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Set your scene proportions

Following up on the Small details make Big difference post – here is another one talking about your scene proportions. Whenever you are looking at something there is a complex calculations going on in the back of your mind that calculate the approximate sizes based on how each item relates to other items in scene. Your brain uses this information to calculate approximate distance to the car that approaches when you’re planing to cross the street. Your brain does this to give you an idea of how big something is. If a previously unknown object is isolated and you have nothing to compare it to – you can’t know it’s size. The same is true with proportion of your animation scene.

If you are modeling a scene that would fit it terms of macro photography – for example a wedding ring – make sure other elements of your scene are big enough with correct proportions to make the main element look tiny. For example if you have a scene light reflecting on your element – light should look really big compared to the tiny size of your element.

Now if you want to get an impression of really huge elements – you need to include other elements in your scene that would make them look big. For example everyone knows that hot air balloon is really huge. If you include that in your scene but make it really small – all other elements would be perceived as huge in size. As an illustration – see this example:

Recognition by Berybub

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In this example cloud gives the right size perception for the Hot air balloon and they both gives this scene a massive size – a perception of at least few kilometers in width.

There is another example which looks good visually, but from what we just talked the proportions are totally wrong.

Realistic Crime by HNGmotion

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Number element next to the body outline is as big as one next to the fingerprint. While the body outline proportions seams ok, the fingerprint looks gigantic and unnatural in size. After watching the video for the first time you might even miss the wrong proportions, but in the back of your mind there would still be a thought that something didn’t felt quite right.

Most regular viewers would feel the same and most regular motion graphics artists might make a mistake like that, but if you want to be professional – this is thing that you need to consider to create professional animations.