The idea to place a face on the screen and to try to speak directly to viewers had failed because such dialog does not add anything valuable to a written text. Additionally people read faster than they speak. Even modern text-to-speech technologies are not effective by information transmission. And they are unable to add emotions to their mechanical voices.
Consequently, even if you can create a perfect character, this is not enough. It, she or he will be not able to communicate with your audience directly. You must create for your characters place to live also objects and subjects to interact with.
It is difficult or even impossible to direct emotions to a viewer but, if your audience is immersed in your artificial world, it would be influenced by characters' emotions. Use not dialog but empathy.
To show character emotions and to make them believable you need interactions. Let's start with the environment.
Bad artists place their characters above a random selected background. Good artists place them "on the stage". Best artist transform environment into an additional character.
From the early ages people perceive nature as something alive. Their world was full of gods, spirits and demons. Modern science removes old mystery and describes our universe with clear and accurate models. However this can change very little in the human's perception. Our consciousness is managed by rational thinking but our emotions are driven by instincts. We do not think "Red is the color of blood and fire, this means red thing may be not safe", we feel danger and anxiety.
It is possible to create "realistic" environment with emotional impact. Great painters of previous epochs have proven this. It is very difficult and relatively expensive to arrange such graphical and color compositions by preserving realism. However this is not necessary. Modern art and modern design try to speak directly to visual instincts. Shaft animators successfully apply this powerful techniques.
In some cases environment may be reduced to a symbolic image similar to religious icons. Sometimes it may be impressionistic, expressionistic, constructivistic or abstract. Artists "speak" not with viewers' rationality but with their imagination.
А ещё тут совершенно фантастические ограды и орнаменты. Впрочем, по ним можно делать отдельный пост, который к теме совершенно не относится.
There exist a classical division of the image space into foreground, middleground and background. An artist can arrange the composition of a foreground or of a backround in such a way that it transmits character's emotional state.
I do not know good samples of middleground. I suppose it is more difficult to add a psychological function to the middleground because this is usually the space which interacts with carracters. But you are free to fully transform foreground and background for our needs.
It is more dangerous to play with foreground. Image may become flat or clattered but, if applied correctly, this technique may produce greater impact. Especially in case when a viewer looks to the characters through an "emotional" screen.
Background is simpler to use. You are not bound with realism and may choose graphical, color and tonal composition according to current needs.
Background may support character's movement and symbolize general story state such as danger, hope or obstacles.
It can support visually the character's internal state.
It can also represent a crowd.
In this case the backround does not consist of individual characters but transmits to a viewer the emotional state of the common unconsciousness of a crowd.
However not only a crowd but also a specific character may be reduced to a symbolic role in the background.
In this case we also see a fully abstract foreground that plays a role of a frame.
To achieve maximal impact you may combine all components together.
A character usually cannot interact with a viewer. To avoid this hindrance you can introduce a set of characters and start interactions between them. Audience associates itself more or less with the main hero, with the main heroine or with some second rate characters. This allows to transmits emotional impact through empathy channel.
Secondary, you always can manage the response of a character in contrast to the irrational unpredictable response of your audience.
It is not important, if the original viewer's responce is not fully conform to the constructed character's responce. You lose some power but not the message itself. And you allways may make emotions more impressive.
С другой стороны, свободное конфликтное поведение возможно только между людьми с прочной связью, семейной, дружеской или коллегиальной. В остальных случаях люди боятся испортить отношения и ведут себя взвешенно, сдерженно и фальшиво. На этом кстати сыпятся идеальные пары. Первый серьёзный конфликт их просто разрушает.
Characters' interactions also are not obligated to be realistic. You may apply symbols, hyperbolas or combined views, by placing different planes, times or dimensions together on the screen.
Most powerful technique is when you fully immerse your viewer into one of your characters and break the fourth wall.
Of course the most powerful technique is also the most dangerous and it may be applied successfully only in short scenes in most important moments.
Next part: References