Art style

To figure out the kind of art style I would use for the rotoscope, I took a picture of my face trying to express fear so I can create a rotoscope and figure out an art style that would be able to communicate the emotions I want to the audience and be nice visually. To decide on the art style, I will create several versions with different features and ask my peers which one they prefer and put it into a tally; I will then use the tally and my own evaluation to decide on how I would work on the art style.

The first thing I did was to do some secondary research into colours in black and white films, especially Sin City, this is because I came up with idea when discussing some ideas for art styles in my project proposal. I did have the idea to do an art style similar to Disney’s art style, however the art style would not match the genre I was aiming for as it would be to colourful and friendly.

sincity example 1

(Frank Miller’s Sin City A Dame To Kill For, 2014)

Looking at Sin City, you can see that the primary colours are whites, greys and blacks, the whites are more emphasized for the little light being projected on the parts of the actors and backgrounds, the same goes for black; this makes the scene look like it was recorded at night because of the great contrast between black and white, along with having a small amount of light.

sin city daylight

(sff-webmaster, 2014)

However, if you decrease the contrast of white and black, and have more grey colours involved, this makes the scene look like it was shot at day time.

sin city example 2

(The Colonel , n.d.)

There is one particular colour that the film uses that isn’t part of the grey spectrum, that is the colour red; they use it most of the time for clothes, lipstick, cars and blood. This technique really makes anything red really stand out and it is very effective in drawing the audience’s attention.

Experimenting with the art style

I first began the experiment by tracing the picture of my face using the colours from the grey spectrum, creating the main frame of my head, ears and jar, along with also the main outline of my hair.

1 screen shot

I then began adding the main features of my face by using different tones of grey, these features include the noise, the mouth, hair and beard lines, shading and facial lines. This will be the main traced face which I will use as the main base when changing the art style.

normal rotoscope face

Before I began exaggerating my facial features, one of my peers suggested a technique; using liquefy from the filters tab, I can move and morph the face, allowing me to change the face I traced instead of redrawing it. However, after using it, I find that it is not as effect as redrawing it because it also effects the other lines and shapes I don’t intend to reshape and morph.

facial features exaggerated by liquidfy

The different art styles I created were:

Exaggerated eyebrows and eyes

exaggerated eyes and eyebrows 2

Exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth

all features exaggerated

Simplified exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth


Mouth only simplified but all still exaggerated

only lips simplfied

These are the results from my tally of what my peers prefer out of the art styles:

Normal traced- 1

Exaggerated eyebrows and eyes- 1

Exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth- 4

Simplified exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth- 2

Mouth only simplified but all still exaggerated- 2

Also received some feedback on the art styles and why they preferred the one they picked; for the “simplified exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth” this would allow me to clearly communicate the emotions I want to audience, whilst also reducing the amount of work I have to do on the face. This is the same for “mouth only simplified but all still exaggerated” however, leaving the shading for the eyes would allow to express more with the eyes and eyebrows as they are the most complex communicators on the face.

My evaluation of the art styles

From the feedback and tally, I believe that both the “simplified exaggerated eyebrows, eyes and mouth” and the “mouth only simplified but all still exaggerated” are the best choices as they would allow me more time to work on the animation and would allow me to communicate emotions to audience effectively. However, the best choice is the “mouth only simplified but all still exaggerated” as again it will allow me to make more expressions with the eyes, unlike the mouth.


Frank Miller’s Sin City A Dame To Kill For. (2014). Retrieved from http://sincity-2.com/

sff-webmaster. (2014, August 24). Sin CIty (R/I). Retrieved from ShowFilmFirst: http://www.showfilmfirst.com/sin-city-ri/

The Colonel . (n.d.). Retrieved from FANDOM: http://sincity.wikia.com/wiki/The_Colonel




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