Nail the Reaction!

Format: Lecture/Class exercises: Full-Day or Two Half-Days
Venue: In-Studio or Zoom Class
(This is a follow-up to either "Finding the Emotion On Your Face" or "The Emotional Facial Experience" workshops.)
Note: This class is not film or project-specific

In this session, the animator will gain the tools and information needed to analyze and interpret storyboards, previz, voice tracks, and/or direction to clarify the intent of the shot.

These skills can be used to create better reference the shots and to determine the cadence of the action, facial or otherwise. These skills also help stop over-animating, as students can see what is really important to get across to the audience.

The class will help lay a path not only to finding the big moments but all the smaller, more subtle moments, which make a character most real and believable. The life of an emotion – how to evoke an emotion and guide it through the body, voice and face.  

How to find all the emotions in a scene and determine which ones are best for telling the story.
We will also cover:

  • How to make a more truthful, useful and inspirational reference. 
  • Learn to break down, analyze and interpret material and verbal direction. 
  • How to use facial expressions to define character, enhance a type or go against a type. 
  • How to interpret and incorporate nonverbal cues.

Course Schedule

Interpreting Voice Tracks and Direction (2 hours)
 - Techniques for analyzing and interpreting voice tracks and direction.
 - Exercises to practice these techniques 

Introduction and Course Overview (30 minutes)
 - Understanding the importance of analysis in animation.    
 - Course objectives and expectations. 

Creating Better References for Shots (2 hours)  
 - Understanding the importance of good references.     - Techniques for creating better references for shots.  

Understanding Storyboards and Previz (2 hours)    
- Techniques for analyzing and interpreting storyboards and previz.
  - Exercises to practice these techniques. 

Course Wrap-up and Q&A (30 minutes)
 - Review of key course concepts.
 - Open discussion and Q&A .

What Students Have To Say...

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret storyboards, previz, voice tracks, and direction.
  • Create better references for their shots 

Materials Needed: 
Notebook and pen for note-taking, laptop or tablet for online resources (if applicable).
Participation in class exercises, demonstration of understanding through Q&A.


Click the box below to set up a time to discuss your needs and to determine how we can be of service.