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Acting and Performance for Animation

Book Description

Character animation involves more than the principles of animation and the mechanics of motion. Unique, believeable characters that think, feel and captivate your audience are ones that involve emotion, performance, personality, acting and story. Successful animators balance all of these elements within a single character and narrative. With Acting and Performance for Animation, discover how to create dynamic, dramatic performances and believeable character interaction. An invaluable resource for animators, Acting and Performance for Animators is a practical guide to the variety of performance techniques relevant to animators. Develop believable character interactions with chapters detailing the principles of performance, performance types, character emotion and personality, physical and psychological performance, and scene composition. Analyze scripts, sound,acting, action and performance with the practical hints and tips, hands-on assignments and animated examples featured in an extensive guide for animators working in film, TV, games and commercials. Explore different performance techniques based upon the experiences of seasoned animators with case studies featuring John Lasseter, Ray Harryhausen, Nick Park, Joanna Quinn. Expand your own performance techniques with the accompanying DVD which will feature live action reference shorts, production stills, animated examples, and further hands-on assignments.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
    1. Animation Principles
    2. Becoming an Animator
    3. Becoming an Actor
    4. Becoming a Storyteller
    5. Becoming a Creative Practitioner
  8. Chapter 1: Aspects of Acting for Animation
    1. Creative Approaches to Animation
      1. Simulation
      2. Representation
      3. Interpretation
    2. Story, Story, Story
      1. Working with an Existing Script
      2. Writing Your Own Script
    3. Cinematography and Editing
      1. Mise-en-Scene
      2. Montage
    4. Environment and Screen Space
      1. The Setting
      2. Screen Format
    5. Sound
    6. Character
    7. Summary
  9. Chapter 2: Types of Performance
    1. Stanislavski’s System
      1. Study
      2. Emotional Memory
      3. Analyzing the Script and the “Magic If”
      4. Motivation
      5. Objectives
      6. Obstacles
      7. Tools or Methods
      8. Actions
    2. Method Acting
    3. Naturalism and Reality
    4. Epic Theatre
    5. Comedy
    6. Summary
  10. Chapter 3: Format, Genre, and Audience
    1. Audiences
      1. Know Your Audience
      2. Target Your Audience
    2. Genre
      1. Comedy
      2. Drama
      3. Documentary
    3. Format
      1. Features
      2. Short Form
      3. Television
        1. TV Series
      4. Internet
      5. Hand-Held Devices
      6. Corporate Video
      7. Games
      8. Commercials
    4. Summary
  11. Chapter 4: Character and Personality
    1. Character Development
      1. Formats
      2. Viewing Environment
      3. Budget
    2. Animator as Actor
    3. Know Your Characters
    4. Physicality of Characters
      1. Character Design
      2. The Animation Bible
    5. Character Types
    6. Character and Personality
      1. Relationships
    7. Dynamics of Character Interaction—Every Hero Needs a Villain
    8. Summary
  12. Chapter 5: Principles of Performance
    1. Empathy and Engagement
      1. Why Empathy is Important
      2. Identification and Lack of Empathy
      3. Engaging the Audience
      4. Empathy for the Villain
    2. Motivation
      1. Wants and Needs
    3. What Are You Trying to Say?
    4. Props
    5. Summary
  13. Chapter 6: Making a Performance
    1. Body Language
    2. Character Interaction
    3. Effort
    4. Silence
    5. Reflex and Other Physical Reactions
    6. Comedy Performance
    7. Summary
  14. Chapter 7: Scene Composition
    1. Planning a Scene
    2. Storyboards
      1. Thumbnail or Rough Storyboards
      2. Presentation Storyboards
      3. Working Storyboards
    3. The Animatic
    4. Timing
      1. Pacing
      2. Phrasing
      3. Animation Timing
    5. Preparing the Shot—Layouts
      1. Overlays
      2. Underlays
      3. Field Guides
      4. Character Layouts
    6. Bar Charts and Dope Sheets
    7. Blocking Out Animation and Action
    8. Scene Dynamics and Screen Space
    9. Rehearsing Action for Performance
    10. Summary
  15. Chapter 8: Working with Actors
    1. The Voices
      1. Casting
      2. Cartoony or Non-Cartoony Voices?
    2. The Rehearsal
    3. The Recording
    4. Be Open to Change
    5. How to Talk to Actors
      1. Verbs
      2. Line Readings
      3. Feedback
    6. A Few Extra Thoughts
    7. Live Action and Animation
    8. Motion Capture
    9. Summary
  16. Index