Monthly Archives: November 2013

Behind the Magic (Part 2)

 Gallery

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Interview with Jonathan Ng, director of short film Requiem for Romance

Interview with Jonathan Ng, director of short film Requiem for Romance

by LAURA OPREA on Nov 17, 2013 • 9:26 pm

Requiem for Romance

Requiem for Romance

Requiem for Romance - poster

At the beginning of this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the ten animated shorts that have been shortlisted for the Best Animated Short Film category. Amongst them I found a beautiful animated short film created by Jonathan Ng and I’ll be talking a little about this film.

First let’s see who Jonathan Ng is.

Jonathan Ng is a Toronto-born animation filmmaker based in Montreal, who studied traditional animation at Sheridan College, where he produced the film „Sherry, like the Drink”, an emotional short film dedicated to his mother. After studying 3D animation for about a year at Seneca College, in 2004, Jonathan moved to Montreal, where he wrote, directed, and animated his first professional film entitled „Asthma Tech”, at the National Film Board of Canada. The film tells the story of a little talented boy suffering from asthma, who overcomes his condition with lots of imagination, succeeding to make friends. The simple drawing, with emphasized contours and simplified backgrounds, sometimes leaving visible the drawing lines, represents the best way of telling wise stories to the little kids.

After freelancing as a 3D pre-vis animator on such feature films as „The Spiderwick Chronicles” or „The Mummy 3”, Jonathan pursued his animation filmmaking studies at Concordia University, in 2009, where he experimented with different themes and media producing two films: „Just Another Floor Kids Battle” and „Alpha Beta Complex”.

In 2010, Jonathan was awarded grants and financial support from SODEC, Canada Arts Council, Bravo! FACT Charles Street Video and NFB, for his short film „Requiem for Romance”. During this time, he was simultaneously working as an animator for Jean-Christophe Dessaint’s „Le Jour des Corneilles” and the animated series „Ugly Americans”.

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RequiemForRomance_Print_Act6_HorseFall01_LowRes1-640x359

RFR_BoardFormat006_ForWebRequiem for Romance” is the love story of a young couple, Yun and Tsai, breaking up over the telephone. The call is illustrated as a Chinese duel, each harsh word being the equivalent of a series of strikes. The Chinese backgrounds created in ink painting, the cultural prejudices and the desire of adventure have more sense in the feudal Chinese context, where the conversation is taking place on a visual level. All natural elements aren’t randomly chosen, each one having an equivalent within the message of the story. It seems to me that the fire is associated with the end of the relationship and the rain seems to have a purifying sense, associated with silence and resignation. “Requiem for Romance” is a short martial love story, created using the Chinese painting style, with an ever changing colorful mood.

Jonathan Ng gave an interview for http://www.animationmagazine.eu, which I would like to share with you.

What determined you to follow an animation career?

My career in animation was a chain reaction arising from an early interest in drawing. Once I decided to pursue art, I went to a special arts high school, where I experimented in painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. I realized after learning other aspects of visual arts that my passion was still in the drawing medium, and at that time, the only career options for drawing were architecture, comics or animation. I think I gravitated towards animation because I love creating drawings that express movement. My father is a physicist, so he engrained a lot of knowledge towards movement at a young age, I wonder if that had something to do with my fascination for movement.

What inspires you in creating an animation film?

For animated film, I am inspired to tell stories that mean something important to me. Animation is a medium that requires so much time and dedication, so much thought and planning. I can’t see myself working on a film that I don’t care about. As such, I think a lot of my films come from some kind of personal experience. From the technique side of things, I’m inspired by trying different media in drawing, and experimenting with using a technique that reinforces the themes of the story. I like trying new things, breaking out of existing conventions, and seeing if they work.

I think there’s a big change of style from “Asthma Tech” to “Requiem for Romance”. Tell us a few words about your animation technique.

My visual style has evolved over time. Asthma Tech’s style was evolving from my first film “Sherry, like the Drink” which was a film about my mother, who was a teacher for young children. When she passed, I wanted to make a film that expressed a celebration of her life that would be attractive for her students to watch. After the modest success of Sherry, I had the opportunity to make “Asthma Tech”, another film for children at the NFB, that expressed the story of my experience with asthma and how that shaped my learning how to draw. However, after going back to University, and experimenting with more techniques, and darker styles, I wrote a script about a period of my life in young adulthood, “Requiem for Romance”. This film was influenced more from Chinese animation from the 50s and martial arts films, and melancholic stories like In the Mood for Love and other dramas.

If I understood right, you were part of the great team that created Jean-Christophe Dessaint’s „Le Jour des Corneilles”. How was that experience?

Yes, I was part of the team that worked on Jean-Christophe Dessaint’s film “Le Jour des Corneilles”. This was such a pleasure to work on. My first 2D animation feature experience. I met the animators from “Triplets de Belleville” who live in Montreal, as well as one of the supervisors from “The Illusionist”, and it was a real honor to have them as colleagues. I learned a lot, and now I am looking forward to working on another French feature film called “Un Monde Truqué” which is based on the comics of Jacques Tardi.

How did you create „Requiem for Romance”? Tell us a little about the story behind this animated film.

Usually I tell people I animated Requiem for Romance with my tears, haha. But seriously, my artistic goal was to combine three signature genres of Chinese cinema, as I mentioned above, the Shanghai water ink animations in the 50s, martial arts films, and melancholic love stories, all while telling a personal story of heartbreak. I shot all of the water ink backgrounds live under the camera, so that I could capture the real essence of working with water and ink, that kind of slow, moody, intriguing movement that arises from ink mixing in water. The directional ink flow was to serve not only as a beautiful visual, but also to serve a narrative purpose. I specifically planned out the direction of the ink flow in the storyboards to represent the environmental elements such as wind, rain, fire, clouds, and rivers. Each environmental element was also planned for emotional impact in the story, so that the colors could correspond to the moods as well. The fight choreography was animated more softly, because it was meant to be a love tango as opposed to a real combat. All of the moves were things that I either made up or imagined, without looking at reference. I tend to enjoy animating as realistically as I can, without looking at video reference. For the horse animation, I figured out the profile gallop from still photos, and then used my own profile horse animation as reference for all of the other animation angles. Instead of focusing on exaggerating the weight of the animation, I focused more on the floatiness and weightlessness, to increase the fantastical dream like quality.

What are your thoughts about the European animation?

I think Europe is a great hope for animation. The visual styles that I see coming out of Europe are always really impressive. I think of legends like Alexandre Petrov and Yuri Norstein. And I am also a fan of Theodore Ushev’s work, even though he is based in Canada, I always associate him with Europe. I love more recent feature films like “Une Vie de Chat”, “Ernest et Célestine” (France) and “Secret of Kells” (Ireland). When it comes to animated features, we see a lot of American films here and some Japanese films, and they are technically excellent but always adhere to very specific attributes. As a Canadian filmmaker, I think we feel the same way as Europe about finding unique styles and finding unique voices in our animation. I only wish it was possible for us to see more European animation in theatres here, because not many of the films make their way over here.

Have you any projects in development?

I am in development of my own animated feature film. I have just signed the writer’s contract with a Montreal-based producer, Roger Frappier, and his company Max Films, which was a co-producer on “Le Jour des Corneilles”. It will have a very similar visual style to “Requiem for Romance”.

For more details about Jonathan and his work: www.jonjonphenomenon.co

The Art of Jay Ward Productions: A Visual Essay by Darrell van Citter

This week respected animation director Darrell van Citters will release his new book The Art of Jay Ward Productions. The 352-page book contains nearly one thousand illustrations featuring the studio’s classic cartoon characters including Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Van Citters has not only created a lush coffeetable book, he aims to rewrite the studio’s history. The artwork of the Jay Ward shows isn’t typically celebrated for its artistic merit, but Van Citters makes a strong case that the studio’s artistry is worthy of critical appraisal. He tells Cartoon Brew that one of the book’s primary goals was “to identify and properly credit as many of the artists as possible for their previously unheralded work.” Certainly, many great talents passed through the studio, including Bill Hurtz, Roy Morita, Pete Burness, Sam Clayberger, and Shirley Silvey, to name but a few.

In the following visual essay, Van Citters traces the lineage of some of the studio’s most famous characters and explains the contributions of different artists.

The book, which is published by Van Citters’ personal imprint Oxberry Press retails for $49.95. It will debut this weekend at the CTN Animation Expo and will be available afterward at ArtofJayWard.com or Amazon.com.

Behind the Magic

Making of Cartier Winter Tale 2013 by Dwarf Labs

Dwarf Labs is the creative studio who brings the “Cartier’s Winter Tale” 2013 to life. Dwarf Labs is an animation and vfx studio specializing in high end computer-generated content for commercials and feature films. For ‘Winter Tale’, Dwarf Labs responded to the artistic vision of Bibo Bergeron, director of animated feature ‘Monster in Paris’, to create the fourth episode of Cartier’s prestigious series. The studio was involved from the very beginning of the project’s development, working on storyboards, character and environment design, colour scripts, storymatic previsualisation, rigging and animation, through to colour and lighting design, and finally, compositing. Dwarf Labs used its in-house tools, allowing the artists to use advanced shaders which gave the commercial its unique look. This is particularly evident for the panther’s fur which mimics real fur behaviour on a stylised design. Olivier Pinol, Directory of Photography, drawing on his years of experience at DreamWorks and Weta Digital, tied together the different levels of stylisation of the environments, the panther and the grooms, and this service of lighting to storytelling is central to the studio’s philosophy.

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Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 Released

Pixar Animation Studios announced the release of RenderMan Studio 18, incorporating all of the performance and feature advantages of RenderMan Pro Server 18 within an intuitive suite of tools designed for the creation of the highest quality 3D animation and visual effects. Major features in RenderMan Studio 18 include new controls for lighting, geometric area lights, and accelerated re-rendering, powered by RenderMan’s state-of-the-art path tracer. The standard shading library has also been expanded with features such as advanced subsurface scattering and support for per-light AOVs. In addition, the image tool, “it,” has been totally rewritten from the ground up, providing improved performance and usability for shading and lighting. Through these new and productive workflows, the outstanding power of Pixar’s RenderMan is accessible to visual effects creators everywhere. “We are hugely impressed with the ease of use and out-of-the-box performance of the physically based shading and lighting system, and we love the geometric area lights and awesome features that come with them,” said Laura Brousseau, Lighting Supervisor at Nitrogen Studios. “The new Lighting Panel makes handling and editing multiple lights a lot easier, and the rebuild of “it” has some great new features that we never thought to ask for. The re-renderer has been helpful in speeding up certain areas of our look development and we are excited to see continued advancements with this feature. We believe that it has never been easier to create truly impressive renders so quickly in RenderMan Studio.” “The new unified sampling and path tracing system has substantially decreased setup times for artists and is a huge leap in re-rendering performance. Add to this the new ray tracing speedups, at times over 50%, the UI improvements, and geometric lights, and you have got the best version of RenderMan Studio yet,” said Leif Pedersen, Senior CG Artist at Univision Network. RenderMan Studio 18 is designed to provide every user of Autodesk’s Maya with fast and easy access to Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning rendering technology, and is the gateway to the many stunning visual effects seen in the majority of today’s feature films. Read more about RenderMan Studio 18.

What’s New

RenderMan Studio 18

RenderMan Studio delivers powerful features and tools for creating photorealistic CGI, while at the same time streamlining workflows for artists, so using RenderMan is now easier than ever before. With this release, RenderMan Studio’s version is now 18 to better match the version of RenderMan Pro Server which it is intended to compliment. The previous version was RenderMan Studio 4.0. RenderMan Studio is Pixar’s suite of shading and lighting tools for Maya Artists, and includes the following components:       1.  RenderMan for Maya – Brings the power of RenderMan to the Maya workflow       2.  Slim – Powerful visual shader authoring and management tool       3.  “it” – Image viewer and scriptable compositor       4.  Pixar’s RenderMan – An embedded renderer based on the latest technology       5.  LocalQueue – Local render management       6.  Tractor – Job management solution for render farms.

Support for RPS 18

Most importantly, RenderMan Studio now supports the feature set of RenderMan Pro Server 18. This includes significant performance gains for polygons and volumes. RenderMan Studio has new lights, shaders, and tools to take full advantage of the latest features.

Accelerated Re-Rendering with Path Tracing

The Re-Rendering system in RenderMan Studio now provides full support for path tracing for accelerated look development. With new workflows for shading and lighting, RenderMan Studio continues to make the process of lighting scenes faster and more intuitive.

Geometric Area Lights

RMS 18 allows you to turn any geometric primitive into a light source with Geometric Area Lights. These lights are not only highly realistic and capable of creating incredibly complicated lighting effects, but geometric area lights are much easier for lighters to control with a feature called “unified sampling” … and compared to standard area lights, they’re simply faster. RenderMan Studio now ships with a library of Geometric Area Lights for both RFM and Slim. Supported Features: 1. All light types: Distant, Spot, Rectangular, Disk, Sphere, Cylinder 2. Emissive geometry: Now any piece of geometric can be an area light. 3. Blockers for Geometric Area Lights 4. Unified Sampling for easier light setup and accelerated rendering

Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (2)

Master Lighting Panel

A new lighting panel provides easy control over the lights in any scene, and is especially useful for re-rendering sessions. With this panel multiple lights can be modified at once, bookmarks can be created to store light settings, and the influence of individual lights can be quickly displayed.

Per-Light AOVs

To aid compositing workflows, AOVs can now be written out per light, with arbitrary outputs per each light. This new feature also supports “Light Groups” and represents a major overhaul of the light system in RenderMan Studio.

Better Subsurface Scattering

Creating realistic human skin is hard, and the quality of the final result really depends how the subsurface scattering is being calculated. With RPS 18 there’s a better way to create realistic skin with Beam Diffusion Subsurface Scattering. This new model is only slightly more expensive than standard SSS, but it produces much more satisfying results (results similar to “quantized diffusion,” but that are numerically stable for animation). Now your humans can look real, and not waxy. Shader libraries in RFM and Slim now support the improved beam diffusion subsurface scattering technology for the creation of better looking skin and other eff

ects.

Image converted using ifftoany

Object Instancing

Now RenderMan Studio supports Object Instancing through the normal Maya Instancing workflows, for more efficient rendering of heavily ray traced scenes.

Enhanced Volumes

RenderMan’s ability to process volumes has been optimized with hybrid sampling techniques. Because volumes near the camera don’t need to be sampled as much as other elements in the scene, the REYES hider has been leveraged to deliver outstanding speed-ups whenever you need to fly a camera through a few explosions, a tornado, or whatever volumetric hijinks a shot demands.

More Efficient Polygons

Polygonal meshes have been overhauled, reducing memory requirements significantly. Depending on the scene, users can expect anywhere from a 4x to 10x overall memory reduction when rendering complex polygonal meshes. The new implementation ray traces complex polygonal meshes up to 2 to 3 times faster with displacement and 20% to 35% faster when there is no displacement. Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (1)

Additional Features

1) Dramatic Memory Enhancements for Polygonal Meshes 2) Support for Layered Glass 3) New Ocean Shader 4) New “HoldOut Shader” for catching shadows for compositing 5) The image tool, “it,” has been completely rewritten from the ground up, and is faster and more feature rich than before. 6) Use the new “loosely bound co-shaders” to apply a single material over multiple materials. For instance, cover a car with snow with one co-shader attachment.

Pixar RenderMan Studio 18 (2)

Availability

RenderMan Studio 18 is compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems, Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7,Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux. Autodesk Maya compatibility is with versions 2013, 2013.5, and 2014. For render farm dispatch, a license of Tractor 1.7 is included and additional licenses are available as a standalone product. For local workstation dispatch a free LocalQueue utility is supplied as standard. Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit www.renderman.pixar.com or contact rendermansales@pixar.comPixar RenderMan Studio 18

Images from Hugo (Behind the Scenes)

When building Paris on a computer, the smallest “bricks” the company used were called “polygons.” The train station totaled 35 million polygons and each train came in at 2 million polygons.

   

One scene alone would have taken 19.5 years to render if just a single computer had been used.

Video References

 

Sound Theory and Sound Practice

SOUND EFFECTS ARTISTS

Ben Burtt

An American sound designer who has worked on various films including: the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, including the “voice” of R2-D2, the lightsaber hum, the sound of the blaster guns, and the heavy breathing of Darth Vader.

Burtt also used a recording of his wife, who at the time was suffering from a minor cold and was sleeping in bed, for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He created the “voice” of the title character and many other robots in Pixar’s film WALL-E (2008), about a lonely garbage-compacting robot.

Jim MacDonald

Sound Effects Artist and voice of Mickey Mouse (1947 – 1977). Sound Effects Bambi and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

COMPOSERS

The Score Composer has to be focused on the story and the emotional content of the film. All the artists have worked hard to tell the story with their performance or artistry. If their work does not evoke the desired emotion, the composer won’t be able to help it much, but if everything is working well, then music can take the project to a whole new level.

Alexandre Desplat

A French film composer; he has five Academy Awards nominations, six BAFTA nominations, and two Grammy nominations, Desplat won his first Golden Globe for The Painted Veil in 2006 and  his first British Academy Film Award in 2011. Among various projects, Desplat has worked on a variety of Hollywood films, including independent and commercial successes like The QueenThe Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonNew MoonFantastic Mr. FoxHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2, and The King’s Speech.

Danny Elfman

An American composer, from 1976 to 1995 and later for scoring music for television and film and creating The Simpsons main title theme as well as the 1989 Batmanmovie theme. He has scored the majority of the films for his long-time friend Tim Burton.

He has since been nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Tim Burton’s Batman[2] and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. Elfman was honored with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 2002 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.

Bernard Hermann

an American composer known for his work in motion pictures. An Academy Award-winner (for The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941; later renamed All That Money Can Buy), Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously PsychoNorth by NorthwestThe Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also composed scores for many other movies, including Citizen KaneThe Ghost and Mrs. MuirCape Fear, and Taxi Driver. He worked extensively inradio drama (composing for Orson Welles), composed the scores for several fantasy films by Ray Harryhausen, and many TV programs including Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone and Have Gun–Will Travel.

Thomas Newman

An American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. Newman has received a total of eleven Academy Award nominations, although, as of 2013, he has yet to win the award. He has won two BAFTAs, fiveGrammys and an Emmy, and has been nominated for three Golden Globes. Newman was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the 2000 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.

Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton always wanted to work without literal songs, but with a score that could capture the etheral universe under the sea. He not only listened to other soundtracks, but also cut representative pieces of music into the story reels to see how it felt with the story, including some by composer Thomas Newman.

Newman the composer of The Shawshank Redemption and Pay It Forward, turned out to be the perfect fit for Finding Nemo.

KNOWLEDGE NUGGETS

Diegetic – this use of music was the only type used in films in the early sound era. Any background music, which did appear, was used during the transition from one scene to another. The first is that the coming of sound added a further layer of reality to film: characters became more fully realized; sound effects, such as everday noises, created a verisimilitude which audiences had not encountered before. Within a few years, however, background scores were added to restore the emotional involvement which had been removed by its omission.

Scratch Track – Final music composed after completed animation – rough soundtrack (scratch track) created before the animation begin as. Scratch Track is timed to animatic – example of an animated feature film  specifically composed to music isFantasia – entire point of the film was to create an animation that reflected the story the music told. – easier to edit the animation to better fit the music than it is to completely re-compose a track to fit a change in the animation. – sound effects added to later-not part of the scratch track – full length scores, easier to plan the animation to match the music. 

Mix – The adjustment of individual sound elements to create a pleasing, final combination of sound.

Dub (also called Dubbing or Mixing) – Process of combing sound together until the right balance of dialogue, music and sound effects is achieved.

Sound Reading – A frame-accurate transcription of vocal performance. The sound reading will be used by the animator to move the character in sync with a line of dialogue.

Foley – Process of recording live sound effects while the film is being projected. A Foley Artist performs sound to match the picture. Footsteps, movement of cloth or paper, and any other sounds that have to synchronize closely with the picture are often recorded this way.

Sync (short for Synchronous) – Elements of picture and sound being played together at the same time.

Monologue – A long speech by one actor in play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast programme.

Quote

“Songs are everything in a true musical, because they are used to express the major turning points in the story. In fact, the story has to move ahead of the songs, or it will seem as if the movie has stopped dead just to give the characters a chance to sing.”

Reference: The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age, by Don Hahn.

Video Documentaries:

The Sound of Music

Music cannot directly communicate narrative in the same way that dialogue can. However, it can provide a backdrop to visual events and dialogue and it is this subtlety that may position an audience in a way that dialogue cannot. Music is representative and emotive. It can engage an audience at a different level and capture their emotions rather than their conscious mind. It is difficult to avoid the emotive of a well-executed score.

Ways of Working with Music

There is one mode of storytelling that exists in cinema beyond that of showing and telling: music.  This facet of cinema can have a dramatic effect on character. Music can impact on our emotions and as such can limit what emotional impact a scene has upon us; and this is different in every film. It doesn’t matter whether it is the incidental music, a popular soundtrack or a themed score; it all affects us as an audience. This use of music has been treated by theorists as an aspect of narration, but it cannot tell, it can merely aid focalisation in relation to that which is being shown and told by affecting mood. This is the aspect of film that acts as a backdrop and some film-makers, such as Ingmar Bergman, feel it should not be included as it clearly breaks with presentation of both characters and events in terms of relating them directly to the real world.

Whatever the use of music is within any film it is complex to identify its precise meaning – such is the nature of music. However, to ignore it is to ignore a powerful part of the signifying practice of cinema.

Exercise 

Manipulating sound – Redubbing a film is always an interesting exercise. In doing this you can see how the replacement of, say, a specific score with tangentially related popular music tracks fundamentally impacts on your ability to read the film, even down on the point of being able to view who the main characters are and what they do.

Sound in the Cinema 

Loudness – The Sound we hear results from vibrations in the air. The Amplitude, or breath, of the vibrations produces our scene of Loudness, or volume. Film sound constantly manipulates volume. A dialogue between a soft-spoken character and a blustery one is characterized as much by the difference in volume as by the substance of the talk. In many films, a long shot of busy street is accompanied by loud traffic noises, but when twp people meet and start to speak, the volume of the traffic drops.

Loudness is also related to perceived distance. All other things being equal, the louder the sound, the closer we take it to be. This sort of assumption seems to be at work in the street traffic example already mentioned: the couple’s dialogue, being closer to us, is sensed as louder, while the traffic noise recedes to the background. In addition, a film may startle the viewer by exploiting abrupt and extreme shifts in volume (usually called changes in dynamics), as when a quiet scene is interrupted by a very loud noise. Changes in loudness may be combined with cutting or camera movement to reinforce our sense of moving toward or away from the source of the noise.

Pitch – The frequency of sound vibration affects pitch, or the perceived highness or lowness of sound. Certain instruments, such as tuning fork, can produce pure tones, but most sounds, in life and on film, are complex tones, batches of different frequencies. Nevertheless, pitch plays a useful role in helping us pick out distinct sounds in a film.

Timbre – The harmonic components of sound give it a certain colour, or tone quality what musicians call timbre. When we call someone’s voice nasal or a musical tone mellow, we’re referring to timbre. Timbre is actually a less fundamental acoustic parameter than amplitude or frequency, but it’s indispensable in describing the texture or “feel” of a sound. In everyday life, the recognition of a familiar sound is largely a matter of various aspects of timbre.

Filmmakers manipulate timbre continually. Timbre can help articulate portions of the sound track, as when it differentiates musical instruments from one another. Timbre also comes forward on certain occasions, as in the clichéd use of oleaginous saxophone tones behind seduction scenes. Loudness, pitch and timbre interact to define the overall sonic texture of a film. For example, these qualities enable us to recognize different characters’ voices. Both John Wayne and James Stewart speak slowly, but Wayne’s voice tends to be deeper and gruffer than Stewart’s querulous drawl.This difference works to great advantage in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where their characters are sharply contrasted.

Knowledge Nugget: When Bernard Herrmann obtained the effects of shrill, birdlike shrieking in Hitchcock’s Psycho, even many musicians could not recognize the source: violins played at extraordinary high pitch.

REFERENCE BOOKSFilm Art An: Introduction, Tenth Edition, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. The Language of Film, Robert Edgar-Hunt, John Marland and Steven Rawie.

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