Bring weight to your art with Bobby Chiu

Bingo Lit­tle, US

ImagineFX - - Front Page -

Think about the sound that the crea­ture is making. Even though no­body will hear it from look­ing at a pic­ture, this de­tail will flesh out your story, which will in­form the sub­tleties that will give your im­age life. Sub­tleties cre­ate a sense of be­liev­abil­ity.

Bobby replies

Many ac­tions and emo­tions can be thought of as ei­ther en­ergy ex­pend­ing or en­ergy conserving. For ex­am­ple, yelling, cheer­ing and anger ex­pend en­ergy, while sleep­ing, hid­ing and sad­ness con­serve en­ergy. En­ergy-ex­pend­ing ac­tions tend to stretch one out: reach­ing, pulling, stretch­ing out. In con­trast, en­ergy-conserving ac­tions tend to com­press one in: hud­dling, curl­ing, squish­ing into a ball. Th­ese are the ba­sic prin­ci­ples that I keep in mind when ap­proach­ing a mighty roar.

A big part of suc­cess­fully show­ing the emo­tion in a roar is ef­fec­tively ex­ploit­ing lines of tension. What’s mov­ing when the sub­ject is roar­ing, where are th­ese parts lo­cated, and what anatomy re­stricts them from mov­ing any fur­ther? For ex­am­ple, on a roar­ing or yelling per­son, the mandible hinges at the top and piv­ots down from the pal­ette as far as it can go un­til the mus­cles and skin cov­er­ing it pre­vent it from open­ing any fur­ther. Th­ese op­pos­ing forces – the mandible try­ing to open and the cheek mus­cles and skin pre­vent­ing it from do­ing so – are what cause the stretch. Nat­u­rally, the greater the op­po­si­tion of th­ese two forces, the tauter the stretch. Look for th­ese lines of tension and stretch them out to straight lines to ex­ag­ger­ate a good roar.

Step-by-step: Did you hear that?

1 I em­pha­sise the lines of tension around the mouth area to ex­ag­ger­ate the force of the roar. There’s no bet­ter way to com­mu­ni­cate stretch­ing than with straight lines, which clearly say, “Any tighter and this thing will snap.”

2 As the mandible pulls away from the pal­ette and the mouth stretches open, the flesh and skin above and be­low the mouth should wrin­kle and bunch up. You can see that the front of the muz­zle is ac­cor­dion­ing in mul­ti­ple di­rec­tions.

3 Think about mo­ti­va­tion and emo­tion, and try to show that in ev­ery part of the body. I have my crea­ture’s shoul­ders up and arms back, el­bows up to com­mu­ni­cate force go­ing for­ward. The mouth is open as wide as it can go.

The wide-open mouth is key here, along with tension in the body to em­pha­sise the power and force of the beast’s deaf­en­ing roar.

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