Performance and Acting: Creating Believable Characters
Animator and concept artist In-Ah Roediger helps you get under the skin of your character in her Maya masterclass
Publisher The Gnomon Workshop
TPrice $49 he PR problems for computer-generated animation come from its name. Many people assume the computers do most of the work, but in fact CG animation remains a painstaking field. In-Ah Roediger’s video shows the skill that’s demanded of pro animators, as she depicts a character acting out a passage of pre-recorded audio.
In-Ah starts by gathering her reference – or rather, creating it. She listens over and over to the audio loop, first getting a feel for her character, then acting out the character’s movements. She also makes several passes at lip-syncing the speech from several camera angles. The understanding of your character you gain through doing this is useful for all artists, not just animators.
Then it’s into Maya, the queen of animation software, to work with the character model. Don’t expect a beginner-friendly run-through of
Web www.thegnomonworkshop.com Maya’s animation tools: barely anything is explained, and the character In-Ah uses is already modelled, textured and rigged. InAh’s focus is the detail of character animation. She’s operating on the level you aspire to once you’ve mastered the basics and can assemble a walk cycle.
You’ll see In-Ah follow a standard procedure of blocking out the big movements, before refining and refining again. One extended passage, for example, focuses on correctly pacing eye blinks and the movement of the eyeball beneath the eyelid. Together, these tiny details establish a character you believe is real and has her own personality.
Performance and Acting is gold dust for animators – it’s full of clever tricks and techniques. And even if you’re not an animator, In-Ah will inspire you to take the time to understand your characters, and show the dedication that goes into crafting every second of big-screen animation.
In-Ah begins her tutorial by acting out how the character might behave, building a library of reference to show how she moves and talks.
Working with splines enables In-Ah to adjust every aspect of the animation until
the performance and timing is spot-on.