Monday, November 23, 2009

Character Animation
A look at the process and progress of an animated scene.

It has been a while since I animated a really juicy dialogue shot in 3d animation so I've decided to create one as a centre piece for my show-reel. Since I always learned a lot from seeing other people's working method I thought I would also document it on this blog. I will try to go into as much detail as I can. Before we start I suggest you look at my current show-reel.

Picking the audio
To begin with you have to pick a piece of dialogue to animate. This is a very important part and there are many options. The industry standard method of creating a piece of character animation for a show-reel is to take a clip from a film or TV show or similar source, and animate a short clip in your own unique way. It is down to personal preference but you have to consider who you want to see it and how they may react so don't have anything offensive or nasty. I try not to pick anything too well known, if it is from the latest blockbuster film then your audience already has preconceptions of the audio. And if you're trying to out act Robert DeNiro you might come away looking a bit silly.

I have picked some audio from a podcast that I listen to. It is from the Ricky Gervais podcast and features Karl Pilkington and Steve Merchant. It is quite well known I suppose, but it has only ever been in audio format so you don't know how they would act it out themselves which gives me free reign to invent a performance.

There are a lot of clips I could have gone with but I narrowed it down to this 39 second clip. It has some very interesting rythm's and beats in the dialogue which is what you should look for and also it inspired me (probably the most important thing) and made me laugh. I would suggest a shorter clip if you are just starting to animate. About 10 seconds is good. But I want to go for something that requires some different camera shots and movement. We will see if I have taken on too much!

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