Camera Angles and Effects
Creating Top-Down Dramatic Camera Effects (High-Angle Shot)
Suggested Use #1: When seeking to interact with the viewer
Long and Close range perspectives.
Use the posing cameras or create a revolving camera for the purpose of shooting the subject from a higher vantage point in which the characters view seems to interact with the viewer. Traditionally a high angle camera perspective looks down on a subject and has the effect of diminishing the subject and making them appear less powerful. While this is the common effect it is not always the only effect. This same camera perspective also makes it possible to show a defiant character who is strong and demands attention from those who would think less of the character. This perspective can be used to make the viewer acknowledge the character.
This camera angle can also be used to create a sense of stalking or hunting down of a character from high above. This is perfect for creating a sniper’s perspective or for use with a flying bird or dragon. To create this effect change the focal setting of the camera that you are using. The focal setting must be less than 30mm. The lower the setting, the more distance the effect will create.
Suggested Use #2: Create a sense of danger and an overview of the situation that a character is in.
This same camera perspective can be used to create a sense of danger, a dangerous situation (for example a long fall, looking into the abyss, and an overview of a scene and the situation that a character is in. To create this type of perspective, set the focal parameters lower than 30mm and then pull the camera back away from the scene. You’ll need to make corrections to the distortions by the focal settings by adjusting the perspective parameter. This will help to keep the scene from looking too warped.
Suggested Use #3: To emphasize solitude or against the odds
By focusing on the character and pulling back on the scene, it is possible to create view that singles out the character or creates a sense of solitude. Use the same effect with a scene filled with adversaries and the character will appear to be fighting against the odds. In this case the distance between the viewer and character is what creates the feeling of withdrawn from the situation and that the character is alone (as shown below).
The more detail that we see of a character the more of a personal connection that we feel with the character. The less detail that we see of a character the weaker our personal connection is with that character which gives us a sense of being distant from that character and his or her situation. This reduces us to onlookers who lack the necessary information. The picture above is exactly from the same scene as the first scene.