Essential Acting Concept

Hi all… It’s been a while since I last post but the other as I was reading Acting for Animators by. Ed Hook, I came across something that changed how I plan the acting choices for my shots. In his book, he gave a theory of Seven Essential Acting Concept. Here are the summary of it:

#1. Thinking tends to lead to conclusion; Emotion tends to lead to action

#2. Acting is reacting. Acting is doing

#3. The character needs to have an objective. Every movement or action in a character have its own purpose/ objective.

#4. Your character should play an action until something happens to make him play a different action. There are never any moment where the character is doing nothing at all.

#5. All action begins with movement

#6. Empathy is the magic key. Audiences empathise with emotion

#7. A scene is a negotiation. Negotiation inherently contains conflict but it is not necessarily conclude to being a negative thing. There are 3 types of conflict: internal conflict, external conflict (with other people), and conflict with the situation.

This acting concept has helped me by tons in planning the scene I’m creating for my thesis, I hope it will be as useful for you too. =D

Animation Journey Continues… at Last…

After nearly 2 years of derailment from my animation journey to another path laid in My life with the arrival of My little girl, at last I’m able to continue my character animation learning. She is now One year old (means now she can be with a baby sitter while I animate…Yay!). Aside from that reason, I’m now also joining one of the awesome online animation schools, animschool.com. This is all thanks to their scholarship program!!… Yep, I received their scholarship for starting this spring semester (April 2013) and will finish in September 2015. I was in shock when I received the acceptance email!

I have enrolled to the “Introduction 3D Animation” with Thom Roberts as the Instructor. This will be quite a bit of repetition from My workshop 1 at iAnimate but it’s okay for me as I have not been animating since mid 2011. Actually, this will be a great restart for me.
I will be starting on the 1st of march, so stay tune to My blog as I will (again) share with you the new things I will learn and I’ll also post up My work so it will be able to be commented!…

Thanks for reading,
Keep Animating,
Sashya Halse

Overlapping Action…

What is overlapping action?

The movement of the different parts of a living creature do not occur at the same time; things start, move and stop at different points and move at different rates. In order to achieve this lifelike actions it is necessary to create time lagss between these seperate actions making the movement of the individual elements overlap. We call this overlapping action.

Overlapping action is often down to complexity of the structure: the various materials it’s made of, the nature of locomotion (the action), the effects of the natural forces upon the different parts (hair, arms, clothing and solid objects), the way in which these parts are connected, and a wholw host of other variables.

An object, even one with a low degree of complexity, will demonstrate varying levels of dynamics throughout its structure during its natural motion. The separate parts of things nearly always move at different times and at different speeds. Animating a character as complex as a horse, for example, will by necessity demand a high degree of variable dynamic actions due to the nature of its physiognomy (appearance) and the complexity of its mode of action (locomotion).

Its these little variations in actions that will make your animation convincing and create the performance you are trying to deliver.

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Action

As animators, we begin our work by adding layer upon layer of animation timings to the seperate elements of the action. We can break this process down into primary, secondary and tertiary actions according to how they affect and are effected by the overall movement.

Primary Action are those actions that are central to any given moment. As an example, let’s consider a fairly straightfoward walk cycle. In such an animation, the action will be driven by leg and hip movement of a walking figure.

Once primary action is complete, the animator may go on to animate the Secondary Actions that assist the primary action. These movements are those that are usually linked to the primary actions and make for more efficient movements, such as the swinging arms and upper torso movement in a walk cycle. While such actions affects the overall movement they are not essential to its completion, that’s why it is consider as secondary actions.

After animator animated the secondary actions they will be able to move on to animate the next layer of detail to the sequence, Tertiary Action. These are actions that are simply the result of the primary and secondary actions, and are often the movement of those things that are simply attached to the main figure. These types of actions are often used for appendages or costume/character’s detail and are perhaps best shown by such things as the flapping ears of a running dog, the tail of galloping horse, a character’s hair or the ribbon on her dress. Such actions are usually of little consequence to the movement of the figure.

Keep animating…

Regards,
Sashya Halse

Know Animation Before You Animate!

At first I thought that the definition of animation is as simple as sequences of moving images but the truth is it is way more than that. I found that out after watching “Keith Lango Tutorials”, I have to say it is one of the best tutorials I ever got… Its worth it!… In his tutorial he define animation as the outward expression through body and motion of internal reality in mind; heart and soul of your characters (no matter if it is a background or main characters). Some people thinks that pose; timing; arcs; overlapping actions and other principles of animation IS animation BUT they are NOT. Those are merely the tools to accomplish the outwards expression of inner realities.

Some of you might wonder “what is inner realities?”. Inner reality of a character is what is inside the character’s mind. This include what he or she is feelings; their believe; opinion; tought, etc. There is something you have to remember to help you figure out the inner reality of your character for that moment in time… Wants or Need!
Everyone have wants or need for something we do not have/ possesed. This intern creates an emotional reaction. That reaction causes us to try and answer it wether by denying or fullfiling emotional reaction or even finding a new emotional reation to offset the previous one.

THE RULE:
We want or need something that is not in our possesion. This disconnect generates an emotional reaction. Thus we will act to answer this emotional response.

WANTS/NEED leads to EMOTIONAL REACTION leads to ACTION!!

To figure out the inner reality of your character at a certain moment in time and place, in order to animate his/ her character properly you have to ask yourself a few questions:

#1. What is the situation the character is in?

#2. What does the character wants/need right now that they do not have? Can they get it? If not why?

#3. What do they feel about it?

#4. What are they going to do about it?

For example:
#1. A character who is a attetion hog singing street performer is not getting any attention/ ignored by passer by.
#2. He wants attention. He could not get what he wants because there is a cute little girl juggling pinapple accross the road.
#3. He is annoyed and angry.
#4. He is going to sabotage the girl’s performance so she fails and he get audience and attention from them.

The Role of “Change” in Animation

Change is the thing that allows you to see what’s going on inside the character. We capture the inner reality and something that happens inside the character by scene by scene basis and for moment by moment basis.

For example, the character think of a new tought, new feelings, new desire, new pain he/she felt, etc. It is something that happened inside the character that causes them to express that through an outward change.
So, animation is the art of using “change” as a tool to show the inner reality. If we do not have changes means that we have no story.

TOUGHT leads to EMOTIONAL leads to ACTION!!
(people don’t act on tought, they act on emotion)

Change is shown in stillness vs motion. All of the animation tools (eg. 12 principles of animation) are use to allow us to show change via stillness (pose) or motion (timing, offset, drag).

Hope you enjoy reading this post. I highly recomend you to buy Keith Lango VTS for more animation knowledge. I found that his tutorial is one of the best theory you can ever get. It is worth the money!

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Keep on animating!