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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Animation Critique: Audio Clip

Direct Link: Monologue

Now that the clip is further along and I can see the flow and rhythm to it, what struck me first had nothing to do with animation. It was her hands. THEY'RE HUGE! Check out frame 201, she looks like the Giant in "The Princess Bride". :-) I think that the Norman rig has a control for scaling the hands, give that a try. Also, can you beef up her upper arm and scaled down her lower arm? Right now some of her body features are fighting her womanly appearance.

Performance wise, two things stood out. Her hand during the shouting is next to her head for quite a long time. I would have her hand go up to her head during "mouth" and then be ready for "shut". Then the door rub. Once the hand is up during "shut", after she says "shut" I would plant the hand on the door, as if she wanted to reach to her love, but the door stops her (make it lovingly, not a forceful slap against the door). The hand then slowly slides down, but only for a beat, not for the rest of the clip. You might even rest her head on the hand.

Her left arm is always around her waist. When I acted it out, I kept moving her arm to the floor during her turn after "... brag". So as she turns, since she's leaning towards the door, she needs to keep her balance, that's why I had my left arm/hand plant on the floor. Here's a crappy example:

I also kept lowering my head during the "brag" sentence because she feel so defeated, looking at the floor, which would be a nice contrast when she goes up for her shout. I wouldn't gesture during "off with the boys", keep the acting contained, then have that movement during the "brag" part, but make it more frustrated, then lower head.

Her lipsync needs some love. Even though some shapes are in it, overall it feels like she is just opening and closing her mouth. I can see that you pull in her jaw for the "v" shape during love, I'm not saying that no shapes are dialed in, but go to frame 122 for instance. He mouth is kinda like this most of the time, default like. You can push it a lot more, for instance during "shut", or during "b" shapes (exaggerate the b shape, hold it for one frame, then open up her jaw a bit but still have her mouth closed in the b shape (lips pressed together), so you have at least 2 frames with the lips visibly pressed together).

I like how her eyes widen before the "love him" part, showing her realization. But be careful with the amount of blinks that you have during the rest of the clip. For instance, I wouldn't have one during "brag". Even though she is sad and frustrated, she still seems concentrated because of her frustration, and when I act it out, I rarely blinked. Only on the headturns. That's very subjective though, but at least the "brag" blink seems inappropriate. Overall your blinks are a bit slow and even. The up and down timing seems to be the same. Try out version with 2 frames down, 3 frames up (quick ones), or 3 and 4. But don't forget the cushion out at the end with one frame.

Her right hand slides down during the 90s, right now it looks like you forgot a key somewhere and the hand drifts to that pose.

Act it out, film yourself doing this clip over and over, until you forget that you are performing, that's when more natural acting choices come up. Do it 10, 20, 30 times over. You'll pick up detail stuff for the arms the hands, the timing of her hand plant on the door, how the hand react when/if you have her head rest on it, etc. etc.
If you can, ask a girl to act it out. Compare her acting choices to yours.

Overall the timing and ideas are there, but now it's detail time. Push her emotions (don't overact), but find nuances, subtle and sensitive acting choices.

Add a door knob and scale down the door. The door is super wide. I know it's a door because we talked about it. But as you show this clip to other people for feedback, they won't know just by looking at it.

Keep going!

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