Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Friday, 10 June 2011


This is the dialogue I will be animating the scene to:

So I now need to listen to it....................and listen to it..............and listen to it.................and listen to it! To get to the heart of the matter and really start to understand what's going on with a random piece of dialogue like this I listen to it literally hundreds of times. I find it useful to put it on my iPod and sit quietly or even go for a walk. Anything really to get the ideas flowing. Like I mentioned in the last post, I start asking questions and really try and grasp the emotions and intent behind the spoken words, the subtext. I know it sounds really obvious, but when we speak, if taken at face value, our words only communicate a very small amount of the thought and emotion that drives them. So I use this repetitive loop to try and understand the characters, empathise and associate with them. 

Okay, let's get into it.

- You stole it..................I've 
- I thought you put it there?
- Why would I put it there?
- Kindness?
- Kindness? 
- You stole it. He stole it. 

After listening to this over and over I realised that as the second character starts delivering his line the first character hasn't actually finished talking. It sounds to me like he's going to say, ' You stole it.......I've been looking for this' before he gets interrupted and can only get the 'I've' out. This helped me to bring a starting point and I began to build the scene around the premise that the first character is getting something back that he once owned and treasures very much. I can also hear some rustling on the track which I may incorporate.  

Sometimes I might just sketch out a diagram like this to help feel the energy and phrasing.  The speed and energy of the first characters reactions make him a high energy, aggressive character to me in contrast to the second guy who seems kind, a little insecure and naive. This reading will support broad animation which I aim to make entertaining and fun. With that I'm on my way.........

Thursday, 9 June 2011

ANIMATION PLANNING 1 here goes! This is going to be the first post of many taking you through my entire approach and thought process when dealing with a dialogue scene. I've been used to lecturing most of this stuff and will be good to get it into a more accessible and hopefully organised format!

So first things first - PLANNING - why bother? For me it's about exploring ideas, having fun, making decisions and laying the solid foundations for all the hard work that will follow. There's nothing worse than getting knee deep into a scene and realising it's not as strong as it could be. That's not to say that absolutely everything remains in a straight jacket as you progress, but the confidence provided in this stage is essential.

ANALYSING THE SOUNDTRACK. The dialogue I have chosen isn't part of a larger project (ie. a film) so this point is a little different to a shot being handed to you by a director. In that case you would be able to ask questions about the overall story, the way the scene fits within that, the intention of the scene etc, etc.. You would also have the story boards to refer to. This isn't the case here, this is for all intents and purposes a stand alone scene, so all that information has to come from yours truly. Including character design. 

So it's time to listen to the soundtrack. As I'm doing this I start to ask myself some questions:

Who are the characters?
What's their story? 
Where are they?
What do they want? 
What's the conflict? 
What's their history?

I really need to post the audio before we can move on. It's getting late here and don't have time to get that up and running right now. To save me some time before tomorrows post, does anybody out there know how to do it? 

Friday, 3 June 2011

At last............ANIMATION

So this is The Animation Art of Neil Housego, yet animation is notably absent from this blog, right? Well I'm in the process of putting together a dialogue scene for fun (some frames shown above) and to show my process from start to finish. I'm going to start with the all important planning stage and will hopefully have a post put together in the next few days. I'm hoping it will be useful to all of you who come here on a regular basis.