Character acting: a case for better animation reference
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Animators are often expected to film their own acting reference. However, most animators are not trained actors, and as a result, their performances lack depth when dealing with emotionally-rich subject matter. The result is superficial acting in both reference and final animation. This superficial acting is essentially a caricature of an emotion, rather than the emotion itself, and has been used to create “many believable characters with individual personalities” (Beiman, 201). However, while superficial acting may suffice for some caricatured performances, this paper explores how emotionally-driven and authentic acting reference provides benefits to all types of animated performance. I propose a methodology for achieving emotionally-driven acting reference, based on my experience as an actor and animator. I also compare and contrast superficial animated performances with emotionally-driven animated performances. This research extends the possibilities for greater acting possibilities within animation, including a greater emotional range of animated characters and more emotionally-rich subject matter. Reference Beiman, Nancy. 2010. Animated Performance: Bringing Imaginary Animal, Human and Fantasy Characters to Life. Case Postale, Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA.