Friday, April 23, 2010

Action!: Acting Lessons for CG Animators review

I just got this book recently, and i like it alot. This book is not like any typical animation book, i would say its an Acting book. Its more like 70% acting, and 30% Animation principles and how acting is applied to animation. This book also open your eyes to how acting REALLY is, cause the way we see it through movies and such, they made it look fun and easy, but it's actually requires ALOOT of preparation for the actors, just like how animators would have to plan their shots before actually animating in software. If you want to further extend your acting skills AND acting in your animation, this is the book for you.

It contains materials from history of acting, how it was developed through out the movies, stage, opera's etc. It teaches you some techniques on how to develop your acting, whether its exercises to do with a partner, or exercises to do by yourself. One of the few exercises i thought was really interesting, was to have a friend hide a key or sort somewhere in your house, and you have to find it, at the same time, observe how you act, what do you think? what do you say? what does your body do? After you have find your key, react it again, except you're not actually finding the key.

There's a section about the 12 Animation Principles as well, that part is not necessary unless you still don't understand your principles, if you got all that down pretty good, you can just skip it.

There is also a CD included in this book, inside there are some real life examples, and animated examples. The animated examples are not the best, but it's mainly to show how the acting is applied to animation. The real life examples are great though, they have the actors doing different type of walks, whether is a happy, light-feeted type or a stompy angry kind of characters, it even have actors just standing there in neutral mode, breathing and blinking. There are emotion shots as well, like sad, a guy crying in front view, and side, to a girl feeling pleasure, yum. It also includes some recorded dialogues for you to animate to, there have a few lines, using the same script but with different emotions, to work on how to animate your character depending on the voice emotion. Not only that, they recorded the voice actors in video while they are recording the dialogues, so you can use the actors as ref when animating, just like how they do for those animated movies!

Overall i say this book is Great for people who has intermediate level in animation and starting to advance into doing Acting in animation, it's not recommended for beginners that just started animation and still learning the 12 principles.