Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Create subtle performances for your animated characters

The Gnomon Workshop has released Subtle Performance Workflow Vol 1. and 2, a complete guide to naturalistic character animation, recorded by Industrial Light & Magic lead animator Ted Lister.

The two-part series, which totals over 10 hours of video training, is divided into separate workshops on full-body and facial animation.

Create subtle, realistic character animation suitable for visual effects work
During the workshops, Lister reveals how to create subtle, naturalistic animation for a 3D character, rather than exaggerated, cartoon-style effects.

In them, he animates Kiel Figgins’ Sicarius character rig to audio from 1970s Spanish horror movie Horror Express, chosen for the possibilities it offers for animating to the subtext rather than the literal dialogue.

Vol. 1 covers the process of preparing for work; of creating full-body animation, from blocking to breathing and final polish; and of setting up camera animation to frame the shots.

Vol. 2 covers facial animation, beginning with an overview of the structure and musculature of the face before discussing how to create a facial pose library, lip-sync techniques, and how to refine a shot.

Although the video training is recorded in Maya, the workflow and general principles should translate to any 3D software, and to any character rig.

As well as showing Lister’s own animation workflow, both workshops provide his expert insights into the art of delivering expressive, emotive performances with digital characters.

About the artist
Ted Lister is a lead animator at Industrial Light and Magic, where he was character lead for both the Genie in Aladdin and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

He previously worked at MPC, where he was lead animator on Terminator Genisys, and worked on movies including The Jungle Book, Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent and World War Z.

Pricing and availability
Subtle Performance Workflow Vol. 1 and 2 are available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, giving you access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. Free trials are available.

Read more about Subtle Performance Workflow Vol. 1 and 2 on The Gnomon Workshop’s website