I had a bit of an epiphany today. I have been re-reading The Illusion of Life and in particular the description of moving holds therein. Now we all know that the purpose of a moving hold is to keep a character alive during a stationary moment, so nothing new there.
Now, in studying human anatomy lately I have been making use of a CG skeleton model that can be rotated to any position. This is great for getting an idea of how everything fits together given that a real dissected human isn’t readily available to me! I rotate the model around and study it from multiple angles, building a three-dimensional image of the thing in my head from which I can draw. I was doing this yesterday when my attention was momentarily caught by something on the TV. When I returned to looking at the model, I was suddenly extremely aware that I was looking at a flat 2D image, and I had trouble working out how things were directed towards and away from me. Rotating the model however, even by just a small amount, popped the three-dimensional image back into my head and I was able to proceed with my drawing studies.
So how does this fit in with moving holds? Well I wondered if perhaps moving holds have more advantages than keeping a character alive. Perhaps they are important for maintaining a solid three-dimensional idea of the character in the audience’s minds. Maybe in leaving a character still, the audience loses the dimensionality of the scene as everything flattens out, and believability is hampered.
Am I onto something here? Or am I talking rubbish? I’ve never heard mention of this before, so I’d be interested to hear any views on the subject!