Creating the Right Mood with Scenic GIFs August 28 2015

GIF artist Toyoi Makes sprite GIFs of different scenes about Japanese life, both real and imagined.

These first two GIF examples set different kinds of moods. Today we're going to explore how to make that happen. The most obvious method employed by Toyoi is by having a limited color palette, which is a specific set of colors that you use exclusively on a piece of art. The first example above is using about six colors, and the darkest color used is the foreground color of the tree. Using a dark blue color for the tree emphasizes that it is supposed to be the closest to "camera", and pushes back the other brighter colors. Except for the tree, the other colors used are fairly light, and are pretty close in value (the relative lightness or darkness of a color). If you take a close look, you'll notice that the items furthest back are the lightest, almost as if disappearing into the background. This 'atmospheric perspective" happens in real life as well, so next time you're outside, stare as far as you can, and you will witness this occur. 

The second GIF above uses the same principle of having background elements be lighter in value than the foreground items. Even when the lights flicker on and off, the value changes accordingly. The second example uses almost a monochromatic color scheme ( using different values of one color, in this case, blue) to set its mood. The blues used give it a sad, melancholy to the scene. Other element in this piece help with this, like the flickering light, and the twinkling stars.

In your next art piece think about what kind of feeling you want to evoke, and set an appropriate color palette. After that you can add different elements to enhance the feeling you're going for.

As always, you can post any examples to our Facebook page, and we'll share!