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Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Volume 1 by Don Hahn, Walt Stanchfield

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43 Positive and Negative

Positive and negative shapes can be used to great advantage in both layout and in animation.

For instance, a background can help set the mood for a scene through proper staging, utilizing the positive/negative. This allows the animator to capitalize on the mood suggestion and carry it even further in his animation.

A story is naturally packed with a variety of moods. The gambit runs from happiness to sadness, gaiety to seriousness, and defeat (or the possibility of defeat) to victory (or the anticipation of victory).

A series of scenes where a character feels threatened could be enhanced by using dominant negative shapes, placing the potential victim in ominous compositions.

On the other hand, if the character is “on ...

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