Monday, 15 April 2013

Atlas, and thoughts on secondary action

This Atlas animation is difficult.
In order to get him to spin the ball on his finger you have to break the illusion that it's heavy, which I don't want to do.

I'm finding that secondary action is a slippery topic. When it was defined as being any action that isn't the primary focus of the scene, this is true, but in a way it's true forward as it is backwards. That is to say, secondary action is those small things that you get a character to do on the side which don't really contribute to the narrative directly, but also, when getting your character to do these things, if you drive the focus onto them they become primary action.

You could sum it up as 'any action at any point can be changed from primary to secondary or vice versa, by directing attention to it narratively.'

Even the flapping about of superman's cape could go from secondary action to primary action if there's a cause for it in the story line.


Atlas's entire body is engaged in an action. This massively restricts the potential for secondary action to things like effort shudders or something similar. Secondary action is better expressed through free body parts or the face, if it isn't involved in an action.

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