iBIBLE Production Part 7: Special Effects

Last week, we looked at at the animation step of the iBIBLE creation process, and discussed how using motion comic animation brings iBIBLE to life in a unique and beautiful way. Today, we will explore the next step in the process: adding special effects.

Part 7

iBIBLE is so much more than a traditional short animation. It is an epic adventure story which spans thousands of years, comprised of hundreds of story arcs. It includes the rise and fall of empires, and the tenderness of parents with children. Death, crime, love, passion, betrayal, and redemption are all a part of the one Divine narrative that unfolds throughout Scripture. To bring this unique story to life, we use a special set of tools.

One way to show the quality of the story is by adding layers to the illustration through special effects. Take a look at our process and see how iBIBLE is different from other illustrated stories. One of our artists put it well when he said: “If the epic special effects that we use in iBIBLE were used to tell an ordinary story, it simply would not make sense.” It’s true—the striking effects communicate the gravity of this special story; it isn’t just any story, it’s God’s story!

Special effects are really about composition. When there are many elements in an image, with each working as a separate part of the story, special effects bring them together for one consistent visual experience for the viewer. We can also add more “richness” to a scene with special effects than motion alone will provide.

There are a variety of different effects that can be employed to depict an array of moods. Some of these include: lighting changes, parallax, and particulate and atmosphere.

LIGHTING CHANGES
Changes in lighting can help communicate many things in a scene, and the effect is a powerful tool in setting the mood. For example, it can show tension between characters, heat, the glow of Divine light, a stifling situation, or the passing of time.

Look at the lighting in this shot. It looks somewhat oppressive, but once you animate and add the movement and particulate (discussed below) to the lighting, you get a clearer sense of overwhelming tension as Shechem tries to comfort Dinah who is obviously distressed.

 Image iBIBLE Chapter 16. Shechem attempts to comfort Dinah

Animation iBIBLE Chapter 16. Shechem attempts to comfort Dinah..gif

PARALLAX
Parallax is an effect in which different layers of the image move in different directions. This builds a sense of space and depth that is not otherwise communicated in static illustration. Since we so often tell a story that covers distance, this is very helpful. For example, here is an illustration from Chapter 17. The still image is beautiful, but once it is moving, you can see the parallax reveal a sense of distance. The speaker moves one way, and the clouds another. As the camera moves back, you can see different additional layers: the birds, the audience, and the stage.

Animation from iBIBLE Chapter 17. Hamor talks to the men of Shechem

AnimaitonImage from iBIBLE Chapter 17. Hamor talks to the men of Shechem.gif

PARTICULATE AND ATMOSPHERE
Dust, smoke, and haze are all examples of particulate and atmosphere added to iBIBLE animation. One way to explain this is to use sound. Sometimes the best way to punctuate a scene is with silence. But generally, there are some sounds in the background: people, wind, crickets, birds, footsteps, or the rustle of leaves. Particulate and atmosphere have a similar effect on an image. They take an image and make the empty air in it “rich.”

This example brings all three of these together very well. We see smoke from the fire, light from God, the clouds moving in parallax from the smoke and Jacob. The different elements come together for a powerful effect.

image from iBIBLE Chapter 17. Jacob sees God

Animation Image from iBIBLE Chapter 17. Jacob sees God.gif

Finally, we look at the scene in which Jacob’s tribe worships in Bethel. All of the special effect elements discussed above can be seen here. There are many layers moving in different directions. We can also see light reflecting off of a pillar covered in oil and wine, as well as a light layer of haze surrounding the people, indicating the time of day.

iBIBLE Chapter 17. Jacob's tribe worships at the stone in Bethel.

Animation from iBIBLE Chapter 17. Jacob's tribe worships at the stone in Bethel.gif

As you can see, the goal of iBIBLE is to not only communicate the truths of the Bible, but to do it in beautiful detail so that these Divine truths come to life. Thank you for partnering with us as we bring the first animated and interactive presentation of the Divine narrative to the whole world for FREE. Prayerfully consider becoming an iBIBLE Producer today and pray with us as we complete this God-sized task.

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