The Use of Subtext in Character Animation

When an audience views a scene in an animated film, they are experiencing the emotions that a character reveals as the character negotiates its way within the shots throughout a film. When done correctly, 2D and 3D Character Animators can add detailed layers of emotions into their animation to subconsciously enhance the impact of acting within the shot on the audience. The use of subtext in character animation is an excellent tool from your animator’s tool box to do so. The definition of subtext is the content underneath the spoken dialogue. Behind the dialogue, there can be conflict, sadness, sensuality, pride, disdain, or other ideas and emotions that are pivotal to a story. Subtext is the unspoken thoughts and motives of your characters, it is what they really think and believe. Subtext essentially is an element that carries a second level of meaning, and can be set decor, color, or other elements that can be designed into an animated film to help tell a story. In this post, I want to talk more about the body language and dialogue aspect of subtext. You have no doubt seen this being used in live action and animated films before, so let’s look into how you can approach an animated scene using subtext. Below is a clip from a website called http://acting4camera.com/. The acting teacher Paul Barry does an excellent job describing the use of subtext. The use of Subtext in character Animation is used whenever you need to clearly show the essence … Continue reading