Traditional And Contemporary Animation Animation Essay

This research paper aims to give an overview of some of the methodological analysiss used in traditional and modern-day life by professional energizers during the last century. It aims to place and research the basic techniques that energizers use to convey characters to life. The methodological analysiss presented here are non concerned with alternate ways of inspiring such as Rotoscoping or MotionCapture, instead, concentrating on the basicss and rules that make a character both compelling, in the sense that people can sympathize with them, and apprehensible, in that their actions can be seen as an effort to fulfill their desires given their beliefs. The consequences of this survey show that certain cardinal techniques are important to convey a character to life.


I, Jonathan Hearn, province that this research papers, to the best of my cognition, contains no stuff which has been written by any other individual except where due mention is made in my bibliography.


I would wish to thank Andy Love, Realexis Christofides, Phil Howlett and Rob Antill for their continual attempt to assist me and give feedback in and out of the tutorial Sessionss. Thank you to Marina Miron for cogent evidence reading every bill of exchange. Thank you besides to Dax Norman and Sean Myatt whose insightful cognition into professional life and puppetry helped me to farther develop my research.


The intent of this research papers is to farther my cognition of life, most notably how energizers make a character act and how acting leads to arousing deep emotions from the audience. Determining specific techniques used by energizers is therefore a focal point of my research undertaking. Thomas and Johnston ( 1981, p.15 ) suggest that “ [ degree Celsius ] onveying a certain feeling is the kernel of communicating in any art signifier. The response of the spectator is an emotional one, because art speaks to the bosom ” .

Through the medium of life this paper will analyze how energizers fill characters with life. Subsequently, every energizer faces a complex venture which requires the character to be credible for witnesss, and to accomplish a certain grade of designation between the witness and the given character.

“ Credible playing means that the audience feels that the character ‘s actions are the consequence of their ain inner motivations and non the energizer ‘s interior motivations ; that the character feels, thinks and reacts systematically harmonizing to its personality and temper. ” ( Meir, 2002a, online ) .

Successful employment of alive characters implies a assortment of factors an energizer should take into history, such as the 12 rules of life developed from old ages of experience by Walt Disney ‘s ‘Nine Old Men ‘ and carefully planned stage dancing, that is to state characters ‘ motions and gestures. Therefore the most ambitious undertaking for any energizer is non merely to follow way of a character in the book, but besides to impute meaningful actions that will convey it to life.

The undermentioned research undertaking will seek to detect and measure methodological analysiss, which are normally used during life procedure for wake uping emotions and how these are applied to character life.

Background to the research

Creation of lifes is a procedure which has evolved over many centuries. Particularly in the last century where unbelievable developments started taking topographic point. But along the manner, life had its extremum and worsening phases switching from traditional 2D life and halt gesture to modern-day methods as 3D and brassy life.

“ Man ever has had a compelling impulse to do representations of the things he sees in the universe around him. As he looks at the animals that portion his day-to-day activities, he foremost tries to pull or sculpt or model their signifiers in recognizable manner… he attempts to capture something of a animal ‘s motions… finally, he seeks to portray the really spirit of his topic. For some assumptive ground, adult male feels the demand to make something of his ain that appears to be populating – something that speaks out with authorization – a creative activity that gives the semblance of life. ” ( Johnston & A ; Thomas, 1981 p. 13 )

The foundations of life rules were created by a group of energizers who worked for Walt Disney during the early Disney hey-day. The group was called ‘Nine Old Men ‘ . Two of the ‘Nine Old Men ‘ , Ollie Johnston and Frank Thompson, examined and explained 12s basic rules of life in their book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation which is now referred to as the “ Bible of the industry ” ( Lightfoot ) . Their ‘twelve rules of life ‘ adhere to the basic Torahs of natural philosophies but besides cover with emotional timing and character entreaty ; although originally intended as a usher for traditional hand-drawn life, it is still widely used and regarded as standard pattern in computing machine life industry.

At SIGGRAPH 87, John Lasseter ( 1987 pp. 35-44, 21:4 ) presented a paper called Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation. In this paper he listed the 11, alternatively of 12 for traditional life, most of import rules of life which were ; “ Squash and Stretch ” , “ Timing and Motion ” , “ Anticipation ” , “ Staging ” , “ Follow Through and Overlapping Action ” , Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-pose Action ” , “ Decelerate In and Out ” , “ Arcs ” , “ Hyperbole ” , “ Secondary Action ” and “ Appeal ” .

Research Question

What techniques of moving do energizers utilize to convey characters to life and do them more credible to the audience?

Survey of literature and plants

Throughout my research indicants that energizers use certain rules of life to convey characters to life grew more and more. The seminal survey in this country by Johnston & A ; Thomas in their book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, illustrates that 12 rule methods which adhere largely to the Torahs of natural philosophies, create the semblance of a character that is alive.

Furthermore, pulling upon Johnston & A ; Thomas, Lasseter ( 1987 ) extends the statement maintaining that for the modern-day signifier of life, largely refering computing machine 3D life, merely eleven of the 12 given rules play a relevant function. Therefore the bulk of them are still related to traditional and modern-day life. The rules of life, irrespective of the employed medium, are really practical giving an energizer a opportunity to make more believable characters.

Recently, Martell ( 2009 ) used methods from the 12 rules in pattern to make his a short movie Pigeon: Impossible, for which he besides made a picture diary depicting the assorted techniques related to his work, in order to demo the importance and impact of his methodological analysiss. Anticipation, being one of the 12 rules of life, was used by Martell to depict how an energizer could demo that a character is involved in believing procedure before carry oning an action. Further, an energizer can command the physical elements of a character by pull stringsing the clip border of an action, that is allowing a certain sum of clip base on balls before such action occurs.

Additionally, in another episode from his podcasts, Martell examines the “ gesture linguistic communication ” of a character. He covers the development of inspiring a character with consistent and alone personality reasoning that every character has a “ power Centre ” which has a large consequence on the characters personality, for case, “ nervous people tend to respond with their caput foremost, whereas confident people start with the hips. ” ( Martell, 2009, online ) This summarises many points from the 12 rules and illustrates them with cartridge holders from his short movie.

In 2003 Ed Hooks published the first book on moving specifically for energizers. This book Acting For Animators is a usher to public presentation life which examines the theory and processs of moving but addresses it to energizers and relates them to the life industry, for illustration, in existent life it may be that an histrion gets a line wrong so they have to get down once more and rerecord the action once more. However, in life the action occurs frame by frame so the same sort of mistake does n’t happen. Therefore the original method of moving in existent life is n’t relevant to energizers. Hooks ‘ book is an plus to energizers seeking for a manner to better their lifes and his attack to the capable give energizers a much called for accomplishment in the industry.

Besides, George Maestri discusses many of import countries of computing machine life in Digital Character Animation volume II: Advanced Techniques. Most notably on the topic of “ moving ” he outlines the importance of making empathy for the character so that the audience is connected to the character emotionally, in different ways.

In his book, Maestri uses an of import mention to Stanislavski who describes the thaumaturgy if which poses the inquiry “ What would I make if I were in these fortunes ” . This thought procedure topographic points energizers into the head of a character doing them believe about the character ‘s feelings or actions.

Maestri besides portions Meir ‘s sentiment about emotional responses proposing that they are a consequence from stimulation. Furthermore, Maestri discusses the feelings of empathy that a good character should project onto the audience, irrespective of character ‘s function. be it a hero or a scoundrel. “ The scariest scoundrels are the 1s who appear to be existent to the audience. ” ( Maestri, 1999. p.131 )

Further, two e-books written by Shawn Kelly and released by his on-line life school company called Animation Mentor ( found at ) were really utile to me. Animation Tips & A ; Tricks volume 1 and volume 2, are a aggregation of techniques which professional energizers from companies such as ILM and Pixar use to make movies and Television shows.

The book is a usher that covers a broad scope of topics from the first phases of be aftering an life right to the countries of accomplishments and endowments that companies look for in energizers.

Theoretical attack for choosing informations

To foster my understanding I will travel through the literature of multiple authors to happen replies which are relevant to my research inquiry and for my probe, severally. Scrupulous reading for the topic I intend to research will broaden my cognition and assist me research avenues of similar, related topics which I have non had the opportunity to meet before.

Most of my informations will be attained from secondary beginnings such as books, diaries, conferences, web pages, and podcasts. Primary research in the signifier of interviews with working professionals may besides be included. This will, as an added benefit, supply me with a current beginning of information instead than an out-of-date one which is frequently the instance with the secondary beginnings. Furthermore, I shall integrate geographic expedition of other subjects in their broader context, but ever in relation to the subject of survey, such as playing, since it is a more mature trade which portions its traits with the country of my subject and therefore more cognition can be obtained.

Description of proposed pattern

The practice-led constituent of my question will dwell of six artifacts. The artifacts will prove the thoughts which I will hold obtained from this research papers. Each artifact has a deadline of two hebdomads and must non take longer than two hebdomads to finish, hence, they should be really clear and concise and should n’t take the observer/participant excessively long to finish either. The first artifact will affect making study ( s ) . This is a good topographic point to get down to acquire a wide apprehension of my question. The other artifacts will affect making really short lifes of about 10 seconds, as doing anything of a greater length is non imaginable to inspire, put up visible radiations and render on clip. Therefore, the aggregation of short lifes will concentrate on the key techniques that are written in the research papers. The purpose will ever be to put up a similar sort of trials as to ease comparing, therefore pulling clear decisions based on my findings which will supply me with an in-depth organic structure of primary research.


Energizers have merely one resource to pull out their thoughts from, which is the existent universe. Everything which inspires energizers comes through their senses taking to inspiration and desire to animate ascertained things. An extract from the book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation posits that “ [ m ] an ever has had a compelling impulse to do representations of the things he sees in the existent universe around him. ” ( Johnston & A ; Thomas, 1981, p.13 )

Some energizers movie themselves while they play the duologue through with others or on their ain. This planning method is a good manner to achieve mention specifically for the life that is needed.

In the article “ Acting and Animation ” , the writer Meir ( 2002 ) describes an energizer as “ an histrion with a pencil, non a draughtsman that acts. ” Meir ‘s account is from the position of a traditional energizer although it can be transcended from the medium of the traditional pencil, to keyframes in 3D package. This suggests that an energizer does non merely pull what he reads in the book and sees in the storyboard, instead, he must do the character act to convey it to life.

Meir raises this interesting point which is that the energizer can non acquire everything he needs to convey a character to life from the book or storyboard entirely. Chemical reactions, personality and temper to be able to read the character must all come from the energizer. In this illustration, Meir ( 2002a ) efforts to interrupt down the idea procedure he would travel through and suggests that other energizers do similarly when they are faced with this undertaking.

“ The storyboard shows a character come ining the frame, and looking angrily at another character… does the character enter easy? Quickly? Determinedly? Hesitantly? Does he halt all of a sudden or bit by bit? Did he cognize the other character would be at that place, or does he descry it in the scene? Is he ferocious, or simply dissatisfied? What kind of choler is it – helpless ( like a kid ‘s choler towards his parents ) , or superior ( like a parent ‘s towards his kid ) ? ”

The specific types of choler, as an illustration, are non things which can be conveyed directly from the book to the audience, this is where the energizers reading would step in. If it were a unrecorded action movie these descriptions would be based on the histrion playing the portion of the character. “ In our life we must demo non merely the actions or reactions of a character, but we must visualize besides… the feeling of those characters. ” Disney ( Johnston & A ; Thomas, 1981, p. 463 )

Harmonizing to Meir ( 2002a ) “ [ B ] elievable playing means that the audience feels the character ‘s action are the consequence of its ain inner motivations ” . Furthermore, he constructed a list which an energizer should work on in order to give a sense of ‘believability ‘ to his/her character. His list includes the undermentioned points: “ Feel ” , “ Think ” , “ React ” , “ Consistency ” , “ Personality ” and “ Mood ” .

“ Feel ” is to look for the consciousness or ‘inner experiencing ‘ of the character. Hence, portraying defined experiencing such as felicity and unhappiness, or traveling the character around harmonizing to the 12 rules will non be plenty.

“ Think ” shows the character doing a determination or taking into an action. Opportunities to demo the thought procedure should give deepness and complexness to the character, therefore doing it more credible. The term think can besides be implemented by usage of simple expectancy techniques. The expectancy that takes topographic point inside the character ‘s caput should foremost be a “ gesture or round ” ( Martell, 2009, online ) . It will inform the audience that the character thinks before executing an action. Martell ( 2009, online ) illustrates such a phenomenon on an illustration of expectancy from his short movie Pigeon: Impossible, in episode 15 of his podcasts. He posits that “ the eyes inquire the inquiry foremost. Normally the eyes are the really first thing to respond, so the face and so the organic structure. ”

“ React ” gives a character a motivation for the action. Making certain an energizer knows what the character is responding to and why, will do the ground for the action seem more credible. It besides tells the audience more about character ‘s personality, possibly giving more information to the audience about character ‘s original.

“ Consistency ” is of import for it gives credibleness to a character. Chemical reactions should stay consistent. In other words if a character is an extravert, it should remain extroverted without seeking to move diffident unless a clear ground is given or such an action is in context in the book.

“ Personality ” is like acquiring to cognize a character every bit good as you know a household member for illustration. Energizers should larn and cognize what their favorite nutrient is, what they are afraid of or what dependences they have. These personality traits add more ground to their reactions.

Finally, “ Temper ” is a impermanent consequence or alteration in the characters personality. It is non the same as personality since the temper might have on off finally, but likewise to the personality it can besides be a deciding factor of character ‘s reactions.

Expressions are an of import country for inspiring credible characters. Energizers need to make the semblance that a character has a encephalon, and that the encephalon is in control of all the character ‘s characteristics. Kelly ( 2008 ) tells us that “ [ vitamin D ] ifferent parts of the face need to impact each other, and be affected BY each other. ” As we are to the full cognizant of our ain and others facial characteristics, the audience will detect any unusual gestures in the face that do non normally occur. Furthermore Kelly writes that this is “ [ vitamin E ] xactly the same manner you make certain your character ‘s organic structure does n’t look like a clump of independently traveling limbs, your face is a series of affiliated spots that all work together to pass on with the universe around it. ” ( Kelly, 2008, p13 )

The advice presented here is all connected with natural human responses. Simply by paying close attending to our milieus, we find out how things move and it is the function of the energizer to heighten the responses to do it easier for the audience to read. It is of import that the emotions read clearly to the audience so that they are non missed. One possible manner to guarantee full comprehension of emotions would be to utilize hyperbole ( Perdew, 2008 )

All these complex techniques are an indispensable portion of energizers ‘ toolsets used for adding credibleness and animation to their characters. Acting accomplishments are what distinguish good energizers from great energizers. As Carlos Baena denotes “ [ T ] he animation skills themselves, with clip, you learn them small by small. The moving portion of things… the picks you have your character do, that ‘s where the true accomplishment relies… Some energizers at Pixar, I do n’t believe of them as energizers any longer, I think of them as histrions. ” ( Baena, n.d. , online )


My research, aimed at detecting techniques which energizers use to arouse emotions from witnesss, has surely fulfilled its intent by blossoming a huge sum of methodological analysiss for act uponing emotions through lifes. Get downing from the early yearss of life, the methodological analysiss and techniques have evolved into energizer ‘s common pattern.

Obviously, energizers covering with these methodological analysiss have to travel through a strict idea procedure and posses the accomplishments to be really artistic and originative in the manner they move a character. The manner of life can greatly differ between really realistic or wholly beyond phantasy, but ever, the energizer ‘s undertaking is to arouse the key emotion which is empathy in the audience. In this regard methodologies employed are extremely dependent upon different characters and different books.

Therefore it is rare for energizer ‘s to travel through the same procedure with two or more characters. Hence, energizers have to keep flexibleness of their thoughts and retain antecedently discussed cognition as a usher to making characters with realistic ( interior ) emotions. Merely so such a character, typifying a existent being, has its full potency to appeal to audience ‘s emotional degree.