Welcome to the first of hopefully many posts about the use of cinematography tips and techniques to help make your motion graphics animations more dynamic and interesting.  In this first post, we will be covering a technique that is used a lot in both cinematography and photography to add uneasiness or tension into a shot.  The “Dutch Angle” is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame.  Adding just a slight value to the “banking” value in your Cinema 4D camera can make big differences in the mood of your animations, adding energy & making something more dynamic looking.

For example, let’s take a look at the use of the “Dutch Angle” in BEELD.motion’s Telecine Rebrand reel:

In numerous shots you can see the use of Dutch Angle where the horizon line is not straight, but diagonal.  In these instances they don’t exactly emit a certain mood but it does add energy to the shot and it looks more interesting than if it was shot with the horizon straight.

In the second shot here, the Dutch Angle adds some more playfulness to the festive activities in the scene:

If anyone has ever had the unfortunate displeasure to see “Battlefield: Earth”, they used Dutch Angle in almost the entire film, and was ripped for it by the critics.  The name of the game here is to use it, but don’t abuse it.  Any effect can be overused and in turn, not be as impactful as a result.  The next time you build something in 3D, I urge you to try out this technique and try to step back from the Xpresso, textures, dynamics, and mograph and instead take a look at how you choose your camera angles and compose your shots.

Feedback is welcome and I hope these cinematography posts can be useful for motion graphic artists!