Thursday, 18 April 2013

Atlas, with follow-up thoughts




Here is Atlas.

I've followed advice and upped the production value.


This piece of work has taught me a few things:

- Constraints work better when paired with a locator and parenting, but you still have to have everything dialled before you actually put in your constraint.

- You can't ask a character to struggle with a heavy weight and then expect him to do something extreme with it. Respect the weigh! Unless of course he's lying about it.

- Secondary action lends itself to free limbs. In this animation, all of his limbs are involved in lugging the world around so I couldn't do swatting a fly or something like that. Knees are free so I can wobble them for emphasis. The face is free so I can use this for secondary action.


Secondary action is very much a grey area. If you consider some actions as follow through (for example, flapping cloaks), you're left with what's basically mannerisms and small gestures.
As I think about this work I'm finding myself drawn to this question - 'If something you consider secondary action is in the script, does it stop being secondary action?'. My answer is no. I think it depends on narrative. It could be in the script but if it doesn't affect the story, it could be secondary action.
However going back to the last post where I talked about Superman and his cape,  I think this question needs to go along side 'Is it needed for the audience to understand the story?'.
In that example, even if the story is about Superman's cape, Superman still has to fly to make his cape flap around, so if the focus is on the cape, Superman flying is still primary action.

I'm finding that it lends itself to being described as a scale.




Perhaps you'd describe primary action here also as 'this action is the purpose of the scene'

Somewhere in the middle you would place things like an action that isn't directly relevant to the scene but will be revealed later on as being relevant. You might have things like mannerisms - these add depth to your characters, which aids storytelling but is neither relevant nor totally irrelevant.
An example of secondary action then could be kites or birds in the background. Perhaps then we'd open a new can of worms by saying that technically nothing is totally irrelevant, but it still stands that the significance of an action in terms of story can vary.


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