Created By: XFllo on June 30, 2013 Last Edited By: XFllo on July 31, 2013
Troped

Unreveal Angle

The camera angle is intentionally set up to cover or hide something important from the audience.

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Trope

A Teasing Creator sets up the camera for... The Unreveal. Unreveal Angle is one of the trolling Camera Tricks which is employed when something important or intriguing is intentionally hidden from the audience.

Usually the camera is focused so that the viewers can't see the whole set. Now it appears it would be time for the camera to pan out a bit, or to cut to a wider view, right? Or it should move from the character's back and show us the face. Except... it never does. The audience is left wondering what really happened, how the characters reacted or what they look like.

Viewers might be teased with the almost-reveal of The Ghost or The Voice, and some variants of The Faceless can be shown this way in scenes or episode when viewers expect to finally see them unmasked. This trope can also be used to convey Nothing Is Scarier.

Contrast with Reveal Shot. Related to Scenery Censor which covers sensitive bits of the naked human body. See also Camera Obscurer.

Compare/Contrast with Behind the Black: "If the audience can't see it, then neither can the characters." This trope is the opposite: "If the characters can see it, why the hell the audience can't, damn it?"

Examples from media:

Anime and Manga
  • For a long time, Tobi from Naruto has his face obscured when he's not with his mask, though we do get some shots of him slightly opening his mask or having it partially broken. He claimed to be Madara Uchiha and we do have some shots of Madara's face in flashbacks, but for some reason he always has his face hidden. Until chapter 600, where it's revealed that he's actually Obito Uchiha.

Comic Books
  • Issue #55 G.I. Joe was advertised as finally showing the real faces of Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, and Destro, three major characters who had never been seen without their masks. The cover of the comic book and the title of the story ("Unmaskings") further tease the supposed reveal. And sure enough, during the story all three characters take off their masks and show their true faces... but only to other characters. "Camera angles" and shadows are used so that the reader never gets a proper look at the faces.

Film - Animated
  • Near halfway through Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy's Big Picture Show, a mix-up on Ed's part causes Edd's hat to get stuck on Ed's head. The audience is left to think they would finally see what Edd's head looks like without its hat--but it's obscured by the boat the Eds built and Ed's big head, so it's never shown.

Live Action TV
  • In The Lone Ranger TV show the Ranger's face is never seen by the audience without either a mask or a disguise. Whenever his mask is off and he's not in disguise, his back is to the camera.
  • In one episode of Rhoda, The Voice Carlton the Doorman is seen, but only from the back.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, the narration refers to the Mother many times, yet her face is never seen and her voice is never heard. Her ankle is briefly glimpsed in "Girls vs. Suits", and a dark figure carrying a yellow umbrella (which signifies the Mother) is seen in "Wait for It" and "No Tomorrow".
  • In Friends, The Ghost Ugly Naked Guy was seen twice, though not completely: his rear end and his hand in "The One with the Giant Poking Device", and also half of his body from behind was seen in the episode where Ross was trying to get his apartment.
  • Revolution: Episode "The Love Boat" ends with Mr. Austin killed in the Tower's elevator on his way down to level 12. We only hear the sounds of his death. Then the elevator comes back up and opens. The angle reveals that there's a lot of blood, but we don't actually see what's in the elevator. "Children of Men" strongly implies that it's a Dweller with a coil gun.

Professional Wrestling
  • In a two-on-one match for the WWF World Tag-Team Championship "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is going it alone against the Hart Foundation: Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith. Then the Titantron shows backstage where Austin's partner has just shown up and is walking! We only see his feet as he walks jauntily to a disco beat. Cue commercial break. When they return to the action Austin's "partner" still hasn't gotten to the ring yet and doesn't for several more minutes, at which time we see the debut of Dude Love.

Video Games
  • Whenever Master Chief's helmet is off in the Halo series, his face is either out of the shot or behind something.

Web Animation
  • Homestar Runner: The Strong Bad Email "the chair" touches on two very common fan questions: "What does Strong Bad look like under his mask?" and "What do Strong Bad's parents look like?" Strong Bad takes off his mask and shows off a photo of his parents... while the camera is behind him, so the reveal is obscured by his high-backed armchair. Then he declares "Ugh! I am NEVER gonna do that again!" [[note]]If one uses a Flash decompiler to reveal what's behind the chair, there's nothing where Strong Bad head should be, and the photo just has the text "nice try dodongo!"[[/note]]

Web Comics
  • MS Paint Adventures has two characters looking into chests with MacGuffin that had been teased prior to this point. Careful with clicking the links, they might be considered spoileriffic.
    • Calliope is looking at her own "juju". Her "juju" and what it looks like is not revealed. See it here.
    • Vriska whose chalk-white, pupil-less eyes indicate deadness is looking at a treasure she's just engaged in a lengthy pirate-themed treasure hunt to find with the promised power to defeat the Big Bad who Calliope vaguely looks like and in fact is Calliope's brother who also occupies the same body as her. This last case is subverted when Vriska forcibly drags the narrative back from the self-indulgent interlude it engages in after this. See this image.

Web Video
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, a setting update of Jane Eyre:
    • When Jane first talks to Grace Poole, she accidentally records their dialogue because Grace came to Jane's room when she was shooting an entry for her vlog. However, Grace's face is out of the angle.
    • The viewers familiar with the novel (majority of the fandom) anxiously awaited Mr Rochester to show up. When he first appeared, they showed him only from a big distance, Jitter Cam style, and then a great attention was paid to his injured leg and funky socks. In the following episode, the angle of Jane's cam was aimed at his torso and arms, and we got a lots of close-up of his hands. At the end of the video, the audience saw half of his face. Episode 12 showed his head from the back and the audience nearly saw his profile when he turned his head. His face was finally revealed in episode 13.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:
    • The audience had to wait for William Darcy to appear for 59 episode, despite the fact that he was mentioned nearly all the time throughout the web series. When he first showed up, they revealed his torso at the end of the episode as a teaser.
    • The fans were curious to see the ever embarrassing Mrs Bennet and compare her real personality to Lizzie's impersonation (many characters were presented through imitations in Lizzie's "costume theatre"). Mrs Bennet walked in on Lizzie's filming in the last episode. Lizzie's imitation of her accent was accurate and the choice of generic outfit was spot on, but the viewers got to see only Mrs Bennet's back.
  • The identity of "Hoody" is one of the key mysteries of Marble Hornets. Entry #68 shows him taking off the mask, but the camera is on the ground and the shot is cut off just below his face.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Much Apu About Nothing", Homer is trying to help Apu prepare for his American citizenship test, and for locating Springfield on the map, he points near Chicago. Lisa corrects him, but the view of her pointing at the correct location is obscured by Bart's head.
    • In one episode, Homer experiences a very frustrating version during a Dream Sequence. He's having money problems and he dreams about an invention that will make him rich, but he's never able to actually see the invention because someone is standing in the way.
  • Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget us The Faceless who is only ever seen from the back of his chair.

Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • June 30, 2013
    henke37
  • July 1, 2013
    nemui10pm
    ^ I think you mean Scenery Censor, aka Peek A Boo, which is already mentioned in the description.
  • July 1, 2013
    XFllo
    To be honest, henke37 deserves the credit. I added it after it was mentioned; though I used "related" as I'm not sure it's Supertrope.
  • July 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    The page picture isn't too good. I can't tell what it is that the angle is supposed to conceal.

    EDIT: I just realised... isn't this pretty much Behind The Black?
  • July 1, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ I agree that the pic doesn't work without a caption, and captions don't work in YKTTW mark-up (it acted up when I tried putting something there). It's only meant as provisional illustration.

    The idea is that they can see each other just fine, but the viewers can see their torsos and arms only when they would rather see their faces as is usual in live action media.

    I've noticed this in two web series and it feels like a trope to me, and many commentators focus on that, too. There were comments like "we have been torsoed with Darcy, but this beats it: we have been SOCKSed", and similar.

    I think it might be one of the Camera Tricks like Nostril Shot or Face Cam.

    Behind The Black is IMHO something else. This is deliberately hiding stuff from the audience, and the laconic of Laconic.Behind The Black says "If you can't see it, neither can the characters." This is the opposite. The characters can see it, but the audience can't.
  • July 1, 2013
    XFllo
    Now I've finally found something really close -- Reveal Shot. Perhaps this is just Subverted Trope of Reveal Shot? Or could it be tropeworthy on its own?
  • July 1, 2013
    nemui10pm
    I think it's distinct enough from Reveal Shot. I don't think Reveal Shot can be "subverted" because the reveal being unexpected is the key to the execution of the trope.

    Web Video:
    • The identity of "Hoody" is one of the key mysteries of Marble Hornets. Entry #68 shows him taking off the mask, but the camera is on the ground and the shot is cut off just below his face.

    I think the photo for the above example might do better as the page image, since it's pretty clear what is being concealed.
  • July 1, 2013
    MetaFour
    Web animation:
    • Homestar Runner: The Strong Bad Email "the chair" touches on two very common fan questions: "What does Strong Bad look like under his mask?" and "What do Strong Bad's parents look like?" Strong Bad takes off his mask and shows off a photo of his parents... while the camera is behind him, so the reveal is obscured by his high-backed armchair. Then he declares "Ugh! I am NEVER gonna do that again!" [[note]]If one uses a Flash decompiler to reveal what's behind the chair, there's nothing where Strong Bad head should be, and the photo just has the text "nice try dodongo!"[[/note]]
  • July 1, 2013
    XFllo
    Yay, new examples! Cool.

    I do like the image from Marble Hornets. Though I wonder if that's really clear without the context of the show?
  • July 2, 2013
    Chelzero
    -thump-
  • July 2, 2013
    Tuomas
    Comic Books
    • Issue #55 G.I. Joe was advertised as finally showing the real faces of Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, and Destro, three major characters who had never been seen without their masks. The cover of the comic book and the title of the story ("Unmaskings") further tease the supposed reveal. And sure enough, during the story all three characters take off their masks and show their true faces... but only to other characters. "Camera angles" and shadows are used so that the reader never gets a proper look of their faces.
  • July 2, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ This is getting cool and exciting. I thought that the trope might be too obscure or perhaps typical for some media only. Love your comic book example!
  • July 2, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In The Lone Ranger TV show the Ranger's face is never seen by the audience without either a mask or a disguise. Whenever his mask is off and he's not in disguise his back is to the camera.
    • In one episode of Rhoda The Voice Carlton the Doorman is seen, but only from the back.
  • July 2, 2013
    KZN02
    See also Camera Obscurer.
  • July 5, 2013
    XFllo
  • July 6, 2013
    rcmerod52
    Western Animation
    • Near halfway through Ed Edd N Eddy's Big Picture Show, a mix-up on Ed's part causes Edd's hat to get stuck on Ed's head. The audience is left to think they would finally see what Edd's head looks like without its hat--but it's obscured by the boat the Eds built and Ed's big head, so it's never shown.
  • July 6, 2013
    XFllo
    Thank you all for the examples. Any comments on the trope itself? Is it distinct enough from The Unreveal? Is it tropeworthy on its own? Because there are no comments on this issue, also no comments on the description, no hats;-) I just want to know that our effort here is going somewhere.
  • July 7, 2013
    nemui10pm
    I think it's tropeworthy, and the description looks good. I'm just waiting for the name to the decided before I add my hat, but I think after that it should be good to go.
  • July 8, 2013
    GKaiser
    Would it also count if the camera is in first-person showing the reactions of everyone to the character's face even though we can't see it? Because I've seen that variant a couple times.
  • July 9, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ It could be a variant, but it might also fall into another Camera Trick. I think POV Cam could fit?

    EDIT: You can check the page if your examples are listed there, and read examples on that page and here, and decide which fits best. You can list your examples here and we can sort it out.

    ^^^ @nemui10pm: Good to know:-) Thanks.
  • July 10, 2013
    QuantumReality
    This may already be troped, but a classic example I can think of is the way the "camera angle" is such that you never see Dr. Claw's face in Inspector Gadget.
  • July 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Yes, that's The Faceless. It's already mentioned in the description.
  • July 13, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ It's probably best to list it only there. We don't want to copy all examples of The Faceless. However, if there was an episode where they teased viewers with possible Reveal, then that episode would count as example.
  • July 13, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Professional Wrestling: In a two-on-one match for the WWF World Tag-Team Championship Stone Cold Steve Austin is going it alone against the Hart Foundation: Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith. Then the Titantron shows backstage where Austin's partner has just shown up and is walking! We only see his feet as he walks jauntily to a disco beat. Cue commercial break. When they return to the action Austin's "partner" still hasn't gotten to the ring yet and doesn't for several more minutes, at which time we see the debut of Dude Love.
  • July 20, 2013
    MorganWick
    Not a big fan of the images. I'd suggest this or this, but one, they might be considered spoilers for things that aren't being unrevealed, and two, I'm not sure if this trope is so specific as to exclude them.
  • July 20, 2013
    DAN004
    • For a long time, Tobi from Naruto has his face obscured when he's not with his mask, though we do get some shots of him slightly opening his mask or having it partially broken. He claimed to be Madara Uchiha and we do have some shots of Madara's face in flashbacks, but for some reason he always has his face hidden. Until chapter 600, where it's revealed that he's actually Obito Uchiha.
  • July 20, 2013
    NESBoy

    And on the subject of images, this visualization of the above example should be good (after we set them from columns to rows, of course). Caption should be: The mystery of "Where The Hell Is Springfield" will not be resolved.
  • July 21, 2013
    MorganWick
    ^Can barely see that she's there at all, at best.
  • July 21, 2013
    XFllo
    @DAN 004 Which franchise installation of Naruto you meant? I've put it into Anime&manga... We should use Name Space. Correct me if that's wrong somehow.

    @NES Boy: I like the Springfield example, but The Simpsons are overused for page images. I prefer those on the page now, though they are meant to be provisional. We may keep looking, or then open a discussion in Image Pickin'.

    @Morgan Wick: Are those listed as examples already? Doesn't seem like it. That said, if they are spoileriffic, we shouldn't use them. This wiki has a policy not to put any spoilers above the list of trope examples. Personally I don't see what is supposed to be The Unreavel. I only presume that is what they are see on the screen, but they don't seem to be any better than obscured faces.
  • July 21, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ It's actually both manga and anime, but I've mostly seen the manga version, So Yeah.
  • July 22, 2013
    XFllo
    I removed this from the draft:
    Ideas for the name:

    Crowner.

    Unreveal Angle has been consistently on top, though it sadly has only four votes. Let's run with that for a prospective title unless somebody strongly objects. I think it's a good name.
  • July 22, 2013
    MorganWick
    ^^^Not sure what you're asking at the end there. Both characters are looking into chests at Mac Guffins that had been teased prior to this point. Calliope is looking at her own "juju", while Vriska whose chalk-white, pupilless eyes indicate deadness is looking at a treasure she's just engaged in a lengthy pirate-themed treasure hunt to find with the promised power to defeat the Big Bad who Calliope vaguely looks like and in fact is Calliope's brother who also occupies the same body as her. This last case is subverted when Vriska forcibly drags the narrative back from the self-indulgent interlude it engages in after this.
  • July 23, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ What I meant: As of the time I wrote it, the examples to which you linked weren't in the draft. I could't add it because I'm not familiar with the work MS Paint Adventures, to which you didn't link (to the wiki page) when you suggested the examples.

    I meant to say that even though I like the pictures, I don't think The Unreveal is very clear to those who don't follow the work. To me they look like two characters sitting in front of a shining computer screen.

    I suppose to some the picture of the guy from Marble Hornets is just a guy with a head out of the angle and don't grasp the meaning behind it if they don't know the work. They don't know his head is never shown.

    For this we might have to go with the Springfield map because it's a known franchise. But IMHO it's used as source image on this wiki way too much.

    EDIT: I added the examples from MS Paint Adventures. If it's somehow inaccurate, please correct it.
  • July 26, 2013
    XFllo
    Images originally in the draft (as provisional illustation):

    The Autobiography of Jane Eyre 1

    The Autobiography of Jane Eyre 2

    The Autobiography of Jane Eyre 3

    Marble Hornets

    Other suggestions:
  • July 28, 2013
    Tallens
    • Whenever Master Chief's helmet is off in the Halo series, his face is either out of the shot or behind something.
  • July 28, 2013
    Tallens
    • Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget, who is only ever seen from the back of his chair.
  • July 29, 2013
    TiggersAreGreat
    Revolution: "The Love Boat" ends with Mr. Austin killed in the Tower's elevator on his way down to level 12. We only hear the sounds of his death. Then the elevator comes back up and opens. The angle reveals that there's a lot of blood, but we don't actually see what's in the elevator. "Children of Men" strongly implies that it's a Dweller with a coil gun.
  • July 29, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In another Simpsons Homer does this to himself during a Dream Sequence. He's having money problems and he dreams about an invention that will make him rich, but he's never able to actually see the invention because someone is standing in the way.
  • July 29, 2013
    XFllo
    Thanks for the examples.

    Anyone willing to hat this draft? Of comment why this isn't getting any?
  • July 29, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ 1 hat for ya
  • July 30, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ Thank ya!:-)
  • July 31, 2013
    XFllo
    Launching.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=r4702kbnsg5ve66fl4wkqhb2&trope=UnrevealAngle