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5 Tips for Effective Exaggeration
At the heart of successful animation lie 12 principles. One of these is exaggeration, which refers to the act of taking certain elements and extending them beyond the realm of the normal. All animation requires some kind of exaggeration, even animation that tries to be realistic, because it is the exaggeration that makes the animation come alive, engages the audience, and adds comic relief to otherwise intense scenes. Badly executed exaggeration, however, can detract from rather than add to the appeal and impact of an animated work. As a result, effective exaggeration requires careful work by traditional animation studios. Below are some tips for successfully using exaggeration in any animated production.
Exaggerate the most important elements.
The first step in creating effective exaggeration is choosing which elements to exaggerate. The main thing when making this decision is to remember that exaggerated elements will get the most attention from viewers. Therefore, the element you choose will change the way the viewer perceives the scene. As a result, you have to choose the elements that are most important to understand the scene.
For example, if you’re animating a scene in which a character is sailing, you might decide that the wave motions are the most important and exaggerate them. On the other hand, you may decide that the character’s reaction is the most important and, therefore, focus on their facial features. In the former, the viewer learns about the environment in which the character is navigating, while in the latter, the viewer learns about the character’s personality. Making the right choice will allow you to create exaggerations that contribute to, rather than detract from, your work.
Know what your goals are.
Once you’ve decided which elements to exaggerate, you’ll need to decide how much exaggeration to use. To make this decision, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with the exaggeration. Exaggeration can be used in different ways. For example, you can use it to add fluid motions that make the animation look more realistic. On the other hand, you can use it to create cartoonish movements that add comedy, or that add personality and appeal.
Each of these purposes, however, requires a slightly different use of exaggeration. Take, for example, the sailor discussed above. If you want a realistic look, you can choose to exaggerate his facial expressions a bit. However, if you want to intervene with humor, you can use extreme exaggeration to give him comical facial expressions. The right choice will be the one that best contributes to your overall goals for the scene.
Keep the essence of exaggerated elements.
Once you decide to exaggerate an element, you are no longer bound by the strict parameters of reality. However, in order for your exaggeration to retain its appeal, it must still have some connection to reality. If it doesn’t, the object or character being exaggerated will become confusing to viewers, who will no longer be able to reconcile what they see on screen with the basic rules of reality they are used to.
For example, say you choose to exaggerate the facial features of the character sailing the boat. If you remove all identifying elements from the face in order to turn it into a complete caricature of fear or surprise or delight, you lose the essence of the character design. The viewer will no longer be able to log in or connect with them. As a result, when exaggerating any animated element, a good rule of thumb is to take what’s already there in terms of expressions, physical features, or emotions, and exaggerate those elements. By doing so, you increase the scene’s appeal to viewers rather than detract from it.
Although animation viewers expect to see exaggeration and fantasy, they also want to keep one foot in reality. As a result, another key to effective exaggeration is creating balance within the scene. You can do this by selecting just a few elements in each scene to exaggerate. The rest of the elements should remain more natural and realistic. Doing so will avoid an absurd or disturbing look that will leave viewers confused or confused with your work.
For example, if you exaggerate your floating character’s facial features, you should refrain from exaggerating other physical features. If you choose to exaggerate the motion of the waves, you may need to refrain from exaggerating the character’s facial features as well. With a balanced scene, you draw the viewer’s attention to the elements they need to see and keep them grounded enough in reality to enjoy the exaggerated elements.
Keep your project attractive.
Finally, when using exaggeration in your animated production, you’ll need to maintain traction. Appeal is a fairly subjective but crucial element to animation. It’s what makes even a villain a character that viewers will enjoy watching. Making mistakes in the steps discussed above may result in losing the appeal. For example, if you use too much exaggeration, viewers will be less likely to enjoy the animated production.
As a result, the last question you should ask yourself is how the exaggeration contributes to the overall appeal of the scene. It can fit all of the above criteria, but still reduce the overall entertainment value. On the other hand, you may find that pushing the boundaries a bit gives a bolder look and greater appeal. As a result, exaggeration, as with any element of animation, requires careful processing in order to achieve the most powerful and engaging artwork possible.
Exaggeration is an effective way to bring your animation to life, whether you’re making video game animation, commercial animation, or a feature film. Exaggerating the most important elements, knowing what you want to achieve, keeping the essence of the exaggerated elements, creating balance and keeping your project attractive can help you create really effective exaggeration in your animated art.
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