Sunday, May 15, 2011

Digital Acting 2 - Pose and Act


Lately Blogger UI has been down so I could not post updates on how my project is going. I have already done some of the activities and Pose and Act was the first. The objective is to pose a rig in two extreme and opposite poses expressing a feeling.

I chose to pose mine in, first, a pose of extreme anger, as if he was taking part of an argument with some other character, and second, and opposed to the first one, a pose of extreme happiness and joy.

These are my poses:

The happy pose works pretty fine, when I posed  the character I tried to have the audience in mind and to think from which perspective would help bring the emotion my character is expressing in a stronger way. I also had in mind that in this case, even though his body language gives the audience a sense of happiness, the flow lines in his pose lead to his face, which is where I intend to lead the audience eyes to.

Now on the angry pose, even though it is strong and expressive, and as it was pointed out by my teacher, there is one thing that could be improved to express exactly the feeling of anger: the camera position. It should be pointing up, towards my character's face. This just gives the pose a much stronger impact towards the audience. I posed him accordingly and this is how it looks:

There was also a quiz to be completed with this activity. Here are the questions and my answers:

Question A:
1. Thinking leads to conclusions; emotion leads to action.

Human beings, either consciously or unconsciously, are constantly thinking. Thinking makes us feel, it leads us to emotion according to the situations we are in. And when we feel emotion, we always react to it. This is what makes us humans and sets us aside from other animals.

2. Acting is reacting. Acting is doing.

To do something is a response to a felt emotion. In order to do something towards that emotion, we first need to feel it and then react to it. Humans never sit and feel an emotion without any kind of exterior evidence or reaction shown about it.

3. Character needs to have an objective.

A character needs to be doing something 100% of the time he is in a scene. He needs to have a purpose and pursue that objective by performing actions that will ultimately lead to it.

4. Character plays on action until something happens to make him/her play a different action.

This rule relates to the previous one. Our character needs to constantly be active, to have a purpose or a reason to be doing something, until another objective is presented to him. He should always be moving from one action to another.

5. All actions begin with movement.

Theatrical actions require a more expressive external movement, than real life actions. This is related to the fact that emotions lead to actions. If our character does not express his emotions with an action, he is not acting.

6. Empathy is the magic key as audiences empathize with emotion.

Empathy is what an actor, or character, should make the audience feel towards his expressed emotions. If an audience relates to that characters emotions, they empathize with him and this builds a connection between character and audience.

7. A scene is a negotiation.

Negotiation implies conflict, obstacles and opposing needs, and suggests a positive resolution. Theatrical moments require conflict, they require overcoming obstacles. These conflicts can be internal, with other characters or with the situation.

Question B:

1. Is it best to animate force or form in your character animation?

It is best to animate force because it is a result of thinking and emotion expression and the audience empathizes with that.

2. Who talks about ma? What is ma?

The Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Ma is a pause in the action. Ma, in my point of view, creates a stronger emphasis in sound-less moments in the action of a scene.

3. What is a Power Center? Can you give an example of a Power Center?

Power center is a body reflection of ones personality. Everyone has a different power center. A confident person has its power center in his chest and its power center leads his movements forward, normally pointing his chest out, showing that confidence.

Question C:

1. What is meant by Active listening?

Active listening is actually to be doing something while listening. To hear, understand, determine an answer, realizing your surroundings while not speaking in a dialogue while the other person is talking, and at the same time to express all these actions without saying them.
Question D:

1. Why do you have to remember the fruit salad?

Because you can't reach the end of a scene without having your character to go through all of the thoughts that the scene action requires. Otherwise your character performance will always lack something.

2. Who was Denis Diderot? What did he write about? How does this help animators?

Denis Diderot was a philosopher that wrote about the duality in action, on how an actor must always have control of his performance, and can never be observing their acting. The actors, no matter how much they try, they can't be 100% in the moment of the scene.
His theory is important for animators because the way we act while animating is exactly by using the duality that Diderot refers to. We act and observe our acting.

That's all for now. Be back soon!