Create Interactive Characters
I think we sort of get away a lot of the time with not making strong decisions in our work. And I'm referring specifically to characters here. Now obviously if your character is a mountain, this is one of those few things that might not apply. 'Cause you cannot exactly animate your mountain and make them do something, it's not gonna be as possible. But I believe that interactive characters really feel like part of their world. And this is really important for making an image believable, for making an image feel like it's a thing unto itself, not like there was a photographer taking a picture of something, but like this is a whole world that exists. So I've got some images here that deal with interactive characters, characters that are doing something. If we go back, we've got a character pulling down the sky over the gray sky, blue sky versus gray sky. Here we've got somebody swimming toward this light, toward a lantern. Here we've got a person, again, ambiguously, maybe flying, maybe ...
jumping off of this cliff. Whatever you need to see in this image is fine. And because each of these characters are interacting with their surroundings in some way, it looks a little bit less posed, a little bit less like there was a photographer there taking the picture. And I wanna just make this quick point of saying that when you are creating stories, maybe try creating from a place of interaction with your character. So if you see a really neat location, maybe it's just so beautiful you can't wait to get a subject in there, instead of saying where would they look best in the light or how would look most graceful or the things that we often go to first with characters, why not try asking yourself, what could they be doing in this space? How could they interact with an object or with a wall or with the floor or with the bed or whatever's in that space, and see where that leads you. I think that is one of the most beautiful things that we can do with story, is making really active choices.