Sunday, August 5, 2012

Acting Animations

Do you know what's your favorite activity of the day is? Mine is, in no doubt, watching a 3D animated movie on  my PC. No matter how busy I am, if I find a good movie, I'd put aside all my hard work and savor the taste of it. :D

Yesterday while watching Kung Fu Panda 2 for the upteenth time, my curious cat started meowing. Who's actually playing the cute Po, brave Tigress and the funny Monkey (my all-time favorite characters)? How do the animations come to life? How does the lip synchronization happen so well?  

Searching about it was so much exciting. I started with the "behind the scenes". Here's the best clip I've found so far.

Yep, it's Jack Black who's giving a voice to Po. Now I feel like they've actually modeled Jack Black in the animated character Po! I remember him playing the stupid, yet really funny character Gulliver in the Gulliver's Travels. Even in "behind the scenes" his actions were comparable to none other than his own. Well, it's all Deja Vu in Kung Fu Panda, don't you think? That's a little something to have an experiment on. Even Angelina Jolie's voice as Tigress freaked me out; in a good way I mean. I suddenly remembered her as Lara Croft in Tomb Rider with her long platted hair wavering just like Tigress' tail. Oh what a match they are!

And oh, there's something more. I'm sure all of you have watched Finding Nemo. In case you haven't noticed, my all time favorite comedian Ellen DeGeneres is dubbing for Dory, the funniest fish in all seven seas. "I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy", says Dory to a Jellyfish. Adorable and funny that fish is, just like Ellen :).

Enough of beating around the bush. Lets get to the point.

When I was searching about this mysterious fact, something struck my mind. May be they are making animations after choosing who the actors are. May be they are even making dialogues after determining the actor/actress to play the role. Going in that direction I found some interesting pile of information that I'm about to share with you.

Voices of all animated characters are recorded before they start doing the animation. Animators study the videos of each actor (as in behind the scenes), his/her actions and facial expressions. Then they carve their animations to match the actor. This post says it all. Voila! That's the secret behind animated characters resembling real world actors and actresses. It's not just with the voice the character comes to life, but with a piece of the real world actor carved upon it; a fact that makes all the animated movies so picture perfect.