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Cinematographic techniques in architectural animations and their effects on viewers' judgment

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  • Communication
  • Design


Computer-generated animations have become a commonly employed medium to communicate architectural designs and projects. Because designers of animations are not constrained by real-world conditions and do not share the rich history of film, they do not readily benefit from the body of cinematographic techniques that filmmakers can draw upon. Specialists argue that this results in unappealing, lackluster animations that could be vastly improved by the application of filmmakers’ craft knowledge. The aim of this study was to identify which aspects of film craft show the most promise by systematically examining the use of cinematographic techniques in animations and their effects on viewers’ evaluations. Our analysis of award-winning architectural animations established average shot length as a reliable and valid predictor for determining participants’ judgments of salience, vividness, and diversity. A shorter average shot length resulted in more favorable ratings, while longer shot rates led to the opposite outcome. We consider these findings from a broader filmic perspective and discuss them in light of their usefulness for designers and the field.

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