Thoughts on character

This is an area that feels so daughting. How do you create a specific character? I don't mean in terms of appearance, but choice of actions.

In Disney's Illusion of Life, the Nine Old Men, talk about living with their characters, building an understanding how their characters would react. I've also heard tales of tests at studios such as Pixar, where trainee animators would create clips using the actual character rigs for Woody or Linguini. These tests were technically well-crafted, showing expect control over movement, however, the same tests failed to grasp who the characters were as individuals.

For my choice of audio, there are of course two characters. Not only must I show two individuals, but also explore how their relationship works when you bring them together.

I see the two characters having an uncle and niece relationship. Trust, friendship, respect and love are mutually felt between the two characters. This doesn't mean that the two characters cannot have tease, manipulate or provoke each other. But where does the power lie? I do not see a definite heirachy, where my Frank and Elsie (yep, from now on that's how I will refer to may characters). Therefore, who leads the action and at which point?

To illustrate this point, I wish to show this clip between Ralph and Vanellope (click on pic):

Character Design

Vanellope successfully manipulates Ralph, however, there is still a respect between the two powerful characters.

Focusing upon my animation, I have Elsie perched on Frank's shoulder. The scene opens with her looking inside Frank's head. For him to turn and talk to her, the lid of his head must close. She will now have nothing to hold onto, so how does this affect her balance? On top of this, there is also a sudden movement, as Frank turns to look at the skull (the to be or not to be pose). How does she react?

After lunch I plan to shoot some reference and load a few thoughts on this.

I also hope to speak to my mentor, Matt, to find within me the key to unlocking a true character walk cycle. Not just a vanilla character walk. By this I mean one that shows either sadness or happiness, a creep or a skip etc. But how does my specific character walk? That in itself will be a challenge. I have a few thoughts, but wish to talk this through with somebody before commencing.

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