Creative art enhances media – Pipe Dream

Media teams should be encouraged to take new and unique directions.

I’m not a damn artist. The only thing I know how to draw is Spider-Man. Yes, he’s showing up again. What I can do, however, is appreciate great art – especially art direction. Lately I’ve been enjoying a good mix of media that absolutely deserves to be spread art-wise. What do I mean by that? When I say art direction, I mean what the project in question looks like from a visual perspective. When a creative team makes the art direction of their work unique and vibrant, it creates a story that is more compelling and enjoyable than it would otherwise be.

There’s a game series called Persona, and it’s pretty much a social demon slayer simulator. Half the time you’re making friends and exploring a high school setting, and the other half you’re in a demon realm killing evil monsters. Cute dichotomy, real fun. What makes the game so interesting is how it’s a true hybrid of art styles. During gameplay, there is a mobile shadow art style that looks somewhat like a comic book. During certain scenes, they have full 2D animations, which gives the series a real dynamic feel.

What I want to achieve is the menu. In video games, especially role-playing games that require strategy and leveling, the player will be in menus for a good portion of the runtime. Some games have really boring and boring menus. From a visual point of view, they can all be gray, or dull colors. Menus and user interfaces are the core of many games, so when done poorly, it can be a shame. Persona is a great example of a video game menu done right.

Menus in modern Persona games are beautiful. It’s hard to describe, but they look like moving comic books. The transitions are so clean and stylish, and they’re just addicting to use. That’s the best way to describe it. They also use color to their advantage. Each game has its own special color. “Persona 3” uses different shades of blue, and “Persona 5” uses red and black. Different colors, along with style and transitions just make the menus look amazing. My friend walked up to me playing the game and said “man this game is cool” and he couldn’t be more right.

This super cool menu motivates me to play the game because it makes me excited to use the menus. When I get bored, I’ll scroll through the UI and it’s like a dopamine overload in the best possible way. It’s really cool that a game can do this, but this isn’t the only example of this style I’ve seen. Many recent animated films use a similar unique and attractive animation style. Let’s look at Sony’s Spider-Man: Spider-Verse movies.

These two films are notable for their animation style. Before the first movie came out in 2018, there had never been a movie like it. There’s a really cool interview (HYPERLINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-wUKu_V2Lk ) with the animators of this movie from the folks at Wired that you should check out. First, watch some clips of this movie. It’s unlike any other piece of animation I’ve ever seen. What is so fascinating about the animation is how it flows. The creators were big fans of the old comics of the 60s and 70s, which use heavy artistic strategies like interlacing and dark, creaky effects.

They imitated this style perfectly in their animation. However, this was not easy. It took them the better half of a decade to find this style of animation. What is the secret sauce here for these beautiful graphics? The lead animators mentioned how in trying to achieve that old-school comic aesthetic, they had a ton of strategies. They eliminated motion blur, but also added some imperfections to the world. Colors are shifted in and out, and even some elements are exaggerated and removed, such as buildings that are much taller than they should be and at odd angles, to give the scene the right scale and weight.

What does it all do? This makes the movie a damn masterpiece. These movies are so visually indescribable. What makes it all even better is how great these movies are in terms of filmmaking and storytelling. They are beautifully shot, and the stories are so energetic and heartfelt. If the Spider-Verse movies looked like any normal animated movie, they’d still be great, but the visual dynamic at play here is what sets them apart. And that’s what the great and unique art direction does. This makes your story even more memorable and memorable.

Nicolas Scagnelli is a senior majoring in English.

The views expressed on the opinion pages represent the opinions of the columnists. The only part that represents the views of the Pipe Dream Editorial Board is the Staff Editorial Board.

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