Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Character Animation!

I'm back again, trying to keep up with a post a day, although I'm sure I'll run out of things to post p-r-etty soon!

Well I recently came across a problem with my current project, after having looked over my storyboards and constant viewing of my animatic, I realized that I had lost that initial spark of imagination, that life and energy, it had lost it's meaning somewhere in translation. So, the importance for me was to take it back to basics, what is it I want to say and what is it I want to communicate. I have now cut my 1 min 55 sec animation down by around 2/3's! Leaving only what is important and what it is that makes it interesting. The interaction between the two characters and how they develop!

Carrying out my research, I asked myself the questions that needed to be answered, in order to find that initial enthusiasm, and I thought of some things and jotted them down, bullet points that helped clarify that vision, how to get the interest, excitement and meaning back into my story. Posting them here helps me to document it properly but who knows? It may also help with your own dilemma's?

1. What is the character trying to achieve in the relationship?
2. Change relationships to get the best possible drama/ excitement
3. Character and relationship growth, how do their views change?
4. Character contrasts
5. Push things to extremes whilst retaining believability
6. Peaks and troughs
7. Recognize what should and shouldn't be done

I also came across this quote whist reading "the Illusion of Life - Disney animation" by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston that was just rich with personality and humour. They were discussing the mice in "the Rescuers" and how they had to change all sorts of character relationships in order to get the best possible story and excitement. After looking at it from a fresh point of view it had opened up all kinds of possibilities. The quote goes like this.

"While Bianca was selecting hats and outfits that would make them look debonair, Bernard was concerned with safety and ingenious inventions that a James Bond might have used. When asked by the clerk if he knew how to handle a special dart gun, he acted nonchalant and competent in order to impress Bianca. Naturally, he hit the release and nearly killed them all."

I just love that, they are both such contrasting characters which develops interest, but then also the way in which they feel about each other and act, creates even more depth that can be expanded and progressed to help to progress the story also and allows you to connect with the characters on a human level.

Well that's all for today, I hope you found this at least a little bit interesting, I'll leave you with a scene from "Sleeping Beauty" in fact it's two scenes in continuation. The first animated by Ollie Johnston and the second by Frank Thomas. I found this helpful when thinking about my own animation and how the characters could be revived. Some wonderful character acting and dialogue, this sort of stuff leaves me speechless every time.

I actually referenced this sequence in my research on Frank Thomas for my animation production module.

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