Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facial Subtlety & Nonverbal Communication

 In animation, in order to help bring our characters to life, (among other things like the 12 Principles of Animation, etc), we study 'facial performance and nonverbal communication.'

 In affect animators are actors, and as actors we learn a lot goes into a good performance; subtleties of how the body moves, how its weight shifts, gestures, the posture of the hands and feet, the expression in the brows and eyes, the movement of the lips and other micro expressions, etc...  Of course the medium of animation is in large part a medium of caricature and exaggeration, but one that also allows us to layer levels of performance details that can push the storytelling (:

 Rather than looking at animation lets examine some live-action reference:  As an example of great 'facial performance' check out this clip from "There Will Be Blood" featuring Daniel Day-Lewis, which showcases the intensity and subtlety that can come from a great facial performance.  Note it is the stuff he does between his lines that really draws you in. How he pushes his lips up, the intensity in his brow, and change of micro expressions... all helping to convey the rising, raging sea of emotion inside his character moment to moment.

  Watch this video now:

 This next clip is from the film "The Assassination of Jesse James", featuring Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, and Sam Rockwell; which also features, in my opinion, one of the most impressive scenes in recent history.  And is a great example of 'nonverbal performance'.  Along with great cinematography and sound, there is just too much good stuff going on here to list, BUT pay close attention to how a huge amount of information is being conveyed and communicated through each characters nonverbal performance, how they are thinking and feeling, struggling with their thoughts and emotions, hesitant but forcing themselves forward through each excruciating moment, by moment to the final conclusion of the scene.

  Watch this video now:

Bonus feature:
  Here is a fun clip showing some of the facial controls our face has...

  Watch this video now:

Click here to see related post: "Learn to Speak Body"

Happy animating (:

FedEx Carrier Pigeons

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Super Bowl XLII Commercial by BBDO New York

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This rules:

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Celebrating 50 years of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Directed & Animated by Bernard Derriman.

This one time...

Student film by CalArts student Nelson Boles

Monday, September 27, 2010

Octopus STEALS video camera and SWIMS OFF with it!

I know this isn't exactly animation/entertainment related, but it is good to check out the world around us from time to time. (You could find some great reference if nothing else... heehee). So... just for fun,... here is a real life video, I came across a while ago, featuring some crazy-cool-amazing footage:

Octopus steals my camera...:
Filmed and edited by: Victor Huang
Songs by: Vincent Gillioz - Car Chase
Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones - Octopus I Love You
Location: Wahine Memorial, Wellington, New Zealand

While free diving, trying to get some video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashes towards Victor and rips his shiny new camera from out of his hands, then swims off, all the while the camera is still RECORDING!

Cheeky octopus ;)

  Watch this video now:

Neither the octopus or Victor were harmed ;)

Bonus feature:
More under water awesomeness.
"Please Don't Go" - Kuroshio Sea:
Filmed and edited by Jon Rawlinson
Shot at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan.​en/​ 
Music by Barcelona

The main tank called the "Kuroshio Sea" holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world's second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.

  Watch this video now:

The music is "Please don't go" by Barcelona.

Extra Bonus feature:
Please Don't Go:
The band Barcelona's video response to Jon Rawlinson's previous video (:

  Watch this video now:

You can buy this song on the iTunes Store:​1zAVu
Barcelona's website:​barcelona
Buy the album Absolutes by Barcelona on the iTunes store:​o57OL

The Walking Dead - Opening Titles

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The Walking Dead - the much awaited AMC TV series based on the hugely successful comic book by Robert Kirkman will launch on Halloween this year. Until then, fans have had to make do with a few teaser trailers...
...but one enterprising soul, Daniel Kanemoto, has gone one step further. He has created his own opening titles to the show - and the results are excellent. If AMC haven't already sorted out their opening titles, then they should really get on the phone to Mr Kanemoto right now...!

This spec title sequence was created using artwork ripped from the pages of the comic, originally illustrated by Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore. As well as referencing the story's comic book roots it is exceptionally well executed. Kanemoto made it after a moment of inspiration at this year's Comic-Con. If Frank Darabont (the director of the TV series whose past credits include The Shawshank Redemption and Frankenstein) is watching - dump your opening sequence and swap it for this one please!

For those of you who don't know what the fuss is all about, where have you been? here is the official trailer for the upcoming TV series. If you like your zombie movies, like us, the thought of a whole series (especially one based on such a brilliant comic) is enough to grab the nearest Timelord, hijack his Tardis and take it forward to October 31. OK, so here is the trailer - and it looks good.

Watch this video now: