I never intended this blog to be a teaching tool or to impart any techniques for animators. But I did come across an interesting article on 'reading' people and thought it might help animators to convey more emotion and thought processing into their characters. These kind of read like party games and are not guaranteed sure fire rules that will deliver 100% results, but they may strengthen your scenes. Try them on your friends and see what happens.
Eyes Down and Left. If a person looks down-left they are thinking about how something makes them feel. If they are visibly happy then they may be thinking about the happiness that they feel. Ask a person how they feel on their birthday and they should look down-left before they describe it to you.
Eyes Down and Right. A person looking down-right has internal dialog going on in their head. They may be talking to themselves, reciting a conversation, or thinking about what they are going to say. Ask someone how their last conversation went and you will see them looking down-right.
Eyes Straight Downward. A person looking straight downward is showing that they are submissive and uncomfortable. People will often look downward when they are shy and do not wish to have a conversation. Moving the eyes straight downward is often a sign of shame or embarrassment. In some Asian cultures it is customary to look downward and not make eye contact when talking to someone.
Eye contact. Consistent eye contact is a sign that the person is interested in the conversation. Prolonged eye contact can mean that the person is trying to intimidate and/or may not trust you. Brief eye contact indicates that the person is anxious and/or not interested in the conversation. While a total lack of eye contact shows great disinterest in the conversation.
Eyes looking straight up. Rolling the eyes upward is a gesture that often indicates contempt, sarcasm, boredom, or annoyance. If someone is rolling their eyes at you it is not a good sign. Sometimes people look straight upward when they are referring to a god, but in most cases it is meant to be condescending. If their eyes roll back into their head and stay there… heh… make sure they aren’t having a seizure.
Eyes to the Upper Right. Someone who you see looking up-right is visualizing a remembered image. Ask someone to tell you the color of their car or describe what someone looks like and they should look up-right.
Eyes to the Upper Left. When you see someones eyes move quickly up-left they are constructing images in their head. A person looking up-left is using their imagination to put a picture together in their mind. Ask a person to imagine a large blue house filled with marbles and they should look up and to the left.
Eyes to the Right. When someone moves their eyes to the right they are recalling sounds from their memory. Ask someone to remember the melody to a song or to remember the sound of their alarm clock and they will look to their right.
Eyes Left. People construct sounds when they look to the left (1st person right). When someone imagines new sounds like an unheard voice, or puts together a new melody they look to the left. Ask someone to imagine the sound of a car horn underwater and they should look to the left.