Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

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Robotman
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Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by Robotman » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:43 pm

As I'm sure many actresses and viewers know, it takes a lot of hard work and practice to get robotic acting right. Not every actress can move like Diana Knight, but stillness and lack of motion go a long way.

I personally am no fan of too much effort in the opposite direction - when the arms are bent stiffly in the stereotypical "robot dance" move and then moved all around for no good reason. It really breaks a scene's immersion for me because all it looks like to me is like she's swatting away a swarm of bees. My first commissioned video "Halloween Treat" was marred by this because the director and actresses completely misunderstood my instructions about arm movement. I wanted them to remain mostly still.

I would much prefer to see the opposite approach taken: a complete lack of motion from any body part unless it has to move. That's the way real machines move. Keizo showed me this clip from a movie, and though it isn't about fembots, the actress does show a great example of the type of acting I'm talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl7mj0g ... u.be&t=39s

Another key part of this is the facial expression, which is blank and empty. That takes practice too. But when I've seen these two techniques together, they have made for some very memorable fembot scenes.

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KingJeremy

Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by KingJeremy » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:52 pm

Quality post and one i agree with almost completely. Trying to convey this to a producer without the help of video examples is very difficult and is often times ignored unfortunately.

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Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by dale coba » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:18 am

Arms hanging dead at her side = wrong.

Shoulders should demonstrate poise, no extra motion, graceful and serene. They stay in line with hips, since that is less energy than remaining twisted, hips vs. shoulders.

Like mannequin arms, robot arms are supposed to convey casual, not-even-thinking-about-them, and comfortable (unless serious malfunctions are setting in). Let's call it a 60 degree angle above straight down. The angle reflects the balance of forces between muscles, tendons, the connective anatomy against the gravitational weight of the arm. There is no natural force inside the arm to push it towards opening straight, but there is a small amount of stretch (in the tendon?) to pull it back more towards a right angle.

We could assemble the best examples. I can pluck small video segments from videos in the FTP collection. I nominate Stepford Bobbie, who simultaneously demonstrates the arts of distracted babble, walking into things, and looking in the wrong direction.

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KingJeremy

Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by KingJeremy » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:25 pm

I just wanted to add that while Ashley Fires is definitely guilty of the flailing arms thing,, her blank expressionless stare is the best in the business, in my opinion.

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Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by Ani Erotika » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:00 pm

I am aspiring to be better with my all around everything having to do with my fembot creations. From the stage set up and scenery, to my outfits and makeup and my acting and all around presentation.. i want to be better. I want to bring to the table the best of the best. Any input on my works to this point is most appreciated seriously. I welcome anything people have for ideas input opinions you name it. I want to be one of the leaders in top flight fembot material. I mean that. Ill not stop till i get there i will never give up.
Endeavouring to evolve into the ultimate fembot, with your help! :dancing:

Please check out my fembot videos on ManyVids and tell me what you think. <3

My homepage: Ani'z Korner :rockon:

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Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by Ani Erotika » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:14 am

For people who talk and write so prolifically no one ever responds to anything i write. This is bogus.
Endeavouring to evolve into the ultimate fembot, with your help! :dancing:

Please check out my fembot videos on ManyVids and tell me what you think. <3

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Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by Stephaniebot » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:26 am

Well, I can only speak for myself, as a non movie buyer, I don't feel its right to comment too much on these matters, as I've not seen the number of movies that the men here seem to have done.

In truth, I have no idea if some want porn with a robot touch, or something else. Given the fascination, that I don't get in the slightest, with damage, malfunctions, and removed heads that some have, none of which are really practical to do in a movie, without a huge budget, as most of that would take CGI, and stuff.

My scene is robot transformation, but I seem in a small number into that on here now.

And no, don't get me started on the Gynoid in name only brigade (GINO), I don't quite know what some expect, given current day robots aren't of the capability to do real acting.

Its why my postings nowadays are sporadic, unless there is something of real interest to me, I just read, and let it pass. But then again, I'm not going to be acting any more, having hit 60! Never done sexy stuff at any time, lol!

But good luck on here, Ani, hope you find some that will offer feedback
I'm just a 'girl' who wants to become a fembot whats wrong with that?

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Re: Robotic acting: How to avoid Flailing Arm Syndrome

Post by Toastdroid » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:17 pm

Ani Erotika wrote:For people who talk and write so prolifically no one ever responds to anything i write. This is bogus.
All things considered I think you're already up there in terms of portraying a bot. you've got the facial expressions and tone of speaking down pretty well, and your movement's pretty solid.

I figure the movement is always the hardest to get right since it's something that we don't actually put a lot of thought into normally.

The way I've seen it handled best is a sort of efficient fluidity. Movement starts at the extremities rather than the torso, and movement is split into different actions.
So, say you were sitting at a table and wanted to pick up a coffee cup, for a robot that'd break down to:
-Look at coffee cup
-Move arm to cup
-Grip handle
-Pick up cup and hold
-Return head to original position if needed
Think of each little action as its own thing that ends before the next action (this is why sometimes robots pause between actions, they're thinking of what to do next). And because each action is separate you don't move the parts of your body that aren't involved in that specific action.

This is good for when you're speaking too, if you need to talk your head and eyes shouldn't move unless they need to be pointing at something, and the rest of your body should be static, unless it's already doing something.

I think the exception to this rule is repeated actions, like walking - trying to separate those makes you look stiff and stompy walker robots look kinda silly.

Honestly I think the best example of this kinda movement is actually the terminator films, you can tell all the actors playing terminators put in a lot of work to make sure they moved like robots.

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