Monday, October 11, 2010

Programme of Study - Draft

As part of the course we are to complete a document called the Personal Programme of Study that outlines our project for the year, the rationale for the project and the research methods we will use to achieve our goals. As this was the first draft of my Programme of Study some sections are still to be completed and as time goes on some will need to be updated.

Adam Thomson - Programme of Study

Title: Research developing character and personality through movement, action, appearance and performance.

Project Rationale:

I studied at the University of Dundee graduating in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in Animation and Electronic Media. I would like to say that my main focus was in narrative and character animation, but a large part of what was needed to be done was in learning how to use the software effectively enough to make something professional looking and then going straight into making a short film in the final year. Although I did learn a lot and feel my time on the course was well spent I think I did not focus myself enough on really developing as an animator.

My main focus during my time on the course will be to continue to develop the animation skills I learnt through and since completing my undergraduate course. I wish to become a more accomplished animator with a better understanding of performance animation and the connection between how something moves and why it moves.

I feel that the best plan for me is to focus on animation as much as possible during the course of the year. I think that by producing lots of animation tests exploring and experimenting with character and performance I will really be able to get to the heart of how and why characters move the way they do.

 1. Investigate and understand movement and acting theory.
 2. Investigate how this relates to character performance and animation using 3D computer animation.
 3. Apply this research to the production of short animations and my own practice.

 1. Study movement and acting theory.
 2. Develop my own animation skills using this research.
 3. Produce a series of test animation showing this development.
 4. Develop a short animated film using these techniques.

Research Strategy:
My research strategy will incorporate a variety of different methods. I will be using Maya to create an extensive series of short animation tests covering different types of animation, including but not limited to basic walks and runs to more complex movements. I will also be looking at more performance based animation with single and multiple character interactions and dialogue pieces. Part of this will also be taking part in the monthly 11 Second Club animation competitions.

I plan to look at variously proportioned characters and how they move within their environments, and how the visual appearance of a character informs and limits the way it moves and behaves. No two people move the same way, so the aim is to show this with an animation that will incorporate 2 or 3 different characters and seeing how they move, interact and think their way through the same environment.

To accompany these animation tests I will also be reading into different acting and movement theories such as Stanislavsky and The Actors Studio. Ed Hooks Acting for Animators and Laban Movement Analysis.

I will study animated films in terms of acting and performance and read animation blogs to understand how other animators work differently. I will also look at live action films to see actors perform choose examples to study more closely and talk to local actors and performers to find out about their processes. I plan to video different actors performing the same script extract and then discuss with them about their different acting choices on the same source material.

I will continue with life drawing and observational studies. All of this will help me to develop a better understanding of how to create character and personality using animation and then feed this knowledge in to the production of a group short film with other class members.

Expected Outcomes:


Semester One:
Research and animation tests.
Initial pre-production of short film.

Semester Two:
Continued animation research.
Fully start production of short film.

Semester Three:
Final production of short film.

Key Challenges and Issues:


Reference Materials:


Playing to the Camera - Edited by Bert Carullo, Harry Geduld, Ronald Gottesman, and Leigh Woods
Acting for Film - Mel Churcher
Acting for Animators - Ed Hooks
Laban for All - Jean Newlove & John Dalby
Drawn to Life - Walt Stanchfield
The Animators Survival Kit - Richard Williams


1 comment:

KEViN said...

looking forward to seeing your animation!