How to evaluate 3d animatics?

scott-pic

Most people love or hate 3d animatics.

Opinions regarding the subject go from:

“They look too real, ...we don’t want to get locked into anything!”

to...

“They don’t look real enough, ...they need to look more natural!”

So how can you truly evaluate a 3D animatic? After all, whether you like them or not, odds are you may not have the final say in the process. The people you answer to may love them so it pays to know what to look for.

To demonstrate – watch this animatic first– seriously watch it before you read anymore!

Did you watch the spot? Excellent.

Now if you evaluated the spot purely on looks and humor you would be missing the elephant in the room. Let me explain.

Before Pixar film and animation director Pete Docter produced “Inside Out” he collaborated with a guy named Paul Ekman. Paul Ekman was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in May 2009.

What is so important about Paul?

Well this guy is a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions. It is this work and his studies in measuring non-verbal communication that make him not only a go to guy for hollywood’s elite animation directors– but has gained him the reputation of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century.

facial-expressions

In 1971 Ekman and Friesen conducted an experiment and showed over 3000 still photographs to 4 different language groups and proved that facial expressions are universal- regardless of culture.

It’s Ekman’s meticulous studies into human physcological behaviour and his understanding of the finer details of microfacial expressions that is additionally important for us to understand.

Let’s go back to the Cialis spot.

One of the key points in the commercial is the combination of the boy's confused verbal response to his mother, “what” and his caught off guard facial expression:

Screen grab from the spot>

screengrab1

Now let’s adjust his eyebrows moving them slightly down >

screengrab2

The taken back expression becomes entirely different , giving him a questioning concerned look.

The whole tone of the spot has changed from a micromove of the eyebrow!

Have you ever looked at a spot and thought to yourself,

“Something isn’t working, I’m just not sure what it is”

When this happens 95% of the time you’re subconsciously seeing an expression that isn’t working. Could be a the placement of a eyebrow, lip, nose flare, body language or a combination of all these elements.

According to Ekman, human beings are capable of making more than ten thousand different facial expressions!

If you’re not working with amazing animators using 3d models that have advanced facial rigs you’ll never get the range of performances you need for a good deal of your scripts.

Do you have a script that has some challenging dialogue? Give us a call at Animaticmedia we and we’ll get you started in the right direction today.