Sunday, October 28, 2012

Power Centers and the Importance of Body Language

This Friday, after letters and interviews and much deliberation, Tea Time was proud to welcome the newest member of the board Frank-Joseph Frelier (more on him later).

In commemoration of his first official day on the team, he was in charge of planning and delivering Friday's lecture: Power Centers.

What is a Power Center? 

Essentially, it's where the essence of a character comes from; It is what drives the character. Designing characters with strong Power Centers informs the character's nature, which, in turn, informs the motion. 

For example, if a character's Power Center was held in their head, that character could be more cerebral and focussed; or if a character had a Power Center in their hips, they could be more seductive. Here is a list of the Power Centers we discussed with some possible adjectives, as well as some characters we found to be good examples of each.

Head - Cerebral, focused or distracted, goal-oriented, regal
Ego, Carlie Brown, Iago, Sir Hiss, RattleSnake Jake, Quasimoto

Chest - Assertive, seductive, arrogant, macho, confident
Mr. Incredible, Superman, Jessica Rabbit, Hercules

Stomach - Sloth, jolly, giddy, lesser, intellect, improper, slovenly, sluggish
Po, Santa, Ed, Pregnant ladies, Patrick (from Spongebob)

Hips/Pelvis - Seductive, lewd, cocky, confident, sexually suggestive
Ace Ventura, Jack Sparrow, Meg (Hercules), Shakira/belly dancers, Izma, Woody

Legs/Knees - Clumsy, Lesser intellect, tired
Kramer, zombies

Feet - Graceful, light, awkward, burdened, injury, sneaky
Cowboys, ballerinas, Pochahontas

Using power centers can help you to create recognizable traits with ease, but it can also help you to think about entirely unique characters and get out of the vice-grip of cliches. 

Finally, in addition to Frank's excellent lecture, Tea Time joined students from all over the Bay Area at the Reel Feedback event at the Animation Collaborative after club! It was an excellent night of having our work torn apart (with love!) interspersed by pizza eating, Mike Makarewicz demos, and networking. As per usual, it was a wonderful experience and we can't thank the review board enough for providing such an amazing opportunity to students like us.

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