Database for Animation Studies


Roto-Synchresis: Relationships between Body and Voice in Rotoshop Animation

Rotoshop, a proprietary digital incarnation of rotoscoping, has been discussed as a visually innovative process, but its capacity to tread new ground aurally has been overlooked. However, the recurrent appearance of the talking head' in the Rotoshop animations to date invites critical reflection on the soundtrack of the films, as well as their images. This article follows Michel Chion in arguing that novel ways of altering bodies on-screen can involve a reimagining of the relationship between those bodies and their accompanying voices. Analyses of the experimental Rotoshop short Figures of Speech and the feature-length Indiewood productions, Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, are used to demonstrate different possibilities in the coordination between voice and body. These range from an adherence to accepted conventions of lip-synchronization, which cast the voice as the guarantor of the body's authenticity', to a much more free-floating assembly, in which words and bodily movements break down into independent elements of pure form'.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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