Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The Gnomon Workshop – Subtle Performance Workflow 1,2

The Gnomon Workshop – Subtle Performance Workflow 1,2

Less is more in the world of realistic animation for film. Subtle character performance is a unique challenge in character animation for movies, requiring a light touch and an understanding of the psychology of a character as well as how that translates to their tics and mannerisms.

In this tutorial, Lead Animator Ted Lister takes you through his workflow and the decisions he makes as he animates an understated and naturalistic performance piece based on dialogue from Horror Express. The selected dialogue has many opportunities for acting to the subtext rather than to the literal dialogue, and provides an opportunity for the character to have an internal monologue, while also featuring some gear changes along the way.

Using Kiel Figgins’ Sicarius rig, Ted takes you through his various steps, from preparation and blocking to breathing and final polish — even covering some camera animation to frame the acting. Detailing both Ted’s specific workflow and discussing his broader concepts, this tutorial provides a comprehensive view of animating a subtle yet impactful character animation shot; one that is sure to resonate with audiences while maintaining the illusion that this character rig is living, breathing, emoting and real.

This 4+ hour workshop assumes basic knowledge of Maya — although animation is universal, so the core concepts should carry over to the 3D package of your choice. Likewise, the concepts demonstrated in this tutorial are not rig specific, and can be applied to any rig that has a facial setup; cartoony, realistic or otherwise. Basic understanding of animation and associated terms is also assumed; it’s recommended that you have successfully animated a really good bouncing ball before tackling the concepts presented in this tutorial.

Vol. 1 of this workshop covers the preparation and animation of the body; Vol. 2 will cover facial anatomy and animation, and where the body and face work together.

Realistic facial animation can be a tricky beast. The tiniest twitch of a muscle will impart information about a character to its audience, while it’s also all to easy for an animation to look dead and lifeless. Finding the right balance and crafting an emotive, fleshy, and alive facial performance requires a professional workflow.

Subtle Performance Workflow Vol. 1, by Ted Lister, covered the preparation for an animated performance shot and detailed the body animation part of the process. In this second volume, Ted Lister continues his lessons with a focus on animating the face, using Kiel Figgins’ Sicarius rig, revealing how to marry the work done on the body animation with facial expressions that will create a vibrant and alive performance.

Before jumping into Maya, Ted kicks off five hours of tuition by discussing the basics of facial anatomy, providing a clear understanding of the underlying structure and muscles that allow faces to be emotive. He further teaches how to create a facial pose library, details his lip-sync animation techniques, and shares his industry insights to achieving expressive and convincing results before adding the finishing touches.

Vol 2

Assuming a basic knowledge of Maya, the concepts demonstrated by Ted are not rig-specific; you’ll be able to apply them to any rig with a facial setup — whether cartoony, realistic or otherwise. While Maya is Ted’s software of choice for animation, the core concepts should carry over to the 3D package of your choice.

you must be registered member to see linkes Register Now

Leave a comment