SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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11. Acting and Drawing for Animation
Sunday, Half Day, 1:45 - 5:30 pm
Room 511AB
Level: Beginning

This workshop provides hands-on demonstrations of acting and drawing principles required to achieve strong animated performances. Participants view demonstrations of acting by lecturers and volunteers from the audience, and are invited to try each exercise. Drawing materials are supplied to follow live demonstrations. Examples of strong animation are projected. Larry Lauria, formerly of Disney Institute, demonstates how he works at his animation desk.

The course addresses the following acting-for-animation principles:

  • Warming up your instrument -- isolation exercises and illusions.
  • Trust and collaboration the studio -- blindfolds are provided.
  • Staging and positioning of characters for good silhouette -- motion and drawing.
  • Bringing a character to life -- the empathy factor.
  • Animal motion in human characterization -- animal movement and interaction, using animal motion in human walks.
  • Walks -- mental, emotional and physical centers.
  • Pantomime as a basis for strong dialogue animation -- non-verbal iconography and timing, creating illusion.
  • The take and double take in physical timing -- squash and stretch, timing, trading the focus between two actors.
  • Relaxation -- contraction and release of all muscles.
  • Emotional recall of past events (blindfolded).
  • Showing emotion using everyday actions -- walking, sitting, standing.
The only requirements are an open mind and a willingness to participate in guided activities. It helps to have an understanding of the process of animation in either stop-motion, classical, cut-out, experimental film, or 3D media. Acting and dance experience is not required but will be introduced during kinesthetic exercises.

Intended Audience
Animators, producers, graphic artists, game developers, filmmakers, and students should attend. Through guided motion and drawing exercises, all attendees will gain an understanding of methods needed to produce strong animation.

Lucilla Potter Hoshor
Savannah College of Art and Design

John C. Finnegan
Purdue University

Lucilla Potter Hoshor
Savannah College of Art and Design

Larry Lauria
Creator, Animation World Network
Toon Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design

1:45 Introduction/Welcome Speakers
Lauria, Hoshor and Finnegan
1:55 Warm Ups:
  • Salutation to the Sun

2:05 Warm Ups:
  • Squash and Stretch
  • Facial
  • Eye
  • Head and Body Turns
Finnegan and Hoshor

2:15 Warm Ups:
  • Isolations

2:25 Trust & Collaboration:
  • Blindfolds and Leading
Finnegan and Hoshor

2:45 Stage Directions:
  • Together Apart Together
Finnegan and Hoshor

2:50 Stage Directions:
  • Staging Groups with Thumbnail Drawings

3 Animation Example: "S.A.M."
3:04 Animal Character Development:
  • Animal Pow Wow
Finnegan and Hoshor

3:19 Animal Drawing:
  • Compositing Animal & Human Traits in Character Design

3:30 Break
3:45 Understanding Mime:
  • Object Transformations
Finnegan and Hoshor

3:45 Understanding Mime:
  • Object Transformations
Finnegan and Hoshor

4 Understanding Mime:
  • Strong Silhouette in Life Drawing
Lauria and Hoshor

4:10 Animation Example:
  • "Values"
by Van Phan

4:15 Emotional Recall and Projection:
  • Passing the Mask with Takes
  • Relaxation and Recall of Past Events
Finnegan and Hoshor

4:45 Emotional Recall and Projection:
  • Adverb Exercise

5 Emotional Recall and Projection:
  • Staging Emotions
Lauria and Hoshor

5:10 Animation Example:
  • "Respire"
by Jerome Combe

5:15 Questions and Answers

Tickets are required for entrance to this course. Tickets for the session will be distributed to Full Conference registrants at the entrance to Room 511AB. There is no additional charge for tickets, but they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance is limited to 100 people. Attendees who have tickets will be seated first after the session break.
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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA