Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ratatouille(no spoilers) and My Thoughts

I just got back from the Ratatouille sneak peak and can't wait to see it again when its released officially! Everything was superbly done and extremely inspiring. I'd go right into animating if it wasn't after 11pm, lol. I can't wait to get started tomorrow though! Those of you who weren't able to get to one of the sneak peak theaters missed out on a real treat. I'm going to try to stop talking about the film since I don't want to give out any spoilers. On to my thoughts...

Ok, as I said Ratatouille was extremely inspiring. During the drive home I kept thinking "Man, I can't wait until I can animate characters with strong and well defined personalities like Anton Ego's!" He's my favorite character in the film since his personality is so distinctive. I can't wait until I get a job and get to work on characters like him! After saying that I thought for a while and realised I don't have to wait until I'm hired to be able to work on characters with different personalities. Sure I wont be able to work with characters who are defined over the course of a feature length story on my own, but I don't have the characters in my short to work with. I've lost track of how many times I've found myself imagining a scenario with characters from different movies and determining how they'd act/react based on their persona's in their own films.

I asked myself why I can't take that imagination and apply it to my short. Of course it seems like the obvious thing to do, but I don't think I had been doing it for some reason. I told myself I don't have to wait for a job to get the chance to animate fun, imaginary characters. I can do it right now with my short! I think this goes back to my previous post about being so focused on trying to get an internship and trying to hurry and finish my short. I've been so caught up with those things that I haven't really allowed myself to truly imagine what my characters are really like.

Sure I've come up with things for them to do but so far the process has been just that and lacks any creative/imaginative elements if that makes sense. I think that's a large reason why I'm so unhappy with the progress of my short and my work as a whole. I think that might be the spark of life that my work is lacking. I've been so caught up with the technical aspects of animation and trying to get things to look correct that I've forgotten to really imagine how my characters would act.

I went through the usual process of writing down qualities of my characters and using those as a guide when choosing what they'd do in every shot, but I didn't really imagine them doing those things. It was more or a list of things to do rather than an actual performance in my head. I hope all of this makes sense, by the way lol. I know I have the ability to imagine characters doing various things since I do it all the time with characters from other animated films. I just need to apply that to my own work. This seems like an obvious no brainer and I know I've known to do that in the back of my mind, I've just never actually done it. I think I might have lost touch with that element because I was learning how to animate in general...learning about the principles, how to apply them to my work, elements of acting, developing a workflow etc. I'm hoping I now know enough about animation in general to be able to use that knowledge to get the characters in my head on screen for everyone to see. We'll see how that goes. Lol, at this rate my short will never be finished though. I essentially end up redoing every shot I've revisited since blocking it out in the original class 6. I tell myself I can do better and end up changing what I had into something new.

Tomorrow I'll sit down and try to imagine my short as a whole. I'll imagine the character's actual performances, take notes and draw new thumbnails. Hopefully I'll end up with more genuine and lifelike acting and won't have to change my shots anymore after that.

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