(art and technique on this page), ... See also: -[^^Film DIRECTORY]- (film and film-making) -[SF Films]- (in Literature/sf/ ) [post post-modernism] [post post-modernist terms] (the usual suspects) [Art Films] [(art) Concepts] [Alienation] [Distancing] [] [] [] [] On this page: {<><>} {Film History} {<><>} {Elements} {} {Blue Screen} {Costume} {Lighting} {Scene} {Set Design} {Sound} {The Usual Suspects} {Film Terms}


Film History

The Usual Suspects

Siegfried Kracauer ()
Lois Weber

Film Elements

In this section: {
Story} {Blue Screen} {Costume} {Evolution} {Lighting} {News Casts} {Persistence of the Medium} {Scene} {Set Design} {Sound}


See also: -[
Story Lab (in Literature)]- We shouldn't belabour the points about story (which are more adequately and extensively dealt with in "story" under literature; see above link. But, we shoul realise that given even the must mundane object, a person can make an entire story out of it. Well, if all of the creativity in them hasn't been entirely squeeze out of them by the process of the "traditional" education. We need only recall the relative definitions of narration/story ??src?? The narrative is: The Queen died, and then the King died. The story is: The Queen died, and then the king died of a broken heart. Film is key in many kinds of story telling, in that by key lighting/sound/music/etc we can switch from one scene or story line easily without losing the viewer. One of the earliest classics is Arthur Haley's ??sp?? "Airport". And of course, the story lines ALL converge for the one explosive culmination of the air flight itself. It might be said that as writing became more complex if film hadn't been invented then it would have sprung into existence by SOME means. Even in the most imaginative forms of stage work, one can't approach the concept of such abrupt and total CUT's from one scene to another. And in reality, this IS the reality that we live in -- via the news. See {NewsCasts} It is the way that we are almost programmed to "see" the world around us.

Alienation / Isolation


Persistence of the Medium

See also: -[
Persistence (in film - performance)]- I use the term "persistence" here in several ways, one of which is its pervasiveness. We tend to see a series of shots AS a film. This is especially true of the mini-film: The Comercial. This goes back to the discovery early on in the history of film in the Russian school of the concept of montage as continuity. So impressed in our ways of seeing the world (perhaps it's an evolutionary survival factor - part of our general patter making/matching skills) that pictures (cut out) laid side by side tend to automatically form a story.


As we know once a "genre" has reached "maturity" (that is has become almost formulaic - both in the production and viewing), then the "spoof" of that genre can be made. Classic examples include: "High Noon" "The Magnificent Seven" "Blazing Saddles" "2001" "Star Wars" "Hardware Wars" "Ice Station Zerbra" "Das Boot" "Up Periscope" "Psycho" "Wait Until Dark" "Scary Movie II" "Secret Agent" "James Bond" "In Like Flint" after this, the genre almost inevitably becomes "family fare" and reaches the level of "pubescent fantasy" - sad to say. This is NOT to say that someone (in good faith) takes to make a film in to make a film in one of these "so-called" mature genres that can't do so. By "so-called" here, i of course mean several things: 1. That all (or most) of the elements of the genre are well-established; eg, Film Noir: The "bad" woman, the anti-hero, odd film angles, use of shadow, etc. 2. That for each new generation comes a new learning curve - and thus finding their way thru the body of the literature. This leads to odd things like, "Oh, you mean 'The Purple Martin' is like 'Indiana Jones?'" - of course, the simplicity of older films tends to show through unless one is aware of the evolutionary process and can learn to appreciate earlier phylogenic forms. 3. As with the hierglphic reminder: There is no art that can not be mastered, But, there is no one who is treuly the master of ANY art. That is to say: New ideas, bring new ways - even to "mature" genres. Thus, for each film listed above (i did my best, do i get an A?), there are new works that reach up to that elusive goal of mastery. But, i think that we must develop a more varied and subtle feel for film. And part of this goes to (i think) to study it - to enjoy in all of its forms. And then (for those that seek to master direction - or any other "art" in film making) there are always possibilities.... Very few films "leave it up in the air". Even fewer can go up to the "happy ending", and let it just hang there. It seems that only in tv series can the characters "just let it go" - no need for closure, no need for REVENGE, etc. Of course, there are the exceptions. At the end of Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home, we get a kind of "closure" when Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) tells his father Sarek (??actor??) "Tell my Mother that I feel fine." thus letting us know that "everything is fine". Or at the end of "Magnifcent Seven" - THE TWO are the only ones that came into this are the only ones to come out intact - and where are they bound? For glory? For...? no - just "out there". More and more, the films that take these sorts of chances are then ones which *now* endure - because, as someone in a film once said, "Everybody got pain." But. Everyone hopes for joy. Every..... ??? only searching will take us there - the next stage... Only the search is. (well, that and evolution) Well, that's about it for now, frank --42--


The short answer is yes. S/W packages like "After Effects" and other specialised graphics program will allow you to import an image and then process it like you're talking about. But, because these effects are "soooo cool", the mfg'r usually charges a lot for it. You can exeriment for much less using the Doom-3 game engine. -[
d3]- (my intro notes here on my pizoig gaming pages) Doom3 is made by id s/w and costs about $20. Once you bring up the game, instead of actually PLAYING the game, you hit: CTRL ALT ~ (that's the "tilda" squigly line) And then enter the command: EDITOR. Of course, this means doing a LOT of work to import your image, and create a LIGHT-PROOF box (a room in which all of your "assets" - characters, trees, sounds and etc -- will reside. It's about 3 weeks even w/a teacher and the good folks on the d3 forums on line, etc. ======== The long answer is - yes; but, i don't know how to do it. What is happening is that the image is lit (just like an actor on a stage) with several different lights; actually, i should write an article on this (ie, free use, etc). You'll find this discussion in almost any book on lighting in stage work; eg, thatre. In TV and Theatre work each person has a key light and it's usually coming in from the actor's LEFT OR RIGHT side (at about 45 degrees from the center line of the stage at the back of the theatre to the back of the stage) and ELEVATED about 45-degrees from the stage. Thus, light reflecting off of them shines onto the floor or over the far corner of the stage. This is why they don't look to "glarey". Next you add a footlight that is usually mounted to either side of the stage (again at 45 degrees from the centre of the stage, so that light won't glare into the viewers's eyes. Next is a back-light that lights the stage from the back so that there aren't any major shadows from set props, etc. Finally, there is usually a FLOOD (or fill light) that illuminates the entire stage. Got it? And now that "glossy look". What they are doing is fiddling with the TEXTURE of the object's surface. If a person's eyes are supposed to be sparkly, we set their texture up to be essentially mirrors. In fact in many effects (eg, a vampire movie) we can create a light behind their eyes shining out. In film and theatre (without computers), we simply shine a light directly into their eyes perfectly -- hard to do in live theatre work. If something is supposed to look glossy, then we make reflective, but usually just a tad less than 100% (100% would be a mirror), say 70% or so - you have to fiddle with it. If something is supposed to look rough and textured; like a rusted pot or an old oak bench, then we turn up the SCATTERING of the light. Which in the real world is caused because the surface IS rough and pitted and thus, scatters light in random directions. The classic here is when you vacuum a rug, and you go against the "grain" of the rug (the direction in which it was sewn in the machine) you get those ghostly looking stripes the width of the vacuum cleaner - the fibres in the carpet are poining all the same way, except for that stripe that's pointing the other way. So, "that's all there is to it". Or as the artist and great teacher (her books are called "Drawing on the Artist Within", "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", sez: Everything is easy; after the first 5_000 mistakes. What you can try playing with is some sort of filter that PhotoShop probably has (like i sed, i'm no expert by any means). Also, there's a "mixing factor" called the GAMMA ADJUSTMENT (or something named like that) and it can be usefull. There's a lot of stuff that's really pretty easy to due in the real world by just putting flood lights, coloured spot lights (eg, to light up the vampire's face and hide the fact that we're shining a red light directly into her/his/neth's eyes), and so forth. Cool, huh? - frank. rsvp if you have more questions that i can only vaguely address ;) Of course in cartoon work, we show that somehting is gloss by using a tic-tac-toe sign on the surface. It occurred to me after i'd posted it, that one thing you might try is to create a more realistic (or cartoony if you prefer) "space" into which the object is placed. The great break thru was by the Impressionists and post-impressionists when they saw the first Japanese prints which featured not only a foreground (f/g) and back-ground (b/g), but a MID GROUND as well. See the enclosed, image. This might be an easier and artier (artsieier??) way to spruce up your tree; get it "spruce" it's a kind of tree ;) i can hear the groaning from here. take care and good luck, franklin ace - decimal point wood carver. (Dr. Frank Forester, DVM Owl Specialist) For me, (as an artist) what saves this, IS the text. Of course, any *real* graphic artist would just find this as funny as "---SCENE MISSING---" after a certain "Grand Inquistor" called certain people "half-breed humans" in the Absurdist style.

News Casts

There are entire courses in newscasting (under journalism, natch). Regardless, a few points are made here so that the genre may be used in film work. References are made to the following films: "The Paper" by Ron Howard & co. Probably one of the best how-a-paper-really-works films (it's the one shown at the end of year bash in the NewsRook where i worked) We should extract from it the "dramatic" film elements and focus on the personae portrayed and how dedicated they are to their work. "Capricorn One" - a period piece about paranoia in the world. The part of Eliot Gould is nicely done, they could have played up Karen Black's part more. But, all together a very nice work indeed. "True Crime" by Clint Eastwood & co. Again, very carefully done and spot on in terms of working room view of the news office. It is "slightly based on" a real story, well rendered from the novel by ??author??. ??title?? - unfortunately, the under-current of "the greatest story of the century" over-shadows news work and such. BroadCast News, etc. - all are good studies; even, "Front Page". Kentucky Fried Movie - now that's REAL SPOOF. Film at eleven. BroadCast elements. (written during one of the national conventions) Sports and such is almost alwyas over the top. In one case the news anchor came on telling us "I know as little about it as you, we now go to our office in ?city?" - me thinking WORLD WAR III? no: The football team had missed out on a first choice draft pick. Whew, and i thought we'd all be absorbed by the Martian's mind rays! Weather - a feel good item that can in a lot of cases be stretched out to fill an entire hour - or more when there isn't really any NEWS. Lead story - if nothing has really happened, liable to be about the large number of two-headed calves born laterly; refer to "Solar Lottery" by Philip K. Dick. Fair and balanced. This is probably the swiftest trick/scam every dreamed up. Take a protest against the war, 200_000 people show up. A tight shot fills only 80% of the screen the fair-and-balanced shows a room with 23 people in it in favor of the war, it fills 100% of the screen. Our eyes to the "integrative" arithmetic: Wow! The country is equally divided over the war!!! Fair and balanced - take 2: Two people are set at each other cutting back and forth quickly doesn't really give either of them a chanse their case. Whoever gets out their 2-second sound bit that "sticks" - WINS. Hot media at their worst? Or is this what Murdock (Fox News) and Eisner (ABC/Disney) want? Then of course, it's the best of all worlds! Fair and blanced - take 3: Leslie Stahl reporting some really news about the Reagan Administration - thinks maybe she was too blunt. Later someone tells her: NO way - that back ground of the White House lit up and the Cherry Blossum Trees in full blume! It was perfect. Oh, did you actually say anything at all? Again: In the land of the blind, the person with the best hearing will be King. So, that would be Albert Schweitzer? Fluff Stories - Man dies, dog barks, woman complains about her husband and HIS dog. Film at Eleven. Fair and balanced - The Final Revenge. Something important happens. Say a policeman is shot while trying to catch a child kidnapper. The kidnapper is finally caught. This leads to two "balancing" stories: One about the Policeman's wife (if he's been killed), or a very concerned report in front of the hospital where he is recovering - the more serious his condition the more news that can be generated. The worst thing that could happen is if he dies - no more news. Now nothing is said about the Police Cheif's call two weeks before for more patrol cars, better lighting in that district, etc. No: The "balancing" element can't be too provocative (let's not worry about the policeman who gave his life doing his under-paid job), it's going to be something about the place where the kidnapping occured. So, if it's in front of the Piggly Wiggly Store, then a FILE STORY of how several other kidnappings were done over the last million years in front of similar stores. Thus, we get a "sort of closure" - we're looking out for you and we've our finger on the pulse of the city. Ok, so. It turns out that the policeman DOES die, then the news can turn on the Police Chief and what he plans to do about it. Say (we assume a "HE" here, natch) he tries to bring up what he said three weeks before (ancient history) about that neighborhood, etc. Chanses are that his speech will be chopped up, and a reporter will calmly report something like: "The Chief did mention that the problem of lighing still needs to be addressed." Hence, cause and effect are made into a nice tart pie and served in small crumbs. Hence, reality is altered. Back to you Sarah. The balancing here isn't anything like "fair and balanced" it's sort of an affectation that has grown out of so much "fair and balanced" thinking: Re-cap - just in case you were voimiting from the explicit photos of the train derailment (etc) and missed it, here, we'll run it again. And to re-iterate a duck attacked the president today and was immediately shot. It seemed to be quacking non-sense (unless you hear on Mike #3, "Down with imperalist pigs!" - which was later lost in editing). News - supposed to be new. Mostly re-re-re-re-hashes of stuff everyone already knows. I mean, i can't believe Paris Hilton was wearing THOSE shoes!!! (Actually, i really enjoyed her counter-spoof response to the McClain ads about her - shades of "Legally Blonde" ;) Something like: "The Surburbans" - film w/Jerry Mulligan music... And remember we're watching out for YOUR world. ...(dramatic music)... ...(staff mimes taking to each other and laughing together)... ...(role titles over quickly)... ...(cut to AN XYZ NEWS PRODUCION (c) etc)... --30--

Alienation / Isolation

See also: -[
Alienation]- (A/H term) The primary use of film to create isolation is to film the person against more and more separated elements in the film. That is, more and more they are seen against such things as unknown or mysterious buildings. This is best exmplified in the Film Noir genre by night shots with long shadows on barely lit, deserted streets. This physical form of isolation of the characer(s) or even a set create the idea of distancing (see {DISTANCING}) between the character(s) and their environment. As such, the viewer may not know if the character is becoming more alien, or the surroundings. Notice that a constant character (eg, the galant knight, or Hansel and Grettle) set in a forest which becomes darker and more "jittery" allows us to "measure" the character(s) against this B/G - especially, having seen them previously more "neutral" setttings. If the character(s) is to be isolated and hence alientated then the B/G should remain constant. Thus, we are able to see/judge that the character is now being taken out of the normal "walks of life". Note too that "alienation" (as opposed to distancing) is a process that *should* include a sense of loss, angst, tragedy, or other negative emotions.

Blue Screen

(also known as: GreenScreen) Blue screen has become popular with the growing use of animation combined with live action. The idea is simple: That things are placed in front of the constant-colour screen can easily be "clipped out" and thus treated like any other kind of clip art. This is escpecially important because of the complexity of all of the elements that must be assembled - often moving objects (people, cars, etc). Also, the large scale works that would traditionally include many extras or a large set can now be done *much* more economically using computer graphics. I want to look at two particular characters in recent SciFi movies: "Jar Jar Binks" in "Star Wars" and the "Vogons" in "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". JarJar's portrayal IS cartoony and thus even more irritating than the usual "bumbling fool/comic relief" character. On the other hand, because the Vogons are real people in a real space, the inter-actions between them is more realistic. Unfortunately, this idea has't quite sunk in. It would be better (for example) if the original person who was to play "Jaba the Hutt" - a rather rotund, but tall character something like "Falstaff" in Shakespears's plays - had played the character that would have been later animated. Acutally, i rather liked the original actor much more than "the giant worm". For me, giant sentient "worms" are more along the line of dragons; eg, "Smaug" in J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Hobbit". But, as with all characters if a "person" (whom we never see) in a play isn't real to the actors in the play - then the audience won't buy it as well. For example, it is the young boy's entrance at the end of the play to tell "Didi" and "Gogo" that "Mr. Godot" can not come tonight, but will surely come to them on the 'morrow that gives this character it REALITY. Thus, an actor who would portray the character (and possibly even do the voice for them) creates a reality that is more genuine for the actors to interact with. This, also the case (eg) in "HitchHiker's Guide" in the case of Marvin where the actor in the suit uses his body language and such to match the supplied voice. This again is similar to the interaction between "Silent Bob" and "Jay".

Costume and Make-up

Ostensibly these are the clothes (or lack there-of) the actors wear. Note the imaginative use of costume in "Enemy of the State" when the dog (Porchie") is spray painted. If "clothes make the man", then costume makes the part. As Andreas Katsulas (who played the lizard-man, "G'kar" in Babylon Five) put it, "I didn't really feel like an alien until i put on all of that heavy leather and - even the makeup didn't do it, but that outfit MADE me into G'kar." -- not an exact quote. Note the diliberate mis-use of costume in Agatha Christie's "Mouse Trap" where "Vatrusian" ??name?? is clearly overly made up with makeup as part of the myster of that character - prompting one person to say, "and did you notice how much makeup he has on, and the way he moves. I don't think he's not as old as he pretends to be" -- not an exact quote. Thus costume (as with any other element) can be used for "mis-direction" as well as its usual way of "building the character up". An interesting note occurs from the film "Pleasantville" (shot almost entirely in B&W (Black and White). In order to cover up colour, a neutral-green make up is applied and since it is designed to work with the GreenScreen B/G technique - it comes off as a "B&W fleshtone" that is consistent with the rest of the people in the film. In the same way, creating the colour palet of the set, costumes and make up should all work to put forth the ideas inherent in the work. If we're supposed to buy that Jack Lemmon and Tony Kirtis in "Some Like it Hot", are disguised as women, we do so. Later with the advent of "the need" for heightened senses of REALITY (what ever *that* is), films like "Tootsie" (with Dustin Hofman) and "Mrs. Doubtfire" (with Robin Williams) require more and more reality use of makeup to the extent that the actor literally disappears under the makeup. It is then up them to push their character out thru all of this makeup - similar to Kostlinatiz' finding of his character "G'kar" somewhere in the costume that he wears. A "judge" is just a person wearing a judical robe, but the character of the judge is all in the actor - and of course in the way that the other actors relate to them.


To change from one view of something to another or to change from one scene to another. These are also refered to as "fades" (slow cuts/disolves). As the early film pioneers found, we can create the illusion of slow and fast time, depending on how quickly we cut in and out of a scene. An important thing to remember is that if we create a lasting impression of a particular set; eg, "Agent Hart's" *kitchen* in "Miss Congeniaity I & II". Then, we can just use parts of that scene to convey information that is more enticing. Here i'm thinking of her (played by Sandra Bullock) on-going battle with the finicky microwave oven door. Because, we've already had a wide shot of the room, the director can use a "distancing" element of the camera showing an (ostensibly) empty room - the sink. And all we hear is her banging the microwave oven closed, it's opening and she again and again bangs it closed. This - especially in the rapdity - conveys superbly to us her frustration. Thus, cutting into or away from a "set" can be done, as long as the place has been established. This was used again and again the the TV series "Seinfeld". And as with all TV work, the budget simply won't allow for extensive establishing shots and such. First off in a city, you have to control the traffic, people, and weather. Then getting everything into place makes it even more difficult. It's odd that by using closed sets (such at the character's rooms in their apartments, office sets, and isolated shots that could be anywhere) - it is the strength of the illusion of "in camera" and "ex in camera" that allows us to build a broader picture without actually painting the entire canvas. This is used again and again. For example, we see a person saying to their compadres (eg, in an office), "Well, you got me. I'm going home." - say it's a mystery or detective film or... - and the next thing we see that person (possibly with a bag of groceries) coming into a room. We automatically assume that this autonomous and anonymous set IS their home. And then, of course the way that they treat objects in the room/set enforces this "assumption". I'm thinking particularly of "In the line of fire" here. Similarly, if the character says, "I'll check it out" - refering to a complaint/report and we see the same person coming into the room. We are clued in by the I/A (Inter/Action) with the room as to their mental state (ansy - the killer might be here, etc) and other plot elements. Again, cutting into and out of that place and if it has been established in our minds what it is and what it represents - then with a small amount of FILM (screen) time, we can tell major parts of the story. And of course that time can be put to good use later; eg, chase scenes, long introspective "thinking" scenes, etc.


The idea of distancing is that the character (or a set element, etc) is being physically taken away from its environment. The clearest example is in a rocket ship, where the space explorers are leaving one planet of place for another. Emotionally, distancing also occurse in social situations as well - when a person feels no longer a part of the crown. This culminates when they are distanced to the point where they feel alienated. (See: {
ALIENATION}). Also, distaancing can be used to show the conscious decision of a character to leave one world, culture, or "truth" to begin a journey towards a new one. In many dramas, if there is some evil to be done, and one of the antagonists says, "I'm sorry, i just can't go along with this." then they clearly (to us and to other character(s)) are distancing themselves. The signals which we are meant to pick up in this case are clear and demonstrative. They can of course, be more subtle through a series of revealing incidents that build toward the distancing. Tension of course is built up either by us or other characters "piecing together" the starting of this distancing change in the person's outlook. The tension is maximised by either us or other people being aware or un-aware in DIFFERING degrees of these shifs in POV of the various persons, etc.

Dressing The Set

This consists of the set elements, such as the scene itself (see {
SCENE}) as well as the actors (see {COSTUME}), ligthing (see {LIGHTING}), sound (see {SOUND}) -- all of this is the "set design" (see {SET DESIGN} - in elements) Formally, "dressing the set" refers to how the set will look before each act/scene. If at the end of a scene a fight broke out and there were a lot of things thrown around, and the next scene shows one year later - then obviously all the things that were thrown 5 minutes earlier (in "real time") can't still be on the floor. Stage hands go in and remove the debris, straigthen chairs, rugs, etc - ie: Dress the set. Larger set changes - that is a different set, usually require either LIGHT - cuts from one set on the stage to another or a change of the set. In film, these are simply different sets and are shot separately.


See also: {


See also: {
Scene} Traditionally, each location in a film was a separate set. For example in a western one set would be the main street with shops on either side of the street, and separate set would be the inside of the jail, the inside of the saloon, the inside of the brothel, the inside of the doctor's office, a stretch of trail in the desert. Thus, each set "sets" the stage (mindset, ENV, plot-element) for the story elements to be played out there. In many cases a set may only be used to link to major sets together. THis is the case of entry halls, where an actor answers the door the guests enter and then CUT to an actual set of the living room, etc. Thus these "bridging sets" are usually minimal. As regards plot elements, an excellent example is the REVEAL in "National Treasure" showing how the document is taken down below ground for storage. The set/scene is mainly for plot exposition and ONLY exists as a computer FX - but is key to the action. Details; details. As in theatre, the set is DRESSED by the art director and staff. A room with a fireplace having "deer and tiger heads" mounted on it becomes a room in "the explorer's club", but the same room with wall paper becomes a drawing room. Even if the rest of the furniture might be the same. Again: Look and feel create the reality; action can't take place in a vacuum (unless it's an SF film ;) Further a key element of a set are its manipulables; ie, props that the characters can pick up or operate. Most common are things on a table, or switches on a console. Each prop has with it a certain weight and presence in the set (or scene) and of course the more obvious its presence (either visually/audibly or by a character drawing specific attention to it) - then if is changes that change caries a greater weight. One of the most obvious is something like a front door, and that later there is a black wreathe on it - indicating a death in the household. Similarly, damaged aspects of the set bring with them the passage of time. And of course if the set is literally being "built up" as the film progresses, we can judge that as the passage of time; eg, building/remodeling a room, adding new areas to a space station, etc.


The view/way what is on the screen is displayed. Note: A "scene" is to be thought of like a stage set for a single act/scene in a play. In film, usually each "scene" corresponds to a "set" to be built. For example, in "Little Miss SunShine" the "scenes" include the sets of the family's home, the motel rooms (two sets/scenes), and the van. Note that the van in fact (one scene - a logical concept here) consists of several actual vans that comprise several "sets" - one van has the front removed for head-shots of the driver and his wife, another van as the passenger side removed so that the back seats can be viweed. Note that in this case mise-en scene is NOT used very much). Note too that often a miniature or computer mock-up of a set will be created; viz, most action adventure movies where in LONG SHOTS, the miniature or FX double is used. An object may be in a CLOSE UP, a LONG SHOT (at a distance) or PANNING (rotating the camera from side to side) Close-up - a shot where almost every detail of the object/scene can be studied in detail. Most common use of the close-up with a person's face is to allow the actor to "show emotion" or "show what they are thinking" or "emphasize dialog". Extreme Close-Up - a much closer than "comfortable/normal" view of the object/scene. Medium SHot - Sufficent to show more than one object, but usually not enough to give a global view of the entire object/scene. Thus, it reveals much but almost always leaves something hidden. Long Shot - (aka "Establishing Shot") sufficient to show the over-all layout of almost every thing in a particular object/scene.