Along with focusing on time management, becoming a better supervisor, and prepping for the holidays, I am thinking a ton about character development.

I was making a bottle for toby this morning while simultaneously holding him and trying to clean his nose and I realized that ever since I became a father I had picked up a new skill.. Doing complicated actions with one hand.

It’s true.. I can now hold a squirming child with my right arm and with my left I can pour a hot coffee, mix in milk and sugar, put on a lid, and drink away all without dropping the child or spilling my hot tasty beverage.

IF one of the kids does a massive crap (if… I mean WHEN), I can somehow hold them down, distract them with a toy, take off their pants and diaper, keep their feet and shoes OUT of the crap-filled bundle of fun, grab another nappy, shove it under them, hold a doll in front of their face to distract them and keep them from rolling over, grab some wipes, clean up the poo, fold up the old nappy and poo and wipes, put on a new nappy, and redress the child all with far too few hands.

It’s a new skill!

So what does this have to do with animation?

Well, now that I recognize this skill, if I were to be animating a parent, I would know that parents can do more with one hand than non-parents.. So if given the opportunity, I should use that as an actin choice to make the character more believable.

It’s all about making the right acting choices for each individual character.. And the only way you can find out what those acting choices should be is to either live it, talk to someone who lives it, observe someone doing it, or really think about it.

Another thing I can’t wait to try and add to a shot of a parent… The daddy/mommy sway. If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I mean. πŸ™‚

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6 Responses to One handed..

  1. davidbernal says:

    soooooooo beautiful and inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and LOVE the photo!!

  2. Tim Critchley says:

    I used to think my mum was the greatest multi-tasker, like a “superwoman”…she could do more tasks with one hand/arm than most people could with both (the term, I’ll beat you with one arm tied behind my back comes to mind). I asked her, “how do you do it?” -she said, once you’re a parent you’ll understand…and guess what, now that I have a kid, I’m doing the one armed thing too…it’s so true!

    mums, rock!!

    Thanks for the great post Jason

  3. bclark_cgchar says:

    πŸ™‚ great post Jason, so true. I love seeing extra detail like that in characters, I think a great example is in Wall-e when he wakes up from sleep and has to put his tracks on. that was such a well animated shot and it turned out that the animator had just had a baby and felt like that in the morning, it came across so clearly.

    http://www.navone.org/blogger/2008/07/wall-e-breakdown.html

    “I also did the next scene where Wally wakes up, batteries low, and tries to put on his treads. At the time we had a newborn baby, and I wasn’t getting enough sleep, so I was involuntarily doing lots of research for the scene.”

    Also good your getting in shape agian, kids keep getting bigger and still want you to hold them:) picking my 4 year old daughter up in one arm while holding the baby in the other and standing up with them both while baby is kicking and jumping and trying to fall….it is good to be in shape for that

  4. jason says:

    haha πŸ™‚ Yeah, that first week of working out my legs & then trying to stand up with a baby.. holy crap. It was almost like having two babies in the house that couldn’t walk yet.. heh πŸ™‚

  5. jsolsona says:

    Yeah sure.. but can you chew gum AND walk up the stairs at the same time? uh? uh? can you?

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