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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 73)

18th April 2006

Number 73 - About Light and Darkness.

This may be obvious, but without light everything would be pitch black and we couldn't see anything.
It's because we have light that colours exist, and that we can see things.

The colours of the characters [in an animated film] are determined by their relationship with the background.
That is, just because it is a dark scene, you can't simply paint the background very dark.
If you do that, the character sinks into the darkness, and you end up with a pitch black scene where you can't tell what anything is.
On the other hand, if you try to make things visible even though it's dark, and you paint the background lightly in, in a faint haze of white,
this time the characters lose their colour, and the whole screen looks whitish, exactly like powder has been blown over it.
The colour designer Ms. Yasuda calls this a "powdery" screen.

Of course there might times when you deliberately want to make the screen pitch black or powdery, but that is not what is required here.
What you need to do is to create some kind of light source, no matter how weak, using bluish colours to give an impression of darkness.

The difficulty of these problems regarding colour is something I have been made painfully aware of recently.
This is because in the storyboards I drew there are night scenes all the way through. The last 1/3 takes place almost entirely at night.
For that reason, even at this stage of the process, the art director Mr. Takeshige and myself are still getting together to think about all sorts of things.

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