It’s Color Theory, Charlie Brown!

November 2, 2009 · Print This Article

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A little mini brush-up on color theory and its uses in animation, by way of Bill Melendez’ beloved 1966 TV special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: this essay, written by L.A.-based animator Justin Hilden, contains a scene-by-scene analysis of the use of color on the special, focusing particularly on its emotional and dramatic effects.

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Of the above images, Hilden writes,

“Although the sun is part of the painted background, it appears three different times, always a little lower on the horizon and always a slightly darker, more intense red-orange. The changing sun alters the tone of the painted sky, which becomes increasingly more saturated and textured, ultimately becoming fuchsia, and then a deep purple.”

Nothing groundbreaking here, of course, but it’s wonderful how Hilden breaks something so familiar down into its component parts, and makes you look at it in a whole new way. Read more from Hilden’s essay here. (Via Blur + Sharpen).

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One Response to “It’s Color Theory, Charlie Brown!”

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