Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tutoring w/ Stephen Gregory week 7

I felt a little apprehensive picking such a low key audio clip. But Stephen liked that it was such a subtle shot, with a lot of great opportunities for acting. And save for a some continuity and staging tweaks, he liked where the acting was for this one was going so far. Which was big for me and really instilled me with the confidence I needed, because I wasn't so sure if this was any good.

Here Stephen is illustrating the concept of keeping the focal character's expressions open to the other character. Emphasizing a triangle composition to each shot.

-Acting: Ideas & Choices - Somewheres along the line we were talking about acting choices based on the character & story vs. choices made for movement sake. And he told me about an instance last year where a student reel they got for the summer internship , had a character do a little acting bit idly playing with a bottle cap or something, and it just felt right and completely natural. And even though the rest of the reel didnt have the most "polished" animation in it. They were sold on strength of the ideas and choices for that one clip, and that person was picked up for the summer internship. And that alot of times people get hired into the studio on the strength of one shot, one moment from their reel. He mentioned again that someone can come in, sit down with the animators, and be taught how to polish and finish a shot well. But the acting instincts and choices an animator makes is hard to teach. So work to be extremely selective about those acting choices! Clarify if its ambiguous, and remember to simplfy! Make acting choices and not movement choices!

I know I know, easier said than done, what do I know I'm just the messenger!

So since next monday is Christmas Eve, and the monday after that is New Years Eve, we wont have our next session until Jan 7. So that gives me alot of time to work on this one! I can still send him work-in-progresses if I need to, which is great. I'll be posting progress on this shot here. Until then, Happy Holidays!


Dan said...

AMAZING comments about the acting choices over polished animation....INVALUABLE advice to keep in mind, and something we both seem to be realizing through all this, is the effort really needed to put in the thinking of a shot, not only as the animator but as the character too.

Great work Bobby, keep it up!!

libra bear said...

"Make acting choices and not movement choices!" That has to be the ouote of the year. I'm gonna print this and stick above my light box with you r name at the bottom, Thanks for that....cant wait to see this finished.

Unknown said...

Wow Bobby! This was so helpful! Thanks for sharing such great advice! Your animations are looking fantastic - where is this workshop you're attending? Oh, And Happy Holidays too!

Bobby Pontillas said...

Hey Guys! Thanks for stopping by.

Dan-I hear you man, I think I'm so used to diving straight into animations with just mechanics in mind, so spending more time up front thinking about character motivation will definitely do me some good. I hope your stuff is comin out well!

Wes! Those insights are courtesy of Stephen. He made that comment several times that session. But I'm glad I got to share it w/ you. Good luck on your work!

Sarita thanks alot! I miss the people at Arena! I'm sure you're having a good time.
The tutorship has all been online, thru webcam, not unlike Animation Mentor. Although he does meet w/ the students that live in the bay area.

Arree Chung said...

hi bobby!

man, looks like you are learning tons with stephen. keep on posting so that we can learn a little bit too! thanks.

Bobby Pontillas said...

Hey Arree! Will do man. Thanks for checkin it out.

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