I'm ANIMATED! Look at ME! WooooooO!

Thinking about styles of animation... I've never been a fan of a lot of popular 3d animation wherein every character is constantly moving around all spastically for no reason other than to call attention to themselves and say HEY LOOK AT ME I'M ANIMATED! WOOO! THIS IS ANIMATION!!!

When I've read about great actors... many directors have said that they are people you cannot take your eyes off no matter what they are doing... So last night while I was working I was watching HOMEBOY a film from 1988 with Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken... two GREAT actors... and I was having a hard time working because I couldn't take my eyes of either actor when they were in a scene... NOW Mickey Rourke's character barely said anything and barely even moved BUT his performance was moving and kept me interested... to me THAT IS ACTING... If he was singing and jumping around like an attention whore oozing histrionic personality disorder I wouldn't be able to stand 2 minutes of that bullshit 0_0

NOW a days since teaching animation... and especially when it comes to 3d animation it has become a factory approach... MOST of what I see out in the world that is "good" 3d character animation looks the same... they use the same motions... the same timing... NOW I DO understand the basic principles of animation but that's NOT what I'm talking about here... How many times have you seen a 3d animated shot wherein a character was supposed to be thinking so the animator made the character scratch their head? I've seen it at least over 9000 times as well as TONS of other visual cliches...

It comes to knowing WHY your character should move... IF they should... they shouldn't just have to move because they are animated characters because then your just making a bunch of annoying kinesthetic cliches popping all over the screen... I mean obviously modern animation masters create living, thinking characters BUT then everyone just copies those instead of forging their own characters... I guess there's a deeper issue here as people themselves have a hard time being original let alone forging an original animated character ^_^

WHAT do YOU do when your sad? Happy? Depressed? Lonely? Do you copy what you see other people doing? or? If you do copy others...how does that feel? Does it feel real?

Animated or not our goal should be to create great original performances regardless of the medium... and NOT fall back on kinesthetic cliche's. When working with amateur actors... if you ask them to be upset they'll probably put their hands over their face and say "Oh man Oh god" just like THIS

He WOULD have put his hands over his face if he wasn't holding that letter ^ ^

If musicians can see and get SICK of the same musical motifs being used over and over than an animator or director might get sick of the same motions and the like eh?


  1. Ow God!, Ow man, Ow GOD!, Ow man Ow God Ow Man Ow GOD! Ow man Ow god Ow man Ow god Ow man Ow god Ow man Ow god Ow man Ow go Ow man Ow god Ow man Ow god...

  2. I like how an animator I worked with described it to me. A character's face and posture should reflect their inner dialog... what they are thinking from moment to moment. How other characters react to a speaking character says more about that speaker than what they actually say.

    If you are animating a comedy these actions can be comically exaggerated, but if you are animating a dramatic or tense scene, these actions can be very subtle. Don't move a character just to have them moving. Every movement should be motivated by something. Also when your character is making smaller overall body movements, the subtler facial movements can read better.

    The worst is when mo-capped actors try to do a "living hold". They shift around listlessly trying to provide movement just for the sake of movement. Makes it seem like they suffer from hyperactivity, or at the very least have to pee really badly.


  3. Yeah what Michael said for sure...especially the bit about tense scenes...think of people acting as if they're going to be slapped. They're not going to move, they'll be rigid, and their body language will show it for sure. I'm hopefully going to explore this when I do my flick since it's a horror movie. Ample opportunity for animating inner conflict and turmoil. And the dumb blonde won't go deeper into the haunted house going "Billy? Are you in here?" Cuz my film doesn't have a dumb blonde :D


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