Staging is how you direct the viewer’s attention to the shot. For the aim of grabbing the viewer’s attention, animators use poses and actions of characters, their placement in the frame, background, and other elements of the scene. In this way, animators convey to the viewer the mood, reactions, emotions of characters in a particular story. Staging helps to inform an audience about narrative as well.
Staging design principles
Staging is a powerful tool of the storyline. The animator creates a unified composition in every scene. Staging is connected to acting, timing, and setting. First of all, the focus should be kept on what really matters. This can be done by various means, such as the placement of a character in the frame, the angle and position of the camera, and so on. To get a good result, he or she needs to adhere to some principles:
- keeps the characters in a half or third of the camera frame for focusing on it;
- avoid unnecessary details – one clear action at a time, instead of many simultaneous actions;
- relates to the timing of action;
- the background should not distract the viewer’s attention with a lot of details.
So, background, foreground, and characters should work together and complement each other. They should express the clear intention of your characters through every pose or action. This will help the audience to accurately interpret the message you want to convey. This is extra important for educational videos, explainers, and so on.
Where else is the staging used?
Staging is used in theatre, cinema, TV shows, etc. Animation videos should be created according to the same principles as more complex products. There are many techniques and tools in staging that can help an animator tell the story more efficiently.