"Game Theory" - Actor Test Reel

Hi again guys!

Me and KintaroTheBrave have been working on our first collaborative short together entitled “Game Theory”.

One of the challenges/goals of this film was for us to make our first semi-realistic (emphasis on semi!) human actor.

I’ve put together a test reel in the context of the actor giving an interview for purposes of our C&C:



There are a few lessons and other things we’ve learned which will no doubt lead to better actors in the future. But for now this is our first attempt.

C&C are welcome!


P.S.: Some explanation for the short and this actor are in Blenderart Magazine Issue #21.

The poses look pretty good, and the animation is cool too. The watchamacallsit… theeeeeeeeee… animation! is kind of swimmy though, ya dig? I think for more realisitic (semi realistic) movements, there should be some quicker movements at points of emphasis, yada yada yada. The lip synching seemed off a little too.
By the way, you ever heard of the Roots? They have an album called game theory. Those guys can make some good music. I’d reccommend rising up and long time by em.

Looking for animator for Game

+Century Of War :wink:


The concept is good, the dialogue is good, but the animation right now is … well … circular. By that I mean, the actor’s limbs move just-a-bit too-long and in an arc when in real life he’d just move in a straight line … much more “abrupt,” if you will, but also much more realistic.

I like the general staging of the shot, the lighting and so-on. I also like the character, and his “stage business” when he’s listening. Just rough-up the movements… make them less fluid and therefore mechanical.

Yes. I have been very lucky to get feedback from Dave Edwards (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) who suggested that the animation could be improved if I videotaped an actor instead of miming in front of a mirror or videotaping myself.

He explained that when the animator does the basis movement, one tends to over-do it because one is conscious of the fact that it is for an inanimate actor.

But videotaping a natural performance can lead to better motion… But in doing this for the short itself (which is currently in rendering) I have discovered the same is true for lip sync. When watching a natural actor saying the words the mouth does not close on every syllable and teeth are shown at different times than one might expect.

Anyways, very good feedback. Thanks to all.

The main thing I can see that’s missing in your animation is overlapping action. This is what helps sell the weight of the character. For example, when he sits up, the movement should start from the hips and move up through the spine and kneck. At the moment the body is moving as one, and that makes him seem light.

You’re correct about observing reference. It’s essential.However, the quality of your observations will be what makes the difference in your animation. Live action is very subtle, and unless you know exactly what to look for, and what/how much to exaggerate, your animation will look floaty and weightless.

For non-cartoony dialogue, most of the animation can be handled with only 2 controllers: open/shut and narrow/wide. Obviously you then need to tweak for phonemes, but these 2 motions will get you most of the way there.

Good start. Keep it up!