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Chapter 11. Layout > Visual Clarity

Visual Clarity

Visual clarity is extremely important to the layout process (see the accompanying sidebar). Clear and consistent composition is one of the fundamental principles to achieving visual clarity.

Consider how actors are positioned onscreen. A standard cinematic device, called the 180° rule, is almost always employed (see Figure 11.1). To understand this, draw a line between two characters that appear together in a scene. The camera will be kept on one side of that line (as seen from above) and will not be permitted to wander over to the other side. This guarantee that from shot to shot, the characters are always on the same side of the screen, facing in consistent directions. We are so used to this device that any deviation from it is immediately confusing (and is thus avoided).


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