Some thoughts on acting in animation

Long time no news :(
I haven't forgotten about this blog but the work at AM has recently kept me really busy.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago I started my fourth class there, which concentrates mainly on acting. Our first assignement was supposed to be a pantomime shot where the character is having a clear change in emotion, like for eg. having him happy in the beginning, and sad at the end.

The term started really well, I was trying to develop an idea that wasn't too overused. I wanted to animate a happy boy playing with his toy and then getting very panicky when he accidentally breaks something because of his clumsiness.

To summarize a little bit what happened in the last few weeks, I'd say that I see animation in a completely different way. I've realized that what we did in the first 3 classes was only focusing on body mechanics , and that acting brought a whole new level to what animation really is.

When I looked at my favorite animated films like those from Pixar and Dreamworks I always wondered what was the thing that was giving to these films so much appeal compared to my work. I clearly saw that whatever the quality of my shots there seemed to be a clear difference between my work and those animated movies. Then a few weeks ago I think that I had found the answer or at least some part of it. Acting!!
What is acting?  Acting is defined as the performance of a part or role in a drama. Good acting can make a simple performance shine.
For us animators I think that our acting choices can clearly make the difference between a good and an excellent animation.

I've reviewed what I did in my previous classes and could clearly see that I have many animation test where the character feels lifeless, where the body mechanics are okay but the acting is nearly absent. That was only half of the wok done. The other half is about good acting choices. If the audience can read the character feelings, what's he's about to do before he has actually done it then I believe that the acting is on a good start.

Finally, I think that great animators have to be great artists and technicians at the same time. Technicians because that's what body mechanics really are , they consist of the techniques to use to get good movement. And artists because there are millions of possibilities to do one single thing, some are better than others, but I don't know if that can be taught or if it's just a matter of personal taste.


Tania said...

im an animator in the uk and i stumbled upon your blog. i'm really enjoying it. i'd love to do animation mentor just to get back to basics. If you are interested in the acting side of things Ed Hoks has written an amazing book called 'acting for animators' . really worth a look :)

Krzysztof Boyoko said...

Thanks a lot Tania for stopping by.
It's been a while that I haven't updated the blog, the workload at AM has really increased.

Thanks for the tip as well, I've actually read the book already, but yes, it's an amazing one to have on the desk.

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