Week Seven – Supervisor Meeting

I began the supervisor meeting by telling Richard what I had written so far. I informed him that my topics were slightly altering from what I had originally submitted in the learning contract. I explained that I have not compromised the contract, but instead just realised that some topics are not as important/relevant as I had originally thought, and some new topics have been added.

We then began discussing anthropomorphism, which is the next topic on my lest to research. Specifically, it will be anthropomorphism of inanimate objects. This greatly narrows my scope as most of the material out there relates to the anthropomorphic qualities of animals largely due to the work of Disney’s character creations. A lot of my literature review on this subject will have to be observation rooted in fact. We talked about the Luxo Jr. short, which we usually refer back to when talking about this subject, and how human characteristics are applied to inanimate desk lamps. I pointed out that the lamps moved similar to the human arm with it’s ball & socket and pivot joints. This means the lamp moves in arcs rather than direct lines, which pertains to human movement. We discussed whether or not I was going to use animation principles like squash & stretch and anticipation to develop the characteristics of the tape machine.

Richard had a search on the ACM Portal site and found some journal-based material on this topic and gave me a copy of what he had found…

The Use of Anthropomorphism in the Animation of Animals: What all animators should know by Nikki Atkinson

Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation by John Lasseter

Tricks to Animating Characters with a Computer by John Lasseter

While the first one doesn’t relate directly to inanimate objects, it will be useful to touch upon the idea of anthropomorphism in general and this includes animals. The second two will be extremely helpful as John Lasseter is a godfather of giving life to inanimate objects. We found a great interview online with him where he talks about how to give life to an object by putting yourself in place of the object and trying to imagine what it’s feeling. Sounds a bit bizarre but is a great way of developing a character and story. After watching that clip I’m already getting proper ideas for my final deliverable.

During the meeting it dawned on me that in order to give human-like qualities to an inanimate object, I will be required to do some research on human expressions also. Richard said this would be a good idea but not to go too in-depth as this may get off topic.He directed me to last year’s 2D lecture on lip sync which contained a section on facial expressions. The key, I think, will be to look at the tape machine itself and exploit the features it has. With a bit of imagination I think a face could be implied.

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