid and compelling composition should have clear and balance directional flow of movement with regards to the focal point of composition.
(For me, animation is part of and in context to the larger cinema language that encompassed thoughts in design, composition… to better communicate. Hope you’ll find these away from animation specific posts of some interests.)