Commonly the term animation, in any medium, refers to developing motion and breathing life into the creation with believability. There are 12 principles of animation that serve as fundamental guides to achieving an appealing result. Yet there is always a challenge commonly encountered whilst in progress where animators tend to only focus on their tools rather than the body language, emotions and personas.
To overcome this issue, an animator needs to overcome shyness and begin acting. Some young talents may be extremely good with their technical capabilities but fear and shyness limit their ability to express their heartfelt emotion that burns within them but gets choked.
Why is this a norm among animators? Often it is due to fear of being labelled silly or weird within their community. Or sometimes, due to bad project management or the need to meet the deadline. Animation is not just about creating motion with a specific tool but about bringing life to the creation with joy and emotion. This applies to character animation specifically but to any medium in general.
In order to unlock these acting skills, animators should practice acting within closed doors with a mirror for a start. Start expressing emotion — be silly, be funny, be serious, explore emotions then apply it to your creation. Show it to your friends or your target audience. Slowly it will start bringing out the fun kept secretly within. Some may find it hard to utilize the scripts exactly as written/given. Nevertheless, use body language, facial expression, implement the 12 principles of animation by stages, perhaps without spoken dialogue. After gaining confidence, start reading the dialogue until you grasp character’s persona. Fluency in reading dialogue helps but voice actors are able to add their fine touch. And there are multiple resources for technical issues.
Acting is a way to be expressive and when it is overlooked it will only deter the final output. When undertaking the responsibility to create something unique, wear a mask that resembles that character, and try to bring the best emotional involvement that will hold the audience’s heart.
Use fear to drive you to be the best. Fail early before it’s too late.