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Animation Tips  >  Keys to Emotion in Animation

12 QUESTIONS
by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston, June 2003

  1. Is the character doing what the director wants in the sequence?
  2. Is the character doing only one thing at a time?
  3. Is the character putting over the story point in the scene you are doing?
  4. Is the character acting as if there is something going on in his mind?
  5. Does the character appear to be doing something on his own?
  6. Can the audience tell what the character is thinking?
  7. How does what the character is doing effect what the audience is thinking?
  8. Does the character have appeal?
  9. Is it passionate? Is passion going into the drawing and coming out of the character?
  10. Is it the simplest way to do it?
  11. Have you made small story sketches of one important character to be sure everything is working before you make a lot of drawings?
  12. Would any one else besides your mother like what you have done?

 

EXERCISES :

"Frank 'n' Cuke"(requires QuickTime)

See if you can tell what the character is thinking and feeling in this short stop action animation created by Frank in 1985 with a Macintosh Plus.


"The Whistling Contest" (requires QuickTime)

Try watching this short animation we created in 2002 with an eye towards what each character is thinking and feeling.

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