When animation studios say, "it's about the story!" everyone nods in agreement but creating a "dramatic" story is one of the biggest challenges in digital media today. This session covers plot structure and the character elements within that structure. This talk has been designed specifically for animators, technical artists, and designers whose work is essential in making the story come to life.This presentation covers the difference between plot-driven stories (i.e., setup, inciting incident, rising action, climax, resolution) and character-driven stories (i.e., character, setting [rules of the world], want, change, theme, obstacles [what is between what a character wants]). It analyzes the journey a character must take and the conflict along the way (i.e., internal, external, environmental). Included are story acts, turning points, and how difficult choices define the character. Dramatic stories must have something at stake (i.e., survival, safety, love, esteem.) that drives the main character to take action, which in turn forces them to move from their ordinary world to a different world, where the real action takes place.Story essentials include the elements of a scene, cause and effect, beginnings, middle, and what makes for a solid ending. The five fundamental goals in a story (to win, to escape, to stop, to deliver, or to retrieve something) motivates the main character to move past their fear and overcome their flaws that have been holding them back. Tips: All stories start better with a crisis.Intended Audience: Professionals and students who want a solid understanding of the fundamentals of story structure for creating content for animated films, VFX, video games, interactive media. This presentation is packed with visuals to illustrate the concepts.
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Craig Caldwell, USTAR Professor, Digital Media Cluster, and co-founder of the Masters in Games Program Entertainment Arts & Engineering, University of Utah. Recently honored as a DeTao Master, Institute of Animation and Creative Content, SIVA Campus, Shanghai, China. Industry experience: Head of Creative Training at Electronic Arts, Tiburon Studio and 3D Technology Specialist, Walt Disney Feature Animation (Mulan, Tarzan, Chicken Little, Bolt, Meet the Robinsons), Burbank, CA. Academic background includes Head of the largest Film School in Australia at Griffith University and Chair, Media Arts Department, University of Arizona. Presented extensively at international conferences. Author of Story Structure and Development – A Guide for Animators, VFX Artists, Game Designers, and Virtual Reality; published 2017, CRC Publishers (on Amazon).