Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Programme of Study 2.0

Updated programme of study for the end of semester one.

Adam Thomson - Programme of Study 2.0

Developing performance using character, objectives, emotion, and physical actions.

Project Rationale:
This research seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the emotive aspects of performance animation by looking towards acting theory and movement analysis and showing how this can inform animators in creating believable, empathetic characters and performance using keyframe animation and digital technology.

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.

To have an understanding of how to create performance using animation
Create an animation showreel using this understanding.
Create a short film.

Investigate and understand movement and acting theory.
Investigate how this relates to character performance and animation using 3D computer animation.
Develop my own animation skills using this research by producing a series of test animation showing this development.
Develop a short animated film using this new understanding.

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.

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: 
The outcome of this research will be a developed understanding of character performance using animation, with with a varied showreel displaying this understanding, leading to the completion of a collaborative short film with my aim to focus on character animation.

Semester One:
Research acting theory and how it can relate to animation.
Initial animation tests.
Start pre-production of short film.

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

Semester Three:
Final production of short film.

Key Challenges and Issues: 
Balancing the research with my own practice.
Time management.

Maya Lab
Tutorials – Online and DVDs
Other animators, lecturers and classmates.

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