Today I got to attend a super awesome animation meeting! A few animators presented their work on the latest character's movements and lip syncs, so I got to see them for the first time moving along with their speech. It was super cool!
It takes a while to get to this point. Character development is a long process that needs to be taken in care. The first step comes from the Designer, who describes how the character looks: heritage, height, build, hair, eyes, age, facial features, and clothing are noted with the accompaniment of several image samples and references. Meanwhile the writer builds the character: how they behave and talk, decides the voice and accent, what they say and how they say it in response to Nancy's questions etc.
Next, the Character Designer conceptualizes: taking all of the descriptions, he illustrates the characters. After several edits and plenty of feedback, he begins forming the 3D shape, seen here:Next, the animators rig the characters with joints, muscle movements, and assemble figits so they can move like normal human beings.
They sync the dialogue with the actor's voices and when all the animation is finished, the characters are placed in their respective environments, like in this picture here:Then comes a grand presentation time for further critique and comments, which I got to sit in on today. Sadly, I won't be able to share too many details, but I will say that these characters are so cool! (Try identifying where this picture of Bess and George can be found in ASH.)
*Tomorrow will be the second part of the Weekend Mystery series since the office will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.