This is no exception, even more so because it will be relevant to my current work. Two posts by Dan dos Santos about basic image composition, the first one about value structure, the second one about temperature structure.
Those two posts struck a chord with me, since they clearly explain what I already plan to do in the therapy game I'm working on.
When it comes to games, adding depth to the composition is seemingly less of a problem, since the movement already provides you with that information. However, discerning objects you can interact with from the ones that act purely as set pieces is another question.1 The higher the player's velocity within the 3D space, the faster he has to parse the environment for clues – especially when the players are not able to influence their own velocity, which is the case in rail shooters. As it happens, I'm exactly making one of those, thus the need for an environment that can be parsed instantly.
Eiko Oba explains in an article over at Gamasutra how human figure animation can be improved by understanding the concept of the Center of Mass.
Some skilled animators have the ability to picture and recreate human movement easily. But most of us can't. At our studio we often encourage animators to use reference videos showing a person performing the action they're meant to animate. This helps them understand the movement better, but video can only go so far.
One critical, and often undervalued element of movement is an understanding of the character's center of gravity, or center of mass. I will refer to both as the "COM."
The center of gravity is the point at which the entire weight of a body may be considered as concentrated, so that if supported at this point the body will remain balanced in any position.
Your balance and movements are always affected by gravity. As a gymnast I learned how to control and adjust my body's COM to perform various actions. Tumbling, balancing, and so forth, all require an adjustment of the COM. Some animators I know who are martial artists also understand this concept, so they can see how the COM flows and adjust the character's body appropriately. Adjustment of the COM is something we all do naturally in real life when performing actions like dancing, running, and so forth -- but it's not easy to create this in a fictional character.
I'm not really sure I will be able to use that immediately, but it sure seems handy as soon as I figure out that rigging system in Blender ...