Little gestures that characters can do that make a character feel believable and fun to watch
- Okay so we've been talking a lot about primary gestures, big gestures. Let's talk a little bit about subtle gestures, the things that people do that tell you about how they're feeling, that aren't necessarily big. These are great gestures because you can tell that she's waiting for something. One of the assignments that I love to assign to students is a character waiting for something. It forces them to look at the character and figure out what to do while they're doing nothing.
The little things, that again, tell you how they're feeling. What type of waiting do you think that she's trying to do? If you look at that last scene, it's a lot about what she's doing with her hair, she's probably waiting for somebody that she really wants to meet, maybe it's a date. There's little things that are going on even with her hands at the bottom of the screen. So this is the type of waiting assignment that says the character is waiting for a person they like.
Let's look at a scene where they don't want to be waiting for something. Alright, arms folded, that tells you a lot. Shifting their weight. That little hand flicker right over there, is kind of like that uncomfortable nervousness. What she does with her mouth. The way that she blinks. The pursing of a lip.
So, it's really important to kind of figure out, again, what are the mannerisms that are going to sell a character's attitude. This one is even further along, something that really, really doesn't want to be there. So amping up that idea of not wanting to wait for something. What are other gestures? What are the things that are going to help, quote unquote, sell that? So, think about subtle gestures as something that is almost like a spice on top of your food.
It's gonna make it taste better, it's gonna make the performance all that much richer. Subtle gestures are the things that you add to your animation in order to layer in that wonderful acting and then the believability of character.
- What are gestures?
- Cliché and illustrative gestures
- Using reference for gestures
- Gesturing with other body parts
- Polish of gestures
- Facial gestures