Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Animation 101: REACTIONS


Reactions should be communicated with CLARITY
      Anticipation is the one of the most important animation principles that plays a main
role in bringing life to a character. In general we use the term to express a waiting of the next move. I would like to bring to attention a less talked about term: the 'reaction'. This might not be a technical foundation of animation but it is essential to an entertaining performance. In the 'reaction' of a character is where the personality of a character can show. A well rounded animator must not only learn how to prepare the audience for an action, but also to relieve them with a reaction.  

      Your animated characters reaction to an action that follows an anticipation will let your audience know how to react. You can notice characters in cartoons using extreme anticipation to engage into a powerful action, such as a sudden run, or hitting with an axe, or playing golf. And then contrast the action with a subdued reaction usually drawing laughter from the crowd. Droopy was one such character whos personality was a superb contrast to over exaggerated actions. Exaggeration is a common factor incorporated in anticipation and reaction. The same can be said with underplaying an anticipation and reaction. Being aware of your characters reaction is essential to creating believable performances in animation which is appealing and enchanting to the viewers eye. 

"Danny we already know this!"

Great, then I go move on to my point. CLEAR REACTIONS! A piece of work lives and dies with the viewer. One will notice pieces of art live longer when they are clear. While the viewer quickly grows uninterested with the messier unclear ones. Clear reactions can resonate with your viewer and leave a lasting impression. A good example of clear poses that relate to the viewers are memes. They are universal and easily recognizable no matter how specific the emotion being depicted is. Take a look at a small collection I have gathered here from the internet. You might recognize some of them.

      These are some awesome expressions that have been shared around the internet hundreds of thousands of times. if you are ever in need of a specific expression look no further! Memes are here to save the day! I mean it, I often reference memes if I'm ever in a bind or need inspiration. 

(quick tip: never go look for help from something generally accepted from the art world, Look for things that resonate with thousands of people on the internet. There will be something about it that makes it connect better. Its up to you to figure out what that x-factor is and use it to your advantage!)

Below I found some memes that can maybe be considered anticipation to something the character might say. They are clear and sometimes exaggerated! (such as the table flip ...which I'm afraid I'm guilty of doing here and there



This post is a grossly simplified overview of reactions, but I hope it plants a seed so that you can start to see this concept in a new light. I hope you all enjoyed it and I look forward to doing more posts. Continue to draw, continue to learn!

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