Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Acting for Animators is Back on Jan 16th

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios tomorrow, Thursday 16th January, to teach an all-day "Acting for Animators" class to our second year animation students, as they embark on their Animation Specialism module.  Sarah is an expert on teaching acting skills to animators, having taught classes at MPC, Framestore, and many other leading UK animation and VFX houses.  To find out a little about the class, and about Shapes in Motion, watch the video above.

Sarah Perry
Acting skills, for animators. 
Sarah's class is for our second year animation students, who are currently starting their Specialism Module CR5001, in which they choose an animation specialism. This could be - for example - character animation, in which case students will need to dig deeper into creating believable acting performances.

Sarah's class is a practical, physical workshop in acting skills, aimed specifically at helping animators to  create more believable, authentic acting choices in their work.

Shapes in Motion
Shapes In Motion is an acting school run by classically-trained actor Sarah Perry, offering acting and movement classes specially tailored for animators.

Sarah Perry (bottom right) with students at Escape Studios
Animators are actors - with a mouse (or a pencil)
Animators are storytellers. We act with a pencil or a mouse - not with our bodies - but what we do is still acting, and it needs to be done well. Bad acting looks just as bad in animation as it does in a live action performance.

Video reference
Many animators shoot video of themselves acting out a line of dialogue, or a bit of pantomime acting, as reference for our animation. If our acting isn't up to scratch, then the animation performance is unlikely to be any better.

Animation by Escapee Jamie Floodgate - now at Blue Zoo
Classical Training
Students get introduced to the fundamentals of Laban Movement Analysis, which is to say "the analysis of character in terms of body, effort, space and shape" which can be used for both human and creature animation.

Animators learn to observe and analyse a range of physical qualities, so as to develop character, and understand character "from the outside in".

Sarah helps animators to look at character types, but also to understand subtle gesture performance choices too. The class is a combination of theory, practice, games/exercises, play and group work.

Animation by Escapee Chan Sagoo - animator on "The Lion King"
Official site
Visit the Shapes in Motion website at to see more about their work and what they do.

Student feedback
Sarah gets great reviews from our animation students, for most of whom their only criticism is "give us more". This class is a chance for animators to dig deeper into the acting skillset and find ways for animators to become better actors - and therefore better animators.

Where and when
Sarah's class takes place at 190 High Holborn WC1 in our basement room B12 and lasts from 9.30am until 4.30pm.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2020, follow this link.  

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