Composition Tutorial

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

In week 5 were asked to use the rule of thirds composition in our tutorial on Monday.  What is the rule of thirds? check out this website that I used for research into composition. It is very informative both for rule of thirds in regards to composition for photography and artwork.

We were given seperate photos and asked to frame a part of the photo with Photoshop to show the rules of 3rds.

This involved equally dividing the image into 9 pieces, or 3 rectangles at the top, middle and bottom of the image. I think this image is the best example of this theory because the horizontal lines of the building are align with a 3 by 3 grid.

The composition of any scene is very important as it can drive an image, or even animation. I intend to use these methods in my concept art, and also try to include the theory of composition into my 3D renders / scenes.


In week 6, during a graphics and design tutorial, we were told about composition in photoshop, and using basic shapes, we were shown how to create a mood or feeling to a scene.

Here is a list:

Positive Space/Negative Space


Here are a couple of examples.


Even though very simplistic, you can see how it shows you exactly what it’s meant to. On the scale example, imagine if the big square was a robot.

and the little square was a human. How would you know that the robot was ginormous if there wasn’t something small to compare it to?


The main composition that I intend to look at in my piece is TENSION. Purely because it is the premise of my movie. Two tribes at war. Think of transformers for example, and the conceptual imagery for the movie:


Notice how the decepticon’s eye is almost touching the earth? That’s tension for you. Its slightly similar with the main game front cover too:

I’ve used this as an inspiration for some 2D art for my bundle.


Colour theory is so important to animation / film / game industries because without it, they would get no emotional response from their audience on a visual reference. Take Pixar’s ‘Up’ for an example,

Colour determines the mood, and gives subtle context throughout the entire film.

In a 3D world, the colour is mainly created through atmospheric controllers, and lighting (my ideal job in industry) but before hand, the colour scheme has to be carefully planned out with paper and pen. So much importance has colour, that in some companies there are jobs that allow people to do nothing else but.

Basic colour theory tells us that there are a few main types of colour:

  • Analagous
  • Complimentary
  • Tertiary
  • Compound

If you ever want to see how these schemes work, go to Adobe’s Kuler website. It allows you to pick a colour, and a colour theory scheme, and then it brings up the colours for you. For example the colour scheme used in the image above, is:


Using colour theory, we were asked to ‘colour in’ some characters, using only the correct colour from each individual group.

I love how this man looks like a ninja turtle. I t wasnt intentional. Honest.


I made him again, used some of my own brushes and used the colours from KULER’s website. Thankfully, he now looks less like a ninja turtle.


Next we had a tutorial in regards to how colour effects mood when in a scene. Wwere given some black and white images that looked like this:

and we had to make them look like this through use of colour:

You can see more interest has come to the photo now, it looks like there’s a sunset outside, but a really cold shed inside.


Very eerie. Almost Bioshock like.

Despite this, a mood would have been created no matter what colour I had used, so I guess it’s down to how you wish your audience, or gamers, or viewers to FEEL.


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