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Chapter 10. Animation Techniques > Adding Life to Your Character

Adding Life to Your Character

When you create a character, you need to think about its personality and how its personality relates to its appearance. You can give personality to almost anything. A line or a dot can have character. If you’ve ever seen Disney’s Aladdin, think about the magic carpet. It’s just a rug—no mouth or eyes—but it has personality nonetheless. Just push your creativity to find ways to give your “object” its own internal life.

A good way to get started is to draw sketches of your character in different moods so that as you animate, you have a visual reference to work from. In the animation industry, studios will often get a reference actor to pose for the artists so that they can observe actual moods and reactions. It’s the little nuances that help give their character more life. This technique was used in creating the animated feature Shrek. The artists clearly picked up on some of the actors’ movements and expressions as they recorded their lines, and they incorporated those traits directly into the actors’ animated alter egos.


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