Thursday, 6 December 2012

MA Artefact 01

So here is the second pass at the scene i have been working from. As an artefact, this has been built up using the pipeline that is taught at animation mentor. The idea of this first artefact was use reference footage to improve timing and spacing of my animation. The feedback was that the resulting action spaced out effectively but was very pantomime in the gestures. There is quite a bit of over-action and not enough refinement or internal monologue coming from the character. Looking back over the other elements of the artefact highlighted issues with the character design and the reference material. The design of the character did not take into consideration both the aesthetic and movement required. This will no doubt be a result of the character being designed without a specific goal and prior to the narrative I had conceived. There were several issues i had during the generation of the two passes, mainly caused by the size of the hands. The pointing finger dominated much of the scene, which I think is why there is such feeling of over action, which isn't aided by the slight walks in each direction; the latter is a result of the reference footage shot. The footsteps timing was used as the foundation for the performances pacing. A positive offset of this was that the weighting felt much stronger than i have previously done. What was interesting was driving all of this was my own internal monologue; from character design and reference footage of myself.

The other issue i came across was the characters break for the thought process. I noticed while animating that it was far too quick but thought I’d run with it as it kept with the rhythm of the piece. This was noticed by my supervisors, which prompted a discussion regarding my interests. In truth i was waiting for the issue (of the thinking time) to be raised. At the time i knew it was wrong, but my own stimulation from watching it flow overrode (and it represents a good limitation of live-action reference). However, as discussed at the very start of the project that sounds influence on timing and spacing was my primary interest, and after revising it towards my longer-term aspirations, that of character performance, we established that it could actually could be the primary focus of the research, and the others - performance, timing and confusion as secondary purposes that ultimately feed the project. I feel it is good to have made this distinction because it helps build the context and direction towards what I am trying to achieve.

The narrative of the piece was a play on the virtual puppet being given constant (Rhythmic) instructions. Upon meeting the crossroads (A Glitch in the system) he suddenly has to think for himself, which creates the confusion. One question asked was, is the performance right for the story? By this, was the consistent rhythm right? To pull this back to the internal monologue, surely the reaction would be more reserved and frozen up upon reaching the glitch, which is true, I feel it would have been better in that regard also. To conclude, this artefact shows why reference material should be suitable for the narrative. It also signifies the importance of designing and producing a character fit for purpose. It has also highlighted that on some subconscious level I am stimulated and engaged through rhythm through other purposes than just storytelling in a large studio process.

Next step: I am going to produce some really short pieces of a character showing confusion. To increase productivity and to start thinking about how rhythm can be expressed with narrative.

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