AbstractsComputer Science

What About Those Guys in the Back? Techniques and Purpose of Enhancing the Performance and Acting of Background Characters

by Christopher David Bishop

Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Department: Animation
Degree: M.F.A.
Year: 2015
Keywords: Thesis (M.F.A.)  – Animation; Savannah College of Art and Design  – Department of Animation
Record ID: 2062228
Full text PDF: http://ecollections.scad.edu/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1002751


Secondary/background characters are often underused in establishing the setting and enhancing the performance of primary characters within animation. These characters may be posed unnaturally, make overly broad motions, or appear as blank slates that fail to enhance the shot in which they appear. This thesis aims to enhance background character performance through the study and application of human nonverbal communication. Successful and poor utilization of background characters will be explored from multiple film sources to rationalize the enhancement of background characters. In Harmony, the visual component of this thesis, nonverbal communication forms including postural echoing, body posture, and gaze behavior, develop an internal thought process for the characters that enhances the performance of the focal character. Successful utilization of secondary characters not only enhance the direction of the narrative, but also support the key characters in film. Filmography: page 43. Keywords: background characters, secondary characters, gesture, nonverbal communication, postural echoing Includes animated film short "Harmony."