1st Edition

Composition for the 21st ½ century, Vol 1 Image-making for Animation

By Thomas Paul Thesen Copyright 2022
    482 Pages 750 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    482 Pages 750 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Composition for the 21st ½ century: Image-Making for Animation focuses on composition and its technical and artistic application in animation, illustration, games, and films. It covers all aspects of design and discusses in detail their artistic applicability and impact on image and narrative. Emphasis is placed on the ability of each aspect to support and affect the narrative. Additional case studies explain the successful use of these concepts in films and animation. This book is geared toward students; however, it is also reader-friendly for professionals. Composition for the 21st ½ century: Image-Making for Animation’s goal is to comprehend composition as an artistic tool and as a significant part of the professional image-making process.

    Key Features:

    • Teaches the complexity of composition in image-making.
    • Closes the gap between praxis and theory in animation.
    • Explains how to produce images that support the narrative in their visuals.
    • Discusses the need for artistic reasoning in image-making.
    • Presents case studies that assist the reader in understanding the process as they progress through this book.

    Author Bio:

    For more than twenty years, Thomas Paul Thesen’s career has been about learning and understanding the complexities of art, animation, and image-making, both in still illustration, drawing, and photography, and in the moving image. He has worked in the industry as a character animator and visual development artist for companies such as Pixar, DreamWorks, and Sprite Animation Studios. He has also taught for many years at universities across Asia, the USA, and the UK.

    Chapter 1: The Power of Images

    Chapter 2: The Purpose of Images

    Chapter 3: The Frame

    Chapter 4: Aspect Ratio

    Chapter 5: Composition

    Chapter 6: Character Staging and Film Language

    Chapter 7: Vectors

    Chapter 8: Directions

    Chapter 9: Shape and Form

    Chapter 10: Mood

    Chapter 11: Size

    Chapter 12: Depth

    Chapter 13: Light and Shadow

    Chapter 14: Color

    Chapter 15: Color Contrast

    Chapter 16: Perspective

    Chapter 17: Texture

    Chapter 18: Movement

    Chapter 19: Music and Sound

    Chapter 20: Variation


    Thomas Paul Thesen has spent six years in illustration at the University for Applied Sciences in Hamburg and then got his Master of Fine Art in Experimental Animation at CalArts in California. During his studies he was approached by Pixar Animation Studios to do inspirational character development on their feature film Ratatouille. After getting his MFA from CalArts he started to work as a character-animator for Dreamworks Animation and worked on the feature Shrek 2. He always wanted to go into visual development and switched departments to work on features like Bee-Movie or Puss-in-Boots. Since then he have been focusing on visual development, character design and illustration in his professional and freelance work. For eight years now he has been teaching animation for universities like SCAD, NYU Tisch, Hongik University or Hallam University.