Monday, 27 February 2012

Artefact 03

I initially set out to explore the differences between real and fake smiles and how best to use them in animation. So this first video was the result of that test. (This can be considered Artefact 3a but not the main Artefact)

The first instance shows the smile where just the lips move. Clearly this looks unnatural and doesn't read right visually. The second shows the smile with the crease of the cheeks active, and offers enough to look authentic in terms of smiling. The Third show the muscles around the eye and cheek playing their part, which for me offers the most believable 'real' smile.

So then it became a question of which is driving the 'real' one more the cheeks or the eye muscles?

So i created a scene and tried out both, and it became clear that a 'real' smile, as in life, needs both the eyes and the cheek crease present. However, to show a false one it is more tricky. Although it has inactive eye muscles using the crease offers enough to make it either real or fake, really foggy territory. It read poorly and miss-communicates. So the fake smile works best with solely mouth movement.

So here is the Artefact 3b (the main artefact). Both of the characters contain smiles, the larger one, Barry, is smiling genuinely, notice how all the facial muscles move. and the thinner character, Jack, smiles falsely at the end. For me this artefact is where the project has turned the corner, I initially set out to see how lies related to physiology and here it is. Both character are being driven by, firstly, the context of the lie and their role in it, and secondly how their natural reaction is being driven by the context of their role, which in this case is Real and False smiles.

Barry, who is genuinely smiling, is confident, happy, and despite being large isn't being held back by his physiological condition, the smooth flow of his walk cycle is testament to this characteristic. Jack, who smiles falsely, isn't confident, he knows he' going to lie. He bites his lip to stop himself from speaking, his arm is physically holding himself back, hiding something. His walk cycle is nervous, he takes one step with more push than the other, as if something has just spooked him.

The physiological relationship has then drove their personalities, which the focus group said they had picked up on when presented. Generally through the performance, there were two elements that need changing with regard to the animation the knees on Barry snaps slightly on the push up, and his head is a bit too static, so i may apply a secondary action at the start (more than likely where the noise of the car speeding off is). It was recommended that my next action will be to add some cinematography in. Whether the improved version will be enough to act as a separate artefact remains to be seen. It will be a case of how much it then drives the cinematography, and if it has much of an influence. Which will be interesting if it does, as most of these choices are made at storyboard level.

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