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Am I Blue? Creating Character Through Color

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”

—Pablo Picasso

Color may be considered an independent element from character and background and can be used to convey an emotional meaning for both. In the early days of animation character color was interpreted very conservatively. It was considered desirable to have characters painted in rich, saturated hues that allowed them to read well over watercolor-wash backgrounds. Some films used color to emphasize a scene’s emotional impact, usually by varying the lighting and tone on the backgrounds. These techniques sometimes became stereotypical. As we saw in Chapter 17, dramatic events in animated film often coincided with the sudden arrival ...

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