Shadow of The Colossus, Visual Story Assignment

As part of our Visual Story course at Carnegie Mellons Entertainment Technology Center we were required to briefly analyze visual imagery in a piece of media. I choose the game Shadow of The Colossus as my subject matter.

Diagonal Lines

As the game begins with an eagle in the distance. The eagle descends into a mountain range flying rapidly, in a titled manner past our hero creating a momentary clear diagonal, and frame within a frame. The combination of techniques draw our eyes into that area of the screen where we our introduced to our hero clearly contrasted in brighter colors against the dark mountains.

Contrast

As our hero continues to travel under the cover of darkness, we see the moon peer out from the canopy. the contrast between the moon and the dark leaves draws our eyes in which the director then uses for a smooth visual transition to the next scene which has a horse’s feet moving at the position of the moon.

As our hero approaches his destination he encounters a pass. Our eyes are drawn to our hero in his bright cape, and the glowing pass which contrasts with the stone grey scene. The techniques help setup our eyes on to our hero and where he is heading.

Horizontal Line

Travelling without rest, our hero traverses expanses conveyed clearly by a wide horizontal line.

To aid in slaying the monstrous colossi the director chose to employ clear highlighted horizontal lines on the edges of climbable features of a colossus.

Leading Lines

As our hero reaches the end of the pass, he passes through an opening. The contrast between the light and gray walls of the passage draws our eyes in. This prepares the viewer to look at where the hero is transitioning to next.

Deep Space & Leading Lines

As our hero makes his way through the pass he encounters a vast deep space, and a bridge that draws in our eye to a towering building in the distance with leadings and a vanishing point. The visual elements here setup the viewers attention to the next destination of our hero.

Pattern

As our hero crosses the bridge, we are shown the entirety of the functional yet beautifully patterned bridge. This visual sight absorbs the player, and works as a visually pleasing method of conveying the crossing of the bridge.

Shapes & Ambiguous Space

As our hero enters the towering structure we enter into a very different world. A dark spiraling ambiguous abyss greets us. The visual elements help build a sense of foreboding as our hero descends.

 Line & Deep Space

As our hero reaches the bottom of the abyss an passage way appears before him. The passage way opens up to a grand hall lined by idols forming a pattern. The halls leading lines work in conjunction with a light source that draws in our eyes to the alter which our hero is heading to.

Contrast

As our hero approaches his destination he encounters a pass. Our eyes are drawn to our hero in his bright cape, and the glowing pass which contrasts with the primarily stone grey scene. The techniques help setup our eyes on to our hero and where he is heading.

As our hero carries a bundle up the stairs, contrast is final used to reveal the bundle. We get a flash of the contents. It’s a leg. A leg contrasted against the dark shroud it is covered in to draw in our eyes.

Atop the colossus’s head we see a symbol brightly lit, clearly visible against with the dark fur. The contrast easily conveys the importance as the final weak spot of the first colossus.

As our story reaches its conclusion, the demon within our hero is finally unleashed. A monstrous entity of pure darkness, it towers above the solitary priest robed in white. They stand opposed in beautiful contrast. Visually setup for an ultimate climax of good versus evil.

Light

As our hero carries the shrouded body to the alter, light blasts from the windows in front of him, drawing our eyes to where he is ascending to.

Rule of Thirds

On gently placing what is revealed to be his beloved upon the alter, our hero’s resolve is captured through his expression in an aesthetically pleasing rule of thirds shot.

As our hero faces the dark figures manifesting themselves before him, he strikes a heroic pose, captured in an aesthecially pleasing rule of thirds shot.

With the last colossus slain our hero is returns to the temple. We see him again, convey in a aesthetically pleasing manner in a rule of thirds shot. now completely infected by evil.

Frame within a Frame

Our hero stands at the alter, the camera zooms back leaving a clear shot of a frame within a frame. With our hero placed, and his beloved visible it draws attention to them during the zoom out.

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