Research-White Room Principle

OK, so we had been kind of looking at different styles of animation but found we love the more minimalist approach to be the best looking. Those with simple neutral backgrounds, but with more vibrant colour schemes looked the best.

Alec shared this short with us- it’s proving one of my favourite so far. (Vimeo, 2014).

White as a mind colour. 

Psychologically, white is the most peaceful/neutral colour out there. It represents purity, a blank canvas. In the art world a white background provides the purpose of ideas to be continued, allowing audiences to fill in the extra bits. White also represents the end of a cycle and beginning of a new one- like when our story ends, it could continue on.  (White (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); White Color Psychology and MeaningWhite is the lightest color, 2016). 

Therefore, keeping this as a plain background makes sense, with the lighting giving the feel and mood, depending on the colours it gives off.

Minimalist Art and Animation

Minimalist animation is one that looks very beautiful, without having a high amount of background elements. In the art scene, this genre appeared from the 1960s in New York, where young artists wanted to break from the stale and boring art around them. Artists tried to step back from the over expression of emotion that was seen in Impressionist artwork and wanted to focus more on the materials they used. The removal of any form of meaning or metaphor meant that sporadic, geometrical artwork was created that appealed to the eye. The artwork also worked with the environment around the piece- the viewer was challenged to the light, gravity, agility, weight and height. In animation this is also applied to the actual scenery around- in the Stegosaurus poem, the room changes colour to the changing emotion and setting- bluer lights in the bedroom at night and when the dinosaur appears sick. Below are some examples of the most influential artworks of the Minimalist genre.


Die by Tony Smith. (The Art Story, 2016).


Lever by Carl Andre. (The Art Story, 2016).


Black Cube by Kasimir Malevich. (The Art Story, 2016).

As you can see shape is a key factor in these pieces- more regular and geometric showing the stability in the pieces.

In Animation itself, this art genre also gave quite an influence.

Intentions by Buck for Apple’s Innovation Conference. (Vimeo, 2013).

Travelling Lights by We Think Big Things. I really like the image appearing in the light of the Light House.(Vimeo, 2013).

The Editor by Inside the Edit. (Vimeo, 2013)

Animade’s Queue the Cowboy gives quite an emotional attachment to this simplified black and white forms. Animade‘s shorts in general go along with this minimalist idea- shape and colour simplified to represent main ideas.

The Impossible Hug. (Vimeo, 2013). This is one of my favourite of Animade’s shorts. The impossible hug shows citations that art comical and would not occur- such as hugging an astronaut in space. However, the end message is hard hitting- the impossible hug for premature babies from their parents. We had wanted to explore something hard hitting and with a bit of a more serious tone and this hit the nail on the mark. 

Save the Voice. (Vimeo, 2013).I really like the simplified character in the above video- with the large lips, limited to a few colours.

Shape by Johnny Kelly. Posing the question of how could we change the world for the better. (Vimeo, 2016).

I found a lot of these minimalist animations either posed a question or a challenge for the viewer. ‘Impossible Hug’ made people think twice about families with premature babies whereas ‘Shape’ posed the question of how a world could work better.

Colour Schemes and Gradient

We will look into colour schemes etc as we develop the animation more, however, I wanted to note a few things for reference. We thought of things like gradienting a colour scheme along- in Paranorman Mr Prenderghast and Norman both wear red. Norman’s hoodie may stand out a bit more to the audience, but that is because it is clean and vibrant. The older, more trampish quality to Mr Prenderghast is reflected in his dirty clothes, the red a more faded colour.


Norman vs his Uncle- colour scheme is similar with the red, browns and greens. (, 2016).

In a lot of the animations in the works above, the colours were bright and clean so to speak. Shadows limited when working over certain things- a darker colour in a more solid silhouette with little to no fall off. The poster for Man of Steel, below, demonstrates what I mean- the cast shadow on the logo a slightly darker blue and still follows the geometric shapes used.


Man of Steel Poster by Kareem Magdi. (, 2016).


White (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); White Color Psychology and MeaningWhite is the lightest color, s. (2016). White. [online] Color Psychology. Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].

Vimeo, (2014). Wayne The Stegosaurus. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016]., (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016].

The Art Story, (2016). Minimalism Movement, Artists and Major Works. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016]., (2016). Behance. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016]., (2016). Vimeo: Watch, upload and share HD videos with no ads. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016].


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