Saturday, December 3, 2011

Some dialogue tests I did

Throughout this whole semester, I got the opportunity to learn a lot more about character animation in terms of control, performance, and acting. I would like to become a traditional and digital 2D animator (Although I do enjoy 3D animation as well), so therefore I am continuing to allow myself to learn everything I can - it being Visual Development and Design, Story, or simply animation. In fact, I don't know whether I want to do Story or Animation.

So here's something for Sue Kroyer's animation class:
"Sirs stand you all out" (Guys, go out)
"I pray you give me leave" (Please leave me be)

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

The line is from Kenneth Branagh's 1995 Hamlet, one of my favorite shakespearean interpretations to films ever, so this is kind of a little tribute to it. One of main criticisms I got earlier my Film Workshop mentor, Chris Sonnenburg, was that he moved to much like a human and if I were to use a cat like creature - celebrate the fact that it's a cat. In this one, I made his paw sheathe out in this one, but in the earlier versions he just snaps his paw below his waist which was too human of a gesture.  One of the teachers at Cal Arts, Matt Williames, told me to focus more on the gesture since it doesn't read to clearly, having more body movement, and having more interaction with the dagger he is holding.  Make him utilize the dagger as he says "I pray you give me leave" to make it more threatening. It's weird because like in the movie, he faces a character in front of him, then another one beside him. Not many people read that, so I should thumbnail another little bastard behind him if I am to put this in my demo reel.

And here's another thing I did. It's based on an old test but Chris said it was too crazy, so I wanted to learn more about control in animation. Animation is not just making things move in flowy or crazy ways, but its learning to be economical with the energy maintained in the characters.

Here's a test I did based off John Travolta (my new take on the Grease character) but I'll definitely need to finish more of his dialogue some day...

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

In an earlier version way before this, he just said words and moved around like crazy, and I would get the comment "Too much." I needed to tone it down. Understand the character. What is he communicating to Sandy, and to the audience? How does he do it? How much energy or thought is he putting into it? Chris told me to think of specific words that the character says, or the feelings and portray it with careful beats. Losing Control was the hardest because I tried to imitate the real footage where he takes his jacket off to convey that, but I tried to re do that and maybe make himself comb himself as if he's trying to maintain his 'greaser cool'.

Funny thing about this little test is... I'll never hear the end of it from my classmates.