Book Review: Sketchbook: Composition Studies for Film by Hans Bacher

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I'm a big fan of Hans Bacher's earlier book called Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation, an instructional book on production design and composition for film. Hans Bacher has worked in the animation industry for years, including for companies such as Disney when they were still big on their traditional animation.

This new book Sketchbook: Composition Studies for Film is actually more of a sketchbook rather than an instructional book. There are a couple of tips on composition but do not get this book for the instructions because they are few and far in between.

The sketches featured are seemingly random but they may look familiar because they are composition and framing techniques used for films, not for any specific films though. They look like they were drawn from traditional media. They are, as the book title suggest, studies on composition. Many just use black, grey and white to block out shapes and characters. Even though the art may look very simple in execution with just a few lines and areas of colours, the composition are very well thought out and looks effective. You don't have to go into the details to make good art, as one of the tips in the book says.

It's a beautiful artbook but I wished they had been more instructions. This book works well as a reference where you can flip to any page to just get some visual ideas.

Anyway, you should definitely get his earlier book Dream Worlds if you haven't. And if you want to learn more about composition, I highly recommend Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre, another expert in this field.

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This review copy is provided by book seller and distributor APD Singapore (website | facebook). You can get the book from them and major bookstores in Southeast Asia.

Sketchbook: Composition Studies for Film is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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This review copy is provided by book seller and distributor APD Singapore (website | facebook). You can get the book from them and major bookstores in Southeast Asia.

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