Thursday, 22 November 2012

Mapping narrative and action

As result of my investigation into defining confusion, i became aware of the need for understanding the relationships that occur between narrative, action and thought.

'Animation is narrative through movement ... Narrative can be something as concrete as physical action ... the very first questiom is 'why' ... whatever the answer may be, when you animate a shot you must be concerned first and foremost with characters motivation, purpose, intention, drive etc'.

- Aaron Gilman Animation Mentor Tips and Tricks 2 Pg. 19

'Your character should play an action in pursuit of an objective while overcoming an obstacle.'

- Ed Hooks Acting for Animators 2009

Example: Romeo and Juliet: 

Action = Fall in love.
Objective = Get Married.
Obstacle = Their families hate each other.

The narrative I have produced (the key poses i posted yesterday is from a single shot) is as follows:

Our character is a puppet that has spent his whole life following an arrow - this is his equilibrium. He comes across a split in the road, an arrow pointing left and an arrow pointing right - this is the disruption. There is no resolve - yet - as the ability to not be able to decide which way to go creates the confusion. 

Action = Taking clear orders from the road markings.
Objective = To keep his equilibrium: not to have free thought but to serve.
Obstacle = The split in the road; a choice. Having never come across this anomaly before he is forced out of his equilibrium and into disruption by having to make a choice. This is stressful for the character.

The above graph i have created shows the breakdown of the action and reaction in narrative and character performance terms. By filling in the each section it allows the animator to link movement and thought of the character to storytelling poses, and helps aid overall scene planning through developing understanding. Below, i have applied this formula to the key poses i posted yesterday, the action in the poses only describes one shot from the wider context of the narrative. I have produced a rough storyboard which will be posted at some point over the weekend once i have revised it. However, the action in this shot will remain the same although the last action/3 poses has been removed for reason described in the post due to follow regarding today's feedback. 

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