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Author Topic: technique  (Read 3739 times)


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« on: March 10, 2013, 11:28:15 pm »

umm i want to get across that it is one character with split personalities

any suggestions on how?


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Re: technique
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 12:06:16 am »

Hm, it's rare to get questions like this here, most are on the technical side.

Usually you have one or more unique "tells" that reveal to the audience that it's one personality or the other. These personalities are usually on two ends of the behavioral extremes, e.g. good & evil, happy & glum, reserved & reckless. Then the character has one of these extremes as their "normal" everyday personalities, where the other is usually dormant.

So the "tells" can be a complete change in voice, facial expressions, physical behavior, habits specific to personalities, or even giving an accessory based on which personality is active (like a hair clip or scar appears when one is active, an obsession with ice cream, higher or lower pitched voices, an angry scowl, whatever). Depending on what kind of animation it is, it doesn't have to be realistic (like where did the hair clip come from? how'd the scar appear/disappear)?

Another kind of "tell" is the transition. If you need more reinforcement to that notion, then make it obvious when the character changes personality. Flashes of light, spasms, or if something triggers it then make it fairly obvious what it is.

And usually a character with split personalities has some interaction between the two, where at least one is aware of the other and his/her actions. Seeing and engaging with the other in a reflection, or talking to himself/herself out loud, or having a ghost or mini-version riding on his/her shoulder nagging at the other personality all helps get the point across.


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Re: technique
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 06:23:19 am »

Raxx's point is very well demonstrated in Lord of the Rings, in the Gollum/Smeagol character.  The two personalities are defined purely through a differing range of facial expressions, vocal characteristics and pupil dilation (Smeagol's are wide open, Gollums are very small).  In the 'monologue' scene where Smeagol confronts and rejects Gollum, the camera initially captures the transition from one personality to the other to reinforce to the audience that it is a single creature with two personalities, and from then on the personalities are separated by cut scenes, filmed and edited as if they were two physical characters.


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Re: technique
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 12:47:59 am »

You can also use a simple object to tell the 2 personalities apart...
When looking at Clark Kent/Superman's face the use of glasses tells you which
character you are looking at.