In the last few weeks I have been doing further research into different forms of anthropomorphism. I read through 3 years worth of Computer Graphics World Magazine. In it were many interesting articles which gave the views and issues that directors, designers and animators faced when it came to anthropomorphism.

One interesting article was walking on the subject of Happy Feet, the animation about dancing penguins. What was interesting about this particular article was that obviously the penguin anatomy was never built to allow penguins to dance, so to create a happy balance between 'penguin-ness' and the ability to dance, the designers reseached which penguins were most capable to dance and then modified the anatomy to include shoulders and more movement from their short squat legs.

What I learned from this is in order to stay true to the animal in which you are anthopomorphising, yet also be able to reach the goal of your animation, you have to stike a delicate balance between reality and make believe. In the case above, the designers went to find the most suitable penguin type out there, then made their adjustments, without completely changing the essence of the penguin. I beleieve this is important when it come with dealing with animals, and was refelcted throughout the articles I read.

The most important words I read were John Lasseter's 'truth to materials' mantra.


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